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

How my study abroad experience has impacted my professional goals

I recently was informed that I have been accepted into graduate school and will be attending a Masters program for interpretation and translation. Having studied abroad, this has exponentially helped improve my Spanish speaking ability, and has expanded my vocabulary considerably. I feel as though had I not studied abroad I would not have had the opportunity to go to graduate school because I would not have a competitive understanding of the foreign language to be seen as acceptable in a program that interchanges between two languages. I am a first generation college student and have worked very hard to get where I am, there’s no doubt about that. In high school I was working away, trying to get the best grades possible, yet only thought that I might be able to attend a community college. It wasn’t until the school counselor ask to see me that that all changed. I had never spoken with her and did not know how she knew of me, but she deals with grades and guides students with questions about college. She asked me about my plans and I told her I was thinking about applying to the community college nearby, because my parents couldn’t afford anything more than a two year college. She encouraged me to apply to four-year universities, saying that someone who was third in their class most likely would receive scholarships to cover some of the cost. Through her encouragement and my dedication I was fortunate enough to get into college. Once in, it was all about finding out what I wanted to be. For the first three years I had no idea what career path I wanted to follow, which is terrifying when graduation starts creeping up. Eventually I had the revelation that I could combine my love of language and my desire to help people into a single career, where I can help people communicate and overcome a language barrier. For the first time ever I felt like I had a clear goal to pursue and I feverishly started filling out applications for graduate school. From a girl who thought it would be a stretch to go to a community college, it’s hard to believe that I have been accepted into a Masters program. On many applications I mentioned that I would be studying abroad in my final semester to improve upon my language skills, and I really think that made an impression. It shows that I was willing to go the extra mile just to get one step ahead, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to study here in México. It’s because of this opportunity that I will be an interpreter and translator, the dream will be realized.

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