Rossigno reflects on her memorable study abroad experience in Brazil

Julia Rossigno sits on a bench overlooking a vast green landscape.

Rossigno reflects on her memorable study abroad experience in Brazil

30 Aug 2023    

Meet Julia Rossigno, a senior inclusive early childhood education major from Erie, Colorado. Julia recently returned from a study abroad experience in Brazil, where she studied race, culture, families and communities. Read on to learn about her takeaways from the experience, and her advice to students who are interested in studying abroad. 

What made you interested in participating in a study abroad experience, and the Brazil experience in particular? 

I was always interested in studying abroad because I love to travel and hope to one day travel the world. I chose to do it this summer because student teaching would be starting soon, so this was the last opportunity I had before then. I chose Brazil because I had never been to South America before, but I have always heard that it was very pretty. Trying to learn a new language was difficult, but it helped me to step outside of my comfort zone. The whole trip challenged me in that way, and I grew from it.  

How were you able to connect what you’ve learned in classrooms to what you did during your study abroad experience?  

Something that I have learned in my classes and practicums recently is the importance of teaching truth. It takes courage, but the teachers we encountered during our trip in Brazil strive to teach the truth to the students, even if it is a heavier subject. This way they enter the world with a solid foundation of knowledge.   

What did you learn during your study abroad experience that will help you as you move forward in your academic career and beyond? 

During this trip, I learned to give back to nature what you receive. The various communities we visited make many things from the nature around them, but they also strive to give back whatever they can, such as planting trees that they would use for making various oils. The earth is our only home, and we must protect and nourish the land instead of abusing it. Additionally, I learned about the power of community and how people can come together. Every person has a part they can play, no matter how small 

What advice would you give to students considering participating in a study abroad experience in the future? 

The biggest piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone and try that new food or try to use the language you are learning. You will not know unless you try, and you will grow. Finally, just go for it. It is so worth it to study abroad because you gain a whole new perspective that you would not have gotten from reading books or even looking at pictures. It is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.  

College of Education and Human Sciences
Child, Youth and Family Studies
CEHS Global Experiences