About studying abroad

After doing an exchange program in California for a year and four
months in México for my last year of college, I graduated from Rey
Juan Carlos University with a degree in Journalism and I had the
chance to intern at a national fashion magazine in Spain. Then, while
thinking what was the best choice for me, I began to study several
courses which included “fashion and public relations” from ELLE
magazine and online courses in community manager. Finally, I decided
to launch my career and did a master degree in fashion and beauty from
Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. I have my internship done at Vogue
Spain where I have done fashion and lifestyle features for website and
printed magazine. Now, I work as a contributing editor at Vogue Spain.

When you are a student, there comes the main issue at some point in your life: what’s next? And also, when you’re about to graduate from school –and if your main idea is to make it to university- there (also) might be a lot of questions that pop out through your head at any second. Thoughts as what college is suitable for me or which career is going to give me the brightest future are mostly common asked. But don’t worry; you are not alone because we’ve all been through that. Trust me. In my case, before being a journalist, I’ve came across with a lot of solitary thinking afternoons, tutoring, hours of research -and a bit of patience- to end up liking what I’m doing today. But before all of that, I knew that there was something I had to do before entering a professional career; something a little bit different -crazy perhaps- that would make me standing out from the others by telling my experience of a lifetime.
I am not talking about the fact of visiting a new country, meeting new (and exciting) people and get to know different ways of living, a new culture indeed; but also, the enrichment that studying abroad gives students: an opportunity to grow higher, inside and outside. Why inside? Because being alone in a different city where you don’t belong, makes you grow up fast. There can be times that may feel nonsense and strange, but that is a normal reaction for every human being fighting against all odds of feeling excluded or the commonly ‘homesick’ feeling. By overcoming this, that will disappear in less you realize and you will have the enough power to make choices for your own good that, of course, it will reflect in your outside which means you’ll show self-confidence, responsibility and motivation. But what is the point of studying abroad? Besides the reasons above, I have to say that since attending different job interviews and starting to work in a field where a foreign language is a must, companies look for candidates who have had the experience of living abroad because that means two things: you have learned a language –in case you’re gone to a country with different tongue– and you have something new to give. Why? Because the fact of studying abroad provides you with an open minded perspective and that means inspiration and new ideas for the company you work for. So, technically, you’ll be giving them a plus and you’ll reward with self-gratification knowing that they will be counting on you. In the fashion industry, where I belong, things move fast and forward: we are always on a rush. If fashion moves, we move, so we have to pay attention to trends and different cultural issues that are happening in the industry. As a journalist living in Spain, speaking a second language is crucial in our day to day. In our case, where Spanish is our mother tongue, English is our main tool to speak to the foreign people from this industry. Our magazine, which goes from fashion to lifestyle, if you can’t speak English or any other language, you’re lost. There isn’t a job out there in which they require only one language. I had the luck to go to California for a year and all I can say is that I wish I could have gone one more. Not only I’ve met wonderful people who I still speak to, but also it gave me the opportunity to learn such a huge and important language worldwide and speak it fluently. A few years ago, before starting this journey, I never would have thought that today, right now, I’ll be writing this. If only there’s a way to turn back the clock, I’ll do it! And I would repeat the experience all over again, anytime. In addition, if I have to recommend this thousands of times, I’ll be unstoppable. Now, whether you’re learning a language –or you are about to– or you are at school and ready to go to college, think about this and don’t miss out the exchange program opportunities. You will feel completed, ready to set your future, and most important: your resume will look amazing!
Brenda Castillo – Contributing editor at Vogue Spain.

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