KellyHayes 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.
While on my study abroad trip I had the opportunity to get to know a local Athenian who owned a Wine shop down the street. George spoke enough english to be able to hold a conversation with us, what was originally just friendly conversation while buy wine eventually turned into lengthy discussion about what we were experience during our time in Greece, his stories, and sharing about our personal lives. This experience really had a great impact on my study abroad experience as a whole, getting to not only converse but to really get to know a local was a special and enlightening thing!
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
There were endless reasons why I wanted to study abroad, some of those reasons include getting learn and have more understanding for a new country, getting to grow in fellowship and friendship with others on my trip, to learn about myself, to experience a completely new culture and everything that includes; food, music, people, sites, language, religion, and so on. The reason I chose the Roman-Greco trip specifically was because I wanted to be able to learn and live in two different countries, also with my major being theology and my minor being art Rome and Athens seemed like the obvious choice, lastly the culture of both have always intrigued me and I was simply drawn to this trip.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
The first word that always come to mind when reminiscing about my time abroad is, Amazing. I tell students they will not regret going, they will have the opportunity to not only learn about their host country but also they will learn so much about themselves. The sites we got to see, the things we got to experience are things I will remember forever, and have changed me for the better.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
This trip has affected several aspects of my life, I have gotten extremely close with twenty nine other CSB/SJU students, I have a new appreciation for the freedoms and opportunities I have here in the United States, also I have gotten a new prospective on the world. Being more appreciative for the things I have has made me more aware of how I spend my time, my money, and my overall view of my life and the world around me. The new prospective I received while being abroad has taught me that there is so much more out there than just Minnesota or the United States, there is so much to see, experience, live for. Being abroad has taught me to strive for more, to always challenge myself, and to be more adventurous because those are things no one take away from you!
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
I would advise future study abroad students to try everything, to expect to run into challenges, and to enjoy each moment for what it is (be mentally, physically, and spiritually present).