Autumn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece & Italy
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I may never have to opportunity to live in another country again. My major is limited for future job locations so once I finish school I will most likely have to stay in the states. I decided on this program because of the chance to live in two beautiful countries. It helped me to see more of Europe than I maybe would have in a different program.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Greek people are some of the most loving and generous people I've met. I celebrated my birthday while abroad and it was hard to be away from loved ones that day. The owner of Kekkos planned a surprise birthday party for me! He decorated the cafe, set the table with Greek snacks, and offered me a free glass of wine to celebrate! Instead of leaving us to celebrate as a group they sat down with us and made good conversation. The people of Greece were my favorite part of the program.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, the experience was life-changing. I had little to no expectations of the program so I was satisfied with everything I experienced. I appreciated being with other CSB SJU students because I built friendships with people I otherwise wouldn't have met, and now I'll get to see them around campus. I gained many new skills and grew as an individual. I was uncomfortable for a lot of it because of all the unfamiliar things, but it taught me adaptability and helped me to grow as an individual. I will never regret my decision to study abroad.
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?
A large benefit of studying abroad is the skills gained by living in a foreign country. It teaches you adaptability, confidence, and open-mindedness toward your host country. Our country isn't perfect, just like the rest of them, so to see how other cultures live and work can be beneficial for how we choose to do things in our individual lives. The things we learn while studying abroad can be carried with us forever. Personally, I am more confident in myself and adaptable to new situations. Academically, I learned so much ancient history about two fantastic countries. Being in the same place where an important event happened 2,000 years ago is mind blowing and super cool. Professionally, I can use this experience on my resumes to highlight my new skills and also use those skills in a future career.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
DO IT!!! There's no greater feeling than spreading your wings and stepping outside of your comfort zone. There is so much personal growth that happens when we leave home/school and we are all better for it.