Hello Everyone my name is Satchel and this is my fourth year at ECU. My major is computer Information and Technology with a concentration in Cyber Security. I am from Gastonia, NC. Before my freshman year I had never left the state of North Carolina. Then during my second semester a friend let me come home to New York. After leaving North Carolina for the first time I realized how different and beautiful the world is and it ultimately lead to my passion for traveling.
Where Did You Study Abroad?
I studied abroad in Ifrane, Morocco in spring 2019. Interesting fact is that Ifrane is one of the coldest places on the continent of Africa. So while studying abroad it snowed where I was staying, something I thought never happened in Africa! While abroad I was just taking education courses that easily transferred back over when I came back to ECU.
What is Your Favorite Memory from Your Time Abroad?
My favorite memory while abroad would be when I went to go explore the Sahara desert. While in the desert I got to experience many interesting things like camel back riding, eating exotic foods, meeting new people, and sandboarding on the dunes. One night we even got the opportunity to camp out in the desert. While camping in the desert we meet another group of international students from China. Then around the campfire we did an interesting activity of having each different group sing a song that is very popular from their home country. The Chinese students did a well-known song told to them when they were children, while the locals of the Sahara desert did a ancient drumbeat song. However, when it was the turn for us Americans to perform something we struggling with a song that everyone knew the lyrics to because we were all from different backgrounds. Finally, we stumbled upon a song that every American knows and that was Party in the U.S.A by Miley Cyrus. A song that truly encompasses American values.
How Has Studying Abroad Helped Your Personal and Professional Life?
Studying abroad has made me a better person overall. Being placed in a completely different environment I was not familiar with made me way more independent of a person. Before I studied abroad I relied on my parents for a lot of things such as, scheduling appointments, cooking food, giving me direction, and a lot more. However, when I went to a different country I couldn’t rely on my parents anymore. So I had to do a lot of adult things on my own and it paid off because I am now no longer nervous to do things on my own.
What Advice Can You Offer to Students Interested in Studying Abroad?
If you are interested just go ahead and take the leap of faith and study abroad. This is such an enriching experience that I barely can put into words. I have made so many connections with people around the world, seen so many different places, and tried the best food I have ever had while abroad. I have never met anyone who has regretted going abroad, but I have met countless people who regret NOT going abroad when they can. Trust me this is an experience that you do not want to miss out on.
Do You Have Any Plans or Ideas to Travel Abroad Again?
I probably will not have the opportunity to travel abroad again while earning school credit. However, I do intend on traveling some more around the world after I graduate or when I have free time. Just this spring I went on a trip to Ecuador for a week and I soon plan on going to Venezuela. I just love to travel so much since I studied abroad. Traveling is my new passion that I can’t wait to pursue when I graduate. After I graduate I have been thinking about going backpacking through Europe/Middle East.
Email Satchel at email@example.com for more information about his experience.