Meet Gustavo Armas

Program and Location:

Fall, NC State Prague: Prague, Czech Republic

Major/Minor:

Business Management with Entrepreneurship minor

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad this fall because I love travelling and when the opportunity showed up, I knew I was going to gain a lot out of the semester abroad academically, but also as an individual as I move into adulthood.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned how to become fully independent in a foreign country and a lot about adaptability and living in different environments. I also learned a lot about who I am and things I liked and didn’t like/ things I do and don’t do that are simply part of who I am but didn’t really notice before my experience abroad. It was very developmental for my identity.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of the program I was in was the way my classes were structured. It was a typical A-day B-day schedule with 4 classes, but classes were done by noon so I always had the rest of the way with limitless opportunities waiting for me. We also only had class Monday through Thursday so it gave me a bigger opportunity to plan weekend trips to different countries that were the most memorable part of my experience.

What was your experience with navigating COVID-19 abroad?

Navigating with COVID abroad was actually way easier than I thought it would be. Being vaccinated in the EU makes travelling a lot easier as the university helped us get our EU Covid passports and that was all you needed to move across countries/cities. I never had a big issue except that some countries required specific masks (N-95’s) to go inside of facilities. In Vienna for example, I wasn’t allowed to some stores because I only had a cloth mask, so its definitely key to check the countries policies with masks/vaccines.

How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?

I went on a field trip in every single class. There is a lot more history in Europe to learn about and the museums were a big highlight on my classes. I got to go to a Communist era museum, visit the town of Lidice, the Prague Jewish quarters, a planetarium, and got tours around the city as well.

How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?

My study abroad experience prepared me for a future career as it helped me realize my self-worth and my identity as a human being. It made me more confident to try new things and offer my ideas knowing that I have a lot to say/ ideas to share and I am more willing to put them forward now.

In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?

Being from Venezuela made me more eager to meet people from other countries. It felt like everywhere I went there was someone from a different country and it was easy for me to spark up conversation.

What advice do you have for future study abroad students?

Don’t hold yourself back. When you study abroad forget about your life at home and just be open to trying new things and being spontaneous. There were a lot of days where random events just popped up and I enjoyed trying a bunch of different things while abroad. Just remember that you have a limited time there so use it wisely and make the most out of your experience/time there, you won’t regret going out.

Would you do it again?

YESSS I am hopefully planning on studying abroad again my spring semester of junior year in Spain, just getting a head start on planning so it actually happens.