I'm Kasey Mathews, a fourth-year Management major at Rochester Institute of Technology. In Spring 2017, I had the opportunity to travel abroad for my studies at the RIT's Croatian campus in Zagreb!
The moment I boarded the plane I knew it would be a life-changing experience. Beyond the travel and fun, studying abroad helped to liven my life and pull me out of my comfort zone. It transformed my personality and molded me into an outgoing and ambitious individual, ready to adapt to whatever life may have in store.
It takes a lot to realize just how different a place can be from home in the smallest of ways, from ordering food from a bakery to navigating public transportation. It was an enlightening experience to learn to live in the Croatian world, all the while enjoying myself every day.
My favorite moment while abroad reaching beyond the simple travel would be the genuine experiences I had with the various cultures across Europe. In Croatia, I bonded with a barista at a local cafe, with my friends and I talking with her on a regular basis. It was amazing listening to even the most routine parts of her life, as every moment was an in-depth, first-hand look into the Croatian lifestyle.
In Venice, I spoke closely with my AirBnB host, as he pointed us to the best places to visit during the three days we were there. He treated us to the finest Venetian food at his local restaurant and helped us come to a better understanding of the regional differences of Italian culture.
In London, I met up with a friend of someone I happened to be studying abroad with. We had so much fun together and she showed me around the city. The following semester, when I pledged Delta Sigma Pi, she ended up becoming my big - a connection that started an ocean away and endures now that we've both returned to Rochester.
Overall, studying abroad has changed the way I see the world and see myself. I'm unrecognizable to those who knew me before, and it's charged me with the ambition to take on as many opportunities as possible to learn even more!