Mindset after Studying Abroad

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022.

I never really understood what people meant when they told me “studying abroad will change your life,” until now, Spending four months away from home in a country you have never visited really does in fact change your way of thinking in a very different way. I would say that this opportunity has developed my mindset and has greatly impacted how I look towards my future now. So for this blog I wanted to go into all the ways that studying abroad has changed my life.

This trip has been the very first long-term trip that I have done independently with no friends and family. Coming into this semester, I was nervous but also so extremely excited about the unknown that lay ahead of me. Being on my own and making my own decisions was both daunting but exhilarating at the same time. I was preparing myself to venture into a whole new culture and stay open-minded as I learned my way around Rome.

I’ve become more ambitious and motivated with both my short-term and long-term goals and am excited to see what I can make out of my life once I do go home and back to normalcy. Every day abroad is always a new adventure I am always working to develop my problem-solving and social skills after being in my host country. On top of that, I was able to visit various other countries in Europe and the United Kingdom during my time here, and thus always found myself immersed in different cultures where I would interact with people from different cities all the time. Being able to do this, helped me to gain intercultural communication skills which make me more confident in my ability to put myself out there despite not always knowing my environment.

The biggest part about studying abroad that has really changed my mindset, is being content with my own company and learning to be resourceful when I don’t always know the solution in a certain situation. It also made me realize a few things about myself such as how much I truly love enveloping myself in the culture of the country I visit and being wonderfully surprised by the people I meet and the interactions I have. Also the realization that there is so much more out there than the city I grew up in and the city I go to college in. The world out there really is so massive and there’s an endless amount of opportunities out there that studying abroad has made me realize is something truly valuable. Even when my journey here is over, I know for a fact that I will continue to travel as much as I can.

Prague, Czech Republic

Vienna, Austria

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