Santa Clara University

Aven Satre-Meloy '13

International Ambassador


Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I would like to help guide prospective study abroad students interested in making the most out of their experience abroad by answering questions, telling stories about my time abroad, and by helping them understand what it is like to live in a foreign country for a semester. There are definitely things I would change about how I approached my study abroad experience, so I would like to have the opportunity to pass along what I thought I could change for the better during my time abroad to fellow students.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I love art and history, but I never get the chance to study these things at Santa Clara. The opportunity to spend a semester in Rome was the perfect chance to really take a break from what I was learning for the past two years and try something new. I knew studying these two things in particular in Rome would be an experience of a lifetime.     I also wanted to learn a new language, and I wanted to go to Europe, so there was really no question in my mind that I wanted to be in Italy. I chose the SCU Rome program because I thought I may be able to have a slightly more authentic Italian experience in Rome as opposed to in Florence, and I also wanted to live in a big city to have that experience as well.
Defining Moment Abroad?
It would be hard for me to pick one single moment that affected me in these ways during my time abroad because most everything I experienced had an impact on me personally. That being said, I think I was most affected when I visited the Basilica di San Clemente in Rome because it really exemplified why I had come to Rome in the first place. The intermingling of art and history in that church really confirmed for me that I had made the right choice in coming to Rome. It was then that I began to reflect on how amazing Rome has been as a city throughout the ages and how much it has transformed during its history. The visit inspired me in intellectual, academic, and also in personal ways and truly made me stop and think about why studying abroad can provide experiences like these that no other college program can offer.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?

I would advise prospective students to really think hard about what they want to accomplish when they go abroad. I think students often get to a foreign country and live in little bubbles they have created for themselves with the people in their program or people they feel comfortable with (i.e. people who speak their language). I know I did this and I regret it because I don't think I experienced the culture of my abroad location to the maximum extent. Going abroad is something that causes students to feel uncomfortable, so I believe they seek out ways of retaining comfort any way they can, which I can understand, but I would encourage students to try to break free from that mold to have an abroad