Dane is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece & Italy
Major: Applied Physics
Minor: Computer Science, Mathematics
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I knew early on at Saint John's that I wanted to spend a semester abroad and being able to plan ahead and leave some of my common core requirements like humanities, upper theology and fine arts I was able to make it fit in my four year plan. The Greco Roman program has always been a popular program and the chance to study in Greece in the beautiful weather and then transition to Rome for the Christmas season was awesome. Being able to spend extended time in two countries and travel Europe on weekends and 10-day break made for the ideal semester.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One of the most memorable experiences we had was being able to attend the Pontifical Academy of Science's Conference on Climate Change, Health of the Planet and Future of Humanity where we heard from world leaders on the imminent crisis of climate change. We heard from leaders in all fields and found the holistic approaches they are taking to protect our planet in the coming years.
Also, our time spent on the Greek islands provided us with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the traditional Greek hospitality and we were able to really make the most of our time in each new place we visited.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
The semester studying abroad in Greece and Rome was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. Spending four months traveling Europe, experiencing numerous cultures and making amazing new friends combined for the best semester of college so far. Being able to learn about the Greek and Italian cultures, history, religion and art was so cool because we were able to spend a little time in class learning the material and then literally go out and see the churches, ruins, monuments and works of art that we had just heard about. The chance to take this kind of a trip with people your own age and meet so many other college students and local people along the way gave us a unique perspective to see the world.
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 benefits for studying abroad are very wide-ranging. The interpersonal skills and intercultural awareness that is developed when spending time in different cultures and learning new languages is invaluable. It shows a lot about one's character when you are able to really be open to new ways of life and are adaptable to living with new people in a totally foreign place. The skills developed abroad will impact your social life immediately in the new friendships and connections formed with both students in the group and locals in the host country. The adaptability and interpersonal skills developed abroad also will translate into very valuable career skills in any industry, in the global world we live in, every job will involve working with different cultures and being open to their viewpoints is imperative to a successful working relationship.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I would first advise any student considering going abroad to go. No question about it. I found the most fun experiences were the ones that may not have been planned and may have been a little bit uncomfortable. Spending that much time in a new country or countries will undoubtedly throw a lot of exciting adventures at you, but that's the fun part. Go out, enjoy the cultures and make new friends abroad because the group you're in will become like a family after the semester living together in a new place.