Madrid Global Ambassadors

""Name: Karlee Farr ’17

Hometown: Mount Joy, PA

Major: Marketing management

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Living with a Spanish host mother was the most valuable experience to me during my semester in Madrid. I think that if I had lived in my own place, my experience would have been completely different. Living with a Spanish family gave us direct interaction with the language, culture, and customs of those who lived in Madrid.

Contact: kmfarr@syr.edu


Name: Sarah Gardner ’18

Hometown: Chicopee, MA

Major: Sport management

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What do you wish you would have known before going abroad? Before I went abroad, I really wish that I had known that everyone adjusts to being abroad differently, and it’s okay to be nervous. Although I am now extremely grateful for the time I spent abroad and I absolutely loved Madrid, when I first landed I was anxious about spending four whole months away, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I wish that I had known that some people can take longer to adjust to life overseas, and that not everyone jumps immediately into their abroad life, and there’s no problem with making your abroad experience your own and taking it at your own pace.

Contact: sgardner@syr.edu


nataliegoldsteinName: Natalie Goldstein ’18

Hometown: Leland, NC

Major: Advertising

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Before I went abroad, I didn’t have a particular or pronounced interest in learning about other cultures or people. However while I was abroad, I saw different religions, cultures, beliefs, ways of life and became fascinated by life outside of what I knew- American, university student. I wanted to learn more and more– more about their ways of life and how the places grew up shaped their mentality and beliefs. For example, dinner time in Spain is usually around 9 or 10 pm– very different from the US and the majority of the world. I wanted to know *why* and searched to understand how it affects all aspects of Spanish life, from nightlife to the timing of lunch, to the hours of the work day. Why are bathrooms called “toilets” in Ireland and England? Why is carrying open drinks allowed on public transportation in Germany legal? Why is the order of cheek kissing different from Spain to Italy? All these small differences from US culture intrigued me and left me wanting to understand and learn about more and more cultures outside of my own, and I believe being abroad opened my mind in incredible ways.

Contact: nlgoldst@syr.edu


Processed with VSCO with c1 presetName: Ally Koval ’18

Hometown: Natick, MA

Major: Advertising

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? There were so many experiences that were simply unforgettable abroad, but the experience that was most valuable to me was the opportunity to live with a host family. I didn’t feel like I was just “studying” in Madrid, I really felt like I was living there. Living with a host family definitely put me outside of my comfort zone with a completely new language, different food, and overall new culture, but it was an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Not only were they the most welcoming and warm people, but they also treated me like I was one of their children. They showed me how to use the metro, always told me the best places to go in the city, and would even take my roommate and me on trips to towns outside of Madrid. Furthermore, I know that my Spanish significantly improved living with them because it forced me to practice outside the classroom in real-life situations. They were so supportive whenever I had trouble finding words or speaking and would even help me study for tests (and when they started taking English classes I got to help them study!) But most importantly, they truly made Madrid feel like home.

Contact: akoval@syr.edu


michellehernandezName: Michelle Hernandez Pou ’18

Hometown: Guanynabo, PR

Major: Advertising

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? Going abroad not only gave me the opportunity to travel with my friends and see more of the world, but it also provided me with the most incredible learning experience I have had to date. Learning really does go way past the classroom walls, and no matter what program you choose, studying abroad show you a part of the world and of yourself that you may have never seen otherwise.

Contact: mherna07@syr.edu


jphadleyName: JP Hadley ’18

Hometown: Greenwich, CT

Major: Newspaper and online journalism

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience while abroad was getting to know a very close group of friends that I only would have met through my abroad program. I only knew one person on the program going in, which made me pretty nervous. But I found out pretty quickly that there were students in the program from different universities all over the East Coast, and we managed to become very close, very quickly. This was so valuable to me because I was worried about who I would travel and experience Europe with when I arrived in Spain, but left with five new and very close friends that I can’t imagine my abroad experience without.

Contact: jphadley@syr.edu


meganbosisioName: Megan Bosisio ’18

Hometown: Canon City, CO

Major: Marketing management

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? Definitely do it; you won’t regret it! You can’t go wrong with any program through SU, but pick one based on you and not your friends. No matter where you end up there will be other students, and truly one of my favorite parts of going abroad was getting to know the other SU students. Everyone in my program really bonded and coming back to Syracuse this semester I felt like I was returning with 70 new friends!

Contact: mmbosisi@syr.edu


20160321_133608 copyName: Brandon Mixson ’17

Hometown: Henderson, NV

Major: Writing & rhetoric and Psychology

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable/unforgettable experience was seeing how different the world truly was. When I entered Syracuse University, I initially decided that I didn’t want nor care to go abroad. Quite honestly, I was determined to stay in Syracuse for all four years (nothing wrong with that of course) and graduate and live life. Fortunately, a great friend of mine relentlessly questioned me about going for two years straight. Eventually, I gave in.

The world, for lack of a better term, is so much larger than I could’ve even imagined. Seeing the viewpoints of brilliant minds, some foreign and some not so foreign to me, made me reconsider the way I saw the world entirely. I came back to the United States fatigued, hungry for some American delicacies (I missed Fruit Rollups much more than I’m willing to admit), and ready to be in my own bed. However, I also came back eager to see more beautiful pieces of art, visit more American landmarks, and be more.

Contact: bamixson@syr.edu


brittanymullerName: Brittany Muller ’17

Hometown: Davie, FL

Major: Broadcast & digital journalism

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I had many unforgettable experiences abroad, but my most valuable experience abroad was living with a host family. I had a host mom and grandma. We lived in a small apartment and only had what we needed, which was much different than what I am used to. It taught me the appreciation for the little things and realized how wasteful I can be at times. My host mom cared for me as if I were her own. Every time I left the house she would always say, “be happy,” it reminded me to always make the most of my day and go through it with a smile. It was such a short period and yes there were ups and downs of living in a foreign country, with strangers, and a language barrier, but every day was an experience that I loved.

Contact: bmmuller@syr.edu


MaddieLorangName: Madeline Lorang ’18

Hometown: Bigfork, MT

Major: Citizenship & Civic Engagement

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What did you wish you had known before you went abroad? Of course, there are the little things, like pack light, bring the right type of outlet converter, figure out a cell phone plan. But I learned there is an important underlying message to all those tips: it is okay to be uncomfortable. If you can save money by only packing a backpack, wear the same pair of pants three days in a row. If you have to sacrifice some room in your suitcase to bring your camera, leave the hair dryer and straightener, who cares what your hair looks like. There’s no need to ask for WIFI at every café and restaurant, I promise nothing you are missing out on your phone is better than what you are doing in that moment. I wish I had known that before I left- not to sweat the small stuff. If study abroad gives you anything, it is a big dose of perspective. I can say without hesitation that my four months in Madrid were the best of my life and not every day was a walk in the park. But I would take bad days in Madrid over regular days everywhere else, and that is why it is so important to savor every moment.

Contact: mhlorang@syr.edu


christinafieldsName: Christina Fields ’17

Hometown: Danbury, CT

Major: Information management and technology

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What would you say to a student undecided about a semester abroad? I was almost completely terrified of going abroad. In the week I had leading up to my flight my Mom probably had to deal with at least five breakdowns. She kept reminding me that if I wanted to, I could come home at any point and she would have the flight booked in a heartbeat. However, now that I’ve gone through it, I would not trade my experience abroad. Traveling abroad gives you incredible opportunities and helps you grow so much as an individual. Once you navigate public transportation in a country with a completely foreign language, suddenly being home in the US and using public transportation is not an issue. You see so many similarities with people abroad with people at home, and you see some differences that might astound you. All of it helps you understand yourself, and those around you better.

Contact: chfields@syr.edu


""Name: Ryan Bayacoub ’17

Hometown: Valley Stream, NY

Major: Information management and technology

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What would you say to a student considering a semester abroad? Make sure to ask questions to the SU Abroad adviser as well as your friends. It is good to keep asking questions if you are not sure. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, visit the SU Abroad website to see any events that might be helpful to you. When you believe you have all the information you need, then make your decision.

Contact: rbayacou@syr.edu


""Name: Emily Thomas ’17

Hometown: Long Valley, NJ

Major: Supply chain management

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The relationship I made with my host mom. I was able to build a relationship with her that helped better my Spanish and my knowledge of the Spanish culture. She was inviting and caring and corrected me when my grammar was wrong, spoke about current events happening in Madrid and even let me watch Spanish game shows with her. It was an unforgettable relationship that I plan to continue with her.

Contact: ekthomas@syr.edu


""Name: Francois Acosta ’17

Hometown: New York, NY

Major: Political science

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? Go for it! I promise you will not regret it. When you think about it, many of us will never have the opportunity to live in another country for four months with the accommodations of a host stay. I never felt out of touch with the culture because the university did an amazing job of offering trips and other opportunities to get us acquainted with the history and culture of Spain. The experiences you have with other people while abroad will last with you for a lifetime.

Contact: facosta@syr.edu


""Name: Amanda D’Angelo ’17

Hometown: LaGrangeville, NY

Majors: Spanish and Childhood education

Visiting College: LeMoyne College

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? The best part about traveling to Spain was not knowing everything and being able to discover it all on my own. Syracuse University gave me a lot of information that I needed in order to be successful and comfortable while being abroad, but most of the time I discovered parts of the studying abroad experience through my many adventures. I was able to learn the beauty of Europe through experience. All I think you can tell a student about traveling abroad is to keep an open mind.

Contact: dangelal@lemoyne.edu


""Name: Jennie May ’17

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Majors: Public relations, marketing, and supply chain management

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I was able to travel with the freshmen Discovery students to Barcelona. It was my 3rd visit there, so showing the students around and visiting La Rambla, the Port, the Sagrada Familia, and other Gaudi buildings. The unforgettable experience was on top of the Barcelona Cathedral. Meeting the freshman, talking about Syracuse, and my times in Barcelona, really showed me how I could share my experiences with others.

Email: jwmay@syr.edu


""Name: Jenna Sacco ’19

Hometown: Ontario, NY

Major: Biology and linguistics

Semester abroad: Discovery Madrid Fall 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? For the undecided students, I would ask them what is holding them back from going abroad. There is nothing holding anyone back if they know where to look. Each and every student has the opportunity to get financial help, counseling about classes and everything else. Additionally, I would ask what they truly want to get out the experience because every student needs to realize that the saying and doing are very different.

Contact: jrsacco@syr.edu