Santa Clara University

Andrea Hernandez '13

International Ambassador

 

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I enjoyed my experience abroad very much and I want to inform others on choices I made or should have made to have had such an experience. There are so many things that I wish someone would have told me before I left or during the application process or even while I was in Barcelona that could have helped me. I think that it is important to be available before students leave but also after they leave and while they are living in a different country because that may be when they have the most questions or need the most guidance.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?          
I had never even been out of the country before I left to Barcelona last September. Because of this, I had never even considered studying abroad; leaving the country just didn't seem like something I was supposed to do. However, the day before the petition was due, I started thinking about it and realized that never again would I have an opportunity to do something like this. After thinking about it, I decided I wanted to go to a country where I could practice and improve my Spanish and also live in an environment different than I was used to. Going to Spain was my first choice and deciding where in Spain was what I needed help with. I think that choosing an SCU program was the best decision because the program really caters to you as a student studying abroad and offers help and resources whenever necessary.
Defining Moment Abroad?
The moment that comes to mind right now is one of the fresher memories in my mind: leaving Barcelona. We spent a great amount of time talking about coming back home and how your views and even the way you live may have changed. It was during these talks that I took time to reflect on all that I had been given the opportunity to do and how I had changed because of it. I thought of all the things I had done while abroad as well as the people I'd met and places I'd visited and compared it to my life here in California and I began to really appreciate everything I had been given.
Advise to Prospective study abroad students?

While preparing to go abroad, be sure to look for as much information as you can about the places you want to visit. I did not research Barcelona as a place as much as I think I should have and even though I enjoyed it, I think there are other places that I would have enjoyed just as much if not more. Additionally, when you are in another country, don't be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone a little. This is something that I wish I had done more while abroad.