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Hey readers! My name is Deborah Sanchez and I am currently a freshman at FIU. I am beyond excited for this upcoming study abroad trip because I know it is going to be full of a lot of first-time experiences. For example, it will be the first time I travel alone (and by alone I mean without my family), first time I travel to the other side of the world, first time traveling for educational purposes, and first time traveling with a group of students from school! However, I am nonetheless thrilled for this experience and I cannot wait to see what knowledge and memories I will gain and make of this trip.

Since I am completely foreign to Dubai, the Middle East, and in general just any other country that is not the United States, I have many different expectations. My first expectation is that I will experience culture shock, a lot of it. I have only traveled to two different countries besides the United States and those are Venezuela and Canada. However I really did not experience culture shock when I traveled to these two countries. The reason for that is because all of my family is Venezuelan, I speak Spanish, have eaten Spanish food, and just basically have been surrounded by Spanish culture my entire life.

When it comes to Canada, it really is not that much different than the United States besides the fact that it smells like maple everywhere, moose are seen often, and the weather is a lot colder than I am used to here in South Florida! Therefore I know upon my arrival to Dubai, I will experience culture shock (and jet lag) because I will be exposed to a lot of new practices, ways of living, food, clothing, morals etc. However I am prepared to take on these new experiences and make the best out of it!

What I plan to gain out of our educational site visit at the World Expo 2020 Dubai is to hopefully increase my knowledge in Dubai’s culture diversity and their technological advances. From the Snow Park at Ski Dubai attraction, I expect to also learn how to ski better and have a great time playing with artificial snow and drinking hot chocolate. These two experiences and the many others I will encounter when I study in Dubai will enhance my global citizenship and enable me to become a more successful industry professional by allowing me the chance to personally experience and become more knowledgeable of some of the biggest tourist attractions in the world’s largest and fastest growing tourist city! Dubai, I am so ready for you 🙂

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