As cliche as it sounds, my study abroad experience changed my life. Perhaps it didn’t change who I am, but rather it brought out parts of me that the past had not given me the opportunity to express and experience. This trip abroad was my sixth time to China and my longest stay. Being able to be independent while in China gave me the opportunity to pursue passions that I wanted to explore and not activities that I was obligated to participate in because I was a guest at a friend or family’s home. Every time I go to China, I am always reminded that there is a world so much larger than the Willamette campus. Being in China for almost six months has helped me remember that fact as I have adjusted being back in the states. It is so easy to come back to the same routine, the stress, the business and get caught up in everyday life that you unconsciously begin to think that this is all there is because it’s the most immediate thing. Being able to go abroad opened my eyes to the possibilities of my future and showed me that no matter where I am, I can find a way to serve people and practice the passions that I am developing.
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