Stephanie is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Italy and Greece
Major: Accounting and Finance
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I have always loved art and theology. There was no better place to learn and study those topics than places that highly influenced them. Learning about the Renaissance where it originally started seemed like such an intriguing thing to me. Learning about my faith in a place where I would be so close to the Pope and the Holy Stairs could not get any better. I chose this program specifically because it held events that were not available on the Greco-Roman Trip
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
I got to see how small the world was in one experience. We went to the canonization of Saint Mother Theresa and while we were there you got to see how universal faith was. There were people there from over 100 different countries. It was amazing that there were multiple languages spoken and people coming together from different areas all for the same reason.Everyone was waiting in line at 5 a.m. to get a good spot and was friendly and wanted to know your story.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
How can you put such a journey into words? It was challenging, yet, but it was so much more rewarding. It taught me to open my eyes and see a bigger picture rather than staying in my perspective. It showed me what it felt like to be in the minority and taught me a sense of understanding for people that come to visit America. It taught me to be spontaneous and embrace every little adventure that was thrown in my direction. If it were not for this trip I would not have met the people I did, including the Bennies and Johnnies that accompanied me.
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?
If you're considering studying abroad, you will hear this said to you a million times. You grow and learn so much about yourself that you can come back almost unrecognizable. You are finally 100% independent and that allows you to be fully yourself and become more comfortable in who you are. You are put in positions you could never imagine, and it teaches you to be more flexible. The plans are always changing, whether that is just for a class or even a whole weekend excursion. You are presented with challenges such as a language barrier and learn how to be more understanding when communicating. This directly applied to my professional life as an Accounting major in so many ways. I learned a global perspective which will help me if I ever decided to take a rotation abroad. Not only would I be doing work for companies in the United States, but I would also have many Foreign companies to work with. I would be more conscious of time changes and more flexible to work with when it comes to meetings. It also allows you to connect with so many people and form relationships that will last forever and could potentially benefit you in the future.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
If you are on the edge about studying abroad, my advice would be to take that chance! It was one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life and I would not trade it for the world. Be open to all of the experiences that are about to come your way. Whether they are good or bad, there is always a lesson to learn or an adventure to be planned.