Santa Clara University

Katherine Bobbin '13

International Ambassador

 

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
Studying abroad in Perugia was by far the best choice I could have made and I want to communicate my experience to guide others to study there, or somewhere else abroad. Many students may be wary to go to a small town such as Perugia but I believe it was the perfect study abroad experience and I would love to share my many reasons why I now consider it a second home.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I knew I wanted to go to a smaller town since I wanted to be in an authentic city that was not touristy.   I had traveled through Italy previously and fell in love with the rolling hills of olive trees and friendly people. So Perugia was the perfect fit for me.
Defining Moment Abroad?
The most impactful experiences of being abroad always involved interactions with Italians such as the woman at my favorite sandwich shop taking the time to learn my name, even though it was hard to pronounce, and having my Italian professor take our class to his favorite restaurant. In particular, one experience stands out. I had received an email from my mom with bad news so I decided to walk home from school. On my way, I started crying. An old Italian woman began talking to me, obviously concerned, but I couldn t explain what was wrong to her so I just said everything was fine. She kissed my head and insisted on walking me all the way home. It was pure compassion, it was love, and gave me strength.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
I definitely have a lot of advice about going abroad. I would inform other students about using low-cost airlines and their baggage restrictions. Also, it gets a lot colder, in Italy at least, than Santa Clara so bring warm gear. Traveling is important, but I would remind them to spend time exploring their host city too. Overall, the best advice is to be open to all experiences, even if they are different.