Santa Clara University

Kellie Power '12

International Ambassador

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?

I want to be able to give other students who will be going abroad advice and insight into the abroad experience. I want to be able to answer many genera questions and specifics as far as the city and country they will be visiting and the particular program they choose.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I chose to study in Rome because I wanted a chance to learn another language and completely immerse myself in another culture, language, part of the world, etc. I knew that Italy would be a great location for me to travel all over the rest of Europe. I have also had many family friends, ranging from 1 year ago to 30 years ago, that have studied through the Loyola Chicago program and said it was one of the greatest experiences of their lives.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
My whole abroad experience affected me in many different ways. I came to appreciate things I would have never thought I would notice or care about. Like ceilings, I saw so many beautiful ceilings that a lot of times are overlooked. Simply ceilings in small churches or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel truly made me look at everything around me and not to take anything for granted. I also became much more self confident as a person. I went into the program knowing little Italian, few people, and no idea how/where I would be living when I arrived in Rome. I was just plopped down in the middle of Italy and just had to adapt to everything around me, which I thrived in. The confidence with travel, language, and other people allowed me to see that I was an extremely competent, independent person. It opened up a particular interest I already had-traveling- into an obsession and passion that I will have for the rest of my life.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?

I would tell students to do more research on places they are going to travel to so they can get the most out of each city in the limited time they will have there. I would also tell them to really explore the country and city they live in, and not get too caught up traveling everywhere else. Also, budgeting!!