Santa Clara University

Christina Schreiner '13

International Ambassador

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
To help inform students who will be studying abroad next fall quarter of what to expect and plan for while abroad, as well as answer any questions they might have about studying/living abroad. I want to help better prepare students for going abroad. I was very happy that the International Ambassadors were there to help answers questions and worries I had before going abroad.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I am a Psychology and German Studies double major and speak fluent German. I decided to go to Spain because I wanted to expand my international and linguistic horizons and challenging myself by living in a country where I didn't speak the language as well as English or German.
Defining Moment Abroad?
One defining moment I had while studying abroad was one night at dinner with my host family. My roommate was away for the night and it was my first dinner by myself with the family. That meant there was no comfort zone of having my roommate there with me so we could bounce words and ideas off of each other when we weren't sure how to say something in Spanish, or when we didn't understand something one of our host family members had said, which happened quite often at first. Once I got through my first dinner alone with my host family without much difficulty, I felt extremely proud and accomplished. I had finally proved to myself that I can make it in a country where I don't speak the language as fluently as most and that my language skills really were improving. That wa s huge step for me during my abroad experience.
Advise to Prospective study abroad students?
I would recommend that students don't spend too much time traveling, particularly when studying in a European country. One should try to find a balance between travel and discovering the city that one had chosen to study in. It is very important to truly explore all that the city you chose to study in has to offer. I didn't really get out and explore Madrid and understand how it all worked together as a beautiful and cohesive city until the end of the time there. I regret I didn't explore more, but I'm glad I saw what I did, when I did.