1. 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 project involved me studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Trinity College
through the Fisher College of Business for an entire semester. I applied and had been accepted
to the program, and I went Spring semester in 2018 from January to June. My goals were to
diversify my knowledge base of business and solidify both the American and European way of
2. 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.
While completing my STEP project in Dublin, Ireland, many things changed with myself, assumptions, and my view of the world. First, with myself, I changed for the better. This was the first time that I had to travel on my own, live in a different country, go to a different country for that matter, pack five months’ worth of my items into two suitcases, finance myself with no job, and much more. After the completion of my five-month STEP project, I was, and am, a world travel expert. I learned the ups and downs of traveling, and even the needs verses the wants of traveling. I learned that I needed to eat healthy, rest well, and take care of myself while I was traveling. I never understood what it meant to live well until I went abroad. I also learned how to travel in a different country, and even countries with a different language. It was a challenge at first, but by the end, I knew my way around the European travel system. Living in a different country I discovered the true meaning of loving your home and family while you are away. I changed in a way that now, I know it is important to keep in touch with family and friends no matter where you are. As for packing, you really learn the true value of what “stuff” you need while you are abroad versus having access to everything while you are home in the United States. Lastly, Financially, it was difficult at first to adjust to not having a job, however, I transformed myself into a budgeting expert. Now, I am better than ever at budgeting my money.
Assumptions and view of the world is a very important transformation when you study abroad. I went into my STEP project with assumptions of the cultures that I hadn’t lived in before. However, my view and assumptions of the world changed when I lived in a different part of the world to experience it for myself, not with assumptions. I learned that it is extremely important to not make assumptions or be biased about someone or a culture, just because your culture teaches you to do so. My mind was transformed to accept the world for its beauty and differences it has to offer. The differences of everyone and their culture is what makes the world so special. When all the cultures are blended together, you will lose the uniqueness, and I think it’s important to understand and accept the differences in our world.
3. 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.
Starting with my change in becoming a master traveler, I had many events, interactions, relationships, and activities that led to the success of my foreign travels. For events and activities, I traveled almost every weekend. I had a lot practice with both English and non-English traveling which allowed me to understand traveling and navigating a city even more. With relationships, with my two good travel friends, we worked together in order to achieve being a master world traveler. Sometimes it was very difficult to navigate a foreign country, so when you work together and put your heads together, you can learn a lot more. Lastly, with interactions, we interacted with many locals of the country in order to find our traveling legs. This was an important step in order to finally learn, because sometimes the best way to learn is not only doing it on your own, but having the perspective from the local.
Next, I had the transformation or realization of the importance of family, friends, and where you came from. This is an important thing to know and understand as you study abroad. With different relationships I made while abroad, I came to realize that there was so much diversity in this world that it is important to keep it that way. For instance, sharing my home culture with someone else in the world is something special and exciting, and without diversity we wouldn’t have so many different backgrounds, stories, and cultures. This also had to do with different interactions I had when I was traveling across Europe, it was interesting to compare my home life to the culture and history of Europe. This made me realize that it is important to cherish your family, friends, and culture.
Lastly, with assumptions, I realized the importance of this when I made different friends from all over the world. When you first meet them, you have your assumptions about that certain country. For instance, one of my good friends was from the Netherlands. They said that on American television, they heard that a few rumors we were spreading about their country were untrue. I, growing up with those assumptions, was shocked. That was the first time I experienced the importance not listening to assumptions or gossip about a culture, because there are two sides to every story. With my friends and relationships that I made, I grew in diversity and understanding of the world.
4. 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.
This change is valuable in my life because I had the opportunity to accomplish academically the chance to learn from a different culture’s perspective. I know every country has a different system of learning, and I found it interesting to compare the United States and the Irish school system.
Professionally, expanding my global network and connections is very beneficial to my career. This enhances my global networking and meeting people around the world can really give someone a worldwide network of business contacts you can utilize through your life. Also, meeting new people can bring you to new realizations and ideas you may have about your career path.
Lastly, I learn by experience, not just sitting in a classroom. I learned the culture through the people and the experiences I had while abroad. As one of my favorite quotes states: “Better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times.” I made my study abroad experience a way in which I took the things I have seen or heard about in my education, and learn and experience it while I was there.