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Hopes and Expectations of Studying Abroad

I can honestly say that I haven’t anticipated anything in the past as enthusiastically as I’m anticipating studying in Botswana, Africa next semester at the University of Botswana with Interstudy.  At this point I can’t be completely sure what to expect, other than the unexpected.  It is this aspect of next semester that I hope will change my life and bring a new perspective.

I hope that by studying in Botswana I can open my eyes and my mind to a new culture in such a way that it can broaden my perspective and the way I view the world.  Living in the United States is great, but the media and other social constructs are largely responsible for the way I think about people and my environment.  I am hoping that all of that will change after I assimilate into a new culture and I can see my life and values from a new lens.

My mother, an artist, always said that sometimes an artist would have to back away from their painting and look at it from a new angle.  Once this is done, they have seen it from multiple perspectives and can make their work better than they could have before.  That is the perspective I’m hoping to gain from this experience.  I also expect that this experience will come with new challenges.  Things like the climate, the traditions, the food, the people… they will all be starkly different from what I’m used to.  But as in all obstacles, I’m sure that these challenges will doubly serve as opportunities to learn about the world and embrace a new, vibrant culture, and in the end, I am faithful that I will be a more open minded individual.

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