Study Abroad Entry Essay

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I have been dreaming about studying abroad since I was young boy. In those days my mother would show me scrapbooks filled with photos from her travels and share stories of her study abroad experience in a time when the people of our country were restricted from moving beyond national borders. The strong-handed communist government of Albania stifled all tourism and was very selective in allowing students to leave and study in foreign universities. I didn’t ponder over the geopolitical details of my mother’s stories, I just could think of nothing cooler than to get on a plane and spend part of your life learning and living in a totally different culture. I still think there’s nothing cooler than traveling the world, but what has changed today is that I can really appreciate the value of being able to seize the opportunity in front of me. There’s no communistic government keeping me down (and I cant stress how thankful I am for that), but the public university system also makes this trip financially feasible through scholarships and financial aid.

Over the past few months, I regularly visited the UCF Study Abroad webpage hoping to discover a program that matched my aspirations and promised unique learning opportunities. Upon seeing a business exchange become available in Vienna, I realize that this was the opening I had been waiting for. Initially, I found myself envisioning what it would be like to walk through the streets in the brisk cold, coffee in hand, observing the sheer diversity of the sights, people, and interactions going on around me. I wondered what explorations I would embark on with newly made friends. These questions and moments of wonder are part of a larger framework that makes up what I think this trip will be. ...

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...and to expand my personal life experiences on this trip. While I believe I have made my point that the educational, cultural, and personal value is evidently there, any financial assistance through scholarships and grants to help cover the costs would be immensely appreciated. My parents want me to step beyond the front door and to experience the world as they did, so they have graciously offered to foot the costs for my semester in Vienna. My parents both work hard to make sure their kids have every opportunity to learn and grow, but I cannot feel comfortable digging a hole financially for my own personal development. I am very excited and optimistic about the prospect of studying in Vienna. I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity that many of today’s community leaders and business professionals look back on as a defining moment in their lives.
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