Adjust Your Altitude

Makayla Bennett
Majors: Early Childhood Elementary Education
Program: Education, Service, and International Development in Nepal

As my time at Western Michigan University comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my time here. I have loved each and every professor. I have gained experience inside and outside the classroom. In addition to this, I have forged wonderful friendships. One thing that I have always wanted to do was study abroad. Each year, I’ve worked extremely hard to pay for my own schooling. Each year, I still end up having to use loans and use up the last of my savings. Studying abroad was never really an option for me due to monetary reasons.

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Weighing the Benefits for a Trip of a Lifetime

I took a summer course with Professor Hermann- Wilmarth and she shared with me an experience of a lifetime. Everything I could possibly want in a study abroad trip landed in my lap. My first thought was how in the world am I going to pay for this. I battled for months on the decision if I should apply for the trip or not. Then, I had a realization. I pondered on the fact that, yes, it is a lot of money. However, this experience is once in a lifetime and I may never have this opportunity again. I also pondered on the fact that it would provide me with an excellent experience for my future career as a teacher. It was then that I decided I was going to make it my mission to go to Nepal.
While in Nepal, I will be doing things that I have never done before. I will be trekking through the Himalayan Mountains, riding an elephant, in addition to working with local women and children. I will be exposed to food, culture, and religion that I am not very familiar with. I will be in a place that is outside my comfort zone. I will be pushing my mind and body to the limit. I’ve explained this trip to my friends and family as “diving into a real-life textbook.” My knowledge I will learn from this trip will remain mine forever. I hope to increase my worldly knowledge to new levels. I am extremely nervous, but I know in the back of my mind that the experience is worth so much more than a couple nerves. Here’s to a new adventure!


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