What I Learned While in Russia

Hello My Fellow World Changers,

I know that we disappeared for a week or so, and for that, I do apologize. However, I have exciting news to relay. We have returned from the Study Abroad Fall Break trip to Russia. Yes, we made it past border control, we slept very little, navigated the metro, acted like tourists, took thousands of pictures, saw once in lifetime things, cried a bit, tried wonderful food, laughed a bunch and spoke in Russian, or at least said Spasiba (Thank you).

The experience was such a blessing and something that so many people won’t ever get to experience. Count your blessings. The study abroad staff worked so hard to make sure we got to see so many interesting things that fit every single study abroad student interest, ranging from Art museums, cathedrals, and ballet. Don’t get me wrong, the trip was an absolute blast and I have so many stories to tell, but the trip had its hard moments. But, what traveling story doesn’t have its twist and turns, right?

We struggled with packing for a 9 day trip in one book bag, buying souvenirs and having to add that to our list of things to get back. We struggled with the language and with stepping out of our comfort zones. If I were to give you, my wonderful reader, any advice; it would be to make changes, try new things and just take a chance. I know studying abroad is scary to so many, but it just takes a push and you’re on a whole new adventure.

You are speaking new languages, meeting people from all over the world, making lifetime friends, trying new foods and seeing things that so many haven’t seen. You can inspire people, like I hope I inspire you. You can make a change by embracing a new culture and seeing their worldview in comparison to your own. There is so much to learn from others and me going to Russia was one of those moments.

Seeing that I come from a family where I am the first to go to college and pay for it all by myself. I am proof that you can do the things you dream of. Since starting my semester abroad I have started learning 3 new languages, I have now traveled to a total of 9 different countries when I started this experience with only 2. I am providing you with my personal experience so that you don’t get the generic “please come to our school we have great opportunities and trips for you” spiel. I want you to know that the world is an incredible place with so much more than you can imagine. It takes that one push, one step, one leap to do something daring and you’re off. You are one of the many people to make a difference for the future. Continue to change the world, no matter where you are. That’s the important thing because one voice and one person willing to embrace change matters the most.

-K. C.

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