Study Abroad Reflection by Julia Piermattei

I had so much fun during my study abroad experience.  I enjoyed my time during adventures on the island of Bocas and sightseeing in Panama City.  My favorite activities that we did was exploring all of the beautiful beaches in Bocas, seeing all of the unique wildlife during the night-hikes in the rainforest, and going to the Old Panama City.  I was proud of myself for trying new foods and activities while abroad.  I am a picky eater but all of the food I tried abroad was delicious!  I also was fearful of caving with bats flying at your face often but it was a cool experience that I will do again someday! 

My advice for future students studying abroad is to be flexible and optimistic.  Many changes or circumstances will arise on your trip that you may not be ready for, but being prepared to “go with the flow” on your trip will make these situations a lot less stressful.  My study abroad experience was extremely humbling for me.  Traveling made me feel like a small fish in a big sea: there was so much to explore and experience even in the small country of Panama.  I realized the importance of learning and experiencing new cultures by traveling.  Immersing myself in different lifestyles around the world will allow me to learn, pass on my travel experiences to others, and cherish amazing memories.  My trip abroad helped me to understand how there are still so many different environments, cities, and cultures to learn about.  Panama was a great educational experience not only for school but for personal life lessons I won’t ever forget.  I will definitely want to travel abroad more in the future.  This experience is something I will never forget and I will take what I learned from this trip and use it on other trips abroad (like remembering to pack lots of bug spray!). 

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