Thu Nguyen: A Global Studies Major Abroad

Name: Thu Nguyen

Year: 4

Major: `Global Studies

Hometown: Marina, CA

Favorite Food: Thai food

You studied abroad Fall Quarter. Where did you go?

I went to Argentina and Chile.

Which was your favorite place? Why?

Argentina, because I had the most fun there. I had a host family and was living in the city, versus in Chile I was staying in hostels and felt like more of a tourist.

What was your favorite thing about studying abroad?

Every day was different, we always did something new. I met a lot of cool people.

Would you ever go back?

YES. I would love to go back.

What was it like taking classes in a different country?

It was very interesting because it was a human rights program and a lot the instructors were involved with human rights movements during the prime of the dictator. It was interesting to hear their perspective rather than a US perspective.

What made the transition back to Santa Barbara difficult?

It was reverse culture shock. It was little things like remembering it’s okay to keep my phone in my back pocket again and flushing toilet paper in the toilet. I also had to get used to the restaurant service here again because abroad, people spend much longer at restaurants whereas here it felt rushed.

Do you think studying abroad enhanced your college experience? How? Would you recommend it to others in your major?

Yes, for sure. I was able to learn about other cultures. It made more mindful of people of different cultures in the US. I’m more mindful now of people’s struggles. I definitely recommend it to other global studies majors. Especially if you’re still unsure of what you want to do, studying abroad can help.