Stepping Outside of a Comfort Zone

By Dana Setting

My name is Dana Setting, and I’m a global communication major. I hope to someday live abroad, and I travel as much as possible. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to travel as much as I like. I have a love affair with Europe, and that love has taken me to Europe twice.

Traveling through Europe is a great adventure, but when I heard about  the opportunity to visit Asia, a place I thought I’d never go, I jumped at it. To me, Asia seems like another planet, and to call it intimidating is an understatement. I am so excited to experience Chengdu, China, and I am grateful for the scholarship assistance from the College of Communication and Information that is allowing me to participate in this priceless experience.

Although this trip will personally challenge me, I welcome the chance to step outside my comfort zone and gain some new insight into myself. How will I know what I’m capable of if I don’t challenge myself? I expect some culture shock, some overwhelming gratitude at the beauty of China and a lot of adventure. I’m excited to assert my independence while I travel abroad alone, and I expect to make lifelong bonds with the other students I’ll meet in Chengdu.

Apart from the personal advantages I hope to gain, I anticipate professional gain as well. Study abroad experiences are similar to internships in that they demonstrate a student’s capacity to handle difficult situations and take calculated risks and they showcase a student’s willingness to learn. I hope to learn from the people I meet and understand the Chinese culture better.

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