Santa Clara University

Mike Harney '13

International Ambassador

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I want to be an International Ambassador because I would like to give advice to students who want to study abroad so that they can have the best experience possible. Studying abroad was a very rewarding experience for me and I would like to help others have a positive experience too.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I wanted to study abroad because I knew I would learn a lot about other cultures and have an amazing experience.  The question was not if I should go abroad, but where.  As a freshman I didn't see myself studying in Barcelona because I didn't know much about the city. As I considered my study abroad options, Barcelona became a my top choice because the program offered classes that counted toward my core curriculum, the opportunity to study in a Spanish-speaking city, and a great atmosphere.
Defining Moment Abroad?
I lived with a host family during my study abroad time in Barcelona. Every night my host mom cooked delicious Spanish food and we all ate together. Our dinner conversations were a defining part of my study abroad experience.  The dinner conversations allowed me to practice my Spanish, learn more about the city of Barcelona, and share my abroad experiences with my parents. The dinner conversations were very important to me because I was able to learn and converse with local Spanish-speakers every day.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
I recommend to look at many different study abroad options before deciding on a top choice. There are many great study abroad programs available for SCU students and each one will provide a different and unique experience. Once accepted to a program, I advise students to learn as much as possible about the history, economy, government, culture, and atmosphere of that country and city. Students will have a better understanding of their city and country if they study them before going.