Emily 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 chose the Greco-Roman program because I wanted to study in more than just 1 city. I was able to study in 2 amazing cities and I wouldn't change a thing about my study abroad experience. I also chose the program because it allowed me to complete most of the remaining common curriculum courses I needed to take. I am also really glad that I went to Greece first because it was still warm there. I was able to not only travel to many cities on Greece's mainland, but to 3 islands as well. I'm not sure if I would have gone to the islands if it had been colder.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The most memorable cultural experience I had abroad was in Athens. One my friends and I were shopping and we came across this rug/tapestry shop. The shop owners knew our friends and they were so warm and friendly. They immediately offered us wine and learned our names. They didn't pressure us into buying anything and they were the perfect example of how Greek people are so happy and hospitable. They left a lasting mark on me and I will never forget that.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I went to Greece first and I am so glad I did. The best words to describe my time in Greece are hot, happy, and memorable. Athens was very hot while we were there. The Greek people are very happy and kind; and my group and I made so many great memories while in Athens. We all bonded there and it will always be special because of that. Italy was amazing as well. The architecture is beautiful and the food is to-die-for. Although, I do have to say that I liked Greek food more than I thought I would. I thought the classes in Greece were easier, but I enjoyed the classes more in Italy. I am so glad I studied in both cities.
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?
There are so many benefits to spending a semester abroad. Personally, I feel more confident traveling and I feel like I have more of an appreciation for people and their cultures. Academically, I have learned how to study hard for a final that is worth my whole grade. I also learned things in my classes abroad that I wouldn't have learned if I had taken a class back on campus.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Now that I have completed my semester abroad, I want everyone to have an opportunity to study in a foreign country. I am so thankful that CSB and SJU give us so many opportunities to study abroad. Take advantage of the opportunity! It may be scary and require you to take a step out of your comfort zone, but it is so worth it!