Jada Hester: Studying Abroad Expands Horizons

Poole College's supply chain summer program in China included sight-seeing and visits to factories.

Poole College's supply chain summer program in China included sight-seeing and visits to factories.

Studying abroad can help diversify a student’s experience and education and provide a fresh world view.

That was the case for Jada Hester, a double major in business administration and international studies with a concentration in global relations, as she comments on her summer 2017 study abroad on the China: Operations and Human Resource Management program in Shanghai, one of seven options offered through NC State Poole of Management Summer Global Programs.

Hester took three courses for her business major – operations management, human resource management, and an experience-based course called “Doing Business in China.” The six-week summer program also helped prepare her for a full semester abroad – one of her academic goals.

“I decided to study abroad this summer because I knew, as an international studies major, I would be expected to study abroad for an extended amount of time,” Hester said in an email interview with Poole College communications. “I thought a six-week program would help me prepare for an eventual semester abroad. Also, I, like many other students, intend to utilize my summer to enhance my resume.”

There were many benefits to Poole College’s Study Abroad Summer Program, such as expanding her cultural appreciation and career development and accelerating her academic progress.

“Learning in a different country can be a challenging feat; however, due to the unfamiliar surroundings, your peer and staff interpersonal relationships will be more familiar and yield better study results,” Hester said. “The cultural differences you experience will make you exceedingly more aware of your own culture and its characteristics. Some of the benefits of your culture will be highlighted, and some flaws of your culture will become clear as well.”

Hester said that it was important not to judge other cultures and to step outside of one’s comfort zone while abroad.

“Just because it is unfamiliar to you, doesn’t make it ‘wrong, weird or gross,” she said. “It just means your cultural norms are different from others. Embrace the things you have never seen before. Push yourself. Try something or go somewhere new every day you’re abroad.

“You are the one in another country. It is your job to adapt your expectations. Don’t expect natives to adapt for you. Even if you think something is rude, this is your opportunity to learn how to deal with people that are different from you,” she said, adding that the benefits of studying abroad extend beyond the classroom in terms of preparing and developing students for the international marketplace.

Hester offers some advice for students considering studying abroad and taking the opportunity to experience life to the fullest.

 

Jada Hester at the Great Wall of China
Jada Hester at the Great Wall of China

“I feel, especially in college, it is easy to get caught up in planning for the future,” Hester said. “Sometimes, I get so caught up in getting my degree that I forget the reason I want it in the first place. I lose track of why my education is so important to me on a fundamental level,” she said.

“This summer, standing on the Great Wall of China – a place that is forever stamped in the chronicles of history, a place that has had a tried and true position on my bucket list for years – I remembered to enjoy my life now while I’m living it, to push myself to do new things and see the world while I can. Your life does not start after you graduate; it has already begun. Take advantage of every opportunity you get while you are abroad. You most definitely will be glad you did.”

Poole College students can use these classes to earn credit towards their Poole major or minor. Opportunities for the summer of 2018 summer include the United Kingdom, Argentina, Spain, China, Italy, Germany and Australia. For more registration and other information, check out go.ncsu.edu/pooleglobalsummer or contact Poole Global by email at poole_global@ncsu.edu.  

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