For CSU Dominguez Hills student Laura Huerta, getting the opportunity to live in another country was something she had always wanted to do.
It was more than a bucket list wish, but rather an experience that fit with her career goals in international business.
Last year, through California State University International Programs (CSU IP) and financial assistance from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Huerta fulfilled her goal.
“I learned about the programs during the Study Abroad Fair in 2012,” she said of the event the CSUDH International Education Center (IEC) hosts annually as part of International Week. “From there I stopped by the IEC and spoke with Rachel [Wangui, IEC program assistant] to figure out which program was best for me.”
Once again thinking of her future career and what experience would serve that best, Huerta selected Japan.
“I saw the Asian markets as very important since they make up the majority of the top trading partners with California,” she said. “Understanding their culture would help understand how best to do business with them.”
From September 2013 to July 2014, Huerta lived in Tokyo while a student at Waseda University. She said her study abroad experience was so much more than she anticipated.
“My number one take away from studying abroad is how I’ve changed. Studying abroad made me more independent, self-confident, and comfortable in exploring opportunities regardless of their location,” Huerta said. “The way I think has also changed, and I’m more aware of previously hidden biases. I think my understanding of other cultures has grown and I’ve realized how differently people from other cultures approach issues, but everyone cares about the similar things at the core.”
IEC is hosting International Week activities this week, Nov. 17-20. Huerta will be giving a talk about her experiences on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the College of Extended and International Education building, EE-1210.
For more information about study abroad opportunities, visit the IEC web page, or call (310) 243-3919.