It’s Your Journey, No One Else’s

Before leaving home, I was nearly dreading going abroad. I was extremely stressed out, anxious, emotional, and I doubted if I could even do it. I was going to miss my dog, my family, my home, my normal routine — the list goes on. The stress of having a “normal” study abroad experience loomed over me, above all.

This so-called “normal” study abroad experience that I am referring to is one in which you travel to a different country every weekend, go clubbing and bar hopping in foreign places, put school on the back burner and put your social life above all else. This is what I thought every study abroad experience was like, and I felt pressured that I had to live up to that.

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Love, Sankofa, and Ubuntu: How My Experiences in Ghana Are Preparing Me for Global Citizenship

Two distant worlds revolve around each other in the solar system of my being. From where I have come to where I will go, my soul shines light on them both. And now I know how to live in two places at once … by spreading my love. Deep in the heart of all Africans burns a light as bright as the sun, as bright as the land from which we come. This light is so bright that it heals my scars, only to reopen my wounds like a third eye to the truth: Our citizenship is our leadership, our leadership is our service, and our service is our love.

Love is the most powerful source of energy that this modern world lacks. Globally, my community is under attack … and so few feel a responsibility to change that. The few that do have transformed my entire worldview.

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5 Ways to Maximize Your International SDSU Experience

For seniors graduating in May, our path to graduation is converging into a new road of uncertainty.

Fear. Reminiscence. Excitement. These are all emotions many of us are experiencing as we write the final words within the college chapter of our lives.

For international students, the four years we spend in the U.S. and San Diego can bring an abundance of opportunities. The key however, is whether or not we take advantage of the opportunities. To gain work experience, there’s fear and uncertainty as to how we navigate the work authorization process. To make new friends, there’s alarm in stepping out of our cultural bubble. To participate in class, there’s discouragement in wondering how people will interpret our accents or any element of our foreignness.

While I harbor some regrets about college, I feel that I am now both culturally and academically very different from the star-struck, nervous and eager freshman I was.

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LAX to BKK (and Life in Thailand!)

Hi! To reintroduce myself, my name is Mariah! This is my third year at San Diego State University, and I’m majoring in public relations and minoring in leadership. This semester I am living in Pathum Thani, Thailand, which is roughly 8,370 miles from San Diego. I am attending Thammasat University in the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication for Spring 2019, and I’ve had a lovely time so far!

The California sunlight streamed into the car as my family and I traveled up the I-5, ready for my last dinner before the late-night flight across the Pacific. After teary eyes and hugs that could have lasted seconds more, I waved good-bye to my family. To my mom, I owe her this trip; without her help and support, I wouldn’t be in this experience of a lifetime.

Mariah Hugo with luggage at home before leaving for Thailand.

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The Journey Has Just Begun


Greetings everybody — I am back in the U.S.!

My wonderful time studying abroad has come to close. I cannot believe my time studying abroad came and went! In the moment, I felt as if study abroad would never end. Now being here in the U.S., I feel a bit out of place. I had just adjusted to the European lifestyle. But, hey, I’m not complaining. I loved my entire experience. And that is what it is all about — enjoying the time in a new culture, really immersing yourself in and using what you learned to become a better person. In the end, I do believe I have evolved into a better person and that makes me overjoyed, knowing that I have progressed so much.

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Mayagüez es Afuego


Hola, amigos. Thank you from the tips of my very long toes for taking sacred time out of your day to read this blog.

These days, we are faced with perpetual information overload – upsetting news headlines to click, accumulating podcasts in the Spotify queue that will help us be less ignorant, TedTalks to glean life lessons from, LinkedIn articles to read, Amazon Prime shows to watch in bed, and VERY pressing notifications from family group chats (I genuinely love these though; the typos from my grandma, Mana, make me tear up with laughter.). Perhaps you even have a stack of nonfiction books sitting on your desk that you’ve been meaning to get to since last summer? And what about your Chrome browser? Do you have three windows minimized full of articles and emails that you genuinely want to read or address?

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One Month Down

When I first arrived in Tbilisi, I was stuck in a dream. It didn’t feel real. I have never been away from home before, and suddenly I was living in another country on another continent. And it was almost unfathomable.

Public art statue in Georgia

The first few days, I explored the city with my roommate. The city wasn’t exactly how I expected it to be. You can feel the culture difference.

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