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Anisha Sampat '11
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
From the first time I was exposed to the Study Abroad Programs at Santa Clara during Preview Weekend 2008 is how long I have wanted to be part of the International Ambassadors Programs. Seeing students just a few years older than me talking about their amazing experiences while studying abroad and leveraging my dad in favor of the idea got me thinking about all that I would have to say about going abroad. This is so because I did not really leave home for college, a similar situation to a number of Bay Area Resident Students that attend SCU. The way I see it is, I want to do what those students did for me on Preview Weekend if not sway even more parents and students towards Study Abroad because it has more than what people may say it offers. Study Abroad helped me grow up a lot aka mature in aspects I may have not otherwise. It broadened my perspectives on not only a global level by learning about a mixed culture but also about the US and all that students of my generation including myself tend to take advantage of.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
London is the city of Global Business and being a Business Major, I almost felt compelled to make my choice to study there for that sole reason, but of course there were also many other deciding factors. For one, I did not want to have a language barrier because I knew that the culture shock of the UK would be enough because truly even though they speak English, the accent is so different that it can feel like another language at times. In addition, I chose London because it is City Life that is still full of culture and a mixed bag of individuals in comparison to the white suburbia life I live in back at home. This was crucial for me because though there were obviously other City Life programs, the UK has the mixed bag of individuals that creates its many boroughs and almost what seems to be a web of different cities just blanketed under the common city name of London. And lastly, to go back to the fact that London is the City of Global Business, I could not turn down the opportunity to be placed into an internship here as included in the SCU Program.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
Though the whole experience itself was life changing; I would have to say that the most defining moment of my experience was when I was sitting in a hotel room in Brussels waiting for my friends to arrive. The reason why this moment was so pivotal is because I was just sitting near the hotel room window looking out into the square alone just reflecting on where I was and what was going on. It was that moment that I started to become homesick and the most fortunate I think I have ever felt. I realized how lucky I was to be abroad evermore because though people always had commented how lucky you are whether I was at customs or just meeting locals it never quite sank in as much as it did then. It is almost like I saw the world in front of me and all that was between me and it was that window. A scene of opportunities and culture all out there to be absorbed.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
The advice I would give to students that I wish someone had given me before I went was to maximize the time you have. Not necessarily travelling every weekend as many do but rather really experiencing life wherever you are. There may be parades that you will never be in town again to see, annual events that might have a special anniversary, night life of all different types in all different areas. Weather and transport is no excuse not to see things because whenever will you have the chance again to be in a place with this kind of time to really observe and really absorb.