BTE Student Stories

Student Ambassador Emily Rodriguez

Emily proudly represented Trenton, New Jersey as a Student Ambassador at ABTS 2018 in Lisbon Portugal. While there, she earned a digital badge in Intercultural Fluency and practiced her new skills by working with an international team of Student Ambassadors on the ABTS challenge. Here’s what she had to say about BTE and ABTS:

My Favorite BTE memory is…

My favorite BTE memory is when we first arrived at ABTS and got the opportunity to go on a tour of Lisbon. Since I didn’t know anything about Portugal, it was extremely eye opening to see a whole new area, culture, and community. I was amazed at all the beautiful buildings and the attitudes of the people. It felt very welcoming, especially since we are all from such different countries.

To me, BTE has meant…

BTE now more than ever makes me feel as though I’m not just a part of a program, but a family in which I can share my ideas and experiences and without judgement, learn from each other, and become a better person along the way. Even now it has helped me recognize my potential for the future.

The most important thing I will take away from BTE is…

I can’t exactly just take one thing from this program considering I’ve learned so much. But the most important are the skills and tips I received to become an interculturally fluent person. Through this I’ve been able to realize how to connect better with others from different backgrounds and cultures, which I consider ideal for any social interaction to connect more with others and understand points of view other than my own.

I wanted to come to ABTS because…

I wanted to go to Portugal to experience the differences between United States and Portugal. I also wanted to learn from other students and what they go through in the BTE programs. I want to come back and share my experience with the rest of my peers.

Thanks to my time in BTE and at ABTS, in the future I will…

In the future I look forward to possibly being able to come back as an alumni to teach future generations about my experiences and lessons I’ve learned, and to see how the program has changed over time compared to when I’ve been in it. I will also be travelling more now that I have the knowledge I need from the intercultural fluency lessons.


We are proud to award Emily a digital badge in Intercultural Fluency at ABTS 2018. She showed improvement in skills allowing one to work with people from other cultures. These are:

  1. Show Curiosity
  2. Recognize and challenge one’s own cultural biases
  3. Appreciate Diverse Perspectives
  4. Demonstrate Self Awareness