Christina Kruize

Christina is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Cork

Major: Mathematics

Minor: Secondary Education


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to experience a new culture for an extended period of time. I chose Cork, Ireland because I new it was an independent program, I have family ties in Ireland, and I've always wanted to go there.                            

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

While there I took and Irish Step Dancing class. My professor, Mags, was amazing. She made my day, week, and trip better every time I saw her or even talked about her. She always invited our class and any friends we wanted to bring to a Blarney pub on Tuesday nights. At this pub there was Irish traditional music played and we even danced every time we went. It was so much fun to experience the friendly locals, traditional music and dancing, and to get to show what we had been learning. I'll never forget Mags or those dances, but mostly I'll never forget the experience that I got at that little pub in Blarney.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

To do this I'm first going to pick various adjectives. Beautiful, breath-taking, amazing, fun, (a little) scary, adventurous, and wild. These are just a few of the many I could have chosen. Studying abroad was by far the most amazing experience I could have ever had. I don't regret a single thing about going.
Ireland was such a beautiful country, not only in its landscape but also in its culture and its people. I saw the most beautiful places while getting to experience a culture that is subtly so different from my own. I felt so out of my box and so in my element all at the same time. I learned a lot about myself and how I view the world. Studying abroad changed me for the better and has helped me grow into the young adult that I'd like to be.

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?

Some benefits of studying abroad are that you get to open your eyes and mind to a whole new world. After being in Ireland I am more independent, relaxed, and am able to handle situations that are thrown my way with efficiency and a calm mind. Studying abroad has helped me personally by what I said above and also by helping me gain a better view of America and Americans. Academically, it helped me adjust to different teaching styles and I also learned a lot of new things like the Italian language and Irish Step Dancing. Professionally I want to be a teacher so this experience has helped me decide what style of teaching I like and will use and what styles I will try to avoid in order to help my students grow and learn in the best ways for them.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

Do it. It's a little scary and you'll miss some stuff about home, but it's the best experience ever. You gain a second home and a second family. You gain the ability to see the world in a different (and , in my opinion, better) light, and you get to see things you'll ever be able to here at home. You gain so much! The only loss is money and we have the rest of our lives to gain it back. It's so worth it, it's unbelievable.