Kyle studied abroad at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus through Global Learning Semesters. He is currently a senior at West Chester University, dual-majoring in Political Science and Sociology.
Where do you go to school?
West Chester University
When and where did you study abroad?
Fall, 2012 – University of Nicosia through Global Learning Semesters.
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
For anybody who has ever studied abroad, you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to simply single out the BEST part. Personally, I love the way that studying abroad has completely changed my framework of the world, and I now better understand how globalized and interconnected the world truly is.
Cyprus is an extraordinary country that I feel that way too many people overlook. From the rich history to the gorgeous beaches, the location of Cyprus not only makes it a prime tourist destination, but its geographic location offers an unlimited access point to travel, whether it be to Europe, the Middle East, or Asia.
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
The world is simply astonishing. Being able to experience the European Union in action, to see the continuation of the Eurocrisis, and to walk through the occupied squares of the Arab Spring has never felt so raw to me before in my life. These things really do take place and they’re right in somebody’s backyard. It’s more than just a headline; it’s more than just pictures; it is real life, and being able to experience it first-hand makes me want to be more involved in solving the problems.
But enough with the politics…studying abroad truly changed the way I view myself. I now understand that I alone am not able to change the world, but I do have the power and strength to gain momentum in starting that change. I’ve realized that there are more good than bad people out there, and with a little help from my friends, anything is possible.
What was your BIGGEST challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage to handle it?
One of my biggest challenges during my time abroad was money. It was more my unwillingness to spend than it was the access. All the money I saved up was there, but something was not clicking that I was actually able to spend it. The advice I need to give you is SPEND EVERY DIME! You worked so hard for this trip and you deserve to LIVE IT UP! Whether it’s buying a few extra gifts for yourself, or a gift for your second cousin twice removed, you’ll only leave feeling like you jipped yourself…although do keep in mind of the exchange rate with the foreign currency. :) And, if you’re having trouble finding gifts for people, postcards are always easy, inexpensive, and plentiful.
How did studying abroad change your life?
Life changing is such an understatement. I couldn’t imagine my life without going abroad. I have no idea what I would be doing right now if I hadn’t spent those wonderful 3 months and 5 days away from the good ‘ole US of A. Studying abroad really re-established my faith in humanity, although it did want me to be more involved with how the world grows for the future. I want to put the world on the right track; the track of equality for all and a complete lack of discrimination. Studying abroad has truly opened up thousands of doors for the future, so it’s about time to walk through one of those doors.
What are your future plans?
I’m currently a senior at West Chester University, dual-majoring in Political Science and Sociology. After graduation, I have plans of continuing my education in Geopolitics at a University in Europe or the Middle East, in hopes of eventually working with the State Department of the U.S. Government.
What’s your BEST piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
Why spend the time thinking about it when you could be using that time to APPLY! Even if you’re only thinking about going on a two-week program to London, you are still going to experience things you would have never experienced at home. So why miss out on the opportunity? Most older people I talk to regret not traveling when they had the chance…so with the door wide open, there should not be a single thought keeping you from RUNNING with arms wide open! Today is the day that you take that leap and change not only yourself, but possibly even the world.