UMD: A Globally Connected University

Nadiya Kutishcheva

ProgramBMGT Exchange: SKEMA Business School (SKEMA)​
Term: Fall 2016

I feel like I could move anywhere in the world right now, no question, and have the confidence and flexibility to work it out. Studying Abroad has made me feel like I can find a place for myself anywhere. It is definitely a mental hurdle to just pack up and live in a new continent for several months, but now I know that I am capable of doing this whenever I need to. Every place has beautiful things, boring things, lovely people, frustrating people, and a way to make it work. ​

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: I am from a first-generation immigrant family and expected to feel more comfortable switching between different countries and cultures. However, when in a completely new place, you may be surprised to see for yourself just how "American" your behaviors and values are,  in particular, when it comes to expectations and what you will gravitate toward in group projects. ​I say embrace it. I never realized how much American-style enthusiasm [I have] and how animated I could be until I was in an international community, and now I realize that these are unique strengths in a business setting. 

Studying Abroad in France, I expected to meet and interact with young French people, but this was not so much the case. It turns out I was more personality-compatible with other exchange students from China and Hong Kong. I ended up learning about more cultures than I bargained for and now have lovely friends from all over the world. Talk about a truly International experience. 

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: A major part of the study abroad experience is finding the bravery and flexibility to not really know what exactly to expect, but that's how you come across the most pleasant surprises. Generally, things will make sense as you go along. You can't expect your home [university], your host [university], the consulate, or any single entity to be able to answer all questions for you. You should be able to trust them enough to know you won't be completely lost, injured or abandoned.