Rafael Perez poses with background of Rome buildings

International Education Week: Rafael Perez

An initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week is an annual celebration of the global exchange of ideas that occur in schools and on campuses across the country and abroad. Case Western Reserve University engages in these ideas by offering study abroad programs, hosting international students and forming partnerships with global institutions. In honor of these efforts, the Center of International Affairs will host wide-ranging programming and highlight international and study abroad student experiences in The Daily. Stay tuned throughout the week to learn more.

Rafael Perez, a business management major who participated in the IES Abroad in Rome program in spring 2022, had to revise his plans several times due to COVID-19. Once he finally got to go abroad, Perez took courses such as one on the Italian economy within the European Union and hands-on courses that allowed him to explore and understand the art and architecture in Rome.  

Perez, a member of the CWRU soccer team, said studying abroad broadened his viewpoint on culture and backgrounds. 

He shared the following about his experience.

“As a first-generation college student, Hispanic and a student-athlete, I think I will be able to connect with many different students interested in studying abroad. I had an amazing experience, to say the least. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure allowed me to make wonderful connections to great people, as well as develop as a young adult on my own. Being abroad for an entire semester got me even more interested in my current major of international business while also making me crave traveling more than I did before. There were so many beautiful moments throughout my trip, and I constantly found myself asking the same question: ‘How is this real life?’ I was just in awe at how amazing day-to-day life was. 

“I was able to learn so much as a student and a person by being immersed in the wonderful culture of Rome, and I can’t wait to go back. Being back home now, I can only see positive outcomes from studying abroad, and I truly think anyone who’s fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad would benefit greatly from doing so!”