My name is Preety (Puja) Taya and the country that I studied abroad in last summer was Brazil. My field of study of criminal justice and social welfare and I would like to pursue a career in social services. The name of the study abroad program that I participated in was called Brazil: Movements and Intersections (Summer 2017). I am currently a senior at the University of Washington-Tacoma and will be graduating in June of 2018.
I had an amazing time in Brazil and the experience was not only very valuable towards my learning goals at UWT, but also towards my life goals and understandings. Some advice that I would give to UWT students who are thinking about studying abroad is to go with an open mind and be willing to gain new perspectives on how others live their daily lives in different parts of the world. I also believe that students who are thinking about studying abroad should have a deep motivation to learn about the culture and way of life about the country they are visiting. I think that more UWT students should study abroad because it will help them become more open minded and increase their world view. I had this one image of Brazil in my mind, however, after living there for four weeks, I have learned many different aspects about the country and its culture that I had never known.
This study abroad experience definitely helped me achieve my academic goals in that I learned about the social issues that were prominent in Brazil and how they compared to those social issues that were prominent in the United States. I was able to critically analyze the social issues and movements in Brazil and was able to grasp a better understanding of the issues that are currently present there. In regards to personal goals, I was able to achieve my goal of visiting a different country other than India and to expand my worldview.
The OGA Scholarship helped me greatly in my study abroad experience because it helped me pay a large amount of the program costs and expenses. I was able to fully fund my study abroad through the scholarship and financial aid. What I loved most about studying abroad was meeting and engaging with people from a different country and also developing great friendships with my peers from UWT. As a group of 13 individuals and two faculty members, we had to spend four weeks together and I believe this was the biggest take away from it all. Being in foreign country and not knowing anyone, it was important to work with each other and support one another while trying to make the most out of the study abroad experience and I believe this was accomplished very well during our program.
Overall, my study abroad experience was very meaningful and I would love to study abroad again in the future.