Find yourself by going abroad

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different place for a while? To speak a different language and experience another culture?

Stop wondering and do it!

Castleton offers a variety of study away options through different programs. Plenty of the programs will help you pay for the trip and scholarships are available through the school.
“Studying abroad gives you a much broader sense of culture. You learn to respect other people’s lives and world views,” said Ben Carstens studying Santa Fe, N.M. “It’s likely you will learn something from a culture that makes you a better person and you can bring that back to your community.”
Brian Garvey, a senior at Castleton majoring in education and minoring in Spanish, has gone abroad twice; once to Spain and more recently to Argentina to volunteer in an orphanage in Buenos Aires.
He often reflects about his humbling experiences in an online blog he kept during his travels.
He volunteered in an orphanage that had four full-time employees, kids from 2 to 18 and horrible living conditions. He described 7-year-olds taking care of younger children, field trips to McDonalds and the zoo and the need the children have for parental supervision.
“I learned a ton. I take McDonald’s for granted and these kids cherish it like its Christmas,” Garvey said.
Garvey talked about the children he got close to, including one child who had a prostitute for a mother who only visited once a week. “He was like a little brother to me,” Garvey said.
“You make friends doing this kind of stuff,” Garvey said about the other workers and volunteers but also the children.
He said studying abroad has afforded him many opportunities and has allowed him to experience difficult situations while practicing a language he is studying. His main duties at the orphanage were to organize activities and help with academics so the children could feel like they had parental support he said.
He had many reasons for wanting to go abroad.
“I wanted a way to put it [Spanish] to use, build a resume and practice Spanish while learning a new culture,” he said.
For those that would like to travel the world, meet new people, help others in need, learn a language or just see the sites, Garvey has a message for you:

“Be open-minded, expect the unexpected and allow yourself to see things from a different side,” Garvey said. “Being uncomfortable is the best way to grow.”

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