Molly 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 the GrecoRoman program because of the uniqueness of studying abroad in two different countries. I went to a French Immersion Elementary school and have been to France twice. I have been learning about the French culture ever since I was young and wanted to experience a culture that was completely new and out of my comfort zone. I also chose this program based on the scenery and the food. I knew I wanted to study abroad in Europe so I could travel to different countries outside of the ones I was living in.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
On the GrecoRoman program, there were so many cultural experiences that made a lasting impression on me that it is hard to chose one. The experience that made a lasting impression on me was when our program went to Santorini. Going to a Greek Island was a dream come true for me and was something that I have wanted to do ever since I was a kid. Our whole abroad group stayed at a hotel that CYA reserved for us that was walking distance to Fira. We explored the island and went to Oia for cliff jumping and a catamaran boat ride. The catamaran was one of the best events because I was with some life long friends that I have made on this trip.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
The overall experience from studying abroad in Greece and Rome would be the cultural growth that I have learned in these two countries. From growing culturally aware from traveling around Europe, it makes a difference being immersed in the culture than reading about it in the paper. You really learn from doing on this abroad program and it has shaped me into the person I am today. I am a new person from speaking to the locals and becoming culturally aware around 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?
From studying abroad, I have created a significant and intangible impact in my cultural values and beliefs. I have developed a more sophisticated world outlook and expanded my horizon by going outside of my comfort zone to experience greater diversity. I have also learned leadership attributes that can created understanding and skill to navigate effectively through different countries. I have noticed that I am more confident in doing things alone and have learned how to globally work with others in solving problems. Another benefit was learning very hands on. It made the classes so interesting and fun. I was able to learn more about myself to communicate more clearly and do things independently. Studying abroad allowed me to work with unique people and different from the people that I encountered every day which will help work with a diverse group of people in future careers.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I have a lot of advice I can offer to the CSB/SJU students. The biggest advice I have would be do not over pack. Packing was one of the most stressful things I went through and it was because I overpacked so much. I spent money on things I thought I would need but you will buy the same things in Europe. Buying an EBag was so helpful and everyone on my trip had one. Another tip that I suggest would be the tipping culture in Europe is very different in America. You usually tip one or two euros or nothing at all. The taxi culture here is also very different were they are very speedy and at times try to rip you off. Make sure the meter has started when the car moves so you won't be overcharged. Another tip I have is for the pretravel orientations that the school puts on. They are very informative and long but are worth the information. The sexual assault talks are very important and could happen to anyone so it is very good to know what to do. Have so much fun on this experience of a lifetime.