Study Abroad Spotlight: Brooke Caldwell

Program and Location:

Spring, Universidad de las Americas Puebla; Puebla, Mexico

Major/Minor:

Political Science and Sociology

Why did you choose to study abroad?

After spending a year in the Alexander Residence Hall (an international dormitory), I decided to study abroad to for language immersion. I have always desired to travel and experience other cultures first-hand, so this was an all-in-one opportunity for me!

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a great deal of independence that wasn’t possible by being at home! I learned how to deal with situations effectively as studying abroad may require a lot of patience, attention to detail, and “go with the flow” moments.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

Academically, I loved how the teachers expected no less of me as an international student. There were moments when I needed a more in depth explanation, or a complete historical lesson, but at the end of the day the professors and students expected me to know and demonstrate the same knowledge about their country. Outside of my classes, I loved learning the cultural norms and superstitions.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

Enjoy your time and try not to be stressed out about the simple things. Pay attention to detail though!

How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?

My study abroad experience helping me deal with stress and time management overall. When I found myself in complicated situations, I had to remain calm and really think about my options and what I was able to communicate. Being surrounded by new laws, people, and norms can be terribly complicated or intimidating otherwise.

Would you do it again?

Of course!

This post was originally published in Study Abroad.