Felicia 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 to study abroad to learn about life outside the states and gain a new world view. I absolutely loved the idea of the Greco-Roman program. I loved how it was combined for a thorough study of the classics. So much of what exists today in the states all started in Greece and Rome!
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
While in Greece a few students and I got in contact with an NGO called Caritas. Upon arriving I instantly became aware of social problems going on in Athens such as poverty and the refugee crisis. Each week I was able to go and volunteer in Athens at this NGO helping out with tasks such as preparing meals in the soup kitchen. This experience made a lasting impression on me because it made me realize we must be in involved in civic engagement to truly understand a culture. It was wonderful to be so immersed in a culture.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad on the Greco-Roman program was the best experience of my life! I had the best group of 29 other Bennies and Johnnies as well as my director and his wife. I truly felt the benedictine community experience all the way across the world. I can not properly put into words the feelings I experienced standing in front the Acropolis, David, Vatican City, and more. I am so grateful for this opportunity CSBSJU provided me to dynamically study the world and its history.
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?
It is important to study abroad to expand your world view, learn about other cultural sensitivities, and visit actual sites rather than just reading about them in your textbook. Studying abroad has made me a more thoughtful person in regards to thinking about how others are affected by our actions. My experience also made me realize how important it is for us to stay updated on world affairs, and international politics.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Research your country before going to know about its current state socially and politically. Express this interest and knowledge when applying, interviewing, and even when arriving to the country. Be adventurous, always walk around in your free time, start conversations with locals.