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Kimberley Driscoll '13
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I would love to serve as an International Ambassador because I want to be able to excite and prepare students for their time abroad. Time flies by once the experience begins, and the more you know and more you are able to research, the more you are able to do once you are there. I received a lot of advice and and tips, particularly of "non-touristy" places to go, not only in London but in cities that I traveled to. It greatly enhanced my cultural experience to know about such a wide variety of venues, districts and activities. I want the students in upcoming years to get as much as I did out of study abroad, and will dedicate myself to answering questions and helping in any way possible.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
Having visited London briefly prior to applying for study abroad, I was drawn to to the very diverse culture. London is home to such a unique melting pot of people from all over the world, it makes it easy to experience a vast variety of cultures in one city. What's more, as a finance major, London was the perfect destination as a worldwide financial hub. The internship opportunity was another major selling point for me. I couldn't have imagined a better internship placement. I think the FIE program did a great job getting to know each student and not only placing them in a relevant and well-fit internship, but also accommodating to students' needs and going above and beyond to enhance our experience in every aspect.
Defining Moment Abroad?
I look back on the last day of my internship as a defining moment of my abroad experience. It took facing the actuality that I was leaving not only an amazing internship, but so many friends from Britain and around the U.S., and a city I have fallen in love with, to realize how much I had immersed in British culture and how much of a home this formerly foreign city had become. I can truly say that even after a seemingly short time, London became a home away from home. Saying goodbye caused me to reflect on how much I matured during my time abroad and how each and every one of my experiences broadened my global perspective. I know I will take all of my newfound skills and diverse experiences and apply them to my professional and social life here at Santa Clara.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
I would definitely recommend talking to as many students who have studied abroad as possible. Since everyone has such unique experiences it is very beneficial to hear about everyone's favorite local hot spots, markets, travel destinations, etc. to be able to diversify the adventure. I would also recommend booking trips early to ensure low prices and also to reduce stress. The last thing I would strongly recommend is to keep a record of everything you do abroad. This doesn't have to mean a public blog, a text-filled journal, or letters home. Even something as simple as a bullet point list of restaurants, activities, stores, etc. will preserve so many memories for years to come.