Madeline Lenker

Madeline is an Ambassador whos studied abroad in Rome and Greece

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Part of the reason that I chose CSB/SJU for my school was because of their study abroad programs. I just knew that I wanted to travel! I love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and seeing new places. Studying Abroad seemed like a perfect fit for me! And what could be better than getting to fully experience two countries? I chose Roman-Greco for the ability to live and be involved in two different locations.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
My favorite day while abroad was when I was on the island of Santorini in Greece. Our whole group went, and we spent on day on a ferry tour around the island. We stopped on an inactive volcano that we got to hike up. We also were able to jump off the boat and go swimming in the hot springs. To top it off, we had a donkey ride back up the rock cliffs of Santorini. The whole day was so surreal! We were doing everything that is customary to Santorini. It made it even better that I got to spend the day with 29 of my best friends.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Words cannot describe the experience that I had abroad! I was placed with a great group of students and a wonderful professor to spend 4 months with (you can't go wrong with anyone at CSB/SJU)! I loved the opportunity to hop on a plane or train and go anywhere within Europe - I even went to Asia! This experience is truly once in a lifetime. AMAZING is the only word I have to describe my experiences in Rome and Athens and beyond.

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?
Spending an entire semester abroad, away from family and friends, gives you an awareness of yourself that was nonexistent before. You learn that you can survive on your own. I learned how independent and self-sufficient I really am. In the process of learning about myself, I learned a huge amount about my surroundings. We had the wonderful opportunity to learn the history of the countries, the art, and the religions of Italy and Greece. Then we would go to different locations and see the things we had just learned about. It put a completely different name to visual learning! It was awesome!

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Go into the process with an open mind and no expectations. What you learn and experience may surprise yourself!

Do you have any questions about studying abroad in Rome/Greece or want to have access to her blog?  E-mail Maddie at