Art by Caitlin Roark
Pepperdine University prides itself in its ability to offer students an opportunity to live and travel the world, and rightfully so. The formativeness of Pepperdine International Programs is a defining factor for the institution and the lives of the students who decide to leap out of their comfort zones and globalize their understanding of the world.
Every year hundreds of Pepperdine students spend some portion, if not all of, their sophomore year studying and living in one of the seven international programs locations: Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Florence, Lausanne, London, Heidelberg and Washington, D.C. Pepperdine International Programs is a tradition that encourages and supplies life-changing experiences that cannot be found on the Malibu campus and Pepperdine students should take advantage of these opportunities to travel the world and discover oneself.
The Pepperdine study abroad experience is like no other. With a hands-on International Programs office that guides each student through the process of applications, interviews, travel preparation and the capability of the faculty and program directors in each location, the experience is truly something that can often seem unreal. However, as dreamy as living abroad for an entire year or even just a semester sounds, there are challenges that come with studying abroad.
Whether one is a full year, single semester or part of the Washington DC Plus program, struggles will occur. As incredibly helpful as the International Programs office is in preparing students to go abroad, there are some things that students will never be ready to tackle until they confront such obstacles. These hurdles can range from missing a train, getting on the wrong bus or struggling with adjusting to a new city. However, every challenge that one faces while abroad provides an opportunity for growth.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, studying abroad truly forces many to realign themselves with the veracity of the world.
The greatness that surrounds Pepperdine IP lies in the authenticity provided in each of the transformative locations throughout the world. For some this great self-transformation lies in leaving the United States for the first time. For others, it is the forced adjustment to an unfamiliar environment. Most students who study abroad return to Malibu with a greater understanding of the world, its peoples and themselves.
One of the major highs of studying abroad through Pepperdine, aside from the immense personal growth, is the relationships that will form. As someone who has studied abroad both in Washington, D.C. and Florence, Italy, there is something to be said about the people who one will meet. There are few people in this world who will share and understand the challenges and extraordinary experiences that come with abroad, and those people are found within each abroad program. Pepperdine students are unique, incredible forces of change and energy that make the best life-long friends.
There is something exceptionally special about Pepperdine University’s international programs and the numerous opportunities students have to learn about the world. As a university determined to educate students on the importance of understanding cultures and world-views different from what is commonly known, Pepperdine’s commitment to student success is shown by providing brilliantly structured abroad opportunities. Take the opportunity, travel the world and rush IP!
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