So, you want to go abroad, do you?

Cassidy Shapiro, IS Anthropology’18

After my first quarter of Italian, I wanted more than anything to study abroad in Rome for the summer. I researched every program, every scholarship, and every airline. I spent countless hours desperately trying to find a way to make it financially possible for me to live half way around the world for ten weeks. I dreamed of the culture, the food, the people. Yet, despite my best efforts, it just wasn’t going to be possible.

And then, something I hadn’t expected happened. I learned of a job opportunity. A family wanted an American girl to live with them for the summer as an Au Pair, helping with the children and teaching them English. I jumped on the opportunity and, to my utmost delight, was given the job. I’ve only just returned from Italy, and I can tell you that the job was not easy. But it was more than worth it.

If you want to go abroad, and you aren’t sure how to make your dream a reality because of your financial situation, look for jobs abroad. I’d gotten this idea in my head that to go abroad, I needed to be traveling for vacation or studying. Applying for a job in another country wasn’t something I’d even considered a possibility. But it turned out to be exactly what I wanted—It was financially feasible, I was immersed in the culture, I was given opportunities to travel, my Italian improved tremendously (even though I wasn’t taking any classes), and I met so many wonderful people.

Being an au pair may not be the right job for everyone; it’s a very personal and tiring job. But there are so many other opportunities out there. You can find paid internships, volunteer programs, English teaching programs—the list can go on and on. One of the most valuable things I learned through my experience working abroad is that if you really truly want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen. I discovered it was possible for me to live in another country, even if I wasn’t doing what I originally thought I would do. And just as it was possible for me, it’s possible for you, too. If you truly want to go abroad, there is always a way to make it happen.

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