Leaving Home to Come Home
Post written by Dina Weick ’17 on her education abroad experience in Shanghai
My name is Dina. I’m a rising senior at Babson and to put it frankly, going abroad changed my life.
In a way, I regret not documenting more of my experiences during my time abroad. However, I feel as though it is better late than never to share. Coming home from my time abroad definitely evoked a lot of emotions. I was so happy to come back to see my family and be in a place I knew. But, at the same time, I couldn’t imagine leaving this place that had developed into my home over the course of three months. I was truly astonished at the bond I had formed with the people I had met and the city I had lived in. And now, being back in the United States, despite all the difficulties I may have encountered while I was abroad (language being a big one), I look back at my time in Shanghai as if it were a dream. This was hands down the best decision I have ever made for myself. Initially, it was hard to pull myself away from Babson. I had so much that I was leaving behind including my teammates, friends and family, and the comfort of my school. I was, naturally, scared. But I cannot express enough how happy, grateful, and pleased I am with my decision to go. It was simply incredible and I know that in the future I will encourage everyone, especially those on the fence about going, to do what I did because it is so worth it.
I cannot pinpoint exactly what it was about my experience that changed me, but I know it did, and for the better. I feel fuller, more knowledgeable, and more ready to tackle the difficult things in my life because I was brave enough to do something I never thought I would. I honestly feel myself welling up talking about it right now. I already miss all the friends I had made and all the great adventures I was able to have. From different parts of China, to Hong Kong, and Thailand, there was never a dull moment. I learned so much about Chinese culture and in turn my own culture by going abroad and that experience is priceless. As someone who grew up in a multi-cultural home, I felt as though it was so important for me to travel to a place where I could discover the other half of who I am. I learned about my history and my mother’s history and am nothing short of touched by how strong my mother is given her upbringing. I can truly say that I have found another facet to what makes me, me. With that, I encourage everyone to pick a place that really calls to them. Pick a place to study abroad that fills that hole inside you. So, thank you, to Babson, CIEE and honestly myself for making this happen. I can’t wait to see all the doors that have now opened because of my time abroad in Shanghai.