It was always my dream growing up in Africa to one-day visit the United States of America, which produced all the movies I enjoyed and where beautiful cities like Los Angeles or New York City are. This was the main reason I chose to go to the USA of all the places I could go, and so for me, Study Abroad fulfilled a long-time dream that I had.
What I had envisioned to be just a tourist/study visit became a lot more. I enrolled in classes such as Psychology, Marketing and Accounting with some of the best teachers I have ever had. The one thing I valued the most was that their classes were not just school courses but life lessons taught. I studied a lot more that semester abroad than I ever have because of what my Psychology professor said to me once. She said “don’t make the mistake that most students do of coming to college just to pass courses and leave with a paper, you should come to college and leave with an education.”
This was a paradigm shift for me, I had always looked at my degree with that same mentality of just wanting to pass but not actually learning anything, I reflected at some of the courses I had taken and realized that I couldn’t remember half the things I had done in those classes. From then on I made a decision to get an education from school and not a paper at the end and this has improved my grades as shown by the higher GPA since my study abroad.
As a practicing Christian, finding a church to worship with was high on my priorities. I found a church that uplifted me spiritually; I became more knowledgeable on things in my religion and became even more enthusiastic about my religion. I personally don’t believe that this would have been the case if I had just stayed here in Kamloops. There is no church service I have attended now that has not left me longing for the church I found during my study abroad experience.
From a professional perspective, the career planning sessions held at my host University, the discussions on careers, the guest speakers at the Business School left me more motivated than ever and taught me important lessons. I learnt about the power of networking and being involved on campus and in the society. These again are the reasons I managed to land an internship for the summer with CIBC bank, which again was a goal of mine. This would have been far fetched if it weren’t for my study abroad experience.