Global Ambassadors - Spring 2017

During the Spring 2017 semester, the Office of Study Away had a team of dedicated Global Ambassadors to assist interested students through the pre-departure study away process. We would like to spotlight each Global Amabassador as they share their enthusiasm for their particular programs and study away in general, and their experiences while studying abroad.

tahmad-shanghai-crop3.pngTasmiah Ahmad '18, Public Policy & Law, Trinity in Shanghai

After returning home from an incredible five months in Shanghai, I am eager to share my amazing experience with my peers at Trinity College.  Trinity in Shanghai is an exceptional program to partake in because Shanghai is such an international hub. Students will be able to experience an exciting life full of new cultures, tastes and sounds, but they will not have to sacrifice all the things they love about their home. For example, restaurants with cuisine from all around the world are located in the city center for everyone to enjoy. Trinity in Shanghai will provide students with exotic experiences while still giving them access to the comforts they are not willing to give up. I recommend that all students study away for at least one semester because it will broaden people’s horizons and remind them that there is no one standard way to live life. Furthermore, I want my classmates to understand that we are all capable of adapting to new environments and embracing change away from the status quo. 

Living in Shanghai was such an enlightening experience. Recognizing that I could happily and quite easily survive in a city that spoke minimal English was a relief! I made friends from all over the world in my classes at Fudan University, which were interesting because I was exposed to different teaching styles and learning styles from my peers. Additionally, I was lucky enough to be able to travel throughout China and parts of Asia with my new friends. My Chinese language skills greatly improved while living in the city, and I was always excited to practice the language with the locals around me. One of the greatest things about being abroad was the feeling of independence it gave me. I was responsible for myself in this foreign country, which was an exhilarating realization. 

Jessica Avila '18, Neuroscience, Trinity in Barcelona

I really enjoyed my study away experience and the Trinity in Barcelona program could have not been a better fit. I would recommend the Trinity in Barcelona program and especially living with a homestay family because it offers a whole different perspective to the study away experience. You get to have authentic Spanish dinners every night and practice your Spanish skills. 

Also, this program provides a variety of interesting classes for any Spanish speaking levels. Our program coordinators, Sabrina and Agueda, are amazing and are always there when you need them—providing amazing opportunities such as the pre-med placement and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, Barcelona is the perfect place to study because it is a city where you can experience both the beach and the mountains. And for those hesitant of studying abroad because of the language barrier, Barcelona is full of English speakers so it will not be a problem.​ 

Emily Dowden '18, Religious Studies, Trinity in Rome 

My time in Rome was the best and most transformative experience of my life. Before flying to Italy, I had never travelled outside of the U.S. before. As you can imagine, a city like Rome was easily able to capture my heart. I wanted to go to as many museums, basilicas and restaurants as possible. I wanted to interact with the Italian people. I wanted to dare to do things that I normally never would. During my four months abroad, I was able to do all of these things and more. I can now say that I have been to seven cities within Italy, and seen the sights and tasted the cuisine from all of them. 

I am also proud to report that I had an internship while I was abroad, teaching English to students at a nearby middle school. There, I was able to directly interact with the local Italian people. Although I was the teacher, I learned infinitely more from them. They taught me confidence, public speaking skills, new perspectives and world views, and a lot about a culture thats very different from my own. The Rome Program is structured in a way that makes it impossible for you to not get to know Rome intimately​.There are countless opportunities that are unique to this program, such as the option to have an internship. There are also many built-in trips, like a weekend in Naples, Pompeii and Capri and, for certain classes, weekends in Venice, Ravenna and Turin, among other cities. If you attend the Rome program, you will see, experience, taste and feel more than you ever could have imagined. ​ 

dhughes-trinidad-crop.jpgDarcy Hughes '18, English, Trinity in Trinidad 

Rome, specifically, is one of the best places to go on a semester away because the culture is overwhelmingly rich. The food, the art, the history, is so unlike other cities in the world in terms of quality and quantity. The Aventine Hill is one of the nicest and most safe places to live in Rome. It is quiet and peaceful but if you walk for 5 minutes you're in the heart of Ancient Rome. I lived in the convent which was by far my best living situation in college!​ I recommend the Trinity College Rome program because I whole-heartedly believe it is an exceptional key to unlocking the incredible city. ​

​The knowledgeable staff not only advised us on questions about the city but they also planned specific trips as part of our curriculum; which often included sites that other programs do not have access to. Trips also include ones outside of Rome! The professors I had on the Trinity program were kind, knowledgeable, and passionate. My semester in Rome was not academically easy and because my classes were challenging, I learned a lot about the city I was living in. This program is academically and experientially rewarding. Students get the freedom they seek without ever feeling like they lack a support system. ​

Emily Llerena '18, English, Barcelona Summer 

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience abroad in Spain, and I would love to encourage as many other students as I can to partake in that experience. It was such an enriching experience for me and a great away to learn how to navigate a new environment, work on building connections with different people, and create a space of my own in an entirely new country! I didn’t just grow as a student when I was abroad—I grew as a person. I could go on for hours about my study away experience, but if I had to choose, I would hone it down to three things: accessibility, travel, and friendships. While I was away I got to travel to Ireland, the U.K., and attend a prom in Belgium! Last but not least, Trinity programs are open to other schools, which means that students have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships with students from other schools. During my time away, for example, we went with a student from Holy Cross who is now one of my best friends! ​

The summer program was extremely beneficial especially to me, as a Winter Athlete, because I am unable to study away during any full semester in my college career.  This particular program is perfect because it lasts long enough to feel as though you are getting a lot of the abroad experience, but it doesn’t cut too far into the summer so that you can’t work. . The program is extremely accessible for all ranges of students—from entry-level Spanish speakers to advanced level. Furthermore, there is a weeklong break in the program for students to either rest up after midterms or take the opportunity to travel.  The program is almost too good to be true—plus completing the program means receiving two whole credits!

mrnagel-rome-crop.jpgMary Ruth Nagel '18, Biology, Trinity in Rome 

I would recommend that students study away because it is such a life-changing opportunity. You are able to learn so much about yourself and others. While I get an outstanding education at Trinity, while abroad I learned so much more than I ever could in just a classroom. Additionally, your 20s are a unique time of relatively few responsibilities, so I believe that it is important to use this time to travel the world to learn and experience as much as you can before the start of “the real world” when responsibilities such as family, children, and a full time job may hinder your ability to travel.

I would specifically recommend the Rome program for many reasons. It tends to be the largest of the Trinity Campus programs, which I definitely think adds to the experience. Unlike the other programs, the Rome program offers an internship program. I taught English at the local Italian high school and it was one of my favorite aspects of my abroad experience. I would specifically recommend Rome to the students who plan on doing a great deal of travel. With Rome’s two major airports and Termini Train Station just miles from Trinity’s prime Aventine Hill location, there are endless easy travel options, as well as countless travel deals. This was a huge factor in what made my travel while abroad such a great and often seamless experience. 

​Grace O'Donnell '18, Hispanic Studies, Trinity in Buenos Aires

I think study away offers a unique opportunity to students that they will never get the chance to experience after graduation. When an American student lives and studies in a different country, they are immediately exposed to a different culture that allows them to appreciate certain norms that they are not familiar with. The study away experience tests a student’s ability to grow independently and adapt to a new environment. I think it is very important to have a global perspective throughout our years at Trinity, but that is hard to acquire if you remain on campus all four years. Studying abroad allows students to travel and live like locals, in the city they choose, which is very different from taking a week's vacation. 

I would recommend Trinity in Buenos Aires because I was fully immersed in the Argentinian culture. At first, I was hesitant to living in a homestay, but came to realize it was the most rewarding part of my study away experience. Ultimately, this program is great for students who want to become fluent in Spanish. The IFSA Butler program emphasizes the importance of immersing yourself in the universities, getting to know local students, getting involved in extracurricular activities, and traveling within and outside the country. I believe that this program helped me develop a greater understanding of the Argentinian culture and challenged me to engage in situations and activities outside my comfort zone.​ 

Christa Prophete '17, Theater & Dance, Rome Summer & Trinity/LaMaMa in New York City 

I absolutely would recommend that students study away. I think that studying away is one of the best parts of Trinity. I think it allows you to grow and get out of the Trinity bubble. I absolutely would recommend the Rome Summer program because not only is Rome beautiful, the Trinity professors who are there are dedicated and extremely helpful. I had an amazing time abroad in Rome during the summer, and I would love to encourage other students to take an advantage of this amazing program. I truly believe that studying away is one of the best things about Trinity.

​I previously was a global ambassador for the Trinity La Mama program for one year and during this time I gained a lot of experience being creative, as well as being there for the students interested in studying abroad.

mrace2-crop2.jpgMeaghan Race '18, Neuroscience, Trinity in Cape Town 

Being part of a Trinity program was extremely rewarding and has sparked a fire for even more travel in my lifeThe University of Cape Town, where I studied, was one of the largest universities in Africa. I went from 25 students per lecture at Trinity to 400 students per lecture at UCT. This allowed me to reach outside my comfort zone and challenge myself in a different learning environment. I am a science major; however, with what was going on in the country, I learned an incredible amount of information on politics and economics simply because it was a hot topic in South Africa. Being outside of the United States allows for a culturally educational experience networking on a global level. 

I was naive going into my experience thinking that I would meet strictly local students; however, I ended up making friends from all over the world. Personally I fell in love with the city I was studying in. As an international student I was able to spend a significant time in Cape Town. I was able to visit countless museums and see artifacts. Cape Town also provided a great deal of outdoor activities like surfing and hiking, so when I was not on campus there was always something to do!​

crosenberg-crop.jpgCharlotte Rosenberg '18, American Studies, Trinity in Paris 

I had one of the best experiences at Trinity in Paris. The program made it easy for me to feel comfortable in a new city, while also encouraging me to explore and become more independent. By studying away, I was able to learn how to travel by myself, try new things, and even meet up with my friends from high school in different countries. I would definitely recommend Trinity in Paris to students because the city of Paris is amazing. I really enjoyed the French culture and learning how the Parisians lived their life. Sitting at cafes and people watching was one of my favorite activities while abroad. Living in a new culture for four months was definitely my favorite part of the trip.  

I was really nervous to go to a country where I didn’t speak the language, but I wouldn’t let this hold someone back. I picked up the basics really quickly and everyone in Europe was willing to help me. I feel that it is important to not turn away from any countries or programs where they speak a different language. I had a small background in French from high school, but I had forgotten a lot of it by the time I went abroad. I would tell the other students not to be afraid of the language barrier because most mistakes are funny and you can laugh about them. 

cstabler-barcelona-crop.jpgCharlotte Stabler '18, Political Science & Hispanic Studies, Trinity in Barcelona 

I absolutely loved being abroad in Barcelona;​, my time studying away was the most amazing experience. I learned so much about the culture in Barcelona, the Spanish language and it made me a much more interested and independent person. My courses at UPF and my time spent at my homestay provided me with new perspectives on the world.   

Studying away is such an exciting and important opportunity that Trinity gives us. It can change someone’s perspective on school, culture, their personal life, etc. Attending the Trinity in Barcelona program was the best choice I have ever made. It was the most well organized and supportive program in every regard. Agueda and Sabrina provided us with help, encouragement and life lessons each day, and our courses at UPF paralleled those at Trinity, with small class sizes and approachable professors. My homestay experience gave me an insight into the Spanish and Catalan cultures and lifestyles.

Studying away may seem scary at first, but stepping out of your comfort zone and leaving home for a semester can be an extremely worthwhile experience. You will be supported, but will gain a serious amount of independence throughout the semester.​​​​​​​​​​​