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    Posted March 14, 2014 by
    New Zealand
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

    Overseas Experience

    I studied in Prague, Czech Republic in Fall '13 and am spending Spring '14 in Wellington, New Zealand. The opportunity I have had has aided me in thinking globally and becoming a better-rounded and informed American citizen. It has also lead me to believe that having students, people that will one day be in charge and running our country, should have had to live through different cultures, experience different governments. Without the insight from other places I fear our country won't be able to move forward and make needed change when we will need it.
    America is a great country, but like anything else, it is not perfect. It can be small things, for example recycling in Wellington is incredibly simple, so now that I know this I can go back home and get involved with the recycling movement and try and make it more accessible for everyone. And while in Europe I fell in love with the ease of public transportation. It is clear to anyone who looks at a map that America is much vaster and spread out than Europe is, but most cities are condensed and would benefit from more public transportation and less vehicle congestion.
    But honestly, my most treasured memory of studying abroad was meeting so many people from so many different walks of life, whether they were like-minded Americans or a pair of hospitable Germans more than willing to pantomime and help me figure out how to read maps for the first time while I was wandering around Munich, these people helped cultivate my mind in a way staying Stateside for the year never would have accomplished. And even if we are never able to meet again they all left a positive impact on my life and I will always be grateful for the chance to meet them. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone and everyone I meet, studying abroad is the key to America’s future.
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