Jessica Tran

NAME: Jessica Tran
MAJOR: ‘Business Admin/International Business
PROGRAM: South Korea, SJSU Exchange – Kyungpook National University


GOALS: What were your goals for studying abroad?
Reflect on the personal, academic, and professional goals that you had set out to achieve on your study abroad experience?

My goals when studying abroad was learning and experiencing how life is like in another country, as it would be much different than the US. I also wanted to become independent and learn how to care for myself.

PERSONAL GROWTH: What was the biggest impact that your study abroad experience had on you?

I think the biggest impact that my study abroad experience had on me was the independence of taking care of myself. As I was born and raised here, I never was away from my family, and I would have never been able to experience it until most likely after graduation. Going to South Korea all by myself, with no friends or family members with me, was the best thing I decided to do. Being able to navigate my way around a country I have never been to, and the fact that I hardly know the language I find is amazing. Also I believe that since I was there alone, I was able to find myself and take the time to care for myself, which I do not always have the time and opportunity for myself here.

ACADEMICS: How would you describe your academic experience abroad?
Share what courses you chose to take abroad and the strategies you used to ensure your academic success. How has the experience impacted your academics now that you have returned to SJSU?
I took 2 business courses and 2 GE courses, in order to pass you need to do assignments and study for exams. However, you must not be absent over 8 classes or you will fail the course.
CAREER: What skills did you learn/sharpen during your study abroad experience?
Reflect on how your study abroad experience and the skills, knowledge, or networking has enhanced or contributed to your life back on campus or home.

Since every country is different, figuring out how to have the ability to adapt and adjust accordingly would be a great skill to learn. Also since most other countries do not have their main language as English, learning and going through the obstacles of interacting and communicating with the people there in their native language. Also since I knew no one and had no friends, I had to get out of my shell and befriend natives and other foreigners. I never really made friends in my classes in SJSU, but after coming back, I have seen myself interacting and networking with more people. It also made me realize how lucky we are to be attending a university in the US. Foreign students have to take English exams to see if they qualify to study abroad in the US. While for us, we can apply much easier as the schools abroad offer courses taught in English and there is no need to be proficient at their main language.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: How has your immersion impacted your perspectives on the world?
Reflect on the opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture and/or at your host university. How did your immersion in a new culture change your perspective on the world or your future?
I think it really gets you out there, since I basically threw myself into a country where English is not the main language. It allows you to learn how adapt and take care of yourself.
FUTURE: How has study abroad prepared you for your future?

Studying abroad allowed me to become more prepared for my future. I am now confident in being able to live by myself, putting myself out there and ask people for help, my communicating and networking skills have strengthened, and most importantly taking care of my wellbeing. Also learned how to budgeting my spendings, which I would say was the hardest one handle while abroad.

TIPS: What advice would you give to a future Global Spartan?

Advice I would give a future Global Spartan is to not bring as much luggage. It was mentioned multiple times in the orientation and the meeting, but when packing I felt like I needed to bring a lot of things. In reality, I brought many things I did not need. Knowing a little of the language before hand would come in handy, although a good amount of people would probably be able to help you even if you do not know the language. Also know which apps to download before arriving to your study abroad location, as you will be using those apps on a daily basis.

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