Study Abroad: I took a chance and I’m really glad I did!

Students in Prague

It was the chance of a lifetime. This summer I spent almost a month living in Prague while studying art history in GateWay Community College’s Study Abroad program. 

It was not easy as I’m concurrently enrolled full-time in the nursing program at GateWay Community College and Northern Arizona University. Honestly, a lot of my classmates were worried whether I could continue my summer nursing class while enrolled in the study abroad class.

I took a chance and I’m really glad I did. I managed my time well. 

I’m used to being quite busy! I’m the host of iNews Xpress, a campus calendar of events program. I’m also a social media ambassador, posting pictures and information about events at GateWay. In fact, I documented my trip on Twitter, check out my posts. 

I’m also the president-elect of the Student Nursing Association, a part-time Library Assistant, and last year, I received the 2015 Student Volunteer Service Award. 

While living in Prague, I discovered art and so much more. This experience was an eye opener. It expanded my horizons. I learned that there is so much more than just our culture and the experience was a good break from nursing.

Honestly, I never even thought of really learning a different culture, but I did. I was really looking forward to the artwork and paintings. 

The days were filled with museum visits, a wine tasting trip to Vienna, a visit to where Beethoven wrote and composed his music, the Dancing House and Karlstejn Castle. It was also the first time I ever attended an opera.

One of the most important things I learned is that art should be respected.

In class, we talked about how oftentimes art is destroyed due to anger, especially during times of war; however, we lose so much when that happens. No matter what, art should be displayed and spoken freely. 

If hadn’t received the Gilman scholarship, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go. 

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship aims to diversify the students who study abroad.

While there, I still found time to play “Pokémon GO.” I discovered that I really like smoked salmon and I even picked up some new phrases such as, “dobr´y den,” which means, “Good Day.” It’s rude to walk into a store there and not say anything.

I’m the first in my family to travel to Europe and I definitely want to encourage other students to study abroad too. 

I want students here to get out there. Get out of your comfort zone. Meet new people and learn a new culture.

I have friends now that are in the Czech Republic and I think that’s so cool. Even their Facebook pages are in a different language. 

To learn more about GateWay Community College’s Prague Study Abroad program and scholarship opportunities, visit Information sessions are held each month September through March at GateWay Community College’s Washington campus.

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