Alexandra is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece and Italy
Major: Political Science
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because it was a once in a life time experience. I had never been on an airplane before and felt like I wanted to expand my horizons while I had an amazing opportunity. I chose Greco-Roman because I knew I wanted to see as many countries as I could during my trip. My mom was a supposed to go on this study abroad program while she was here, but it was cancelled so I felt like I should go for her and share that experience.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The dinner we had with the College Year in Athens was the cultural experience that made a lasting impression on me. That night students from all over the country were grouped together and had a chance to try ethnic foods, and talk with people who lived in this country we were now a part of. In Greece, they eat late in the evening and dinner can last for hours, but it is filled with laughter and conversation that makes it seem much shorter than it is.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall study abroad experience was great. I had a great director and assistant director who genuinely cared about each student and their well being. The trips that were coordinated were great, they added to our learning and allowed us to see what we were learning first hand. Also, it was a great chance to explore the world while we had the freedom to do so. We each spent a lot of time exploring the two cities we lived in and learned about ourselves in the process.
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?
The major benefits of studying abroad for a semester are to really focus on the liberal arts, explore the world, spend time bonding with people on your trip to become a family. Studying abroad has increased my time management skills, allowed me to view the world in a more global perspective and challenged me academically. Professionally it has changed me to become more outgoing, outspoken, and more articulate in what I want in the future.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
My advice is to enjoy every moment. 4 months seems like a very long time, but each day goes by fast. Also, it is okay to have a little bit of a mental breakout or get anxious before the trip. It all seems brand new and scary, but it is amazing and worth every single second. My last piece of advice is to work as much as possible before going abroad, no matter how much money you think you have, it goes quickly and it's better to save up for the summer and spend your hard earned money on a fabulous weekend trip than the money on clothes at Target.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Greece and Italy or want access to her personal blog? Email Alexandra at [email protected]