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Madeline Chung

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Pre-business
Program: Carolina Global Launch (University of Granada)
Location: Granada, Spain
Term: Fall 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I knew that it would provide me with a foundation and set of life skills that can’t be learned in the classroom. I’ve always loved to travel and I knew that this is an experience that I would participate in during my time in college. Another reason why I chose to go abroad was to widen my perspective and fully immerse myself into a new culture. While I didn’t expect to go abroad my first semester of college (through Carolina Global Launch), it was an amazing experience that I am grateful for. While at first I was concerned about being abroad my first semester of college, I have greatly benefited from it as I have learned a lot about myself and have a new profound outlook on the world.


What did you learn about yourself?
The biggest thing I learned about myself through my study abroad experience was my self-resilience. This was my first time living on my own and to go 4,000 miles to a new continent brought me to a whole new level of independence. Throwing myself into a new environment, I had to learn how to be on my own and do it successfully. Going abroad allowed me to practice my self-sufficiency and independence in real-life situations. Another thing I learned about myself is the importance of having balance. Being spontaneous and giving myself opportunities to explore is just as important as studying. Studying in a foreign country and traveling to a new country every weekend reinforced the significance of having a balance between school and life.I learned so much about myself and have grown tremendously as a person. I am definitely not the same person I was 3 months ago.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program was our farewell dinner. All 44 of us from my program and the program leaders all went to a Spanish restaurant. At the end, we were all so close and it was funny to reminisce about the first welcome dinner. Nobody knew each other and it was a very different environment compared to 3 months later. It was such a bittersweet moment to say goodbye to the program leaders because they were like my parents in Spain and it was so sad to say goodbye to them. We spent hours talking and laughing while eating traditional Spanish food. We all had a joke about how programs lasted 3 hours long, our last dinner was hard to leave as we all were enjoying each other's company. There were also so many great memories but this one showed how we all grew as a group and became tight knit.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Some advice I have for future students who face uncertainties while traveling abroad is to create a support group as many others are in the same position as you are. It is really helpful to talk to others experiencing culture shock or having similar difficulties. Something that helped me when I was abroad was to be very open minded and be flexible. Not everything is going to be how you like it or what you expected, but to have a growth mindset and a positive outlook will not only help your response to these challenges but also help you overcome them. Really immerse yourself into the culture while you can and embrace the difficulties as you will grow from them.


How do you identify?
Student of color