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Corbyn Cools – Civil Engineering

Corbyn Cools – Civil Engineering

Image of Corbyn Cools in front of the Aztec pyramids outside Mexico City¡Hola! I am a senior in civil engineering planning to graduate this fall of 2015. I have actually studied aboard twice while going to Boise State University. First when I was a sophomore in Monterrey, Mexico through the Global Engineering Education Exchange (GE3) from August 2011 to May 2012 and last summer in Costa Rica with an REU program. I will talk about my experience studying at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico since it was the more exciting experience. Before I tell you about how great of an experience it was I want to mention that I found out about this amazing experience in my ENGR 120 lecture and found out how I could achieve my dream of studying abroad while studying engineering at the same time.

Image of Corbyn Cools with other international students studying at Tecnológico de Monterrey

International students studying at Tecnológico de Monterrey (I am in the front row with the orange shirt on)

Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made. It is an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. I met amazing people from every continent (except Antarctica of course) and still talk to today. I lived on my own for the first time, which was a little scary at first especially since I was in another country but I settled in quickly and started making friends. I wanted to push myself and immerse myself in the culture so I took almost all my classes in Spanish including Calculus 2 and it paid off because now I am fluent in Spanish. I had the opportunity to travel to the Aztec pyramids outside Mexico City and the Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan peninsula. Both of these trips were the most fun I have ever had and will stay with me for a very long time.

Image of Corbyn Cools in Tulum, Quitana Roo, Mexico

Tulum, Quitana Roo, Mexico (still in Yucatan peninsula)

Image of Corbyn Cools with a group of friends at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula

Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

Even though I was taking a full load of classes I still had plenty of time to have fun and I even had time to volunteer. In the spring semester I participated in a civil engineering community service project to build a sunshade using recycled materials for a low-income community. I was encouraged to enter a school wide competition for the most distinguished student volunteer. I created a video for the project and also gave a presentation in front of a panel of judges, which included the dean of the school. I was really nervous but because of my hard work and willingness to rise to the challenge I ended up winning the award.

Image of El Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey, Mexico

El Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey, Mexico

I think every student should study abroad. It is a life changing experience that is priceless. Speaking of money, I paid for my whole year in Mexico without taking out any student loans. Since it was an exchange through GE3 I still paid Boise State tuition and was able to use my financial aid to pay for tuition. I paid for living expenses with a few scholarships I received and the money I had saved up. Money should not be a reason not to study abroad because the memories you will create will pay for themselves.

While studying abroad I finally discovered my true identity. It became clear to me what my true passions were and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, development work in foreign countries. Living in another culture, eating new foods, and speaking a different language is an extremely unique experience. Words fail to describe everything I felt while living in a different country, I experienced things I had never felt before. There were highs and lows which comes with culture shock but I can definitely say it was the best year of my life. Please feel free to contact me to answer any questions about my experience and why YOU should study abroad.

Image of Corbyn Cools and his friend on top of El Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey, Mexico

View from top of El Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey, Mexico

 

 

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