International Studies & Programs

Ta’Sheena allows herself to try new things

From Flint, Michigan, Ta’Sheena Williams is a junior studying neuroscience

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Published: Thursday, 18 Jul 2019 Author: Ta’Sheena Williams

My experience abroad allowed me to use the information we had learned in class and gave me the ability to People swim in a large swimming hole in the rock, with green vines hanging down. The MSU flag can be seen in the middle of the swimmers.respectfully interact with different cultures. As far as career goals, it broadened my cultural perspectives and allowed me to work with people from all over.

On a personal level, my experience abroad has allowed me to become more vulnerable. Vulnerable to learn, make mistakes, and try new things like swimming in caves and trying different foods.

Not only did my experience abroad allow me to learn more Spanish than my 2 years of Spanish in high school, but also allowed me to engage in communication with people at my volunteer agency who couldn’t even speak at all.

I learned that the Mayan culture is very intelligent. Mayans created calendars, temples with acoustics, and structures with deep spiritual meanings. Before going to Merida, the only things I had known was that the Mayans predicted the world in 2012 and they were a culture of the past.

One myth about education abroad is mainly about how you will feel lost and not connect with any of your classmates, especially the Spring Break ones because it is so short. However, I feel as if I and my classmates grew closer than ever in such a short time. Even after a long day of volunteering in our groups, we still wanted to be around one another and reflect on our day together. I also thought that it would be scary to travel abroad and barely know the language of the home country. But, there were tons of people in our group who spoke Spanish and were able and eager to help translate and teach non-Spanish speakers as we went.

I am confident that my story can relate to other students and people can see themselves in my shoes. My story and experience speaks to how important it is for everyone to study abroad.

Williams smiles in front of stone ruins, wearing a shirt that says "GRL PWR".I feel as a black woman who is a first generation college student this program is very valuable to me. Not only did I learn about the culture but I learned so much more about myself that my friends and classrooms cannot teach. Being immersed in a different culture and environment, allows you to be hyper-aware of your culture and privileges in the United States.

Ta’Sheena Williams
International Engagement in Merida, Mexico
Spring Break 2019