Short Essay Contest Winner

Cheyenne Dixon - Washington State Community College Consortium for Study Abroad

There is a saying that says “if you speak three languages then you are trilingual, if you speak two languages then you are bilingual and if you speak one language then you are American.” It may sound funny, but it’s true. As Americans, we don’t take the time to fully appreciate the world around us. We stay in our own little bubble and we are fine with that. But what would happen if we were put in a position that is out of our comfort zone? We would be forced to experience the world, not just push through it. Community, tradition, friendship, loyalty, culture; are a few of the things that we have been missing. Through study abroad, students gain experiences they would have never had. They meet new people, learn how they live, try new things and acquire a respect for different cultures. Hundreds of wars have been fought because of someone’s inability to understand a different culture. By gaining a new understanding and respect for other cultures students could increase communication all around the world. Then maybe, just maybe after generations of students obtain this insight, we could have a world that values communication and peace.


Lauren Wallender, Elon University

Happy Backpackers

I definitely have WSA to thank for my exceptional experience in Amsterdam. One would think 4 days isn't enough to tour a city but WSA facilitated an optimum weekend full of sightseeing and fun. Amsterdam may have a notorious reputation for its lax drug and sex culture but there’s so much more to the city. Luckily, our tour guide, Arthur, native to the Netherlands, steered us away from the tourist traps and showed us around his beloved city, highlighting all of its gems. I'd definitely like to try other WSA trips in the future. It's hassle free traveling with an awesome itinerary - nice that the tour guides are flexible with the schedule and willing to cater the itinerary to the group's interest! Highly recommend WSA to any student with only a weekend to see a city.

Lauren Wallender, Elon University ~ Fall 2014

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