Why did I choose my programme?
I wanted to study a language, but wasn’t interested in becoming a translator, language teacher, etc. I could see myself having my own business one day, so BLC Spanish seemed perfect. I also was happy to see that there is an exchange semester.
What do I like the best?
The people. I mostly interact with people in Spanish, but everyone is so supportive and kind. People are willing to work together and help each other out, and it’s very uncompetitive. There are times when I wish people were a little more motivated, but on the bright side, I feel like people are accepting of individuals' level of academic motivation. I also really liked my Spanish teachers and learning about Latin America in particular.
What do I think is difficult?
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to push through the readings, as naturally some are more interesting to me personally than others. However, I try to keep in mind how each course could be useful to me in the future, and that helps me to stay motivated. It can also be challenging to manage time around exam season, but making a study schedule has been surprisingly effective for me, and I’ve been able to achieve the grades I want.
What would I have liked to have known before starting my programme?
One thing that surprised me was the demographics of international students at CBS. Coming from the U.S., we typically have international students from countries in Africa, Asia, etc. BLC is over 1/3 international, but many of these students are from nearby countries such as Sweden, Norway, Germany, etc. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I grew up in an extremely diverse state, so as a person of color, I was initially a bit uncomfortable and surprised by how homogenous my programme was.
What do I want to do after finishing my programme?
I’m not sure yet, but I plan on starting a master’s degree within a year or so of graduation. Right now, I’m interested in development studies, but I may travel some first. Work wise, I would love to work for an NGO, but would also be interested in starting my own business such as a restaurant. I have a YouTube channel that I’m looking to grow, so if I could monetise that at some point on the side that would be great. I also want to have the flexibility to travel a lot with my work.
If I could give myself a piece of advice, before starting it would be…
Socialise more! I’m a bit introverted, so I often don’t go out of my way to make plans with people, but looking back, I wish I’d given it a little more effort. It’s not like high school where you see tons of people every day for many hours, so making friends requires some dedication. Especially as an international student, I think it’s important to try to build relationships—either inside or outside of school—so you can have a strong support system despite being away from home.