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Jason Hanlon '12
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
Since returning to campus, I have met many new faces and a lot of these people plan on going abroad in the terms ahead. My program provided such a sensational experience and has gotten much more attention therefore I want to be able to encourage their decision while guiding them at the same time.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
The deciding factors included many things. Most importantly, I wanted to be in a country where English isn't spoken and didn't have too many SCU students so I felt like I just transplanted from California to Europe. Meeting all new people was a must for me as well as being in a location that allowed me to travel other places easily. Finally, the exchange aspect of program was very attractive knowing that I was going to go to a distinguished school in France.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
Departing France for the final time was probably the defining moment of my abroad experience. It was soon after finals ended and all of the friends I had grown to love were going there separate ways. They will be people I will keep in contact with forever (and have continued to do so so far) and serve as vital reminders of the extraordinary experience I had.
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 advise prospective study abroad students to venture out and get outside of their boundaries. It is a once and a lifetime experience in a foreign place and it must be maximized. Hearing other students in abroad programs who never met locals mesmerized me and I encourage everyone to go out and try to meet new people. They are friends (and connections) that you will have and use the rest of your life and that was my motivation. If I was to do it all over again, I would have done more extensive research on the education system of the country I studied in as well as the transport systems. People tend to think that school is the same everywhere but in actuality different countries do very different things than we are used to here in Santa Clara.