Traditionally, a study abroad program is a semester or year-long program. However, short-term study abroad (STSA) programs are becoming increasingly more popular for those who want to study abroad but feel as though they cannot for various reasons. A STSA experience provides opportunities for cultural immersion and second language acquisition. Additionally, the population of English language learners (ELLs) in American classrooms, specifically Arizona, is increasing. Pre-service teachers are often not properly equipped with the tools and skills necessary to address the needs of ELLs in the classroom. Previous literature reported that pre-service teachers who participated in a STSA program working with ELLs showed an increase in empathy in regards to language learning. This study merges the two mentioned above, where Arizona State University undergraduate students from various colleges participated in a one-week short-term study abroad experience to the Dominican Republic working with ELLs. Six participants share their experiences about how their work with English language learners impacted their views about ELLs here in the United States. One-on-one structured interviews were conducted after which the data was analyzed qualitatively for various themes and patterns that emerged across all participants. These themes include reasons why participants chose to participate in a STSA program and how the participants' perspective changed in regards to language learning after this experience. Additionally, participants developed an increase in empathy for English language learners, a commitment to participating in more international and local service events, and expressing the need to advocate for more support of ELLs in American classrooms. Implications for various key stakeholders within and outside of the university setting will be shared.