Through my study abroad experience I have developed both transferable and technical skills through interactions, classes, and out of class experiences. Studying abroad has taught me a lot about myself in a short amount a time. I faced many challenges but with challenges always came with a learning opportunity. I enjoyed facing the challenges and learning from them. It is hard to understand how much studying abroad can change a person’s perspective, but I truly think this experience has changed my perspective on a lot. Traveling and experiencing new things opens up a lot of opportunities for the future.
Some of the transferable or “soft” skills that have developed include problem solving, flexibility, adaptability, and intercultural communication. These are all skills that I have been able build upon since being in Florence. A lot of them developed naturally from being placed in a new environment. Traveling around has taught me a lot about flexibility and adaptability. Each weekend that we decided to travel, my friends and I ran into a transportation or accommodation problem, and we had to figure out a solution. Adjusting travel plans taught me flexibility and adaptability. In addition, I developed intercultural communication throughout the program. I went to five different countries this semester and they each spoke a different language and had their own culture. Learning to communicate with a language barrier is an important skill to have. I am taking Italian which has helped with getting around Florence day to day. I am surprised with how much Italian I have picked since living here. I also had a unique experience and got injured abroad. I have developed intercultural communication skills to communicate with doctors and nurses about my injury. Although it is an unfortunate situation, I have become a stronger person.
I would say that I have developed more “soft” skills compared to “hard” skills. I developed “hard” skills through my classes. In my business classes, International Finance and Global Workforce Management, I had a group presentation and a group paper on a case study with a thesis. I gained presentation skills through the presenting to my class and professor. I enjoyed presenting about new topics that I researched for the final paper.
Overall, I have learned many skills through this experience. I am so grateful for my opportunity to study abroad. Although my journey is almost over, I will never forget the skills I developed!