With their Summer 2018 programs over, our ACCENT Community College Scholarship students are returning home, re-acclimating to life in the United States, and reminiscing over their time abroad. Today, we rejoin Kate Gallant, who, after a Summer abroad in Paris, shares her thoughts on how studying abroad has changed her outlook on life.
Every time someone asks me about my time in Paris, I’m unable to properly articulate my feelings, other than “it was great” and “it was such a cool experience.” My friends who have already traveled a bunch told me that traveling changes you, but I was not anticipating the extent to which this would apply to me. The truth is, I can’t really sum the trip up because I’m still processing it, even after a couple weeks back home.One of the most interesting parts of the trip was hearing everyone’s own feelings about Paris and our time there. Some of us were not so enchanted with the city itself and others are already planning to move to Paris. All of us agreed that this would always be a pinnacle moment in our lives.
I completely agree with the notion that traveling improves your confidence. More than this, it increases your ability to adapt. Although going to Paris from Los Angeles wasn’t an enormous shift, I certainly had many things in my usual routine that had to change to accommodate my time living in Paris. One thing after another comes up, and you don’t always have a chance to catch your breath. For anyone afraid of this, I say surrender yourself to the process. You’ll come through better for it.
I’m grateful for this trip because I truly got so much out of it. I add my voice to those who say when it comes to traveling, just go. It’s worth it to work an extra load for a time so you can go and experience something new. More than anything, if you get to travel, experience it how you want. Don’t succumb to the pressure of “making the most of it,” as I found this looks different for everyone. Finally, no matter how many excursions and whatnot you do, you’ll probably still leave feeling like there was still more you could’ve done. Enjoy everything you do, and make a point to return if there’s more you wish you had done. My number one tidbit of advice as a novice traveler: wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, try to take 30 seconds to really be present and take it all in.
ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.
Ready to embark upon your own travel experience? Research your study abroad options at http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/, and to learn more about the ACCENT Community College Scholarship, visit: https://accentintl.com/participant-information/accentscholarship/.