During this past summer I was looking through my “College Box”–a box filled with pamphlets and brochures from potential colleges–when I came across a Pitzer study abroad program list. There I saw Nepal listed and I smiled. Who would have thought that years later I would have studied abroad there. Looking back at my college experience I can truly say that I have enjoyed every moment here at Pitzer. Aside from having attained an invaluable education here on campus I would say that one of my most rewarding experiences was when I was away from it; away from everything I call home. Embarking on my journey to Nepal was one of the most meaningful yet nerve wrecking experiences thus far. Not only was it the longest I had ever been away from home and my loved ones, it was a completely unfamiliar place filled with a language and people that I knew absolutely nothing about. So why did I do it? My answer is why not? It’s highly unlikely that I would ever have the opportunity to be abroad for five months (and afford it) all while immersing myself in the culture and more importantly having a connection with the local people.
Many have asked, would you do it all over again? My answer is always OF COURSE!! I wouldn’t trade my experience abroad for anything. I learned so much not only about a culture different from my own but I learned much about myself. Experiences such as this one tend to give way for self-reflection, an epiphany if you will. Though I didn’t quite undergo any spiritual transformation I did grow as a person. I learned what I am capable of accomplishing on my own, something I always questioned. Why is this relevant you may ask? Well, none of this would have been possible if not for MOSTe. If not for this program, I would have never set foot on Pitzer’s campus during my junior year in high school. Yes, I would have gone to college but I know that no other school would offered me what Pitzer has: great memories and long-lasting friendships.
– Lila Mendoza