Brandon Mitchell is a fifth year senior and wood products major with a business management concentration.
Have you traveled in your life?
Last year I toured Europe. I visited our NC State campus in Prague and also toured Germany, Amsterdam, Paris and a few other places.
What has been the best part of your international experience?
The best part was experiencing it and coming back and saying that I did. Not many people of my race have the opportunity to do what I did. It was a very freeing experience and something I wish more of the African American culture could do.
What is your best memory when traveling abroad?
My best memory was being able to visit NC State Prague and having dinner with the director and meeting all our co-workers there. I learned a lot about their culture straight from the horse’s mouth. I saw the true nature of their culture. I listened to many good stories and learned that we all have similarities. I gained a commonality with the people there. It makes you feel like equality is possible.
How has your life changed after traveling?
Life changed for me back in my home. My family now holds a high view of me, and they feel like I hold more knowledge and a wider base of understanding. My trip changed me so that I could change other’s lives. It’s changed me in more ways than I can count. It opened my mind and gave me greater sense of achievement and the belief that anything is possible. I have not been brought up in the best circumstances, and now I’ve changed the way I view people, because everyone deserves an open ear from someone. Traveling abroad extinguished all sense of difference and stereotypes.
What was the hardest part about traveling?
Turbulence! It was my first time on a plane. The altitude was bad too. I didn’t have any gum, and my ears were popping out of control. I thought I was going deaf, but my hearing came back perfectly fine. The food was not a problem, considering I’m a picky eater. The language barrier was a big issue, and it’s difficult to navigate; in Paris I knew no French and didn’t even make it out of the airport.
What is your greatest struggle right now?
Finances, mainly because I’m trying to usher myself into a new realm of life without my parent’s help. It’s difficult, because there are a lot of things I didn’t pay attention to because my parents took care of it. I’m trying to be more consistent, self-sufficient, and more adult, but I do believe I am going to come out on top.