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

    Pressing Social Issues

    My name is Eduardo Gonzalez and I am a Political Science and International Relations double major at San Francisco State University. I am studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey for my junior year. As a first-generation Mexican-American from a low-income background, the Gilman Scholarship has supported my studies during this academic year abroad.

    I have gained new perspectives on the social, political and economic issues being faced in another country. I have also been able to make long-lasting relationships with friends who have shared their Turkish language and culture with me. In doing so, my international friends and I have realized that we are not so different. My time abroad has also challenged my views of the world, allowing me to develop interests that I will carry with me as I complete my educational career and enter the workforce.

    My study abroad experience has positively impacted not just myself, but those around me. While in Turkey, my friends have gained new perspectives by my demonstrating that I am a caring and friendly young American. I have also set an example for all of my family members and friends back home. During my time abroad, I have demonstrated that it is possible to meet one’s goals despite their economic or financial background. By studying abroad, I have become a new, more socially conscious person who is interested in the lives of others around me and throughout the world.
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