Santa Clara University

Christine Rudy '12

Peer Advisor: Exchange Students Coordinator

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?

I would like to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University because I thoroughly enjoyed my study abroad experience and I would love to help other Santa Clara students looking to study abroad with their preparation process. I feel that I can provide the prospective students with useful information about the program and about the study abroad experience in general.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
One of the biggest deciding factor in choosing Lille as my study abroad program-location is that French is my second major at Santa Clara University. I wanted to immerse myself in a French-speaking culture so that I would be able to improve my language skills and confidence in speaking in French, both of which were successful endeavors. Moreover, Lille was a very easy location to travel from, which was also important to me because I was hoping to be able to make a lot of weekend trips. I was glad to study abroad in Lille rather than a larger city such as Paris because most people did not speak English, forcing me to utilize and practice my French.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
While studying abroad in Lille I had to take several classes that were taught solely in French. These classes greatly challenged me and improved my grasp on the French language. I was able to express myself verbally and in writing effectively, even when compared with native French speakers. This was a very empowering experience and stoked an even greater love of the French language in me.
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 recommend to the study abroad students to do things that they would normally never do and to not be afraid to be out of their own element. I did many things that I never thought I would do and those are some of my favorite memories now. I would also recommend to branch out beyond other Santa Clara students while abroad. I had great times with my peers from Santa Clara that were in the same program, but I also made many friends from different schools in America and the rest of the world which greatly broadened my horizons. They come from such different backgrounds and have such different views on things we take for granted.    In retrospect I would have planned my traveling plans earlier rather than later, even though it is hard to try to plan out weekends so far ahead, because the prices really are MUCH cheaper.