Emma studied in Chile on the IES: Santiago, Chile, Study in Chile Program during the Fall of 2015.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
If I could give only one reason, I would suggest other students to study abroad to experience another culture and language.
If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
If I could go abroad again, I would participate in an internship
What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
I wanted to improve my Spanish.
I was concerned about not being able to communicate very well. I overcame this fear by immersing myself in the language and surrounding myself with supportive peers and advisers in Santiago.
What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?
I wanted to study abroad in Chile because people say that if you can speak Chilean Spanish, you can speak any Spanish.
How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?
I have become more confident after studying abroad because speaking with business people in English does not seem so daunting after speaking with professors in Spanish.
What experiences did you have while studying abroad that you feel you could not have had if you had stayed at Penn State?
I feel like no number of Spanish classes at Penn State can compare to complete immersion in a language in another country.
What advice would you give to outbound study abroad students to help them make the most out of their study abroad experiences?
Remember to not be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes.
Share an experience where you interacted with someone in your host culture in a way that taught you something.
I participated in a program where I was paired with a Chilean student at my university so he could practice his English and I could practice my Spanish. We discussed the difference between Chilean Spanish, the Spanish that I learned from classes in the U.S., and English. We both learned so much about what was culturally appropriate and inappropriate to say. No class could teach me what we taught each other during those conversations.