London Global Ambassadors

carrie degrawName: Carrie DeGraw ’23

Major: Drama/Theatre Management

Semester Abroad: Fall 2021

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? I would let them know that a lot of people are unsure about spending the semester away from campus and that far from home. I would talk to them about all of the experiences that you’re able to have both in your host country and in all the cities you’re able to travel to that you wouldn’t get to have if you stayed on campus for the semester. I would also talk to them about the different resources that are available to students through the Syracuse University Centers because my friends and I used them a few times and I also had professors that were great at reaching out and encouraging students to talk to them if they had any questions or concerns at all.

Contact: cddegraw@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Health, safety, and support, Preparing for departure


olivia henderson in londonName: Olivia Henderson ’23

Major: Policy Studies

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give to someone studying abroad? When studying abroad, especially in Europe, it’s very easy to get caught up in all of the countries outside of your host country that you’ll have such easy access to. I would advise students to explore their home country and not get caught up in weekend trips. At the end of my time in London, I realized I had not traveled outside of Zone 3 and only took 1-weekend trip in the UK to Liverpool and Manchester. I wish I had taken advantage of my railcard and gone to Scotland, Ireland, or even just explored England outside of London. I would advise a student to really get to know their host country before they start traveling outside of it!

Contact: ophender@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family


hailey in london

Name: Hailey Opperman ’23

Major: Marketing and Business Analytics

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give to someone studying abroad? I would remind students of all the technical things before they leave, such as currency exchange, vaccine cards, school notebooks, electrical converters, etc, but also remind them that if they are feeling uncertain about the semester ahead, that it is totally normal and almost every other student in the program is feeling the same way, I know from personal experience. The first few days will feel really unfamiliar and scary, but as you get acquainted with your city/ area of living you will fall more and more in love with your new life abroad.

Contact: haopperm@syr.edu

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


aaron in bathName: Aaron Partnow ’23

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience was visiting the Royal Albert Hall for Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday. Though I did this alone, I felt I was part of a wider community. By partaking in this tradition with locals, I felt like a Londoner more than at any other point in time. It was something I sought out on my own, without SU direction, but which allowed me the opportunity to share stories and experiences with faculty and fellow students.

Contact: abpartno@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Cultural Immersion


alexis in brightonName: Alexis Peng ’23

Major: Public Relations

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience that I got in London was interacting with the locals and learning about London and the UK through their eyes. I got the most experience with this at my internship because I got to talk with my coworkers about things to do and what they liked most about London and learn the ins and outs of how work-life is in the UK (it is so different from America). Speaking with locals was where I got to learn the most about British culture.

Contact: alpeng@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Race & Ethnicity


olivia in londonName: Olivia Troilo ’23

Major: Citizenship & Civil Engagement; Political Science; History

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? I’d remind the student that they know Syracuse: they have routines, landmarks, and anniversaries to look forward to on main campus because at some point, they decided to commit to Syracuse as a place and a culture that they wanted to explore. The same can be said about going abroad. Deciding to go abroad means getting the chance to completely immerse oneself in something fun, foreign, and new. To this student questioning whether they want to go abroad, I’d also reassure them that I met exceptional people: students that I became fast friends with, professors who offered their long-term support as advisors and mentors, and administrative staff who were welcoming and responsive whenever I needed a question answered

Contact: ottroilo@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, LGBTQ+, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Religious life, Selecting a program option


Name: Carla Guariglia ’23

Major: Political Science, Minor in Women and Gender Studies

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience in my host country was my internship at the Migration Museum. It was my first ever internship and I was so passionate about the work I was doing. I was honored to work alongside such incredible and distinguished personnel. At the museum, I worked on a new exhibition that was centered around the integral role of migrant workers. This experience really made me realize my own relationship with migration outside of a familial sense, as to where my goods come from, why certain migrant businesses exist the way they do, and so on.

Contact: csguarig@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away, Health, safety, and support, LGBTQ+, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Selecting a program option


Name: Marisa Mastropieri ’23

Major: Marketing Management & TRF

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give a student studying abroad? It’s okay to be anxious or nervous as well as excited and ready to go abroad. Any feelings that you have prior to going abroad get washed away once you settle into the respective city you are in. I would say the more that you immerse yourself in the culture and city, the more fun and comfort you will find in being abroad. I would simply say to enjoy every minute and make the most of the experience daily.

Contact: mmastrop@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, Preparing for departure, Selecting a program option


mark hamiltonName: Mark Hamilton ’23

Major: Accounting & Business Analytics

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give a student studying abroad? Create a budget for yourself and plan ahead. I think it is useful to know how much you have to spend on groceries, discretionary items, etc. Additionally, planning ahead and mapping out your weekends would be a smart idea. Whether you are interested in going to another country for the weekend or doing something of high demand in London, it will most likely be cheaper and of more availability the earlier you plan out.

Contact: mhamil01@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Meeting locals, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Financing study away


sophia mercurioName: Sophia Mercurio ’23

Major: English & Political Philosophy

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your favorite experience abroad? I took a Shakespeare course in which the class went to a different performance every week. I was able to see performances in Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as performances by famous actors like Kit Harrington. I was very grateful for this opportunity, as it allowed me to explore new areas of London and see theatrical performances I might not have otherwise seen. One of the reasons I chose to go to London was to learn more about Shakespeare, and to learn about how these performances can be adapted to the stage.

Contact: smmercur@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Allergies & dietary needs, Culture shock / Homesickness, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Preparing for departure, Selecting a program option


Name: Daslin Pena ’23

Major: Inclusive Elementary Education

Semester Abroad: Fall 2021

What advice would you give to a student going abroad? Before going abroad, create a list of places and things you want to do before your semester ends. By connecting with previous students who went abroad, I created a list of a variety of places that I knew I wanted to visit before going back to the US. Research the city you are going to visit and as you create a list, create a budget to ensure you can do everything you want to because the semester will go a lot faster than you expect! Your budget should ensure you can create memories while also maintaining the lifestyle you create for yourself. Also, pack pictures or notes from home to keep you motivated. Being away from home could get lonely while also causing you anxiousness. Before I left, I made sure to take as many pictures as possible with my family and friends, which helped me through the random funks I would get as the semester began to get rigorous. Lastly, write yourself a letter before you go abroad. This letter could include motivational quotes, a reminder about why you chose to go abroad, or songs that help you get through the day. If you ever feel lonely or homesick, read your letter and remember that this is an opportunity of a lifetime, and you are beyond blessed to be where you are. You are more than capable and worthy of being in the city you are in, so enjoy it to the fullest!

Contact: dpena06@syr.edu

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


Name: Ashley Bruce ’23

Major: Marketing Management

Semester Abroad: Fall 2021

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most unforgettable experience was traveling with Syracuse London to Scotland. Since this was my first time in the UK, getting to travel outside of England was a great memory. In Scotland, we were traveling to Edinburgh, the country’s capital. The SU had the itinerary created before we arrived and on the itinerary, it stated that we were going to visit MacArthur’s seat and she stated that the activity would be a hike with a “slight incline.” Before we began our hike, we met with some former Lockerbie scholars and they discussed the scholarship and the established relationship Syracuse has with the Scottish town from the Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy.

Contact: asbruce@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: First time abroad