Santa Clara University

Emma Crnkovich '12

International Ambassador

 

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
 
Studying abroad is one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life. I have learned so much about another culture, and also about myself. I have grown exponentially as a person, and I would love to help others prepare for this kind of experience. Serving as an International Ambassador would enable me to share my experiences with my peers in hopes that both the mistakes I have made (like traveling out of the wrong airport) and the great things I have done (like actually exploring the English countryside) could serve as any type of guidance.
 
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
 
My main attraction to London was the internship offered through FIE. I have 0 regrets about choosing London... in fact, I cannot wait to return. London, as a city, is alive. The culture, the history, everything about it is absolutely electric. Being able to say that I lived, worked, and studied there is an accomplishment I will always be proud of. London also attracted me as an English major. Living in a city where so many great novelists, playwrights, and artists perfected their craft is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. London is my favorite place in the world, and I cannot wait for the day when I go back.
 
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
 
During week three of abroad, I was overwhelmingly homesick. I remember one day, October 9, 2010, where all I wanted to do was go home. I had a load of work, was feeling sick, and was just plain tired after traveling to Paris and Munich. Instead of sitting inside and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to venture out and ramble through Hyde Park. While sitting in a bench in the park that day, I realized how incredibly fortunate I was. Feeling homesick was miserable, but that day in the park, thinking about all of the things my family and this city had to offer me was an incredibly sobering moment. I knew from then on, I had to take advantage of every single day. I seriously attribute that day as one of the most mature moments in my adult life. Ever since then, I never once felt homesick again and realized I needed to take advantage of the city and my experience overseas. That day changed me as a person. I learned that I can never take anything for granted, as most things we experience are so incredibly fleeting.
 
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?

Pack everything you want to take... and then take 1/2 of it out of your suitcase! I was the QUEEN of overpacking! And retrospectively, I wish I spent more time traveling within the U.K. I saw over 9 countries on continental Europe, but only saw England within the U.K. I did get out of London to go to Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge, but I wish I had gone to the coast or maybe even Wales.