Go abroad to broaden horizons

Studying abroad is an increasingly popular option available to those who tire of studying at Tech’s main campus here in Atlanta.

College is the time to take advantage of opportunities that are not otherwise available in the real world.

Studying abroad provides the perfect blend of fun and learning. Through the study abroad program, students can venture out of their comfort zones, meet new and interesting people, travel to unexplored cities and try local  cuisines.

“Getting an international experience gives a broader view to how society is,” said Jeremy Kim, a second-year IE, who studied at GT Lorraine in France.

“We are so accustomed to where we live and only know the ‘American dream’ but when you go abroad you see how others see success, how they achieve their goals, and you learn to adapt to new surroundings,” Kim said about her experience abroad.

“It was an eye opening experience to see different parts of the world that you could never imagine. It was something unique that can only be possible through study abroad. There were 217 people in my group and it seems to grow everyday.”

Tech now provides over a hundred different study abroad programs that are available to most majors. Students can study in countries such as Australia, Egypt, Japan, Germany, England, and France.

The study abroad program runs for either a semester or an entire academic year.  By taking the initiative, Tech students are given the chance to develop new skills and perspectives.

Andrew Conant, a second-year NRE, also went to GT Lorraine this past summer. He travelled every weekend and visited countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands- by train.

“If I had to give any advice, I’d say immerse yourself into the culture as much as you can.  If you go to study abroad with other students, it’s easy to stick to your comfort level and stick with the other students and not reach out too much.  But if you reach out and try to experience the other culture and do things you’re not comfortable with I think that’s really beneficial,” Conant said.

Studying abroad is not only a fun way to spend a semester but  it is also a chance to build up a resume. Experience abroad shows prospective employers that you were willing to travel to an unfamiliar country to study, network, and expand your intellectual horizons.

Ethan Lai, a fourth-year ME, who went to Shanghai, China said, “It was my freshman year and I figured it’d be a good experience. I had never been to China and thought I could improve my Chinese and get in tune with my culture since I was born in America and never really got a taste of where I came from.”

“I went to China and it was a new language, new environment.  And surprisingly that helps translate into the workplace.  When you go into the workplace, it’s a new environment and you meet people you don’t know and you need to impress them,” Lai said

“I had a seven-month internship at Clorox and studying abroad in China really helped me get the job.  It taught me to open up to strangers through situations like ordering food, asking for directions, and talking to taxi drivers in Chinese.  During the Clorox interview I was able to talk freely and openly and that’s what they’re looking for.  Students who are open and willing to learn and adapt,” Lai said.


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