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Jennifer Warren '13
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
Studying abroad was one of the most influential experiences I have had throughout my life. I grew more independent, competent, loving, appreciative, caring, aware, and rounded individual. I would do it all over in a heartbeat. I want to serve as an International Ambassador because I want to be a part of other peoples study abroad journey. I want to encourage others to go abroad and help show them all the wonderful things they can experience and learn by living in another country. I also want to be part of a community at Santa Clara with people who understand what it is like to come back to the States after being abroad.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
Weather, taking classes that were relevant to the country I was in and having them count towards my scu degree. I also wanted to be in a location where not many scu students were traveling because I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture and meet new people.
Defining Moment Abroad?
A defining moment when I was abroad was when my parents came to visit and my mother asked me why I liked Australia so much. Before then, I had not thought much about why I had fallen in love with Australia. As I reflected I realized what I loved so much about the country was the detachment from technology and the kindness of the people. For example, when you go out to dinner with someone in Australia, they are not constantly on their cell phones or distracted by other technology. In fact, it is rare for someone to even look at their phone during a meal. When you have dinner with someone else, you can actually have a meaningful conversation with them. This moment of realization made me aware of how tied to technology America is. I found it sad to realize that in America face to face conversations are treated with less value than technology. Since being back in the States I have made an effort to turn my phone off so that I can be present with the people I am surrounded by.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
Although my experience was absolutely amazing, there was not a whole lot of support at the start of my journey. Not that many students had studied in Australia, let alone at my university, so I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I would encourage students to know the abroad deadlines ahead of time and complete them early on to minimize stress and make sure they are completed on time. I would also encourage students to ask questions to their abroad supervisors and talk to students who had previously studied in the place they are going. I wish I would have done this so I could have gained a better understanding of Australia and what to expect before getting there. I would also encourage students to try to disengage from the people they know from home or school on their trip so that they can have their own experience and truly grow as a person and become more independent.