Discovery Program Global Ambassadors

Discovery Florence

Florence

Name: Aurora Cody ’23

Major: International Relations, Italian

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I had listened when I was told not to overpack. I brought so much stuff I didn’t wear, which was a waste of space and money trying to bring home again. Your suitcase should not be full going abroad, because you need to leave room for everything you’re going to buy! Toiletries are available in Italy, you don’t need to waste weight bringing them. I bought so many clothes and gifts that I had to get an extra suitcase to being everything home, which can get expensive.

Contact: ajcody@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Meeting locals, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Living with a host family


Name: Bailey Davis ’23

Major: International Relations, Environmental Sustainability & Policy

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I really wish I would’ve known about taking classes at the University of Firenze, one of the many universities SU partners with abroad. I think that this is very useful in the sense that these partnerships offer a wider range of classes to choose from, and a different educational perspective.

Contact: bldavis@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Disability resources, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, LGBTQ+, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Religious life, Selecting a program option


Name: Rocio (Pondi) Carrero ’23

Major: Environmental and Interior Design

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Living with a host family and feeling like I was just another member of their family. I also really loved traveling and discovering new places with friends.

Contact: rcarrero@syr.edu


Name: Andy Guzman ’22

Major: International Relations

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? One of the most valuable things about being abroad is the ability have first-hand experiences in the country you live in. Personally for me, on a school trip to Rome, the Vatican and Naples, I was completely enthralled by all of the beautiful works of art that surrounded me. I had never been one for visual art in the past but because I had been right in front of some of the most famous and breathtaking pieces in history, like the Sistine Chapel ceiling , I was able to gain a deeper appreciation and love for art.

Contact: aguzma10@syr.edu


Name: Dayel Pope ’23

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most unforgettable experience in Italy would have to be visiting Rome. I remember being in awe of the city’s beauty and spending the day visiting as many sights as possible. The Colosseum was my first stop and the structure itself commanded my attention, when I arrived at the top and looked on the remains and I was aware of the history around me and grateful for the preservation of this site. Next we visited Peters Basilica and I was able to stand in the Sistine Chapel. From the time I entered the basilica to the time I left I was surrounded in art. The beauty of it all was astounding and I will never forget how it felt standing underneath all the masterpieces.

Contact: dpope01@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, First time abroad, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Religious life, Selecting a program option


Discovery Strasbourg

JeffreyName: Jeffrey Hoffman ’23

Major: International Relations and Modern Foreign Language

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? What I loved most about being abroad was exploring a new city with such wonderful people. Strasbourg offered so much to see, do, and eat! Exploring the physical layout of the city and getting to eventually call it home was an amazing experience. I learned about a new culture not only in terms of food, sport, and language, but in mannerism and how the French live. The thing that made my experience the best however was sharing it with my friends that today I call family.

Contact: jlhoffma@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Adjusting to a foreign language


Name: Destiny Wright-Butler ’23

Major: International Relations

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? Going abroad teaches you how to fit into a livelihood different than your basic routine. It can show you that although in a different country, people across the globe are more connected that someone without an abroad experience may think. I would urge a student to realize that the world is becoming more international and being a globalized individual is the most important life skill one can have. Being abroad gives you the ability to learn how other countries and their citizens function which will make you more desirable to the internationally expanding job market and people in general! Plus, if you can live in another country independently, any situation you are thrown into will be easily navigable.

Contact: dwrightb@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Selecting a program option


Name: Taylor Stover ’23

Major: International Relations, French minor

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? One thing I wish I had known before going abroad was how to trust myself more. Studying in Strasbourg was my first time travelling outside of North America, so I was nervous at first and didn’t know what to expect. I surprised myself with how fast I adapted and how quickly I learned to navigate the language, the culture, and the city. I was able to balance exploring Strasbourg and Europe with succeeding in my first semester of college. That’s the best advice I can give anyone who’s going to study abroad: trust yourself and believe in yourself and the rest will work itself out.

Contact: tjstover@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, LGBTQ+, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Religious life, Selecting a program option


GermanyName: Sifan Hunde ’23

Major: Psychology and Neuroscience

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My whole study abroad experience is truly unforgettable! I had the chance to not just live in France but to also travel to many other European countries. Strasbourg is very special in that it has heavy German influence so learning about the history and seeing how different it is from many other French cities was amazing. Living with a host family is also one of my most valuable experiences because I got to see France not just from my own perspective but also from that of my host mom’s who has lived there her whole life. I came back to the US with a completely different mind set than the one I left with which I am so thankful for.

Contact: shunde@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Living with a host family, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity


Name: Sumer Robbin ’23

Major: International Relations

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What do you wish you had known before going abroad? First, a practical matter, I think that packing light is very important because you will find so much of what you need where you’re staying. I also wish I had known that there is a culture shock no matter where you go and that it takes a little bit of time to adjust to it. I think that homesickness is very real during this time and that there are some times that you will miss your family and the comfortable routine you once had. These emotions are normal but they also fade so quickly when you get out and experience everything around you. But besides this, I really wish I knew how fast the time goes and that you should embrace every minute of it.

Contact: srobbin@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Living with a host family, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity


kenza bouananeName: Kenza Bouanane ’21

Hometown: North Bergen, NJ

Major: Undeclared

Semester Abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2017

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most significant part that shapes your experience abroad are the people you encounter. My most valuable experience was definitely getting to know my host family. Through them I was able to solidify and refine my French as well as get accustomed to French life and cuisine. I was lucky enough to get an amazing host family that I became really close with. We went on weekends together and talked about films and food. Throughout my time abroad, I cooked for them and we watched movies we recommended to each other. We still Facetime weekly and I have a trip planned to see them this summer.

Contact: kbouanan@syr.edu


Name: Peyton Cameron ’22

Major: International Relations & Linguistics

Semester Abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My semester abroad was so impactful in my life. I grew as a person more than I could have ever predicted and I created friendships that helped me adapt to campus and made college less intimidating.

Probably the most influential moment from last semester would have to be my trip to Marseilles. Some of my friends and I were staying in an AirBnB for the weekend and while we were in the airport we got a call from the people hosting us and my friends handed me the phone and I was able to talk to them and understand the instructions for how we were going to get into the room. The hosts only spoke French and I was so proud of my French speaking ability and I was able to understand and talk more than I thought I would be able to. That really set the tone for the rest of my semester and I just grew in my confidence with French.

Contact: pmcamero@syr.edu


Name: Ashley Collado ’22

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Having the ability to visit so many cities, whether through trips with the university or on my own and witness them in person and not through a textbook was my most valuable experience abroad. Traveling allowed me to take what I learned in class about cities and different cultures and appreciate it with my own eyes. Though I was taking classes at the center during the week, I found I learned the most about the world and myself when I was traveling that a classroom could never teach me. I got to be in the culture I was visiting, challenging my language skills and push myself out of my comfort zone with every decision I made. Being able to have this experience as a first-year freshman is an opportunity that completely changed me in ways I am still realizing, and what I valued the most from my time abroad.

Contact: ascollad@syr.edu


Discovery Madrid

Name: Kiana Khoshnoud ’23

Major: Undecided

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I had known more about the country I was going to before I got there! Before going to Madrid I had traveled a bit around France and Italy, but I had never been to Spain. I had no real idea of how Madrid was going to be. Of course I saw it on google but I had not even met anyone who had gone their before. If I had known all the amazing aspects of Spanish culture before I went to Madrid, I would not have been as worried about going. Talking to students that had previously gone would have been a relief. In lots of instances people get nervous before going abroad, so it is pretty amazing to have someone to reach out to, to explain anything you are curious about.

Contact: kckhoshn@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Selecting a program option


Name: Andrea Sanchez ’23

Major: Policy Studies

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I had known that despite your financial situation, there are so many ways to get to know the city of Madrid and the rest of Spain that aren’t so costly. I made some of the best memories on the day trips through the school whose deposit ranged from 5-10 euros or the group trips to Cordoba, Sevilla, Burgos, and Leon that were included in our program fee. By researching cheap flights and hostels/Airbnbs while planning trips, I was still able to go to other places in Spain and outside of the country. It is entirely possible to fulfill your study abroad dreams on a budget.

Contact: asanch27@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Selecting a program option


Name: Camran Shealy ’23

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? Before going abroad, I heard a lot about how to adapt to being in a new country, experiencing a new culture, etc.. The one thing I think I wasn’t prepared for, was the simultaneous experience of being in college for the first time. Going abroad as a Freshman means taking on more than just a new country, it means adapting to a newfound independence and work ethic, and that is something that is hard to prepare for. I wish I would have known the magnitude of the changes I was about to experience, and how these changes would influence my abroad experience.

Contact: clshealy@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Disability resources, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, LGBTQ+, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Religious life, Selecting a program option


Granada

Name: Alesandra Temerte ’23

Major: Economics; Writing & Rhetoric

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What would you say to students undecided about going abroad? Take the leap! I was pretty nervous at first too–in fact, I initially tried to back out of the Discovery program after learning I was accepted. It very quickly became the most extraordinary experience of my life, and I learned and grew so much as a person. I don’t have a single regret about going abroad, even though it meant missing out on the typical first semester freshman experience. I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything else because it was truly special. It set the foundation for the resourcefulness, awareness, knowledge, and drive to explore that I would carry with me for the rest of my college career.

Contact: atemerte@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure


MadridName: Camila Tirado ’23

Major: Biotechnology and French Studies Minor

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience in my host country was living with my host family. They became my home away from home and the people who I laughed, cried, poured my heart out, and discovered a whole new country with. They were not only the ones who I got to experience a new culture and customs with, but they were the ones who made me smile when I was missing home, when I was spending hours studying in my room, or was feeling sad once the semester was coming to an end. My host family taught me values and the joy of being a student and taking the time.

Contact: ctirad01@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Religious life


Name: Donyell Logan ’23

Major: Medicinal Chemistry and Psychology

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? I had my doubts as well. I was excited yet apprehensive. However, this truly was an experience of a lifetime. I want to go back often and I want you to give it a shot. My time abroad was fun and I made some great friends that I continue to hang out with on main campus. You’re experience abroad will be the highlight of your college career. If you’re given an opportunity to study abroad, never turn it down. You have more semesters on campus than abroad, but I guarantee you that going abroad will be one of the most memorable moments of your college career. I wish there was a full time campus in Madrid, because I would definitely go there!

Contact: dslogan@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Race & Ethnicity


 

EvaName: Eva Englich ’23

Major: Modern Foreign Languages and International Relations

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Overall for me living with a host family in Spain was the most valuable thing I could have done while studying abroad. While I did not have a family per se, I had a wonderful host mother who was one of the most caring and interesting people I had ever met. She was a bit older and had three grown up children. Each of these children had children of their own who came to visit every once in a while. Living and sharing such a small space with my host mom made me feel comfortable talking to her about a wide variety of topics, including the current political climate in Spain, and various things I learned in my classes at the SU Madrid center. We shared different stories and traditions which helped me embrace the Spanish culture more. For me my host mom was like another grandmother who was caring and always tried her best to make us feel comfortable no matter the situation. This was the most valuable part about studying abroad. I truly felt like I had a place in Madrid because of my host mother.

Contact: erenglic@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Cultural Immersion


Name: Courtney Conte ’23

Major: Neuroscience and Biology

Semester Abroad: Fall 2019

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience that I had while in Madrid was when I chose to sightsee individually, and visited some of the museums and parks in the city. After taking the Arts of Spain course, it was so much more interesting to walk around the museums and recognize some of the pieces, as well as to be able to apply the things that I was learning in the classroom into such a large part of Spanish culture and history. It was amazing to feel like I was in my city, comfortable walking through Retiro by myself, just people watching.

Contact: cconte@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity, Religious life, Selecting a program option