Student Journeys

My Journey From Babson College in Wellesley to Westminster in London

New Country, new city, new campus, new faces. As I walked into my first class as an abroad student at the University of Westminster, I was asked to write about my journey.  No other instructions were given, simply, just to write about how ‘you’ got here.  Within five minutes of class, I realized that I felt out of place.  I was a Babson student studying global business in a room full of well-rounded politics students, all sharing the same passions. I then thought, “How did I end up here?”

Babson College is a small school in Wellesley, Massachusetts that prides itself on being named the #1 school for entrepreneurship in the last 26 years alongside empowering its students to create lasting value for not only themselves but the world as well.  Being a Babson student, having a global perspective and mindset is huge.  The student population itself is comprised of various ethnicities, nationalities, religions– making it about 75% international.  We need to know that we are not alone in this world, and Babson believes that if one surrounds themselves with people from all corners of the world, it is a lot easier to be reminded of that.  In addition to this, abroad is an opportunity that is sometimes even a deciding factor for future students looking to eventually roam the campus. Business is usually synonymous with finance, numbers, accounting and all of the quantitative sides of the way the world works; however, that side is not the one that speaks to me. Sure, you need numbers and ratios when it comes to business, but business is also about people, cultures, relationships– without understanding this, it would be impossible to truly create a successful business.  This is where abroad comes into play when talking about my journey.  In order to graduate with a Global Business Management concentration, it is required to go abroad; this is where people usually go somewhere simple and ‘cool’ to take random classes that check the box.  However, I decided to take advantage of having the opportunity to take classes at a university that offers different degrees and majors, hence, a wider variety of classes that I would not have had access to if I stayed.  With all of these new classes to decide between, I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone and choose classes that would challenge me not only academically but mentally.  I knew that I wanted to leave abroad feeling more well-rounded, in a worldly sense.

Since joining the University of Westminster, I have already been exposed to various ways of thinking and opinions– opening my mind and forcing me to challenge my previously constructed opinions.  All of the modules I have had the honor of taking, are led by passionate professors that want their students to be eager to learn and excited to walk into class.  I think that was something immensely important and impactful as teachers are not only tasked with ‘educating’ their students but to serve as mentors, helping guide students through water that they are familiar with; without passion it makes it hard for students to actively engage. Other than my scholarly experience, I have met so many people that come with different experiences.

So, I guess I answered my own question.  I ended up here because I decided to push myself, to do my part as a world citizen by further educating myself in topics such as worldly development so as to help the future, one must understand the past. I know for a fact that the lessons I learn from this course, alongside the other ones I am taking, will be implemented into my daily life and I am so excited for what’s to come.

Natalia Zapata, Study Abroad International Student from the US.

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