Santa Clara University

Emily Espinosa '12

International Ambassador


Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
I had an invaluable experience during my time abroad and it has really shaped me as an individual. I want to be an International Ambassador so that I can be available to students who are looking into the study abroad program. It is an experience that I believe everyone should partake in if possible. I not only want to encourage people to study abroad, but also guide them through the decision process (whether they are interest in the IES Granada program or another program). The International Ambassadors helped me greatly during my application process as a Sophomore, I would love to be able to do the same.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I was lucky enough to have visited Granada for a few days during high school, so I was familiar with the beautiful and dynamic city. I had always dreamed of returning to Spain long term, and I was particularly drawn to Southern Spain. As a Spanish minor, this region fit well into my academic plans as well. The size of the city was the perfect balance of traditional culturally, along with large and modern.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
I think that one of the most amazing moments that I had while abroad was my class visit to the Alhambra (an ancient moorish palace and castle in Granada). I saw the palace everyday, because it sits on top of a hill overlooking the whole city. While abroad I took courses on the Islamic civilization in Spain, and Islamic Art and Architecture. So when we went to the Alhambra with my architecture class, and where allowed into parts of the palace not open to the public it was really significant to me. While in a tower with a view that looks over all of Granada, I felt an incredible connect to the old world and to the modern world at the same time. It was an experience very characteristic of Granada with its rich and apparent history, and unlike anything I could have encountered in the United States. It really inspired me and solidified my desire to travel and explore the ancient world for the rest of my life.
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 urge prospective study abroad students to begin researching the locations that they may be interested early on so that they have sufficient time to talk to past study abroad students, find out more about the respective cities, and sit with the idea of each program - the process requires a lot of soul searching. I also would recommend that they learn every aspect of the application process for the Santa Clara international programs office and for their program early on and beginning gathering the necessary forms as soon as they can - the deadlines come up very quickly!