Santa Clara University

Amy Bernstein '13

International Ambassador

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I had an amazing experience studying abroad and would like to encourage others to take the same opportunity. Studying abroad in Florence made me more aware of the world around me and taught me that people who live in different places of the world are not that much different than me. I would to serve as an International Ambassador to help others get ready for such a wonderful experience.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I chose to study in Florence because I thought Italy was a gorgeous country. I also love Italian food and was interested in the classes that the Syracuse Florence Program offered. Florence is a beautiful city and really easy to manage. It is not too small and not too big; you could pretty much walk everywhere. Another reason I chose this program, was the opportunity to stay with a home stay family. Staying with a host family helped me to better integrate in the culture and learn the language. I also really enjoyed my host mom's cooking.
Defining Moment Abroad?
A defining moment in my abroad experience was when I met my host family. They were an old retired couple who didn't speak any English. I was nervous about living in a stranger's apartment at first, but after getting to know each other, I became more comfortable. Meeting my host family and living in something else's home made me more respectful and understanding of different cultures. I had to live by their rules and participate in some of their cultural traditions. It made me more aware of other people and their cultural values.
Advise to Prospective study abroad students?
I would encourage prospective study abroad students to just go for it. It is okay to be nervous, but do not let the fear get in the way of your experience. Studying abroad is such an amazing opportunity and makes you a better-rounded person.     If I were to study abroad again I would not hesitate to try new foods from the start. I was nervous at first and missed out on some good food. I would also be more careful with my class selection because, I did not like a few of my classes. I wish I would have taken nutrition or an art class.