World Partner Programs Global Ambassadors

Name: Irene Klemens ’18

Hometown: Silver Creek, NY

Majors: Neuroscience and Psychology

Program: SIT South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Living with a Zulu family for five weeks and truly immersing myself in their day-to-day lives. I helped clean the house, learned how to make a true South African curry, babysat my younger siblings and helped my older sister study for her exams. They treated me as one of their own, opening their homes to me with loving arms and because of that I will always consider them family. I attended my host brother’s traditional Zulu engagement party and then his wedding; I left both events with a full stomach and a sore throat from talking to so many aunties and uncles. On Friday nights, my sister and I would walk down to the local Braii (barbecue) to meet up with her friends and other students from my program, we would dance and socialize often late into the night. Without living with my host family, I wouldn’t have ever come close to the authentic experience that they provided me with. I created tight knit bonds with the students on my program, people from South Africa and especially my Zulu family.

Contact: iklemens34@gmail.com


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESName: Sarah Willsey ’18

Hometown: Homer, NY

Major: Biomedical engineering

Program: University College Dublin

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience I encountered was meeting people from Ireland and around the world. I made Irish friends through classes and by joining the ultimate Frisbee team and quickly learned about Irish terminology and culture. I joined Erasmus Student Network and made close friends from Germany, Austria, Portugal, France, and Italy. I also had the pleasure of interacting with students from countries including Iceland, Sweden, Spain, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands. It’s so incredible having friends from various countries who I can visit in the future. I am so grateful for the friendship, knowledge, and understanding I acquired from this experience.

Contact: srwillse@syr.edu


yeageejungName: Yeagee Jung ’18

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Majors: International relations and TRF

Program: Yonsei University

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? During my stay in Korea, I actually got to experience firsthand one of Korea’s biggest periods of civil unrest. The standing President Park Geun Hye was caught in a political scandal while I was abroad and she was actually impeached following nationwide protests demanding her removal from office. Being from America, I was extremely fascinated to see how Korean citizens went about taking democracy into their own hands. Especially with the election happening in America at the same time the nationwide protests were happening in Korea, I was able to gain a very multi-faceted view into the effects political leadership have on the people governed.

Contact: yjung04@syr.edu


yomidalysguichardoName: Yomidalys Guichardo ’17

Hometown: Yonkers, NY

Major: Political science

Program: Kansai Gaidai

Semesters abroad: Fall 2013 (Discovery Strasbourg), Fall 2016 (Japan)

What do you wish you would have known before going abroad? I was nervous about how different everything would be. I knew that Japan would be very different from America as far as the language and the culture. I was afraid that as someone who spoke absolutely no Japanese, was a minority, overweight and tattooed – it would be hard for me to assimilate into Japan. Japan is an extremely homogenous country. However, once I got to Japan, I learned that I had nothing to worry about. Though I was a foreigner, the community welcomed me with open arms. Everyone was incredibly nice and local students were more than happy to get to know me and to practice their English. I wish I’d known not to let the culture difference hold me back. To not worry about what may come. Exploring a different culture is always life-changing.

Check out the blog Yomidalys while she was abroad: ygwandergirl.wordpress.com

Contact: yguichar@syr.edu


maracorbettName: Mara Corbett ’17

Hometown: McLean, VA

Major: Graphic design

Program: DIS Copenhagen

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most unforgettable experience abroad? I distinctly remember the first time I walked into my favorite coffee shop and the woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted “my usual.” I said yes and asked for the student discount and she smiled and said she already knew that. It’s not the most exotic experience I had abroad, but it is one that made me step back and realize I’d made a home in Copenhagen. And the day you realize you’ve made a home is — for me — the difference between traveling and studying abroad. It signals a change for the better in your whole semester and gives you a feeling about a certain city that you’ll never forget.

Contact: maracorbett@gmail.com


samcollinsName: Samantha Collins ’18

Hometown: Wilmington, DE

Majors: Finance and Supply chain management

Program: University of New South Wales

Semester abroad: Fall 2016

What was your most unforgettable experience abroad? Hiking around Uluru in the Australian outback. Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive rock formation that is sacred to Aboriginal people. Uluru is famous for its bright red color that changes during sunrise and sunset. On the day that my mom and I arrived, we decided to do the iconic hike in the late afternoon despite spotty weather forecasts. When we were about two-thirds around Uluru, we saw a foggy cloud approaching over the top of Uluru. We soon realized it was a massive rain storm. As we got drenched, we saw Uluru completely change. Waterfalls started to pour down the side of the rock and Uluru’s red hue turned a dark purple-grey. Even though I got soaked, I became part of the 4% of people that have seen it rain at Uluru. I now feel like a true Australian, having hid under a bush to shelter a storm in the middle of the outback.

Contact: secollin@syr.edu


lindsaypuchallName: Lindsay Puchall ’17

Hometown: Dumont, NJ

Majors: Public relations and Policy studies

Program: University of New South Wales

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I was more aware of the various options for on-campus living. After being completely undecided, I took a chance and ended up living in Baxter College on campus. Living in a college community rather then living in an apartment completely transformed my abroad experience for the better. I got to be fully immersed in the local culture and got a real student experience at a prestigious global university. If a student was looking to go abroad in Australia, I would always recommend getting the on-campus experience. I was nervous that the orientation events were not going to be fun, but they ended up helping me feel welcome and bring me out of my shell.

Contact: lindsayjpuchall288@gmail.com


brynnewellName: Bryn Newell ’17

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Major: Stage management

Program: Rose Bruford College

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? ABSOLUTELY take the opportunity to go abroad if you can. If your graduation time and academic performance will not be hindered, there’s no harm in at least applying. Once you’re accepted, you can really think about the logistics and financial options and the final decision of whether to go or not! But the opportunity to go abroad is one of the most unique and incredible available to you while in college, and you don’t want to lose the chance by not even applying.

Contact: bryn.newell@gmail.com


matthewhendlerName: Matthew Hendler ’17

Hometown: Leawood, KS

Majors: Supply chain management and Finance

Program: CET Brazilian Studies and Portuguese Language

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I knew more about the everyday adventures. In a city like São Paulo, I didn’t realize how much there was to explore. I was blown away when I first got there and I wish I had done more in the first couple of weeks. Understanding that you can go to a museum after classes or go to the park is difficult for some to understand after becoming so accustomed to college at their home universities. In a city like São Paulo, you are connected to so many new places that it’s hard to imagine the possibilities.

Contact: mehendle@syr.edu


Name: Mercedes Gomez ’17

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Child & family studies

Program: SIT South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy

Semester abroad: Spring 2016

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience abroad was staying with my homestay family. I was placed into a home of strangers who loved me as if I was family. From the time I moved into my Gogo’s home, I was full of complete joy as she greeted me with the warmest and tightest hug. It was the simple things that I valued the most such as walking to my Gogo’s house and having tons of kids running towards me with open arms that made me feel at home. Learning new childhood street games that were important to my homestay sister and her friends brought back memories from my own childhood. It was truly genuine homestay experience as I never felt “out of place” or intimidated from being in a new space.

Contact: mbgomez@syr.edu


""Name: Haley Cooke ’17

Hometown: Mahopac, NY

Majors: Biomedical engineering and Neuroscience ILM

Program: University College Dublin

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What did you wish you would have known before you left? I wish that I knew that four months is not a lot of time. I kept telling myself that I would do it later and that I would have time. If I were to give advice to anyone going abroad, I would tell them to do everything possible whenever possible. I even had this attitude going into my abroad experience, but I didn’t get to see as much of Ireland as I wanted to.

Contact: hmcooke@syr.edu


""Name: Nitinand Angubolkul ’17

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Majors: Entrepreneurship and Managerial accounting

Program: Singapore Management University

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I found a place where there were no exchange students living nearby at all and ended up having to live by myself. Living by myself for the first time ever in my life was a life-changing experience. It allowed me the opportunity to look into myself, to self-reflect. I learned to be truly independent and developed some leadership skills by having the courage to make decisions and take responsibility for myself. In addition, not being surrounded by exchange students allowed me to be truly engaged with the local community, which served one of my purposes for coming to Singapore.

Contact: nangubol@syr.edu


""Name: Joanne Li ’17

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Information technology

Program: Kansai Gaidai University (Osaka, Japan)

Semester abroad: Fall 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? Don’t think, just do. Abroad is what you make of it. I personally enjoyed being thrown into a country I completely knew nothing about. I was alone, didn’t know the language, and unexposed to the culture. I wanted to see how much I would grow and learn from this experience. It turned out to be quite a valuable one. If I could do it again, I 100% would.

Contact: jli48@syr.edu


Shoshana KranishName: Shoshana Kranish ’17

Hometown: Beverly, MA

Major: International relations

Program: Tel Aviv University

Semester abroad: Spring 2015

What would you say to a student undecided about studying abroad? Take the risk! It’s definitely daunting leaving home for an extended amount of time, especially if it’s your first time leaving your home country, and that’s entirely understandable. I really valued my time abroad as experiential learning, and that’s something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Studying abroad helps your gain insight not only into a new culture and society, but into yourself as well.

Contact: sakranis@syr.edu

To read more about Shoshana’s time abroad in Israel, check out her blog !