Studying Abroad: How It Can Propel You Forward!

May 05, 2014

A lot of students assume studying abroad will put them behind academically. However, courses you take abroad can frequently count towards your major. Daniel, a student at Harvard, tells us about his plans to study abroad in Argentina and how this experience will help him in the future:

It’s always been my dream to travel to a faraway place, removed from American culture.  This past spring, I was fortunate enough to gain admission to Harvard Summer School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I will study Spanish Language and Argentine culture.  Most schools boast about having high rates of students who study abroad, but Harvard boasts about the opposite.  Not very many students spend one of their precious eight college semesters studying abroad, instead opting to spend as much time as they can on Harvard’s Cambridge campus.  There aren’t many internship opportunities available for students entering their sophomore year, so I decided that it would be the perfect time to live my personal dream of going abroad.

I opted to apply to the Argentina program in particular because not only will I earn credit towards my Spanish Language citation, but also I will be able to immerse myself in a foreign culture I would otherwise not get to experience.  I think this will help my career, especially if I end up doing work for an international company or end up consulting for a company that does work in Spanish-speaking counties.  Being bilingual can be very useful for a career.  I am very comfortable reading and writing the Spanish language, but my verbal communication skills are not as strong as I would like them to be.  This summer program is the perfect opportunity to improve my speaking abilities; Spanish the only language I’ll be hearing, speaking, reading and writing for eight weeks. 

I definitely wouldn’t have this great opportunity to spend a summer studying abroad if I didn’t go to Harvard College, but if I didn’t get into the summer school, I could have participated in one of Harvard’s other summer programs in foreign countries for its students. I most likely would have applied for one of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) programs in Argentina.  DRCLAS provides students the opportunity to work with local organizations in Latin American countries.  I still would have been able to do the travel abroad I desired, but I wouldn’t have gotten the class credit I desired to get knocked out over this summer. If I am being honest, I had no idea what I was going to be doing post-freshman year when I applied to college.  I kind of half-figured I would be working some kind of internship or have a job somewhere around my home in Southern California.  Luckily, I found a program I am really excited for.  I’m confident it will be the best time to experience Argentina-with the 2014 World Cup going on, and what is sure to be a contending Argentina team, it’s going to be a blast to cheer them on.

Read more about Daniel on his AdmitSee profile!



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