Benjamin Degenhardt

Benjamin is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Fiji

Major: Psychology

Minor: Philosophy

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I choose this program because I was unable to complete a semester-long program and still graduate on time, and of the short-term programs, this one presented the most diversely contrary culture to my own. It seemed to me a great opportunity for learning, and my expectations were vastly exceeded!

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

During a village visit, our arrival timed almost perfectly with the release of school for the day. Our planned tour was quickly scrapped as we found ourselves surrounded by excited schoolchildren, and we spent the remainder of our time there playing and running around. It was one of the most innocent and genuine experiences of my life, and I will hold it as a treasured memory for the rest of my years.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Overall, this experience was life-changing and diversely rewarding. I fully intend to visit the Fijian islands again, because the time I spent there showed me just how special of a place the islands really are.

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?

This experience has helped me foster a more complete global consciousness, and a more fervent interest in future world exploration. Studying abroad has shown me simultaneously how huge the world is, and how easily in reach it can be.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

Do it! Find a program that works that you're interested in and do it. It is so rewarding in ways that can't be replicated in other parts of college life. We rave about our study abroad programs because they really are that special.