What made you want to travel abroad?
Coming to Concordia, it was one of my biggest goals to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. While I wasn’t ready to commit to a full semester abroad, I felt prepared to travel for a May Seminar. I researched the opportunities available and discovered the trip to Tanzania. Coincidentally, the trip to Tanzania was being led by Dr. Snyder, who I knew previously from my Inquiry Seminar class. A large part of why I wanted to study abroad was to broaden my horizons. I believe that it is extremely important to explore new areas of the world and experience other cultures, especially ones that are different than what is familiar to you.
What do you think makes Tanzania such a special place?
The warm and welcoming sense of community that I experienced was what made Tanzania such a special place. Everyone we met in Tanzania was so outgoing and friendly. Right when we got off of our bus from the airport, they welcomed us with a massive parade that was full of song and dance. It made us feel right at home. I have never experienced that level of hospitality and it is something that I will never forget.
What are five things you learned from your time in Tanzania?
1. The world is enormous.
It is kind of cliché to say this, but traveling helps you realize how large the world really is. I know that it is difficult to imagine not being able to walk a couple of blocks to the Moorhead Dairy Queen, but there is a huge world outside of Moorhead, Minnesota. I learned that it is important to realize how much the world has to offer.
2. More about myself.
You can learn a lot about yourself from studying abroad. I started this trip as a declared nursing major. After my time in Tanzania, I have realized that nursing is not my calling. Experiencing a whole new environment in Tanzania helped me realize that.
3. To not take what I have for granted.
I learned to not take the physical things that I have for granted. The people in Tanzania that we stayed with did not have the same amount of physical, material goods that we have. While they had little, they always seemed overjoyed and grateful for what they did have. This helped me realize and appreciate how much I had and that I shouldn’t take that for granted.
4. Nature is amazing.
Elephants are just as cool in person as they are in pictures.
5. I’m lucky to have the opportunities that I do.
Being able to travel abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not everyone has this amazing chance to experience a new part of the world. If I have the chance, I will always jump at the possibility to travel abroad and experience a new part of the world.
What is your advice to those thinking about traveling abroad?
Take the opportunity to do it. You will not only learn more about yourself and who you are, but you will also experience and discover a brand new world.