Hong Kong Global Ambassadors

Name: Miranda Green ’17

Hometown: Costa Mesa, CA

Majors: Political science and International relations

Semesters abroad: Spring 2015 (Hong Kong) and Spring 2016 (Istanbul)

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? I would say it was one of the best decisions I made in my adult life, especially in my college career. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world, and I could not be more grateful for SU Abroad helping me grow as a student and an individual.

Contact: mgreen@syr.edu

Name: Lisa Guan ’17

Hometown: New York, NY

Majors: Supply chain management and accounting

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The embedded five-week internship program in SU Hong Kong was the most memorable of my semester experiences. The opportunity to work, consult, and collaborate on IP business models with local Hong Kong residents was indispensable. Simultaneously, as an accounting student, I was exposed to Hong Kong’s specific book-keeping methods and software such as MYOB (Company) while assisting with back office support for start-up clients. The best part of my experience were the frequent trips to other regions in the Pearl River Delta. There, my manager would explain to me the region’s economic status a decade ago versus its current status as a result of China’s new One Belt One Road policy. Overall, the internship program was a pivotal platform for me to develop my career within Hong Kong’s unique economical and societal conditions.

Contact: lguan01@syr.edu

kristenunangstName: Kristen Unangst ’18

Hometown: Lansdale, PA

Majors: Supply chain management and finance

Semester abroad: Fall 2016, Hong Kong Center

What do you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I knew how difficult it would be to leave!! I decided to study abroad in Asia because I figured that there would be no way I could ever visit that part of the world at another time in my life. Hong Kong is a 16-hour flight away, with stark differences in culture and language that would make it difficult to travel there for a weekend getaway or even for an extended period of time. I thought of my time abroad as an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it ended up being so much more than that. I can now easily see myself traveling, living, and working in Hong Kong. The internship portion of my abroad experience was one of the most meaningful parts of it for me, because it gave me the ability to understand what working in Hong Kong would be like and truly got me hooked on Hong Kong. It felt so easy and natural to hop on the MTR in my business casual and to watch the city wake up on my way into the office.

Contact: kunangst@syr.edu

ilonatothName: Ilona Toth ’18

Hometown: Montclair, NJ

Majors: Accounting and EEE

Semester abroad: Fall 2016, Hong Kong Center

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I went into my semester very open-minded. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Southeast Asia, myself, and being out of my comfort zone. I forced myself to try new things. I ate food I never knew existed, jumped off waterfalls, rode elephants, and loved every minute of every crazy and unplanned thing that happened. All of my experiences abroad taught me to be more spontaneous and go with the flow, something I previously was not too good at. Traveling and living abroad allowed me to grow as a student and an individual.

Contact: itoth@syr.edu

caitlinoharaName: Caitlin O’Hara ’18

Hometown: Merrick, NY

Major: Business administration

Semester abroad: Fall 2016, Hong Kong Center

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience abroad was being involved in a culture so different from the one I am used to. The way that I learn, the way that things are done in the United States is not the same as how they are done elsewhere. While I knew this to be true, obtaining a global perspective allowed me to fully experience those differences in a way that allowed me to better understand the culture of Southeast Asia. This allowed me to open my mind and aid in my immersion in Hong Kong.

Contact: ceohara@syr.edu

allisonclarkName: Allison Clark ’18

Hometown: Ventura, CA

Major: Public relations

Semester abroad: Fall 2016, Hong Kong Center

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience while abroad was the ability to intern with a Hong Kong fashion company while I was there. As their only American employee, my opinion was heavily valued, and I got to learn so much about the Asian culture that I wouldn’t have if I did not have that incredible opportunity. I was also able to make networking connections and produce content that will advance me in my career for the rest of my life.

Contact: awclar02@syr.edu

roisingarganName: Roisin Gargan ’17

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Visiting College: Tulane University

Major: Finance

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I legitimately have so many unforgettable memories from my SU Hong Kong program, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to just one. In terms of my future career, getting the chance to intern in Hong Kong was invaluable. I will now be able to bring an international perspective to whatever company I work for after graduation.

Our guided program of China in the beginning of the trip was also an incredible experience. We got to see places and do things that the average tourist either wouldn’t know about it or wouldn’t be given access to do. For example, we were able to have a traditional lunch in the home of one of our hosts and we got to hear from officials of the U.S. State Department operating out of Beijing.

Contact: rgargan@tulane.edu

jasondealName: Jason Deal ’17

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Major: Policy studies

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What do you wish you knew before going abroad? Superficially, I wish I knew that I should under-pack. I did not think I would be buying as much souvenirs and clothing that I did so coming back home my luggage was overweight. Oops. More internally, I wish I knew it was okay to be by yourself and to do things on your own. It took me a long time to get comfortable with being on my own and go out and venturing on my own; so when the time came when no one wanted to do things I wanted to do, I would stay in or do what majority did and wasted certain opportunities that I later got to experience once I got comfortable with being on my own.

Contact: jrdeal@syr.edu

""Name: Carlos Rodriguez-Sanchez ’17

Hometown: Southampton, NY

Majors: Real estate and EEE

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? Leaving your home and traveling thousands of miles away to an unknown new world with unexpected adventures is scary, I know. Don’t think twice, and do not let negativity come in the way from expanding your horizons. Rather, think of how many doors will open up in your path by taking the leap to study abroad. These doors will open new opportunities to learn a new language, meet people, create friendships, and open your mind to new situations.

Contact: crodri13@syr.edu

""Name: Ashley Narvaez ’17

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Majors: Entrepreneurship and Accounting

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What did you wish you knew before studying abroad? Never deny yourself the chance to try something new or put yourself a little beyond your comfort zone. When studying abroad, you will encounter many cultural, religious, moral, political, and societal differences that you may not be used to, or what I used to do, compare to those back home. At first, I compared everything to NY, and it was only until I looked deeper into why things were done differently in China that I grew a fond appreciation for all its differences and really started to immerse myself in the culture. Try new foods, take day trips to other cities, shop in local markets, and always be willing to learn more each day.

Contact: amnarvae@syr.edu

""Name: Claire Griffith ’17

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Majors: International studies and Geography

Visiting college: DePaul University

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experiences were the moments I shared with my classmates such as traveling outside of Hong Kong, celebrating Chinese and U.S. holidays together, and exploring the city and discovering ourselves in the process. I learned a lot not only about myself and how to live on my own but also the world and the beauty in culture and people.

Contact: claire.griffith95@gmail.com