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Carter Brown

Carter Brown - Author Interview

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Carter began his travels abroad through family vacations closer to his home state of Michigan, in the Caribbean and Mexico. He expanded his experiences through an exchange program as a high school student, spending a few weeks in Europe. While earning his degree in Biomedical Sciences, he couldn’t contain his desire to travel the world so he embarked on a six month study abroad trip to Asia. Carter was enthralled with the beautiful chaos and became engulfed in the region’s culture. He is driven by his inquisitive nature and curious mind.

"I see virtually everything different. The world I know of now is not the world I grew up knowing."

You have traveled in nearly every way possible (study, vacation, intern, volunteer, etc) in your lifetime. What do you think is the best way to experience a new culture?

Wow, that's tough. Each opportunity offers a unique way to be immersed into a new culture. I've had great experiences by each and every means mentioned above. Each experience is what you make of it.

Growing up in a small town in Southern Michigan, how was your curiosity to see new places and experience new cultures first sparked?

Once my grandparents retired they set off and started seeing the world. I yearned to hear their stories and look at their photos. Everytime they came home there were always new stories that interested me. Time spent with them ignited my determination to see the world.

From 2010 until 2013, you “took a break” from traveling abroad for the most part and focused on your undergraduate studies, but you did spend a summer interning in New York City. What was your favorite part living and interning in New York City?

The endless opportunities. The big apple has everything. The impeccable professional experience aside, whether looking to have Oreos delivered to your door or into trying a new restaurant every night. You can't go wrong in the city. There's a scene for everyone.

You are an avid supporter of young people traveling abroad, what do you see as the number one reason young people should go abroad?

As cliche as it may sound. . . broaden your horizons! See how others see. Challenge how you see your surroundings. You might be surprised by how similar we all are in this world.

During your semester studying abroad in India, what was the biggest challenge you overcame in adapting to life in India?

Cultural differences, the initial culture shock was the most challenging. Once overcame, the beauty of the country seemed to blossom right in front of my eyes.

You traveled quite a bit while studying abroad in India, what place MUST students visit when they travel to India?

Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, will not disappoint. India is a vast country (and students must see more than this).

During your studies at Grand Valley you worked in the Community Service Learning Center, helping students find meaningful ways to volunteer in their local community. What do you think is the most significant benefit of volunteering?

Learning the unmet needs in society often drives and motivates people to enact change. Helping others to help themselves is a powerful tool we all possess.

What are the top three countries on your bucket list?

Though this changes frequently, top three are currently Japan, Brazil, and Turkey.

Studying in Asia was a huge eye opening experience for you. How do you think traveling has changed your perspective on the world?

I see virtually everything different. The world I know of now is not the world I grew up knowing. It's a beautiful place out here.

In three words, who is Carter Brown?

Astute. Spontaneous. Adventurous.

You are currently a Content Intern for GoAbroad in the Asia Office and you also spent some time volunteering part time recently. What inspired you to travel, volunteer, and intern in the Philippines at this point in your life?

I was ready to explore a country that I had learned so much through various friends' travels. The opportunity presented itself, the timing seemed right, and I jumped on it! Six weeks later and I was settled in Asia.