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Study Abroad as an Extension of the Goals and Experiences

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    When deciding to attend the University of Wisconsin Madison, I embraced the opportunities and responsibilities that would come with moving to a place so far from home. Growing up halfway across the country in New York, I came to Wisconsin not knowing anyone. Since then, I have attained many incredible experiences that have exposed me to a different culture and helped me grow personally by going out of my comfort zone. I now understand when family speaks of “midwestern values”, as I have gotten the chance to experience them personally. I envision study abroad as an extension of the goals and experiences I’ve come to value here in Madison. Studying abroad would provide me with the opportunity to gain fresh new global experiences and to continue to grow as an individual all backed by the support of UW-Madison.

    It wasn’t until coming to college that I gained a greater appreciation of the importance of becoming truly self-sufficient. Small responsibilities like cooking and cleaning are steps that foster valuable life skills. Even larger responsibilities like budgeting, managing and analyzing my financial spending continue to help me make better decisions each month. Living in an apartment with three other girls this year has reinforced the need for flexibility and cooperation. Exploring Madison with friends has shown me there is more to the city than just the campus life. These lessons in living independently have provided a solid foundation for living abroad, the courage to explore new areas and the maturity to make better decisions.

    My academic studying habits at the University level have taught me autonomy, the maturity to speak up, ask for advice and the importance of taking risks. I feel that strong organizational and time management skills are key to balancing academics and social demands. I have learned that working in groups requires flexibility of all members. As a Sales and Promotions committee member of Mu Kappa Tau, I organize and manage merchandise sales for the Wisconsin School of Business. As sales manager, I work with other committee members to organize shift times for sales. When shifts are left empty, I took responsibility for finding replacements or filled in in order to keep the store open. I look forward to cross-culture group settings as it fosters greater diverse perspectives to problem resolution and comradery.

    Much like my time here in Madison, I want to use my experience abroad as a chance to further enrich my life both inside and outside of the classroom. In past few years, our family has been privileged enough to have traveled abroad in Italy, Spain and Portugal; Here I realized the thrill of studying abroad in a foreign country engulfed in rich history. Successfully navigating through all our trips gives me confidence to travel abroad. Study abroad will enable me to gain deeper appreciation of other cultures and gain insight into their views on the business world and global markets. I look forward to becoming a more well rounded candidate through the immersion of diverse experiences which the study abroad program offers.

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