NAME: Rikki Erielle Navos
PROGRAM: SJSU Exchange – Sungkyungkwan University (SKKU)
Studying abroad has been a constant goal of mine ever since I started college. I constantly glance at SJSU’s student exchange website to look at my options. One day, I saw the new program SJSU created with a university in South Korea, one of the countries I’ve dreamt of going to. I thought this was the opportunity I was looking for! I decided to apply right after!
Studying abroad allowed me to interact with people all around the world. It gave me connections to countries I’ve never even thought about visiting before! Studying in a foreign country has definitely allowed me to have better cultural awareness and improved my communication abilities with people from other backgrounds.
My main goal for studying abroad was to see more of myself by seeing more of the world. South Korea was a place outside of the bubble I’ve lived in, and being able to study in such an unfamiliar country allowed me to experience phenomenons I would never have been able to as a student in my home country. I was exposed to another country’s way of studying and its youth’s culture. It introduced me to a lot of hobbies I never knew I would enjoy and gave me memories to carry for a lifetime.
The biggest impact my study abroad experience had on my was the ability to live independently in a foreign country. This is important to me because it brings a different type of growth one would get by living independently in our own country.
My academic experience abroad was very different from our home university. I took three classes: Money and Banking, Economics in Global Environment, and Beginning Korean. It was very interesting seeing the process of how Korean students study and the different structures that the courses had compared to what I’ve experienced before. With these courses, I was able to be more comfortable doing group work and interacting more with other students
My immersion made me realize how big the world truly was. Since I’ve only been to the Philippines and the U.S. prior to Study abroad, I’ve only experienced very limited cultures.
Study abroad prepared me for my future by enabling me to be independent and allow me to have the ability to be happy with my own company. I am much more comfortable to live by myself now.
I would tell a future Global Spartan to not limit themselves even though they’re in a foreign country. Put yourself out there. Make many connections and see the most out of the country you’re going to. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.