Christina studied in Ecuador on the Otavalo: Ecuador Program during the Summer of 2015.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
Broaden your horizons…it’s amazing how much you can learn from people who are different from you.
What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
I had studied abroad before (previous to starting college) and caught the traveling bug! I was looking for a study abroad program and this one fit perfectly with my major/what I want to do post-grad.
What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?
I was looking to get a certification to teach ESL, and this program allowed me to do it in an compact way which included getting first-hand experience teaching English Language Learners.
How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?
My program allowed me to teach a classroom full of English Language Leaners and, through this, I have learned that I would like to pursue a career involving teaching English- either at a school here in the US or somewhere internationally. I also have learned who I am as a teacher- the areas where I shine and the areas in which I need to improve.
What experiences did you have while studying abroad that you feel you could not have had if you had stayed at Penn State?
I would not have had first-hand experience teaching abroad in a country where English is not spoken by the majority of the population. I also would not have had the opportunity to improve my proficiency in Spanish by being immersed in the language, therefore pushing me out of my comfort zone and causing me to challenge myself in my language-learning experience.