Student develops confidence from study abroad program

By Joseph Hernandez

Jasmine Venegas had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France during the summer of 2023 and described it as life-changing.

Venegas said that going to France changed her as a person, as she gained more confidence, improved her intercultural skills, and led her to learn new things about herself. 

During the trip, the class would go on field trips to museums, an opera, Normandy Beach and the Eiffel Tower. 

Students wouldn’t be given much homework in the program, because instructors wanted the students to experience the city and French culture more than spending time in their dorm. 

Venegas said the instructors were helpful and very knowledgeable about the city of Paris. 

“They would recommend students places to check out and what parts of Paris to see and parts to stay away from,” she said.

Venegas said that it was nerve-wracking at first to go to a cafe or store because she was nervous about trying to speak French or talk to people. She later learned that some French people do speak English as a second language, since they have to talk to tourists. 

Venegas remembered one time she got stuck with a cashier who only spoke French, which caused her to panic.

“I thought to myself, ‘What do I do, how do I know how much money to give him.’ I wanted to run away, but thank god I was able to understand a couple of words. Thank god I learned them in class that same day and eventually, I was able to give him the right amount and he gave me my change,” said Venegas.

First day of the program, Venegas said that she was afraid and wanted to go home in the beginning but at the end of the event, she got sad and almost cried because she didn’t want to leave France. 

Before going on the trip, Venegas said that she had heard about the program through a flyer and saw it being promoted on Instagram. She joined two Zoom meetings before she made her choice to join the program.

Venegas looks forward to attending the program again for this upcoming summer of 2024 and looks to attend the other programs too. 

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