Claire Baker

Claire ­­­­is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Italy and Greece

Major: Theology

Athlete: Track & Field


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

I choose to study abroad as an experience like no other in college. I wanted to explore the world, become more independent, experience a totally different culture and meet some amazing people along the way. I decided on Roman-Greco because of the director, Janna LaFountaine and the topic of her seminar course, History, Culture, and Sport. I also choose Roman-Greco so that I could participate in the Athens Marathon.

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

I have two top things that I will forever and always remember. The first one was during the Papal Audience in Rome. We had the beautiful opportunity to celebrate mass at the Tomb of St. Peter underneath the main basilica floor, and we also were able to visit Subiaco, the place where St. Benedict lived in a cave for 3 years and wrote his rule. These two experiences were incredible to be so close to where our Catholic roots started. The other experience was the Athens Marathon. I never would have been able to picture being surrounded by 18,499 other people with a large number of different backgrounds. One of the coolest things was during the race I heard a large of number of different languages being spoken. That was an unforgettable experience.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall study abroad experience was one like no other. I made it my own through my training for the marathon, and focusing on a set goal. It was great to have a professor who cared so much about all of us students and to have professors in Rome and Athens who were able to teach us amazing things that I will forever be able to hold on to. The school work was intriguing and difficult too, but worth the hard work and time spent on writing to articulate what I had learned.

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?

You learn about yourself, you learn how to navigate large cities with public transportation, you learn about respecting others around you and the culture you are in. Study abroad helped to refocus my mind set and solidified my passion for helping others, and wanting to become a physician's assistant down the road.

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

Do it! Reflect and really talk with people who know the programs well to see which program would best fit you, but do it! It is something you do not want to miss out on and yes it is a financial commitment, but there are ways of doing the right things to budget correctly.