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Spotlight on a Year Abroad

Brian Crane poses at Iguazu Falls on the Argentina - Brazil borderAfter spending a year living and studying in Argentina, Brian Crane came home with a different idea about what he wants to do with his life.

Before going, Crane, 23, a senior in accounting, was looking at a career in accounting. Thanks to his experience overseas, he's landed an internship with the U.S. Commerce Department in the import-export division. He's now thinking of a career in international business.

A Year in Argentina

Crane lived and studied in Cordoba, Argentina, from February to November 2005. Although he signed on for one semester, he loved it so much, he stayed for two.

"The best part of it for me was learning another language," he said. Crane had taken a Spanish class at UT, but in Argentina "you have to learn it to survive."

He's become so proficient that he now works as a Spanish translator for Blount Memorial Hospital in his hometown of Maryville, Tennessee. Crane took three Spanish classes and a class in Argentina history class during his time abroad. He taught English, too.

An Exhilarating Experience

Although he'd done some traveling abroad with family and friends before going to Argentina, Crane found living abroad — without the safety net of family and friends — to be exhilarating.

He created a web-site where he left frequent blogs for family and friends to keep up with his adventures. He made lasting friendships with people he met in Argentina and keep in touch them still. He bought a motorcycle. He traveled to Brazil, Chilie, Uruguay and Bolivia. When he decided to extend his stay for a second semester, he found his own place to live, arranged to have phone service, Internet service and other necessities.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone," he said. Now home, that experience has changed not only his career path, but his outlook on life. "If I can make it in Argentina, I can go anywhere in the world and make it happen," he said.

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