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Emma’s Experience

Emma has always wanted to go to Europe, and studying abroad was a perfect excuse to visit. When she learned more details about the experience — including how students receive 21 credits and the cost to study abroad is cheaper than a semester for out-of-state tuition — it was pretty much a done deal.

While at Virginia Tech, Emma has been fortunate enough to meet a variety of people. However, studying abroad has allowed her to encounter even more cultures, experiences, and perspectives.

“It’s really opened my eyes to the world.”

Emma has never really been interested in history, but traveling abroad has made her appreciate the development of sites and cultures over time.

“Studying abroad has definitely made me a more well-rounded person, and it gave me more of a cultural perspective.”

By fully immersing herself into another culture, it expanded her bubble through new experiences and ultimately gave her the confidence to apply for an internship for the upcoming summer.

When asked what her favorite moment was from being abroad, she couldn’t decide on just one.

“Everything! It was all of the surreal moments, but I really appreciated being in Santorini and experiencing the Greek culture. Where I would typically be eating a Bruegger’s bagel for breakfast at Turner Place back in Blacksburg, I was out meeting new people, trying different food, and learning about the culture.”

There were times when Emma found herself homesick, but she embraced the challenges that the experience had to offer.

“There was a lot of change, little things. The language barrier was definitely the most challenging, as the Czech language is quite difficult to learn. But I appreciated these challenges, like learning new words and hearing about the differences in the culture.”

Overall, Emma shared that studying abroad has been her favorite experience to date.

“If you have the opportunity to do it, take it. You will have to figure things out on your own, but it also sparks a sense of independence.”

Key Advice From Emma on Studying Abroad

“Take advantage of every moment. At the beginning, you may not be as likely to go out and explore on your own, but definitely take advantage of the opportunity before it's too late in your experience. Don’t nap. You can sleep when you’re back home.”

This summer, Emma will be interning at Deloitte’s Arlington office (outside of Washington, D.C.)

Written by Sandy Bass 

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