Titan Travels: Eli Garcia Encourages Students To Step Outside Their Comfort Zones

Mihaylo College lives out its mission to produce globally aware business leaders and provide international immersed experiences to students. The Center for International Business assists in creating and supporting international study initiatives for business students through the Business Europe Study Tours (BEST) Program, the Heidelberg Program, and the Business Honors Study Abroad Program. This post is the last installment in a series of six articles written by Elizabeth Garcia ’14, narrating her unique study abroad experiences in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth is currently enrolled in a semester long program at the Lorenzo de’Medici International Institute in Italy, through CSUF’s Global Student Experience.

“39 Reasons Studying Abroad Ruins Your Life” was the name of a recent BuzzFeed article I angrily read through. Yes, the espresso tastes richer in Italy; yes ice cream will simply never be as satisfying as gelato; and yes, the sunset over the Arno River is a spectacular sight I never want to forget. Despite these profound, yet subtle observations, I bear a slight grudge against those who insist I just experienced the best time of my life. Not only do I disagree with that statement, I challenge him/her to ask how one phenomenal experience can be the ‘peak’ of anyone’s life when there is so much more to experience. Studying abroad was not even a plateau let alone a peak for me, the best is yet to come.

arno river

Sunset from the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River

Aside from adding ‘conversational Italian’ onto my resume and being able to talk about how adaptable and flexible I am during a job interview, the two greatest takeaways from my studies abroad are appreciation and taking risks with conviction. Traveling the world offers a front row seat to the exciting ambiguous consequences of your every decision. Six months ago, I decided to spend my last semester as a Mihaylo undergraduate in Florence, Italy and my story has developed and unraveled in ways I could have never imagined. With that being said, I urge students, peers, and colleagues to pursue your unique interests without fear disguised as practicality. Try something impractical and out of the ordinary, be the captain of your own ship and have fun doing it.

Assisi

Assisi

It has been such a pleasure sharing stories of my time abroad with Mihaylo business peers. As an official alumna, I hope to continue to be involved with the CSUF community and give back to the school that has given me so much opportunity and motivation.  If you have any questions about my time abroad, are interested in studying abroad and want to chat, want to give me some feedback, or simply want to grab some American coffee (I’ll have tea) at Starbucks, feel free to email me at esgarcia@csu.fullerton.edu. Thank you for reading and I hope you all take the time to discover the magic in travel, taking risks, and gratitude.

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