Santa Clara University

Anna Chapin '12

International Ambassador

 

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
 
I am applying to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University with both personal goals and university service in mind. Having enjoyed and benefited so much for my study abroad experience, I recognize its importance. I want to be able to help other students as they take the first steps towards similar life shaping experiences. On a personal level, I hope to continue to grow from my experience abroad. I see this as an opportunity to do just that, to stay connected to my experiences abroad.
 
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
 
When I was choosing my study abroad program and location, I wanted to go somewhere unique. There are certain programs that are composed entirely of SCU students and countries where large portions of those studying abroad from SCU go. I knew that I wanted my study abroad experience to be a time for me to expand my horizons and step out of my comfort zone (as cliché as that sounds). I felt like going to a place where I would still be surrounded by students from my school wouldn t allow me to fully accomplish this. Location was also a factor in my choice; I knew that I wanted to study in Europe so that I could travel outside the country I was studying in.
 
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
 
While it seems like my experience abroad was full of defining moments, one that will always stand out to me was when I climbed Mount Olympus in Northern Greece. I know it sounds cliché, but when I reached the top, it felt like I could do anything. The feeling was unbelievable: I had just climbed 9000 feet, ascended through the clouds, and now I was seeing the ocean in the distance. I made it a goal to keep that feeling close, both for the rest of my time abroad, and after. Whenever something seems tough, I resurrect that feeling and know that in the end, I will come out on top.
 
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
 

"Even if it s just something as simple as looking at Wikipedia or CIA World Factbook, do a bit of research on the place you re going. I went in not knowing very much about Greece at all, especially with respect to current events. I wouldn t say this detracted from my experience, but there were definitely times when I felt ignorant.   "Plan, plan, plan. Sit down and plan any trips you want to take early on. It seems like you have forever to do everything but you really don't. Time flies by so quickly, and there s always things you look back at and say I wish I had done that!