Daniel Pesek is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Rome and Greece.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
There were so many but one specific experience that comes to mind was the weekend I spent in Istanbul in early December. It was so different than anything I have ever experienced in my life. To be in a country that is 99% Muslim and have the feeling of being an outcast and the minority is something completely new. It really left a mark on me because of how different the lifestyle is. It was strange hearing the bells of the Blue Mosque going off at different times during the day to indicate prayer, to go to a turkish bath, walk around the Grand Bazaar. All of these new experiences really made an impression on me and they are things I will always remember.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to expand myself and try something new. I had heard nothing but great things about the CSB/SJU abroad programs so I decided to apply. I chose the Roman Greco program because I really enjoy history and I figured where better to go than possibly the two most significant historical cities in the world. I have also always had a desire to visit Europe because of the possibility to visit so many countries and have so many different cultural experiences without traveling to far.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Life changing. I would recommend studying abroad to everyone that has the opportunity to do it. Whatever program you choose I'm sure you will have the same life changing experience that I got through the Roman Greco program. You have the opportunity to see so many new things and meet so many new people. I knew 3 of 30 people on my trip when we left and now I feel like I am great friends with all of them. You have a bonding experience with the culture of your country and the other students on your trip that is hard to explain but very special.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
I feel like the trip really matured me as a person and gave me a completely different view on the world and on my life. It opened my eyes to new experiences and new people that have had a profound impact on me. This trip has affected me in such a way that I'm not sure any other experience could. It is hard to explain exactly what it is that made this trip so special but it had such a positive impact on my life.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Don't hide yourself, open yourself up to as many new experiences as you possibly can. The only regret you will have when you get back is that I wish I could have had more new, exciting, fun experiences.