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    Posted March 17, 2014 by
    South Korea
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

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    Greetings from South Korea!

    My name is Jennifer Cardoza, and I am in my final year at Northern Arizona University, studying International Affairs. As a child of Salvadoran refugees we did not have the means to travel when I was young. Going to college actually gave me the opportunity to explore the world and learn new languages.

    In Spring 2012, I studied Spanish at University of Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico under the National Student Exchange Program. During my semester there, I greatly improved my Spanish, made wonderful friends from around the world and helped create the university's new Global Awareness Program. United in Diversity is now a month long celebration to promote cultural diversity on campus through film, dance, art and guest speakers.

    In 2013, I was awarded the Gilman International Scholarship and Boren Language Award to attend school in South Korea. I experienced a whole new way of life there, with wonderful spicy food, beautiful temples and a warm, embracing community.
    Some of my favorite experiences include meeting new friends through language exchange cafes all over Seoul, attending KPOP concerts and establishing a Pen Pal program between my Korean university and my home university in Arizona. This project helped my Korean classmates interact with fellow students back home and learn more about each other’s culture. Furthermore it encouraged several of the students to go on exchange and keep in contact through our Face Book group.

    My education would not have been complete without that first-hand experience abroad, outside of the classroom. Travel has been one of my greatest teachers in life, that taught me not only how to be an adult but also a world citizen. Furthermore, this experience has encouraged me to pursue a future career in US Foreign Service.
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