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 gatewaycc.edu/study-abroad. Information sessions are held each month September through March at GateWay Community College’s Washington campus.

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