Santa Clara University

Georgia Trankinat '12

International Ambassador

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

I am writing this application as I sit in London reflecting on my time here. Studying abroad had been one of the most beneficial things I have ever experienced in helping myself grow as a person. I would love the opportunity to share my enthusiasm with students at Santa Clara who are hoping to travel abroad at any point in their college career.   I also thrive off of leadership positions, for I feel they are an important part of career development. I have not been able to hold as many in my time at Santa Clara University as I would have liked to, for there has not been the proper outlets for me to do so. However, I am passionate about being an international ambassador due to the fact that I so thoroughly enjoyed by time abroad. As for leadership positions I have held, a majority of them were in student government in High School which had a lot to do with organizing charity work and included Junior Class President. In college I have held leadership positions within my sorority and also within the Into the Wild club. I also participated in the Outdoor Leadership Excursion which included planning a three day backpacking trip in Yosemite.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I chose London due to the fact that I was born in the United Kingdom and has always had a passion for visiting here. I did not know whether I would ever have the opportunity to live here, due to the fact that I would have to relocate so far away from my family.   I was also very pleased with the internship placement that is included in the London program. This was the best opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the culture. London being such a central location, we were also given the opportunity to travel a lot from here and see more of the world than I would have been able to otherwise.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
While abroad being separated from my family proved to be very hard for me. It forced on me independence that I never knew I even possessed. During my stay abroad, my Grandfather had a heart attack. This has been the first health scare that anyone in my family has ever had. It was very painful for me to feel so helpless while on the phone with my entire family from his hospital bed. I remember the day I found out I went to a choir service at Westminister Abbey and lit a candle for my Grandad. He regained his health, and after I had gone through my most trying experience abroad where I even considered flying home I had a reinstilled confidence within myself. For, although the times were very tough I was in one of the biggest cities in the world still carrying on with my studies and going to work.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?

Study abroad students should really look into what they are hoping to get out of the program before just picking a destination that they find intruiging. Know that no matter where they will be they will be placed completely out of their element and they need to go where they think will suit them best and not merely where most of their friends are studying abroad. To prepare differently I would have prepared better financially. Finances can be one of the most difficult things to handle abroad. There are all sorts of trials and tribulations that can come with hefty expenses and it is important for students to be aware of these. I know as an accounting major I am quite aware of my expenditures, but even I would have chosen to spend much differently.