Summer Program Global Ambassadors

andrewstranahanName: Andrew Stranahan ’18

Hometown: San Bruno, CA

Major: History

Semesters abroad: Summer 2016

Summer program: Madrid Summer Session

What did you wish you would have known before going abroad? I wish I had known about the less-visited areas of Madrid. For example, during my last two weeks in Madrid, I visited the Usera neighborhood of Madrid, located on the city’s southern side. I went to Usera to conduct interviews with Chinese employees, as my final project was about Chinese businesses in Spain. The first employee I interviewed mentioned that Usera has a large Chinese population, so I took her advice and went to Usera. I fell in love with seeing people going about their business and the enterprises people had set up from markets to restaurants to Chinese lawyers helping people with their immigration papers. I found my way eventually to a Chinese bakery and tea house. After introducing myself to the two employees at the counter and explaining the purpose of my visit, one agreed to having an interview with me. The information she provided was personal and deep and gave me insight into the life of a Chinese immigrant living in Spain. After thanking her for her assistance, I left to go back to my host family. While walking back, I was awestruck by by the generosity of the people I interviewed, as the first person I interviewed directed me towards Usera and the second gave an amazing personal interview. I could not have completed my project without their invaluable aid. Although I only knew them for a few brief moments, I will never forget their generosity.

Contact: ajstrana@syr.edu


kaitlynmenegiostahlName: Kaitlyn Menegio-Stahl ’19

Hometown: Ghent, NY

Major: Neuroscience

Semesters abroad: Fall 2016 (Discovery Florence); Summer 2016

Summer program: Religion, Law, and Human Rights in Strasbourg

What was your most unforgettable experience abroad? The most unforgettable experience I had while I was abroad was my weekend to Paris. I will never forget standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower after taking the stairs all the way up to the second floor and thinking to myself, “I am eighteen and I am here in Paris with my friends. This is my life and it’s amazing.” I never thought I would be able to travel abroad due to financial restrictions, but Syracuse University gave me the opportunity twice in one year to go abroad to learn about and to see new things all over Europe. I studied French for five years and to be able to be in France using my language skills and being at the top of the Eiffel Tower was a surreal moment for me that brought together all of my French language and literature education.

Contact: kmmenegi@syr.edu


kristengwiltName: Kristen Gwilt ’17

Hometown: Oneida, NY

Major: Child & family studies

Semester abroad: Summer 2016

Summer program: Florence Summer Session

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? If you have even the slightest doubt about going abroad… GO. I was unsure how I felt about going abroad, being in a country where I don’t speak the language, and being away from home for so long. This experience forced me to step away from what was familiar in order to experience something extraordinary. I met so many friends, both from the program and through my host family, and I gained experiences I never thought I would have. Studying abroad is about a lot more than seeing the world, it is about showing yourself what you are capable of doing, if you just give yourself a push. Everyone who has gone abroad always talks about how much it changed them, and I never truly understood what they meant until I went abroad myself. Neither will you, so just go.

Contact: klgwilt@syr.edu


Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetName: Alina Freeman ’18

Hometown: Cleveland Heights, OH

Major: Sociology

Semester abroad: Summer 2015

Summer program: Paris Noir

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable/ unforgettable experience was getting to meet and have discussions with Black Parisian professionals during our panels and in class discussions. It opened my eyes to what Paris Noir was truly about and showed me that I am not limited to the United States. It allowed me to feel more connected to my major as an African American studies major and energized me to explore blackness transnationally in my own research.

Contact: abfreema@syr.edu


catherinecummingsName: Catherine Cummings ’18

Hometown: Richboro, PA

Major: Advertising and Retail management

Semester abroad: Summer 2016

Summer program: Florence Summer Session

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Through my Italian Business Excellence course, I was able to take advantage of all that Florence had to offer. I unexpectedly got an internship through my professor that would forever change my career path. I found a new love for the retail and fashion industry. I got to work with the world’s most premier fashion suppliers. Without SU Florence, I would not have been able to accomplish any of these things, and my future certainly wouldn’t be the same.

Contact: cmcumm01@syr.edu


ivychristensenName: Ivy Christensen ’19

Hometown: Thompson, PA

Major: Mechanical engineering

Semester abroad: Summer 2016

Summer program: Florence Summer Session

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? If you have any desire to visit this country, just do it. Study aboard is the only time in your life that you get to study and travel for an extended period of time so cheaply, so make the most of the opportunity. You are not just signing up to take classes in a different country, you are signing up for a life changing experience in which you learn much more than just course material.

Contact: ichriste@syr.edu


Jacquelyn FucheckName: Jacquelyn Fucheck ’17

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

Major: Mathematics

Semester abroad: Summer 2015

Summer program: Madrid Summer Session

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I loved being able to live with a host mom, Rosa, while in Madrid. I got to get immersed into the culture on a much deeper level by actually living with a Spaniard and getting to see Spain through her eyes as well. I learned a lot about Spanish culture, traditions, and food just from living with her. I also got to improve my Spanish too (since Rosa didn’t speak ANY English)!

Contact: jdfuchec@syr.edu


Erin BrillName: Erin Brill ’17

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Majors: Child and family studies & Psychology

Semester abroad: Summer 2015

Summer program: Madrid Summer Session

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Being able to explore a unique city with people from Syracuse University I had never met before. Together, we explored countless museums, planned trips together all throughout Spain, enjoyed a Flamenco show and Spanish cooking classes, and immersed ourselves completely in the Spanish culture.

Contact: eebrill@syr.edu