Increasing competitiveness is part of the modern world. Every human being has to set goals and make personal sacrifices in order to make a difference. Education is the most influential tool for making progress in your personal growth that will help you to make a difference in the world, but becoming a professional is not easy.
I’ll tell you a little about my preparation for study abroad in order to give you an example. It has been a long process! When I was deciding to study abroad, the first country I chose was Spain, and then I changed my mind to France, and finally I decided on Chile. My university has bilateral agreements with universities in each of these countries, which means I could easily study for a semester in any of them. I chose Chile because it has the strongest economy in Latin America (this will help me because I study business administration) and it has a climate very different from (and much more diverse than) Puerto Rico.
I began the application process in August 2015, and I confess I felt lost and frightened. I worked a lot with the Office of International Affairs at my university, and I emailed often with my host university in Chile. I was worried about finances, so I made sure I could use my Pell grant for coursework in Chile, and I applied for several scholarships. I also made the effort to write to local government representatives for support in this experience, and I am seeking help from friends and family to make this trip possible. With the passage of time and a lot of work, everything has gone very well, and I have even received a scholarship from Diversityabroad.com. I will not deny that along the way some doors have closed on me, but giving up is not an option. Preparing to study abroad for a semester is a real challenge, but it is certainly the best experience of my life.
When I talk by email with my advisor in Chile, it is very funny because even though we speak the same native language (Spanish), we use different words that sometimes I do not understand. If it is funny by email, imagine how amazing it will be to live there and learn a new vocabulary in my own language, and to learn from Chilean culture. I’ll be staying with a local family in Santiago who will welcome me during my 6-month stay in Chile. I’m already in touch with them and we are enjoying our contact already.
I have dedicated myself, body and soul, to the preparation for this exchange. I enjoy it, and it makes me feel good because I am preparing myself for my future. I am finding out about all the opportunities that exist, and I look forward to sharing that with other students.
I am usually pretty independent, but this decision to study abroad has made my mother pamper me more. No doubt I will miss my family and friends while I am in Chile, but what I receive from this exchange experience will be outstanding.
I will go to Chile, am so happy.