Santa Clara University

Luis Roa '12

International Ambassador


Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
I want to serve as an International Ambassador because I want to share my experiences with other students at SCU. I want to encourage students to open their eyes so they can realize that there is a whole world out there for people to see and discover and that studying abroad will open their eyes and realize this. Opportunities like studying abroad do not come often and I want students from all aspects of life to take advantage of this great opportunity so that they can also pass on those memorable moments to future students. By making more students study abroad, students will open up to different cultures which will make the world a better place because we will be more accepting of other people witb different backgrounds.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I chose SCU London because it gave me the opportunity to study abroad in a country that I had always dreamed about going and visiting. Coming from an underprivileged background, going to England was only a dream, but after realizing that SCU had a study program in London, this dream eventually came true. I also liked how the SCU London program gave us an opportunity to receive an internship, which I thought was really helpful to further our future careers. Because internships are very competitive in the United States, having a guaranteed internship placement was something I could not say no to. Another factor was the amount of classes it offered that counted toward my major. This helped me a lot because I was able to fulfill some communications classes and finish my major faster than expected, and also giving me an opportunity to declare another major with the extra time I will now have.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
I think having the opportunity to internship in a different country made me a more well-rounded person. I say this because I was able to learn from the work environment that I was in and be able to distinguish the differences between the working cultures of the Americans and the British. This enabled me to adapt and change so I could fit into this different environment, which I also thought would make me a better person. I was able to learn from my fellow co-workers and also made it possible for me to be more accepting of other cultures as well.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?

One major advice I would give prospective study abroad students is that they should get out of comfort zone and explore the world. This would enable students to learn about other cultures and other people so that they can be more accepting of others. I recommend students to travel across Europe so they can realize the variety of different food, people, religion, and cultures that Europe has. Another thing that I also recommend is for students to bring more money than the amount they budget because Europe is pretty expensive. The extra money can be helpful for emergencies or unexpected expenses that may arise throughout the semester.