Rushing Around the World

August 3, 2011
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The world bears many wondrous places from which we all can benefit. Sadly, few people are given the opportunity to enjoy the many marvels the world has in store. Some attempt to emulate this experience through interpreting narratives or watching television, but these attempts come to no avail. A thorough understanding of these wonders requires a personal journey, not a vivid description or televised simulation. Fortunately, study abroad programs like International Education Management Group (IEM) are designed to close the gap between seeing and believing in this world of awe-inspiring sensations.
Study abroad offers enriching journeys to countries around the world, as well as a priceless education about the nations that surround us. While embarking on these expeditions, travelers witness first-hand what life is like on distant soil. It is imperative that people, both young and old, expand their knowledge by discovering the vast treasures that foreign lands have to offer. Unfortunately, due to the large number of those who choose not to take the leap of faith and avail themselves of the opportunity to experience the marvels of traveling to another country, a large percentage of the population of the United States will remain ignorant to life outside North America.
My experience with study abroad was one of the most memorable events in my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to tour four of China’s most historically diversed cities – Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, and Beijing – where I achieved a plethora of knowledge about Chinese culture. Prior to going on this quest, I knew very little about Chinese customs and traditions. This voyage was indeed an eye-opener for me. One outstanding occurrence that truly moved me was climbing the steps on the Great Wall of China. Before visiting the site, I never thought I would see or climb the Great Wall.
The closest I had come to seeing the Great Wall was looking at a picture of it in an encyclopedia, yet I was able to see and experience the one of the Seven Wonders of the World at the age of sixteen. Many people never get a chance to see such a marvelous creation in their lifetime, or they have to wait until they are middle-aged to give it a try. However, through the Young Scholars Program providing me with a life-altering experience, I accomplished this task in my youth. Moments like these reshape our perspective of the world, and allow us to venerate the manifestations that surround us.
In retrospect, I most certainly appreciate the opportunity to study abroad. The experience provided me with knowledge and wisdom regarding the various customs and regulations present in foreign lands. Added to the magnificent attractions we went to, I also learned a great deal about myself. I have become a more independent young man as a result of traveling with the Young Scholars Program. I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone who has never traveled to another country make plans to do so as soon as possible – it will change your life forever.

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