Santa Clara University

Ja'Nai Aubry '13

International Ambassador

 

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I would love to serve as an SCU International Ambassador because I would love to encourage and help the students who are going to have the experience of a life time! My study abroad experience has changed me and inspired me to become a more cultured and informed person. I would love to have the chance to offer students advice because I believe the more prepared they are for studying abroad the better their experience will be. I am really excited about future SCU students experiencing Granada, the city I grew to love. I would love to share all the unique experiences and opportunities in Granada and Spain that makes the country so special.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
The two most important factors were my major and my 4 years of studying Spanish. I am a Middle Eastern History Major with an AIMES minor. After doing research I discovered that IES Granada had the most classes in my field of study/ interest. Granada also has a rich culture that reflects its' Arabic or Moorish history, which is part of why I enjoyed living there so much. A third factor was the Morocco trip; which was the trip of a lifetime. I'd encourage every IES Granada student to take advantage of this opportunity. Morocco is a beautiful and humbling experience.
Defining Moment Abroad?
The most defining moment during my trip was my time in Morocco. During the trip we had the opportunity to visit a Community Service Center, Hope for Sale, where we talked with Moroccan students about their religion and political point of views. It was so inspiring to hear about their faith and open mindedness. They did not have fear but spoke openly about their disagreement with current politics in Morocco, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The centers' director was also inspiring because he started off with nothing but a dream. The program grew from a small group of young boys to a full on center donated by the King of Morocco for the poor children of Sale. I felt like even I could accomplish great things, maybe I could start a center in my hometown LA or help in Morocco.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
I would advise every perspective study abroad student to learn as much as they can about their perspective study abroad location: the culture, history and language. Language is really important in non-English speaking countries because it is important to form relationships with the locals. It is also important to not allow language to be a barrier between you and fully experiencing what the country has to offer. You should also make sure you accomplish all the goals you set before and at the beginning of your trip because you don' want to come back with regrets. I really regret not traveling more in Granada, I'm so sad that I didn't get to the Sierra Nevadas and the Sacramonte. So please please see everything your location has to offer. Have an open mind, make sure to have a good time and live in the moment.