Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Why studying abroad has helped me determine my professional goals

Ifsa-Butler asked the First Generation Scholars to dedicate one blog post to reflecting on how studying abroad has helped us with our professional goals in some way. In my case how living and studying in Belfast was helping me in obtaining professional goals was not immediately apparent, as my professional goals are not exactly concrete yet. I am a peace studies major and know that I want to be in this field in some way for the rest of my life but how I want to enter the field professionally is still a bit allusive to me.
So as I sat down to write this blog post I began thinking about how being in Belfast has aided me in my future career goals in some way. Although I still don’t know exactly what I want to do after graduating college I have developed a more solid idea of what I want my future career to be like. While in Belfast I have been researching for a thesis that I’m writing for my home university that is partially about The Troubles. In my research I have been able to get to know locals and go to parts of the city I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. I’ve really enjoyed this experience and have come to know and appreciate the people of Belfast in a way I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Locals have shown me around their city and cultivated a unique appreciation in me for their home. Doing my research has made me realize that I want to enter a career where I’m able to do this sort of interactive research, where I’m talking to people and walking around cities rather than spending the majority of my time in libraries. So, while the specific career I want to enter into is no clearer than before, being in Belfast has given me a better idea of the type of work I’d like to do.

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