jesse-85I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I had only seen California and parts of Mexico (where family lives) before I went to college. But now, and all in the past few months- I have traveled across oceans, hemispheres, and continents… And all because of SCHOOL.

This summer has been busy to say the least but you have to take advantage of EVERY moment if you want to make the best of it. I started out in Brazil with a Summer Study Abroad Program, continued my adventures teaching in China with Harvard Summit for Young Leaders in China (HSYLC), and I now find myself in Barcelona, Spain studying abroad for the fall semester. I’m making my way around the world in ways I never thought possible. And all because of COLLEGE! Where will you go? What will you see? Only one way to find out! And it all comes with hard work!

Being abroad has definitely changed my perspective too- seeing distinct cultures come together in environments different than the United States helps me understand the way we cooperate and live with people from diverse backgrounds. Whether it’s a Japanese Community in the middle of a metropolitan Brazilian city (like in the first video below), or an enormous bookstore with titles translated from around the world (like in the second video below), I have realized just how connected we are across continents, seas, and borders.

So start this year off right! Work hard, get to know your teachers and counselors, and put in that effort- pretty soon, you’ll be seeing the world in a new way.

As the days go by in the part of the world I am in, I am curious to see just how many other contrasts I will be able to make between cultures and people. This is a new beginning for me and as long as I continue to be able to reflect on what I experience, I will continue to grow. And you can even join me for the journey! Check out the following videos and stay tuned for more- a lot more.