Lauren Currie is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece and Italy.
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I have known that studying abroad is something that I have wanted to do since high school. When I heard about the Greco-Roman program when I toured CSB/SJU I knew that I wanted to make it my study abroad destination. I chose this program because it gave me the unique opportunity to study and travel in two very different countries. Plus, the two countries are rich in culture and history. Both countries are the birthplaces of the politics, which was perfect for my Political Science major.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
There are so many! One of my favorite experiences took place in Athens. There was a really nice older man who owned a shop up the street from our apartment. My friend and I wanted to go buy something from his shop and when we entered there was a group of six people (including the owner) sitting in the back on siesta. They made us sit down and fed us a huge seafood meal. We sat in there for about three hours talking about the Greek culture compared to American culture, politics, religion, and everything else under the sun. After that afternoon, every time I passed his shop he always invited me in or smiled and waved. It was nice to get to know some of the locals!
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Study abroad is a phenomenal experience! It completely changed my perspective on myself and the world. Moving to a different continent put me outside my comfort zone. I had to learn another culture, city, and enough of the language to be able to interact with the people there. That being said, it showed me that I was capable of anything. Studying abroad made me more independent and self sufficient.
Studying abroad also gave me a different perspective on the world. Living in another country allowed me to experience the country in a different way. I got to see what day-to-day life consisted of there. I got to understand and appreciate their customs.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad has been one of my highlights during my time here at CSB/SJU! Going on the Greco-Roman trip made me more adventurous and outgoing. I wanted to leave my trip with no regrets so I never wanted to miss out on an opportunity to explore my surroundings. I also had to step outside of my comfort zone and try the language to meet the people that lived there. Studying abroad took me out of the classroom and put me on site at some of the most historical places in the world. Classes were taught by some of the top professors, historians, and theologians in their field. I learned so much in my short time there. Ultimately, study abroad allowed me to gain a new perspective on the world that I will apply in all aspects of my life.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
The decision to leave your home and safety of CSB/SJU is a tough, but you will not regret it. One of the best parts about studying abroad is that you get to travel the world with a group of amazing Bennies and Johnnies. Plus, studying abroad will help expand your global perspective and give you the opportunity to live somewhere that you have never been. It is an experience that you will never forget!
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Italy and Greece? Email Lauren at email@example.com.