Studying Abroad as a Latina Student

Maria Martinez talks about the benefits and lessons from studying abroad

January 9, 2024

Maria Martinez posing in front of a stone wall with colorful buildings, green trees, and a blue sky in the background

As a Latina, studying abroad may not have been a priority while in college. However, I decided to trust my intuition and judgment which led me to study abroad at the University of Leeds. This has by far been the best decision I have made for myself for various reasons.

Being able to experience different lifestyles and cultures has provided me with more insight and global knowledge. Coming from Mexico, my culture was deeply embedded, and studying in the United States only presented me with a wider variety of cultures and people from different backgrounds. Now, studying in the United Kingdom, I have been experiencing things that many people from my background would never be able to experience.

Additionally, the courses that I am enrolled in have been really interesting and I have been learning more about my specific area of study which is criminal justice. While these classes are focused on the system in England/Wales, It has further allowed me to apply my knowledge in a global aspect. When I return to GW, I will come back with a different perspective on how the criminal justice system works in the UK.

I have greatly enjoyed studying abroad and having more flexibility to explore the places that the UK and Europe have to offer. This would not been possible if I had not taken this opportunity. I recommend that everyone consider studying abroad and expose themselves to different environments.

Maria Martinez
Fall 2023
GW Exchange - University of Leeds
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Criminal Justice, Psychological and Brain Sciences Major