Inspiration Abroad

By Ashley Harper, Peer Mentor – API Paris

There are a myriad of reasons for taking on the challenge of studying abroad. Some do it for hopes of a quick foreign language acquisition, an insight into global markets, or a requirement for a school program. However, though all of these practical reasons to go abroad are important, nothing is as important as using your study abroad experience to inspire your life.

I am a firm believer that all humans are in some way inherently artistic. Artwork, poetry, music, sports, organization, Pinterest—whatever it is that we do to relieve our creative impulses, we are all working towards some kind of artistic finesse. It is the only way that humanity has survived; we are all cognitive engineers. I’d like to think that my brain is just a giant corkboard filled with pictures, memories, and words. Where did I get them?

Most of my creativity and impulse is a direct result of my travels. I realized at a young age that my mother’s couch wasn’t the best place to write poetry, nor was sitting at a desk the best place to paint. The world is a wonderful backdrop for just about anything you feel the need to accomplish. Remember that the world conveniently extends infinitely in any direction, so get going! The journey itself will be enough to start some sort of fire in your mind.

So while you’re packing and arriving for your Spring API program, don’t forget to bring with you the most important thing of all: an open imagination. Let a journey abroad inspire you to reach beyond what the eye can see.

Ashley is studying English and French at the University of Alabama. She participated in the API Fall Quarter Language and Culture Studies Program at the Cours de Civilisation Françaises.

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