Quinn Hynes-Marquette '20

Program: France Fall Semester

Major: Communication

Minor: Gender Studies

Student Athlete: CSB Rugby


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

I decided to study abroad because I have a thirst for growth. I am a strong believer in the phrase “where there is discomfort, there is growth” and study abroad is a fabulous way to exercise that phrase. You’re enveloping yourself in an entirely new culture, a new country, thousands of miles away from home. Study abroad is a well-rounding experience. After study abroad, I have changed for the better, and I couldn’t be happier! I want to share my experiences with others so that hopefully, they can do the same. I chose the France program because I had been studying French for a few semesters and because no other program felt right. There was something about France that appealed to me, I can’t explain it.

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

In France, meals are a big deal. Food isn’t just something used to fuel your body, it’s a delicacy. Eating meals is a caring, patient, and artistic process. If you refill your glass of water, you refill everyone else’s as well. No one eats until everyone has their food, and the food is delicious. It is well made and the ingredients are exceptional. When I first arrived in France, I was impatient when it came to eating meals because I just wanted to get on with it. “Give me my food and let’s go” I thought. But now, my perspective has changed. Eating a meal is a bonding experience that brings people together. It’s important and meaningful. That’s something I’ve taken from my time abroad.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Absolutely amazing. I feel my study abroad experience was one of education, growth, experience, learning, knowledge, understanding, and joy. After studying abroad I am now more independent, I feel I have a better idea of who I am, where I place my values, and the kind of person I want to be. I believe exposing yourself to different things allows you to discover more of yourself, therefore leading you to a better life, and study abroad allowed me to do just that!

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 include discovering more of yourself, finding what things you place value in, learning a different language, increase in independence, and morals, and ethics, and just overall becoming a more well-rounded person. I feel I now work harder in my studies. I take the time necessary to complete tasks and I do them to the best of my ability. I have a better work ethic. I am more determined to mold my future and do what brings me joy, and I’m willing to work for that.

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

I advocate for study abroad 100%. My advice would be to keep an open mind, don’t give up especially when things get hard, use your resources, trust in those around you (friends from school, program director, etc.), if you need help, ask, try to remain judgment free, try to understand what your host culture looks like from the culture you’re experiencing, and have fun!