Eleven months and a week, that’s how long I was abroad my sophomore year of college. Study abroad is a concept that I have always thought of, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be spending six-months in the south of China and then an additional 5 months in the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. The way this ended up to be is rather a long and complex story, for now let’s just say that everything started by defying, uniting, fighting, defeat and ultimately reassembling. A stressful process indeed, and after living for almost a full year in two continents, I can’t say that there has been a day where I regret the chain of events that led me to embarking in this wild adventure. After all, everything from my first dinner at Hotpot, to the feelings of bewilderment with the European transportation system, and to breaking the language barrier with my coworkers was an experience that in some way or another has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Twenty-three, that’s how many cities I visited during my abroad sophomore year of college. Twenty three amazing adventures that became cherish memories, from running along the great wall to attending Sunday Easter mass at the Vatican, and from sailing in the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea to taking pictures with Mickey Mouse in Disney Land Hong-Kong. Each city was a journey on the big voyage that was this past year, and as such they all had a lesson to teach to this somewhat new sailor. I cannot fathom what my life would have been at this moment if I hadn’t explored as much as I did. Studying abroad is an opportunity that I’m truly thankful for, and it is something that I wouldn’t have changed for the world.
— Christian Bencid, Junior, Hospitality and Tourism Management