Discovering Strasbourg

daniel morozov

Hello, bonjour and hallo! I am Daniel Morozov, a biochemistry major of the class of 2026. In the fall semester of 2022, I participated in the Discovery Strasbourg program, which was an absolutely amazing experience!

As a Discovery student, I had three choices of where to study abroad: Madrid, Florence and Strasbourg. I had previously been to both Florence and Madrid, so my choice of studying in France was based on my desire to try a new experience – which is what studying abroad is all about. Though I speak two languages fluently and have studied Spanish and Latin for five and three years respectively, I knew nothing in French except one phrase that I learned on Duolingo: “je suis le cheval.”

And that’s the thing; you do not need to know a language to study abroad in most of Syracuse’s centers – as I learned. The language courses provided there are immersive in the local culture, so learning is both easier and more interesting. And while on the topic of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center, I loved every aspect about it.

daniel in burgandy

The best part about the Center is its size, when I was there we had less than 40 students, some not even from Syracuse! This small size made classes more enjoyable as we were able to get closer with the professors and work together rather than simply being lectured (no offense, main campus). Additionally, the Center had a plethora of fascinating events and trips planned for us that facilitated meeting new people. Whether we travelled to local Alsatian villages, Paris, Germany or Switzerland, each trip was a highlight of my time abroad.

You also get the opportunity to travel by yourself or with friends (both are different and interesting in their own rights). Personally, I enjoyed traveling by myself the most when I went to Germany twice – once to a small village in the middle of nowhere and the second time to Berlin and the Baltic Sea where I met up with my family.

friends in strasbourg

One final (of many) aspect of what made studying abroad so memorable was the living situation with a host family. I lived by myself with my host mom, and I took the semester to learn about her, her family and friends, and the culture by which I was surrounded. She, along with her family, helped and encouraged me to try new things and learn the French language. This, I am sure, is consistent among the other host families and makes the semester abroad truly amazing!

Daniel Morozov ’26


Discovery Strasbourg

Life-changing experiences in Madrid

thenia madrid

My name is Efstathia Desimone and I am a graduating Junior, and psychology major at Syracuse University. During fall 2022, I had the incredible opportunity of attending Syracuse’s Abroad program in Madrid, Spain (Syracuse Madrid). The primary reason I chose Spain is because of what I had heard of Spanish culture prior. Spain’s history and the impact it has had on the lifestyle of Spaniards today was something that I knew I had to experience in person – and I was not disappointed. Spanish culture was exactly what I had expected it would be like. The routine and pace of living was very slow and relaxed just as I had hoped, and the people were incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Having never taken Spanish before, I knew navigating Spain would be a bit scary getting into. To my advantage, student must enroll in a Spanish course while abroad! Introduction to Spanish introduced me to the basics of the Spanish language, while other courses such as Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sexuality in Spain gave me more insight on Spanish culture and history.

Throughout the academic semester, I was quite involved with student activities facilitated by the center. Firstly, I had the honor to work with incredible staff through my work-study position, where I was able to assist in the student life and communication department. Secondly, I was one of the biggest fans of the center’s MadWorld program! MadWorld offered various cultural events throughout the semester which encouraged the student immersion in Spanish culture. The events included daytrips to locations near Madrid, yoga classes, cooking classes and more!

Lastly, I was member of Syracuse Madrid’s Diversity, Inclusion Student Committee (D.I.S.C.). D.I.S.C. is a student run group, dedicated to making all Syracuse and visiting students in the Syracuse Program feel welcomed, supported, and included during their time abroad. As an organization, we placed strong emphasis on creating resources to support students who identify with marginalized or historically underrepresented groups. Overall, participating in university-ran activities, allowed to me to integrate better into the abroad program and transition smoothly into my academic semester.

Marine ecology seminar 2023
Marine Ecology Seminar

A once in a lifetime opportunity is offered to the Madrid Abroad students and that is: the Marine Ecology Seminar! I can say with ease, that the 10 days of which it consisted of, were the most adventurous and spontaneous days of my life thus far. Not only was it a great way to meet the students that would be with me in Madrid, but we also had the opportunity of exploring southern Spain. After hiking in Puerto de Javea, snorkeling in Tabarca, kayaking in Xabia and then scuba diving in Cabo De Palos, I knew that there would be a great semester awaiting for us!

The greatest highlight of my time abroad, was hands down the friends I met and connections I made. Going abroad alone, was certainly the scariest factor of my experience. Despite my concerns, I was so relieved to know that most of the student in my program were in the same situation as me; alone and eager to explore Spain! With that being said, during my semester in Madrid, I met some of my closest friends today. Despite, all challenges and fear I might have faced, exploring Spain became the most educational experience of my life!

Thenia Desimone

Psychology major

Syracuse Madrid

New to London? Tips on adjusting to a new city

Check out these tips about how to to best acclimate to a new city while you’re abroad for a summer or semester!

Experience new cultures in the Borough Market

From Japanese ramen to Colombian coffee, the Borough Market is home to several food stalls where you can truly appreciate the diversity of those in London. It offers you the ability to embrace new cultures and grow closer to others through a shared love of food. If you’re not careful, you could spend the whole day meandering through the many alleys of the market!

But eating food is just one example of what you can do to catch a glimpse of the many people residing in this vast city. True appreciation of London’s distinction as a melting pot of people starts with acknowledging that those you encounter come from different backgrounds with a life’s worth of lived experiences that may differ from your own. Equally important is familiarizing yourself with the cultural and social norms of the city. My curiosity and desire to learn about others led me to do just this in my brief time in London. By sharing my experiences encountering people in London, I hope to make the process of learning about London—and its inhabitants—seem less daunting to do.

london market
Borough Market’s delivery service

Using London’s public transportation (P.S. don’t be too loud!)

My first experience on the tube—the equivalent of a subway in New York City—started off with continued side-glances by other passengers. Confused as to why this was happening, I chose to ignore them and continued my conversation  with my classmates until we reached our destination.

I thought nothing of this encounter until a similar occurrence happened just one day later. In this instance, a passenger chose to switch cars after my classmates and I had boarded the tube. We would later come to learn, however, that the problem lied with our speaking volume while on the tube. Those in London prefer to sit in silence or in quiet spaces, and my classmates and I—not knowing this—unintentionally challenged this social norm. The next time we boarded public transportation, we were cognizant of this new information and to respect those around us, we lowered the volume at which we spoke at.

A penny—worthless or a valuable treasure?

When I first exchanged dollars for British pounds, I was fascinated by the texture and appearance of this currency. It differed greatly from the standard dollar bills and coins that I was so accustomed to seeing, that every little detail in the currency sparked interest in me. When I first paid at a gift shop using British currency, I shared this interest of mine with the store clerk. She chuckled and claimed that there was nothing special about their bills and coins.

Yet, when a penny fell out of my wallet onto the counter, she was astounded at the sight of it. She rejoiced that she had always wanted to see what a penny looked like, and within a minute, our roles had reversed. She, who had no interest in her own currency was suddenly intrigued by a penny—something I do not regard highly. This interaction with the store clerk highlighted the fact that learning about others can not only bring joy to yourself but to the other party as well.

In short, you will inevitably make mistakes when first arriving in the city, but it’s important to make an effort to address this and appreciate London for what it is—an amalgamation of people from around the world. Even though you may think an interaction as mundane as paying for your souvenir can offer no value to you, think twice as it might make someone’s day and fulfill their lifelong wish.

Nicole Pulido ’23

Public Health

London Summer Session ’22

How to study abroad in London on a budget

Can I study abroad? Is it something I can afford? Students often find themselves dwelling on these questions, fearing that it could hinder their ability to participate in a study abroad program. Because opportunities to cover program costs tend to be daunting or less known to students, it may dissuade them from even exploring their options. If this is the case for you, do not stress! With adequate research and support, studying abroad can be financially feasible.

Follow along to learn about budgeting while abroad at the Syracuse London Center!

The pre-application process

Education about financing a study abroad experience is important and universities have shifted the narrative to show that studying abroad is achievable for students with diverse financial and academic backgrounds. When determining if studying abroad is possible for you, you should leverage study abroad staff as well as the external scholarship platforms at your disposal. Being proactive in the process of searching for financial opportunities can assuage your worries and convince you to apply to this unique academic experience.

I’ve been accepted – now what?

london phone booth

Congratulations! Now it’s time to consider the various avenues available to you to help pay for this program. Reach out to both your financial and study abroad advisor to talk through these options and learn more about scholarships you may be eligible for. Syracuse University offers additional aid if studying at one of their centers over the summer, so this is an added benefit of studying at the London Center! Students who currently receive a federal Pell grant and are U.S. citizens are also eligible to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which is federally funded and helps cover the cost of program fees, flight expenses, meals, and more!

I’m in London! What can I eat? Where can I shop for food?

London is truly a melting pot, and once you arrive in the city, it is clear to see. On any given street there is a myriad of restaurants, boutiques, and stores that represent the numerous cultures of those residing in London. Take this opportunity to try food that you’re not used to! Note that a meal plan is not included when studying at the London Center, so, keep in mind that eating out every day for every meal eventually adds up to a large expense. An alternative to this is…cooking!

Depending on the length of your stay, consider buying food to eat as needed, instead of splurging at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, or Tesco (popular grocery stores in London) and having to throw away extra food. Finding a balance between eating at home and eating out is important, but don’t stress, once you acclimate to London, this will be easier to do!

groceries in london
Groceries in London for £15.31.

How can I travel around the city on a budget?

Navigating a new city is hard for anyone to do, but Syracuse University has made it a bit easier for students. By offering those studying at the Syracuse London Center a prepaid Oyster card—equivalent to a MetroCard in New York City—students can travel to many areas in London for free and make the most of their experience. The Oyster Card allows access to London’s public transportation (the bus and the tube) in zones 1 and 2 of London. Black taxi cabs are abundant in London but they tend to be a more expensive form of travel.

Alternatively, you can walk or bike! Taking a walk around London allows you to see sights that you would’ve missed if you took public transportation and is more common in London than you may think. Be careful when crossing the roads, however, as cars are coming from the opposite side of the road! Luckily, London has considered this, and often at an intersection, there are instructions written on the road of which direction to look before crossing the street. Biking is especially common in London, and as such, bike lanes are also incorporated into lanes on roads. So, watch out for both bikes and cars when walking around the city.

Where can I visit without spending money?

Luckily, London is home to several museums, galleries, and parks that are free to visit! With research, you will be able to find a list of such places. An example of two that are close to the Syracuse London Center includes the British Museum and the National Gallery.

You can also dedicate a day to exploring Westminster and seeing the many sights it has to offer! All within walking distance, you will be able to see the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, and Trafalgar Square. Remember to carry around your student ID to take advantage of student discounts!

Walking through St. James park

Final Takeaways

Moral of the story— yes, studying abroad on a budget is possible! Just be sure to do your research beforehand and balance your expenses.

Nicole Pulido ’23

Public Health

London Summer Session ’22

My journey in Spain studying at UAM

Hello, y buenos días!

My name is Alyeska Reimer, and I am currently a senior Theatre Management and Spanish student. I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain in the Spring of 2022 and I couldn’t have been happier with the experience!

My SU Madrid experience was actually a little different because I was enrolled in the UAM program as well. This meant that I took half of my classes at one of the best Spanish Universities alongside Spanish students and other international students as well. The classes were challenging, but my language ability improved so much and I met friends that I’m still in touch with! The program was also about a month longer than SU Madrid program was, but I felt that it gave me more time to settle into my homestay and really get to know Madrid.

alyeska reimer

The SU Abroad center in Madrid was also a great place to take classes, grab a café con leche in the cafeteria, and connect with the staff. They were always super helpful in helping me navigate my class schedules, work study, organizing tutors, and letting us know what activities to check out in the city. Additionally, they were a great resource whenever I needed health appointments and made me feel prepared to get tested for Covid and even find allergy testing when I needed it.

I had a lovely experience living with my host mom, María José, in an apartment by the Real Madrid Stadium. She helped me practice my Spanish by talking with me about my day and sharing with her family, watching the show “Pasapalabra” together most days of the week, and eating dinners together. She also helped me get familiar with public transportation on busses and metros – I had never lived in a city before, but I sure do have an appreciation for Spanish transportation now!

One of the best ways I found to get involved was to participate with the Erasmus program. This was a program run through the Spanish public universities that had a jam-packed schedule of social and cultural activities for international students (generally European, but we took advantage of this!). They would have weekly conversation groups, occasional trips, and more! I participated in an Improv group every Tuesday night and had so much fun, and I also loved the trip they sponsored to volunteer at an animal sanctuary.

cityscape of madrid

I am grateful I experienced the UAM program as well because now I feel more confident in my speaking and comprehension. This study abroad experience has inspired me to apply for a Fulbright in Mexico in order to immerse myself in another Spanish speaking country and expand my cultural awareness even further. I really hope you consider traveling abroad during your years at SU!


Alyeska Reimer ‘23

Syracuse Madrid

My summer exploring London

Hi! My name is Danielle Luing, Syracuse University Class of 2025, and I am currently a double major in Marketing and Finance with a minor in Sociology. So, study abroad- woo! I chose my specific program because I applied in December of my freshman year. I was, and still am, so young, but wanted to be able to get a head start on my Whitman abroad requirement. I also wanted to be able to get a feel for studying abroad early on in my time at SU, so I could decide if I wanted to go for a whole semester. I chose to apply to the London program as it was important to me to go to a country that primarily spoke English as its primary language since I have Celiac Disease and wanted to be able to communicate with people so I would not get sick from what I was eating.

danielle in london

The course I took was “Business of Nightlife in London”. This has been my favorite course as well as favorite professor I have had during my time here at SU. The professors and staff are so personable and really get to know you so well, in London, since there are not that many students there during each specific block. This really helped me feel more comfortable being in a new country, as I knew I had people who cared about me at the Syracuse London Center. My class really helped integrate me into the new area I was in, since multiple assignments required us to go to London nightlife events and write reflections/study the dynamic of the event. My professor was quite knowledgeable about the subject as he was a club promoter, so he truly knew the industry better as he directly worked with it in the past. This class also allowed for us students to be involved in extracurricular activities, as my professor set up private events for us to go to outside of class- one being a lesson on the art of being a DJ and matching beats.

One of the highlights of my trip was the Syracuse sponsored trip to Oxford. It was one of my favorite experiences during my time in London as I believe it really allowed the group to bond. Not everyone in Block 2 went on this trip, so having a smaller number of people really allowed us to connect. From time spent on the bus, to all living on the same floor at the hotel, to the tours of Oxford where we got to interact with one another, it truly brought us all closer and made us a little Syracuse London family. The school-sponsored trips are truly so worth it, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of everything they plan as they are the experts on that country and will allow you to explore without having to plan everything.

I lived in a four person flat which was about ten minutes away from Faraday House. The housing accommodations Syracuse chooses are better than one would think. At least for me, in London, I felt very safe in the area I stayed in, as it was a community of college students, some being from Syracuse and others from different schools. My roommate and I were able to have our own bathroom, and then my other two housemates had their own bathroom, which was very nice. The kitchen was also a fully functioning kitchen, which made it easy to try to budget and allowed us to cook for ourselves instead of eating out for every meal. I feel like when I look back at the slideshows presented to us at our London meetings, I was worried about how small the flats would be, and we were warned that this was a city and the living quarters were going to be smaller than usual. I was greatly surprised when my double room was actually bigger than my room at Syracuse University, and the bathroom was bigger than the pods I was used to in the dorms. Overall, much better than I anticipated, and nothing to be stressed about before going. New housing options available as of fall 2022.

danielle and friends in london

Studying abroad truly changed my perspective on the world, and made me realize that I do not want to solely live in the U.S. after I graduate. It made me start to think about jobs that would give me the opportunity to live in London, and look into graduate programs that would allow me to take classes in a different country than I am right now. I plan to travel more in the future, as I feel more confident knowing that I was able to adjust once to a totally new country and culture and feel more comfortable doing that again. I’ve learned to be more confident in myself and what I can do, since I never thought I would have the courage to go to a whole new country alone, and end up thriving.

Danielle Luing ‘25

Syracuse London

Q&A: Studying in Spain

Hola! My name is Leah Ford and I spent the Spring 2022 semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. I will be graduating in Spring 2023, with majors in finance and accounting. Here are some questions and answers about what it’s like to study in Madrid:

Leah Salamanca Garden

Why did you choose this program?

Out of all the options for study abroad locations, Syracuse Madrid aligned best with my academic, personal, and experiential goals. As a Whitman major, a majority of the courses offered fulfill the arts & science elective requirements, giving me a wide range of options to learn about topics I wouldn’t typically take on campus. I also knew I wanted to be somewhere with a different language to expand my knowledge and step outside of my comfort zone. I was able to learn so much through my Spanish class, living with a host family, and immersing myself in Spanish culture. The professors were extremely supportive of my academic goals and gave opportunities to visit local museums and monuments to learn through primary experience.

Personally, it was my first time out of the country, so I wanted to make sure I was really pushing myself. Besides coming to Syracuse from home, I had never felt confident enough to travel on my own. Being with the program was the perfect mix of support and independence outside the country. Personally, I wanted to become more outgoing and able to tackle day-to-day tasks. By the end, I was comfortable going up to new people and embrace being uncomfortable. My mom came to visit while I was abroad and she said she noticed a visible difference with my confidence.

It was also really important to me to have a holistic experience and take advantage of all opportunities. The Madrid program offers a lot of activities within the city, as well as travel throughout Spain. I was able to learn so much about the culture, the food and the history. Madrid is also a major travel hub and the airport is amazing, making it super easy to travel internationally.

What interesting courses did you take abroad?

Healthcare in Europe- This course compared the US healthcare system to European systems, such as Spain, NHS England, and Germany. We discussed the funding and performance of these systems. Additionally, we took a trip to one of the local hospitals to learn about how they operate.

The Business of Sport- I thought this class was extremely engaging and interactive. We completed case studies weekly to take a deep dive on certain sports events. Also, we took multiple trips to both the National Golf Center and “Go Fit.” We were fortunate enough to have a few guest speakers speak about their sports businesses.

Drugs & Human Behavior- In this course, we analyzed numerous types of drugs and how they impacted human psychology. We also focused on legalization and how different countries view drugs. It was a group-oriented class, so we were able to collaborate and create meaningful projects.

Did you travel on your own while abroad?

Short answer, yes! The program sponsored bullet train day trips. These were focused on learning about the culture in a particular city, such as Salamanca, Toledo, Valencia, etc. I also traveled outside of Spain with some of the friends I made in the program. My favorite location was Florence, Italy because it was such a beautiful city, rich with history. I was also able to meet up with friends from Syracuse in the Florence program. Another favorite was visiting Switzerland and going Paragliding through the mountains.

Traveling can definitely be intimidating, but it was so worth it! I was able to see so many countries in a short period of time. Once you get to Europe, travel is relatively affordable compared to the US, so I would recommend taking at least a few weekend trips!

What challenging experiences did you face while abroad?

An easy one is not speaking Spanish. I had taken Spanish all through high school, but I wasn’t anywhere near fluent. Fortunately, with my minimal knowledge, I was able to survive just fine. I could rely on some of my friends that spoke better Spanish, which also helped me learn.

I have celiac disease, so finding food that was safe was often very difficult and exhausting. Europe in general is pretty good at preparing gluten free food, so with a little bit of searching I was able to overcome this. I found a couple places, such as Naked & Sated and Celicioso, that were dedicated gluten free. My host mom was pretty good at preparing meals once I explained to her what my needs were.

Finally, it was difficult to take classes in a new environment. While it is a Syracuse campus, the classes and professors are different from what I was used to. The class length was longer and the assignments were much more collaborative and project based then I was used to. Overall, everyone was very supportive and you are able to adjust within the first few weeks.

What was your living experience like?

I lived in a homestay! It was a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment just north of Chamberí, the neighborhood where the Syracuse campus resides. My roommate and I lived with one woman who has grown children and missed living with others in the house. She was absolutely amazing and I could not recommend homestays enough! She prepared breakfast and dinner for us everyday and was always willing to take requests on what we wanted to eat. The food was really good and she made sure to give us a taste of Spanish food. Our host mom was very supportive of us experiencing all aspects of the culture and traveling. We stay in touch to this day and I plan on going to visit her again next summer!

dishes of paelle

What has studying abroad taught you about yourself and the world?

Studying abroad taught me that I was holding a lot of my personality back. There’s nothing quite like trying survive in a foreign country without the support of people typically surrounding you. I was forced to adapt and push myself in unexpected ways. I am now significantly more outgoing and willingly to tackle seemingly scary situations.

I have a heightened appreciation for travel and experiencing the world. I’ve been talking nonstop about how much of the world I haven’t seen and how desperate I am to do so. Going abroad truly is lifechanging and gives you opportunities to learn more about yourself and your limits.

Leah Ford ’23

Syracuse Madrid

A successful semester in Santiago

Hola!! I am Olivia Budelmann and I am pursuing degrees in Mathematics, Spanish, and Environment, Sustainability & Policy. My anticipated graduation date is May 2023. I chose to study abroad in Santiago, Chile during the spring 2022 semester. This program is longer than most of the other Syracuse Abroad programs, so as I’m writing this in June, I still have a month left of living in Santiago!

I selected the Santiago program because of the cultural immersion. Even though it was absolutely terrifying to think about living with a host family and taking all classes in Spanish, I knew it would help me allow me to better learn the language and culture of my host country. And I am so incredibly thankful that I chose this program! I absolutely love my host family – they have had over 20 host daughters in the past, and have treated each of them like they are actually part of the family, not just a student who is living with them.

I have had the opportunity to spend time with both of my host brothers & their families, as well as siblings, cousins, and friends of my host parents. I truly feel as though I am a part of the Chilean family I have here, and I know that that will be the case “para siempre.” When my host brother got married five years ago, 12 of his “gringa” sisters (previous host daughters of this family) flew to Santiago to attend the wedding. Some even brought their husbands and children to the wedding! I feel so thankful to have been welcomed into this family, and am excited to come back and visit for future familial events.

I also feel very closely connected with the program director, Mauricio, and the assistant director, Paula. They are two of the most incredible people I have ever met. It can be really difficult adjusting to living in another country, and it can feel very isolating. However, whenever I needed help or support or was just feeling down, Paula and Mauricio were always right there to help me in whatever way they could. So it was almost like I gained two families when I came to Chile: my host family of course, but also the program directors and the other students in the program.

As a group, in addition to exploring different sectors of Santiago, we also travelled to Patagonia, Valparaíso, and San Pedro de Atacama. In smaller groups, I also visited different parts of Chile such as Pucón and Concón, as well as Buenos Aires, Argentina. I feel so lucky to have been able to travel to all of these different regions, and Paula and Mauricio played such a large role in making that happen.

All of my classes are taught in Spanish, but only one of them is with Chilean students. It has to do with the geography of Asia and Latin America, and it is super interesting to learn about because I would not be able to take a class like it in the United States. We have to do group projects as well, which I was very nervous about at the beginning of the semester (how could I possibly do a project in Spanish with Chilean students?!) but now is something I feel completely comfortable doing, which is such an incredible feeling. It is so amazing to be able to witness yourself experience such a large amount of  personal growth. I have a similar situation with my internship as well. This semester I have been working with Chile Sustentable, which is a very serious and well-known organization. Before this semester, I would never have thought it possible to do a serious internship completely in Spanish, yet now it is something I am in the midst of doing. Qué bacán!!

I am not sure what my plans will be for after I graduate from Syracuse University, but after studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, I know that I want the Spanish language to always be a part of my life. I would love to return to Latin America to study, work, or simply exist in another country so that I can learn the culture of other Latin American countries and continue practicing my Spanish. During this semester abroad, I learned how to navigate a completely different country and culture, and although it was not always easy, I now have the confidence to continue taking risks and trying new things. But of course, I will be coming back to visit Santiago, which I now consider my second home.

Olivia Budelmann ’23

Syracuse Santiago

Mathematics, Spanish, and Environment, Sustainability & Policy

Living, Learning and Interning in Strasbourg

ben at council of europeBonjour and Hallo!  I’m Ben Shultz and I spent my final semester of graduate school abroad at the Syracuse Strasbourg Center, and just graduated this spring (2022).

As a dual-degree M.A. in International Relations and Master of Public Administration student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Strasbourg presented an unmatched opportunity for me to explore the European policy space in a hands-on manner.  I took one graduate course at the Syracuse Strasbourg Center and undertook an internship at the Council of Europe International Cooperation Group on Addiction and Drugs (Pompidou Group).  My experience studying abroad was life-changing and opened many doors for me in personal, academic and professional contexts.

What intrigued me most about Strasbourg was its international, cosmopolitan nature.  Situated on the Franco-German border in the Alsace region, Strasbourg is one of the four European capitals, home to the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights.  It is also one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe, and it certainly lived up to the hype.

I lived with a local host family, which was tremendously helpful from integrating in both a cultural and linguistic perspective.  I arrived in Strasbourg speaking almost no French and left being able to navigate fully in daily life—from checking into an AirBnB, taking a train, or buying a pain au chocolat from the bakery.  Additionally, living in Strasbourg was useful for practicing my German.  I was conversational before arriving in Alsace, but found plenty of ways to improve, including taking the tram across the border to Kehl, Baden-Württemberg and speaking in German with my colleagues at the Council of Europe.

For Americans, the chance to intern at any of the European institutions is incredibly limited.  Syracuse University’s partnership with the Council of Europe enabled me to gain valuable experience working ‘on the inside’, so to speak.  My broad focus at the Maxwell School has been cyber and tech policy, and at the Pompidou Group I was given the chance to explore this focus further.

At the Council, I was assigned to a longer-term project for the Expert Group on Drugs Online that involved researching the status of illicit substance sales and trafficking, as well as money laundering, via online and mobile video games and chat rooms.  These platforms represent a gap in the existing European drug and addiction policy, and I was asked to present about my research and potential policy recommendations at the Expert Group’s 2022 Annual Meeting.  More than 30 senior members of law enforcement agencies across Europe, from Ireland—to Turkey—to Finland, attended the meeting.  It was incredibly rewarding to hear presentations from these leaders about their experiences and research on a variety of issues, and I was equally proud to present my own research into emerging threats via online gaming platforms.

ben in strasbourgHaving been back in the U.S. for less than a month, I’m pleased to say I’ll be starting a new role with Deloitte Global Public Sector as a consultant.  I’ll be conducting disinformation and cyber threat analysis for public clients, and I can directly link my work at the Pompidou Group to this new job.  Not only was my time in Europe something to converse about with my soon-to-be colleagues and supervisors, but they found my experience of working on an emerging cyber policy issue across the Atlantic valuable, in terms of the insights I was able to glean from the European policymaking process that might help improve U.S. cyber policy.  As well, given the broad global nature of public policy, the language skills I picked up and sharpened in Strasbourg may be useful for me at Deloitte.

In total, my time in Strasbourg was simply phenomenal and I am so grateful for SU and the Maxwell School for helping me organize this semester abroad.  It was a perfect way to conclude my time as a graduate student and directly set the stage for a quick transition into the professional world.  I hope to be back in Strasbourg very soon, this time as a tourist!

Benjamin Shultz ’22

M.A. in International Relations / M.P.A. Candidate

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Surprises in Ireland

Lily in IrelandDia duit! My name is Lily Rhuda. I am a junior biomedical engineering major(Class of 2023) here at Syracuse University and I was able to study abroad through the World Partner Program at the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.

As an engineering student, people often think that it is super hard to go abroad but I’m hoping that through my experience and what I can contribute to the Ambassadors that I can help change that perspective! I was led to my program by my advising staff and one of my fav professors, shout out Dr. Yung, because while it’s not difficult to go as an engineer we do have to be careful about choosing our program.

I chose UCD because after doing a bit of research, that was my best option for going abroad as a Junior and it was in Europe, which is where I’ve always wanted to go. While sophomore year is ideal for bioeng majors I was unfortunately not able to go because of COVID. Honestly so happy that happened because I would not trade my experience in Dublin for anything!

Rugby team in IrelandI spent my semester living and learning at UCD which is just about the city of Dublin. I stayed in the university accommodation which was great because I was able to get much more involved with my organizations and friendships on campus. While I was there I was able to join the women’s club rugby team and the engineering society and both were great craic! The rugby team was an awesome way to meet new people because in addition to all the Irish girls there were a bunch of other international students on the team. It was so great to have the opportunity to bond with them in a team environment like that and now I’ve also got tons of connections for my future travels!

Castle in IrelandSpeaking of travel, that was 100% one of my favorite things about studying abroad. I was able to travel extensively within Ireland and Northern Ireland. The UCD Study Abroad program had several weekends of day trips to famous destinations that were completely free for us, and my friends and I went on every single one of them. My favorite was probably the first weekend where we got to kayak through the Irish sea out to an island, climbed up a mountain(not a crazy hike lol) to get some panoramic views of the coastline, and finally did some cliff jumping at the local baths. In addition to those trips, I traveled with my friend and with my family when they came to visit.

Part of what I loved about traveling around Ireland was that anything could be a day trip. Which gave us so much flexibility. My absolute favorite trip of the semester was taking a long weekend and going up to Belfast with a big group of my friends. We went on a game of Thrones film location tour(One of the best days of my life) and to Giants Causeway. This will forever be one of my favorite trips and I will look back on these memories for my whole life!

I know it sounds clichébut looking back on my time in Dublin I can really say that study abroad changed my life. By traveling so extensively within the country and joining the university organizations I was able to experience so much of the culture of Ireland. I can also say that I have grown so much as a person since I stepped foot in logan airport ready to embark. I also never knew how close I would get to my friends in the short time that I was there. I’m so thankful that I was able to have this experience and I will cherish it forever.


Lily Rhuda

Biomedical Engineering

World Partner Program: Dublin, UCD