Study Abroad Spotlight: Sabrina Nguyen
Sabrina Nguyen is a senior supply chain management major from Dallas. She studied abroad in London during the spring semester. Read the Q&A below to learn about her study abroad experiences.
What motivated you to study abroad?
I wanted to study abroad to get out of my comfort zone and experience the world outside of my "Texas bubble." I chose a place like London not only for its cultural diversity and the endless amount of things to do in the big city, but also for its central location. I was able to travel with ease to several different European countries and cities within the U.K.
What was your favorite part about your international experience?
My favorite part about studying abroad was getting to experience an entirely new culture and environment while being able to travel to many exciting and historical places. My favorite trip was to Ireland for a long weekend. I got to see classic sights like the Cliffs of Moher and tour the Guinness Storehouse. I also saw cities like Ennis, Cork and my favorite, a seaside town called Dingle. While on the famous Slea Head drive in Kerry, I got to explore a side of Ireland that I did not even know existed. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been to and was filled with steep cliffs, cute small towns, beaches and incredible greenery.
What was a challenge you faced while studying abroad and how did you overcome it?
One challenge I faced was adapting to a life that was much different from what I was used to. I was a long way from home and Facetime and other forms of social media could only help so much. I was going to be abroad for four months and in the first few weeks it was overwhelming to think about how long I was going to be away from my loved ones and instead with people I had just met. School was different; the way people interacted with each other was different and finding new ways to make this place home was much harder than anticipated. I overcame this by remaining positive and hopeful about the rest of the semester. I began trying new things and really making an effort to be more outgoing when it came to meeting new people. I had an incredible opportunity to live in London. I stayed focused on that, rather than always thinking about things I missed. That was how I adapted and started calling London home.
What did you learn by studying abroad?
I learned how to be more open about how people interact with each other and that paying more attention to different personalities is important in any situation. London was a very culturally diverse city and everyone was different in expressing how they felt or acted. This was also true when being put in a dorm with people who did not know each other and who were from other countries. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, but paying attention just by listening more or picking up on social cues was important in understanding people whose background was different from yours.
How will your study abroad experiences help you in the future?
These past four months will help me in the future because the experience taught me how to adapt to new situations and people. This will directly help me in school when I have to do group projects or assignments. This experience will also help me in my future career. Once I graduate and get a full-time job, I will be thrown into the same kind of situation where I must adjust to a new environment and be successful in doing so.
What advice do you have for students considering studying abroad?
If you are able to financially to study abroad and can find a class that meets your interest, I would strongly suggest you to take a leap and do it! By saying "being financially able", I do not mean that you need to have every cost covered either. There are plenty of scholarships out there, and you just need to apply for them. I suggest planning as soon as possible and researching places you want to go to study abroad. There are an endless number of cities to study in; it will be worth the work to be sure you are in a place that you truly want to be in. The Center for Global Engagement has an immense amount of resources and following their guidelines and steps for going abroad will be very valuable. They will answer any question you may have and if they do not know it right away, they will go above and beyond to find out. They were a huge part in why I had a successful time abroad, so be sure to use this great resource!This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.