Strasbourg Global Ambassadors

Name: Mary Mik ’19

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Major: Nutrition

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2013

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? Fear comes from the unknown. Once you familiarize yourself with a situation, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Being hesitant to go to a foreign place can be intimidating at first, but in the end, it is the most rewarding.

Contact: mamik@syr.edu


lucysutphinName: Lucy Sutphin ’18

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

Major: Advertising

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I chose to study in France to help my French speaking skills, little did I know I would learn so much more. The best part of my experience was living with a host family. My host mom was a teacher and she took every chance to teach my roommate and I about the French culture, including us in family trips and traditions. I left for abroad sad to be apart from my family but I left abroad sad to leave my second family. To top it off, my French skills improved ten-fold.

Contact: lesutphi@syr.edu


asiminadiamantisName: Asimina Diamantis ’19

Hometown: North Olmsted, OH

Major: Mechanical engineering

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Syracuse University arranged different excursions near Strasbourg, which were included in our program fee. Setting up trips throughout the semester, offered to all students, allowed me to interact with students whom I didn’t have class with. I was able to quickly bond with fellow students while traveling, creating a lasting experiences. Also, since the university planned the travel excursions, I was able to travel to places I wouldn’t have visited in my own time, as well as lessening the burden of trying to plan my own weekend travels.

Contact: aadiaman@syr.edu


fatimasaundersName: Fatima Saunders ’17

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Majors: Psychology and Child & family studies

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience while I was abroad was my internship at a Montessori daycare with children that ranged from birth to 4 years of age. I was able to put the material I learned in my major into practice. It helped me to solidify my future career goals because before I was skeptical about going into the realm of early childhood. However, now I am certain it is what I want to do.

Contact: fsaunder@syr.edu


kaitlinpearsonName: Kaitlin Pearson ’18

Hometown: East Chatham, NY

Majors: Broadcast & digital journalism

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? The first thing I would say to a student who was undecided about going abroad would be that it’s ok to be undecided. But I would also say that if they decided not to, it would be something they would regret for the rest of their lives. I would tell them that going abroad is all about putting yourself out there, letting go of previous thoughts about a group of people or place and just living your life moment by moment in the best way possible. You put your guard down and let the cultures of these different countries consume you, let people you have never met before change your life, and learn how to problem solve on a moments notice with language and currency often as a barrier. This makes you more independent as an individual and accepting of others. I can honestly say that I am a different person now after studying abroad than I was before I left. It gives you hope that in a world full of hate that you can find these pockets of love and joy where history meets today in the most beautiful way possible.

Contact: kspearso@syr.edu


evemercerName: Eve Mercer ’18

Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY

Majors: Communication sciences & disorders

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Over spring break, some friends and I traveled to Thessaloniki, a city in northern Greece. While we were there, we took a tour one night. Our tour guide, named George, also worked with an organization that helped refugees. While on the tour, we passed a homeless couple sitting under an awning. George stopped and asked where they were from, to which they replied “Syria.” He gave them 20 euros and his business card, and told them that tomorrow morning if they went to the address of his organization that someone would be able to help them. I truly think I will never forget this experience, because it brought a global issue right in front of my eyes. In America, it can be easy to just shut out the refugee crisis because it is so far removed from us, but in Thessaloniki there was no looking away. This experience also showed me the importance of human kindness and helping wherever and whenever you can.

Contact: epmercer@syr.edu


jiyeonseoName: Ji Yeon Seo ’17

Hometown: Chino Hills, CA

Majors: Broadcast journalism and Policy studies

Semesters abroad: Short-term Spring 2015 (Aqueducts of Ancient Rome), Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I will never forget living with my host mom in France. It helped me encounter the cultural issues head-to-head and think about certain situations in a much broader sense. I also felt more connected with the French life by living with a French family and learning to speak French.

Contact: jseo04@syr.edu


Name: Sarah Farmer ’19

Hometown: Boyerown, PA

Major: Undeclared

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Getting to live with a host family. Since I had never taken French before, it was difficult at times for me to communicate with my family, but that is what helped me to learn. My French improved drastically by the end of the semester, and I am now able to speak basic French and even have a simple conversation with someone. Living with a French family really allowed me to learn a lot about French culture and gave me a truly French semester.

Contact: sefarmer@syr.edu


""Name: Jessica Saldua ’19

Hometown: Pawtucket, RI

Major: Biology

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? The things you learn go beyond anything you could learn in the classroom. You come to understand so much about the world, the people around you and yourself. It’s easy to create a list about all the experiences that you can have while abroad, but nothing on paper comes close to actually packing your bags and traveling not only in the city you’re studying in, but also the surrounding countries. Your abroad experience doesn’t stop when you return either, it’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Contact: jsaldua@syr.edu


""Name: Nidia Bernal ’19

Hometown: Fairfield, NJ

Major: Biochemistry

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2015

What do you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I did not pack so much. I was told but I really wished I listened. It is very important to know that you will find and buy a lot of things while abroad. Pack the very essential things and everything will be fine.

Contact: nrbernal@syr.edu


""Name: Sean Onwualu ’19

Hometown: Sylmar, CA

Major: Psychology

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Definitely the relationships I made with French students and French people. They allowed me to really broaden my horizons and think differently.

Contact: conwualu@syr.edu


""Name: Lynsey Cooper ’17

Hometown: West Chester, PA

Major: International relations

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The opportunity to learn from so many international professors. SU Strasbourg hosts many professors from around the world, but the array of international professors I had in Strasbourg taught subjects that were very relevant to the area we were in, enriching our experience further. I had a French professor, Polish professor, Turkish professor, and an American professor. From this collection, I saw different outlooks on the world. In such a globally centered world today, there is no greater education than this type of immersion.

Contact: lkcooper@syr.edu


""Name: Nicholas Romero ’17

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

Major: Economics

Visiting college: University of Colorado-Boulder

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What did you wish you had known before you went abroad? Don’t be afraid to try new things. Whether its trying that fish that looks at you, or you are looking at the timeless pieces of art in d’Orsay. If you are free on a weekend and you have friends that are going to Luxembourg for example, don’t say no because, “What’s in Luxembourg?” Say yes because, “When will I ever get the chance to see Luxembourg ever again?”

Contact: nicholas.romero@colorado.edu


Ricky CieriName: Ricky Cieri ’17

Hometown: Waterloo, NY

Majors: International relations and Modern foreign languages

Semesters abroad: Spring 2015 (Strasbourg), Summer 2015 (Madrid Summer Session), Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I was able to really dive into the social scene in Madrid and make local friends. This allowed me to improve my Spanish ability immensely, meanwhile learning more about Spanish culture that I hadn’t learned in a classroom or in my home-stay.

Contact: fwcierii@syr.edu


Arianne BurrellName: Arianne Burrell ’17

Hometown: Ashburn, VA

Majors: International relations and French

Semester abroad: Spring 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Living with a host family was the most enriching part of studying abroad. I was able to immerse myself in French culture, and by the end of the program I actually felt as if I was a part of a French family. I realize that if I stayed in a dorm with other students, I would have missed a lot of cultural experiences. Living with a host family I got to celebrate holidays the way French people do, eat meals the way French people do, and go to certain events that I would have never found myself.

Contact: alburrel@syr.edu


Matthew VanDemarkName: Matthew VanDemark ’17

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Major: Music performance

Semester abroad: Spring 2015

What was your most unforgettable experience abroad? Mainly my most favorite experience was discovering Berlin with my music group and enjoying the one of the most beautiful countries in the world and seeing opera there.

Contact: mjvandem@syr.edu

 


Grace HildrethName: Grace Hildreth ’18

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Major: French

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2014

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The relationship I formed with my host family. My host parents made my experience so wonderful because of their enthusiasm to truly invite me into their culture through cuisine, day trips, family dinners and more, all while having hilarious and meaningful conversations in French. To have made a connection with people I had met for the first time in a completely different culture is something I cherish immensely, because I know that I always have, and always will have, a second home in Strasbourg.

Contact: gmhildre@syr.edu


Josh SchickName: Josh Schick ’17

Hometown: Fayetteville, NY

Majors: International relations and Economics

Semesters abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2013, Spring 2016 (Istanbul)

What do you wish you had known before going abroad? Before going abroad, I wish I had known and planned out all of things I wanted to do and all of the places I wanted to see. Time goes by so fast while you’re abroad and at the end of the experience I found myself regretting not doing certain things and going certain places that I had always wanted to, especially where I was staying in Strasbourg. So in retrospect, I would have made a list of the most important things to do while abroad and I would have made it my goal to do all of those things.

Contact: jdschick@syr.edu


Sarah HamiltonName: Sarah Hamilton ’18

Hometown: Cumming, GA

Major: International relations

Semester abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2014

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? In all honesty, going abroad my freshman year was the best decision I ever made. It was a hard decision too, I took a while to decide, I was unsure and hesitant for a long time. This was the first real decision I had to make, and it was the first one nobody could make for me. Looking back, all of my fears were stupid and I made the best friends and saw the best things and tasted the best foods and truly lived. I come from a small town in the south, not a lot of people leave. In fact, a lot of people told me it was dumb to go, and to wait until I was older. But I thought they were wrong, and after coming back I know they were wrong. I have never been happier, and genuinely this was the best decision I ever made.

Contact: sarahrosehamilton@gmail.com