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Brenna Garland '13
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I thoroughly enjoyed my abroad term in London, and I gained so much from the experience. Studying abroad is truly an incredible and transformative time period for students, and I want to encourage prospective study abroad students to really consider going abroad, as well as give advice and share my experiences in hopes they can make the most out of this unbelievable opportunity.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I knew I wanted to be somewhere in Europe to explore and have close connections to the wide variety of cultures and rich histories that exist there. London really stood out for me because it is a prominent international city in this world, and to live in such a city and really get to know its ins and outs is an invaluable opportunity. The London program also uniquely implements the internship portion, which gave me the chance to work in a secondary school in central London. This gave me insight into the British culture I wouldn't have received otherwise, as well as taught me much about the education fundamentals that transcend cultural boundaries and that are important for me to experience as an aspiring teacher.
Defining Moment Abroad?
I think the whole study abroad experience, regardless of where you go, gives you unique insight into the world outside of the United States. It requires you to look at the bigger picture, as well as reflect on yourself and question any established thought patterns or ways of thinking. But even though there are many differences from home and abroad, I still found the common threads in people that are the same regardless of culture. These commonalities are powerful to realize because they encouraged me to get back down to and focus on the basic, authentic, and real things in life that captivate everyone.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
I would recommend really putting yourself out there and going outside your comfort zone. Even though the London program is a Santa Clara program, there are many opportunities to get to know students from all over the country, as well as meet the real English living in London and everyone in between. Try new things and make the most out of every opportunity and challenge yourself to really immerse yourself in the culture, so you are a part of London, not just visiting it.