study abroad – the gift that keeps on giving!

By Rachel Wudarczyk, Abroad101

Rachel studied with API at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy during the spring 2009 term.

Never would I have thought that studying abroad would be the gift that keeps on giving! Much like that same present you get every big holiday from mom and dad, studying abroad can continue to benefit you time and time again once return to the states. Take my story, for example, if you want to be wowed by the possible post-abroad benefits.

Rachel in Vatican City (right)

My journey began junior year of college when I decided to spend a full semester basking in the study abroad ambiance of endless travel opportunities, diverse cuisine (yum!), and famous-attraction hopping. But one problem stood between me and study abroad bliss: where on earth (literally and figuratively) will I call “home” for those five months abroad? Luckily, I had a slight idea of where I wanted to study abroad, and it can be commonly stereotyped by delicious pastas, infamous pizza, and more importantly, and endless array of historic monuments Yes, that’s right: Italy. Unfortunately, many of my peers had no idea where they wanted to be abroad. Good news for them – there is a great website that helps puzzled students find the perfect program called Abroad101!

Abroad101 is an impressive tool for pre-study abroad students who are lost in the midst of what program to go with, or which city, country, even continent to be in! Not only can students read real, honest, and trustworthy reviews from study abroad alum pros, but they can also use the planning tool to keep track of their favorite programs. Better yet, if students are STILL unsure of where they want to go, they can fill out the matchmaker form and be conveniently paired with perfect programs!

Now, back to my semester filled with delicious Italian cuisine and notorious sightseeing galore. With all the amazing program providers to choose from, it’s no surprise that many students are baffled by the endless opportunities. Once again, my friends, Abroad101 can help you untangle that mess of confusion and give you the information to point you in the right direction! Unfortunately, I was unaware of such a vital resource for the planning stages of going abroad. But after visiting study abroad fairs and digging through countless websites, I finally decided that going to Rome through API would be the perfect fit for my expectations. The program that API offered exceeded all of my study abroad expectations. Each aspect of the program was extraordinary; from the pre-departure orientations, to on-site administration, to the cultural excursions, everything was great! It was very clear that API took the time to carefully plan every detail of this program to make it exceptionally memorable for all of its students.

Once I returned home, I would have never imagined that my study abroad experience in Italy could continually benefit my future goals. While I was in Italy, I thoroughly took advantage of everything that Rome, and the surrounding towns, had to offer. From sampling MANY flavors of gelato (and equally as many slices of pizza) to visiting countless museums and attractions – I did it all! Now, being back in the states, studying abroad has assisted in furthering my career goals. I currently work at Abroad101, the study abroad review website that I mentioned earlier. My experience in Italy has helped me contribute to the work environment at Abroad101 on a daily basis. Being able to use my understanding of living abroad has given me the ability to better connect with pre-abroad students, as well as post-abroad students, and add substance to the business strategy at Abroad101 in which I know students will benefit from.

I always knew that going abroad would help me become less naïve of our world and lead me to understand the inspirational differences between cultures and countries. I had no idea that upon my return I would be able to leverage my experience to facilitate my career path, and use my first-hand knowledge of studying abroad to further the success at Abroad101. In addition to having an unforgettable time in Italy through API, I also have an amazing work experience opportunity to post on my resume all thanks to that study abroad gift that keeps on giving!

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  1. Love this post! Couldn’t agree more about study abroad being like a gift that keeps on giving. It transcends the time you actually spend abroad and becomes a lifelong “present” of memories and learned experiences. I also adore Abroad 101 for how it assists the study abroad process from pre-departure planning to post-return reflections. It’s like the Yelp of study abroad but BETTER lol.

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