Kris Keppel

Plus3 Vietnam (Summer 2017), Engineering Design for Social Change - South Africa (Summer 2018)
I believe that my study abroad experiences will help me immensely as I hope to pursue a career in the medical field, specifically as a pediatrician. So often in medicine, the ability to relate to and effectively communicate with your patients is equally as important as the treatment of the patient itself. I think that the experience I received interacting with members of different cultures and backgrounds while abroad will greatly aid my ability to communicate with patients in the future.

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
Throughout my undergraduate studies as a Natural Science major, pursuing the pre-Physician Assistant track, and Spanish minor, I knew I wanted to immerse myself in a Spanish-speaking culture while acquiring pre-Health professional skills, such as patient care experience. In both of my study abroad experiences, in Peru and Chile, I was able to obtain hands-on patient care experience, create and present public health workshops, and practiced my Spanish with Peruvian and Chilean locals! 

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
Throughout my studying abroad experience I have acquired several soft-skills and career-specific-skills. While studying abroad I improved by Spanish-speaking skills, immensely, as well as overall communication skills amongst peers, supervisors, and patients. My most valuable skill I acquired while studying abroad was being able to fully immerse myself in the surrounding culture and environment.

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
Prior to studying abroad, I wish someone had told me how fast your experience flies by. Although your study abroad experience may seem intense and overwhelming at time, studying abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences. You learn a ton about yourself and the culture you’ve immersed yourself in. Your experience abroad has an enormous influence on your future career path, whether you know it or not!

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
My most memorable experience while studying abroad was my clinical experience in Lima, Peru. While taking classes at the local medical university, I had the incredible opportunity to experience a third-world country clinic. I didn’t realize how much I took the United States healthcare system for granted. While working in this clinic I was able to help patients, families, children—people of all ages and backgrounds. It was extremely inspiring hearing these patients' stories and where they’ve been or haven’t been.

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
I don’t think studying abroad is for everyone; however, there are endless opportunities for anyone who does want to study abroad. Personally, I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to improve not only my language skills, but also have a better understanding and appreciation for other cultures. I think students should study abroad because it is incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in an entirely different culture with different traditions, values, and beliefs. It’s an extremely rewarding experience that I think can often be overlooked by students because it can be overwhelming or stressful!

Julia Heller

ISA Lima (Summer 2017), ISA Chile (Summer 2018)
The South American way of life is MUCH slower than the lifestyle I experience in the United States. It took some adjusting, getting stuck behind slow walkers, talking at a slower pace, not always having somewhere to be. However, this is one of the most rewarding cultural values I’ve experienced abroad because it allowed you to take in your surroundings. Conversations were much more meaningful and insightful—people wanted to genuinely get to know you. While you were walking around campus or around the city, you were able to take much more in other than the crowded subways or sidewalks. I’ve tried, as best as I can, to apply this mantra to my everyday lifestyle back in the US, and for as hard as it might be to slow my pace while walking to class or not always pressuring myself to do something, it’s allowed me to be more appreciative.

Tiffany Martin

Semester at Sea, Spring 2005 (undergraduate), Pitt in China and Mongolia (graduate)
I actually chose Pitt because of the study abroad program that I knew that I wanted to do while in college. I wanted to use the college experience to expose myself to as much of the world as possible as I knew that I was interested in international business. I chose a multi-country semester long program that allowed me to continue my Business degree and economics minor while abroad. I also came from a town that in my opinion did not welcome or support diversity. I was interested in meeting new people and learning from others’ experiences.

Tiffany Martin

Semester at Sea, Spring 2005 (undergraduate), Pitt in China and Mongolia (graduate)
Too many to list for sure.  The most important skills I would say would be patience, flexibility, adaptability, empathy, and resiliency.

Tiffany Martin

Semester at Sea, Spring 2005 (undergraduate), Pitt in China and Mongolia (graduate)
My first study abroad experience had a number of logistical challenges that impacted my experience on the program. However, for me, the biggest challenge was acknowledging cultural differences that were incredibly challenging such as differences in gender roles, class systems, treatment of women and children etc. My study abroad experience exposed me to health and living standards in developing nations that were out of my realm of comprehension prior. Trying to understand, process, and reflect on what I saw with regards to human conditions in other countries was incredibly challenging and impacting.