Global May Hungary

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

My STEP Signature Project was participation in Global May Hungary, an education abroad program offered by Ohio State that involved travelling to Budapest, Hungary, with excursions to Warsaw, Poland, and Vienna, Austria, too.  The point of this program was to familiarize participants with the culture, history, politics, and geography of Central Europe.  Participants attended classes, often with local guest lectures, went on tours and class excursions, and completed a final digital media project.

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

 I believe that all international travel that involves immersion into another culture transforms its participants.  This was certainly the case for me with Global May Hungary.  This was my first time traveling to not just one, but four non-English-speaking countries, which certainly contributed to a transformation of my view of the world.  Most notably, I now consciously try to exude patience and understanding when communicating with those who do not speak English here in the States, as I now understand how truly difficult it is.  My STEP Signature Project also led to a change in my understanding of myself – I am not nearly as dependent or as much of a “homebody” as I once believed myself to be.  This project allowed me to become more in touch with my adventurous side, and I was quite surprised at how well I acclimated to being abroad and at my intense yearning to continue my travels to new parts of the world by the conclusion of this trip.

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

 One experience contributing to my transformation of my understanding of myself was my trip to Bratislava, Slovakia.  This excursion was not a part of the Global May Hungary agenda – there was a free weekend toward the beginning of the trip, so I thought it might be fun to travel somewhere.  Bratislava seemed like a logical and feasible choice, and I ended up playing a big role in coordinating the trip, not just for myself, but for 24 other students in the program.  I was able to purchase train tickets, find an available hostel, and more.  I am not too used to taking the lead in these kinds of matters, as I am more the type of person to go along with what others want to do.  The weekend, however, ended up being incredibly fun, and I am so glad I took the initiative to both suggest and help plan this weekend away.

Another event that contributed to a transformation in my understanding of myself – though not quite as fun as taking a weekend trip to Slovakia – was my being sick for a majority of the trip.  I was probably as sick as I have ever been before, and it truly sucked.  However, it undeniably led to a change in how I see myself.  I am much more resilient and outgoing than I once believed myself to be.  Despite having a terrible cold and lingering cough for over two weeks, I participated in all there was to do – I rode a boat down the Danube, explored Visegrad, and climbed Gellért Hill to watch the sunrise, all while sick.  I didn’t let anything slow me down, and now, looking back, I only remember the experiences, not the illness.

More generally, my STEP Signature Project led to transformations in my understanding of myself by providing me with opportunities to break down a lot of internal “barriers.”  I tried new things, ate new foods, interacted with new people, all of which contributed to an immense amount of personal growth.

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

 There are many reasons as to why the changes and transformations I experienced as a result of my STEP Signature Project are valuable to me.  Though I do not yet know what I want in terms of a future career, I do know that a broadened sense and knowledge of the world can be a valuable attribute in any field.  More meaningful, however, is the significance that these transformations have on my personal life.  Participating in Global May Hungary sparked within me the desire to travel everywhere, to constantly learn about and immerse myself in different cultures.  This has, to an extent, allowed me to realize new interests and possible career paths I had not yet considered.

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