Vanessa studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Global and International Education.
Where did you go to school?
William Paterson University
When and where did you study abroad?
Fall’ 08 at the American University in Cairo, Egypt (AUC)
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
Seeing a blending of cultures in a foreign country. Listening to new languages and experiencing food that I would have never tried back home. Also, it was great to have access to other countries so easily. While in Egypt I hopped over to Jordan, Israel, Sinai, Morocco and Greece. I loved it!
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
What I learned is that the world is a lot bigger than any could imagine. Pictures and videos of places and different cultures are so much different in person. You kind of get a new outlook on the world. Like they say, “The world is like a book; those who do not travel only read a page.”
What was your BIGGEST challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage to handle it?
Language was my biggest issue. Everyone at AUC was studying Arabic, but me. I was studying Egyptology and taking Arabic was not on my list of things to do. I’m a huge traveler, but not a language person. Eventually I hope to learn Arabic though…”Mumkin”
How did studying abroad change your life?
Studying abroad absolutely changed my life. I have never traveled outside of the U.S. before I decided to study and live in Egypt. Egypt birthed my traveling instincts, so to speak. It was kind of scary at first and a little extreme, but well worth it.
I loved it so much, that I dropped my academic interests of Egyptology to earn a graduate degree in Global and International Education at Drexel University. I no longer want to be “Ms. Indiana Jones”. I want to now help other students to conquer their fears and get out in the world.
What are your future plans?
I am currently working as an Educational Specialist for the DoD while earning my graduate degree in Global and International Education. After that is complete, I hope to have a career in the study abroad field at a university that would love to have me!
What’s your BEST piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
Traveling is addictive and is probably the best addiction anyone can have. Get out there, conquer your fears, and see the world, because this world is so much bigger than you and me.