I never thought I would have time to study abroad due to my ROTC commitment and heavy course load until I heard about Viterbi’s Summer Overseas program. It’s the perfect length of time (6 weeks) and it’s conveniently in the summer! I’m super excited to apply for multiple reasons.

USC has plenty to offer in terms of diversity (we enroll more international students than any US university), and I’ve become used to working with students from all over the globe. So I think it’s time for a new challenge—working with students I’ve never met in a place I’ve never been. I think it’s important to achieve some sort of global perspective before entering the ‘real world’, where you’re expected to work well with whoever you’re put with. Studying abroad will also give me a deeper appreciation and understanding for engineering culture in other countries. It’s easy to forget there’s more than just USC’s way of teaching engineering concepts, and I would love to see how schools in other countries operate.

I also just really want to explore a foreign country. I’m filling out the Overseas application for Paris, since I’ve already visited the other option, London. Even though I know several people going to London, I’m committed to going somewhere I’ve never been to get the full abroad experience of completely new surroundings. Although studying abroad might seem scary since you’re not with your friends or family, I’m a firm believer that it’s good to put yourself in uncomfortable situations once in a while to challenge yourself and grow. This would be the first time I wasn’t with a friend or family member while traveling. So many possibilities! Plus I know I’ll make awesome new Viterbi friends.

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and do something on your own! I know I’ve never regretted it.