This week, Verto London participant Allie Aron shares how her year abroad with Verto has exposed her to new perspectives and helped her become a global citizen.
***This is an example of a student’s experience from Spring 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.
While studying abroad with Verto education, I learned a multitude of important lessons. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to respect other cultures. Being abroad is a great opportunity to learn about the various cultures you are being immersed in, however, it is also a time where you have to be sensitive and respectful. Studying with Verto in Spain and London have helped me understand how to be a global citizen.
The main way I have been able to achieve this is by being open to asking questions, googling things that seem different to me, and keeping an open mind. While traveling in Spain there was an obvious language barrier, but so far through my time in London, I have unexpectedly run into some language challenges as well. Instead of laughing when I am in an uncomfortable or new situation, I will always ask questions and be open to understanding our differences. One of the most interesting differences I have come across so far is that in London, people will often ask casually “are you okay?” or “are you alright?” In the States that’s not something we often would ask strangers. When someone said this to me I was a bit taken aback, but I asked what context that question is asked in and how to reply respectfully. This might not seem like a big deal, or like it has anything to do with cultural differences, but it is a small example of something that could have been much larger. It is always important to keep an open mind and to be respectful of the cultures around you. Here are some phrases I’ve learned and what they mean to an American Student!
Trying New Foods
I spent last semester with Verto in Seville, Spain and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was my first semester of college and my first time being in a brand new country by myself. The differences in dining and food in general were not what I was expecting them to be. For example, you will not find anything spicy in Spain. The only place you’ll find some good hot sauce is at a Mexican restaurant or in one of the American stores they have. I myself will try any new foods at least once, especially in a new environment surrounded by different cultures. From paella to gazpacho (even though I found out I do not like gazpacho!) I was able to learn so many new things and try foods I had never even known existed. My biggest advice for students planning to study abroad is keep an open mind about everything and to always try new things at least once!
New foods that I’ve tried since living abroad: