Pre-UCF Study Abroad

Once I found out about this particular study abroad opportunity with UCF International Studies, I knew I had to make it one of my top priorities of the year. I’ve always had an interest in traveling and seeing the world and I believe this program will allow me to gain more self-discovery and perhaps see myself and the world in a new perspective.  My main goal of travel is to immerse myself in new experiences in the hopes of becoming a confident woman, willing to take on life’s challenges. Whether it is in London, Paris, or Rome, I know I will experience an in-depth look at how different societies interact with one another. I have come to realize that culture is learned, and is included in all aspects of life which are to be shared by individuals within a group of people. In this particular case, those groups of people are Rosen Hospitality students, like me, who are seeking to discover small cultural treasures across Europe.


I selected this program for a variety of reasons; a main one is to benefit a jump start to my career. I’m anticipating graduating in spring 2014, with a double major in Event and Hospitality Management. From there, I plan to seek out an international job with a major hotel corporation, such as Marriott International. Fueled with confidence, I will integrate my college degree curriculum with the experiences that I learn from this study abroad trip and take it with me for the rest of my life. Using skills such as cross-cultural communication, I can network within the human resources department in the future. Teamwork skills will come naturally to me in the future, as I embark on this journey with my fellow Rosen classmates and form bonds through common experiences.


Another unique ability I would hope to gain is adapting to new environments and dealing with change. This will help with making adjustments in situations later in my career path to better deal with conflict. Based on available information I have researched, during the study abroad trip I will gain analytical skills by gathering information and formulating plans during the lively international events scheduled. The last personal benefit I want to focus on is the having the patience to perform the various tasks I’m given on this trip of self-discovery. I realize patience is a necessity to a life of achievement, and to my way of thinking, accepting this is a first step in the right direction. Instead of constantly looking ahead in my future goals, I’m going to try to enjoy the beautiful journey along the way just a little more.


Although I will be away from familiar surroundings, I hope to form deep connections with my housemates, colleagues, and teachers. With open eyes and more importantly, open ears, I will explore with my teachers and professors as they model diverse procedures through a vast range of creative endeavors. I hope to learn from their infectious inspiration of ideas in which they are surrounding us with in this amazing schedule of events. The learning experience will be different from what I am familiar with, but hopefully useful and beneficial to my career goals.


For my future I want to materialize my passion for studying different cultures and meeting new diverse people into a practical career. For this reason, my interest in various cultures fuels my future goal of one day becoming a Director of Human Resources for an iconic luxury resort.  I would love to help associates examine how they can become assets and role models in the industry. I like to point out the positive aspects in people and allow them to shine through the company.  Hopefully with the knowledge I will be gaining on this study abroad trip I will form a vast amount of experience which will enable me to make a significant contribution to the industry in the future.


In the event and hospitality industry I feel there is a lack of understanding of the guest needs and demands. I have worked hard this past year at my internship position at Rosen Shingle Creek as a guest associate.  I have tried to attain as much knowledge of the workings of the hotel and hospitality sector as possible, and better myself towards these high standards. Therefore, an event or hospitality career will bring my goals together and put them into practical use of helping people by recognizing their strengths and weaknesses when fitting them into the industry.


To better prepare myself for my career in human resources, I have also previously worked with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteering with the ReStore program, which is affiliated with Habitat, I have used my time to help in local retail building supply stores. It’s important that everyone gets an opportunity to succeed in this world and I believe ReStore is a great model of this. In interacting with different people I have discovered better ways of communicating and connecting with people that I wouldn’t typically have had the opportunity to interact with.

Kara Cederquist 2

Last semester I received a scholarship from the Central Florida Hospitality and Lodging Association which encouraged me to further strive to reach my academic goals. In doing so, I’m happy to say I have been on the Dean’s List for the past two semesters in a row, which means I have been achieving a 4.0 this past year. It’s a wonderful accomplishment to see how far I’ve come in my education, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.


In conclusion, I want to examine how diverse life is and how beautiful all its differences are. I’m anticipating the guest speakers and field trips the most. Attending the guest lectures will open my mind to new ideas which I will take with me my whole life. I’m excited to learn about other countries current event issues and comparing them from region to region as we travel around Europe. It will be fascinating to learn how various countries deal with international travel, politics and finance issues and how these all affect the event industry. I’m looking forward to the in class activities that we will be given daily and solving event industry issues with my classmates. The in class activities will help us form one-on-one relationships with each other and possibly could develop into lifetime friendships. I am anticipating this program with great zeal, as a culmination of my studies with the University of Central Florida. An event of a lifetime!

2016 Kara: And it was an event of a lifetime! This study abroad trip is the very first trip that sparked my travel bug! What an awesome experience!



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