Study Abroad Advantage: Adaptability

November19 Business. Comments : 2

todays column, Dee writes about increasing adaptability, one of the advantages of studying abroad that can translate into a career skill for the future.n - - - Two years ago around this time, I was in the stages of finalizing my decision on a study abroad program and following through on the process. This was probably the most difficult phase in making the dream be a reality. Beyond the financial aspect or the academic variables or conversation with the parents, there was still that little bit of hesitation and that initial nervousness about confirming the decision. I became the CAPA Ambassador for CU Boulder last year after returning from Florence, and students emailed me, messaged me, or even called me. We would talk about my experiences and Irsquo;d answer questions and concerns they had. Most of them had to do with Italy, some about CAPA, but a ubiquitous setback for all these students were that they were all unsure at that moment and probably, their parents werenrsquo;t sure either. Redirect these apprehensions to me, as Irsquo;ve been there, done that, and Irsquo;m telling you:nyou HAVE to do it. Just do it.nNike should endorse me for this, with how many times Irsquo;ve given that advice. Irsquo;ll tell your parents that too, if you want. I have three significant reasons why studying abroad changed my life (duh), but why it changed my life in the sense that I have a perk over folks who did not go through the experience, and so will you. I present this three-part series,nAdvantages of Studying Abroadnin my next few columns here on CAPA World. This first segment:nAdaptability. Nothing screams getting out of your comfort zone more than being in a foreign place with strangers and language and gestures that mean close to nothing to you. So all of a sudden, simply getting through the day becomes the ultimate boot camp of accommodation. In order to successfully maneuver through this foreign place, you must use internal knowledge while incorporating the new matter around you, and push yourself to really assimilate into the culture and make these foreign grounds (no pun intended) become familiar. From lost luggage while abroad to an almost-pickpocketing encounter to the language barrier, missed trains, cheap hostels and a banking setback, Irsquo;ve had to do more than just pray to my lucky stars that everything would turn out okay. I had to adapt. Learning this adaptability factor has allowed me to grow in my personal and professional endeavors. Graduating from CU Boulder has been a massive transitive phase, and I honestly owe it to being open-minded. Stripped of a strict and structured routine like I was used to for four years, the drastic change was mentally and emotionally striking. Through job hunting, figuring out the notorious ldquo;what-am-I-doing-with-my-liferdquo; battle, new financial commitments, and different social life, I had to make serious readjustments. This is not always comfortable, but doing so has unlocked windows of opportunity my shy and timid self before studying abroad probably would not have. Tackling the unknown with a flexible perspective has helped complex dilemmas turn into valuable times of progress. Being open with change and being willing to work with change and ldquo;the unknownrdquo; is a rewarding way to make my own path have more clarity. One of my bosses was so impressed with the way I promptly handled a task he threw at me last minute that was not in the plan, that he wrote me a nice note on my next paycheck. n Working between several jobs and internships right now, I continue to adapt and be okay with adapting to pushing myself to further my knowledge, and make myself the person I want to be. I think potential opportunities that may very well be right in front of us can easily be overlooked without pushing ourselves and adapting to new scenarios. To the parents unsure of whether or not to send your kid abroad, to the prospective study abroad students who just arenrsquo;t surehellip;you have to pull a Nike. Just with gaining elasticity in handling situations having to deal with the unexpected with tenacity makes it worthwhile. Not to mention,nadaptabilitynis just one of three vital advantages of study abroad students. Stay tuned for the other two in my future posts.

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