I Expanded My Language Skills Right Here in the United States..
Kimberly Borbone ’12
After participating in London Preview, I couldn’t wait to experience more new places. I chose the study away program at Whittier College because of the school’s proximity to the Hispanic culture in and around Los Angeles. Whittier is one of the most diverse private institutions in the country and is one of the few selective liberal arts colleges to be designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. The college has a federal designation indicating that at least 25 percent of its full-time students are Hispanic. My semester in California fulfilled a core requirement while I expanded my knowledge of culture and language and made lifelong friends from all over the world.
Studying away for a semester also prepared me for studying abroad. I studied in Granada, Spain, for the academic year, speaking Spanish all day, everyday, in an extremely different culture than my own. I enjoyed doing a homestay to experience Granada like a native would.
My experiences have helped me grow as a person and as a student. Learning about different cultures, religions, and languages made me more interested in the world outside of the United States. It even inspired me to minor in International Studies, a subject that I’ve become very passionate about. Also, being away from home makes you appreciate and become more aware of your surroundings. In the Global Connections online class, we had to do exercises that made us look more closely at the world around us. Ultimately, it helped me prepare for my travels; knowing what to expect, how to deal with homesickness, and how to adjust to life in a new place.