Strasbourg Global Ambassadors

katherine blomkvistName: Katherine Blomkvist ’23

Major: Public Health & Policy Studies

Semester Abroad: Fall 2021

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience was getting to visit so many different cities within France. I was able to more deeply explore France and all that it has to offer than if I was able to visit any country I wanted. From city to city, you can feel the differences in the way people interact with one another, the architecture, and the food people eat. Even though France is a small country, it feels so much larger.

Contactkpblomkv@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, Living with a host family, Preparing for departure, Selecting a program option


charlotte wardName: Charlotte Ward ’23

Major: Policy Studies

Semester Abroad: Fall 2021

What advice would you give to a student before they go abroad? “Leap and the net will appear” There will always be people to help you wether you are in a Syracuse Center or out in the city. Just go take advantage of everything your location has to offer. Don’t worry about not knowing the language of your placement country because its so much easier to learn a language abroad and generally, people speak English.

Contactcward06@syr.edu

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


Name: Georges Elizee ’23

Major: Computer Science

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give to a student before they go abroad? Engineering majors: I find that generally, people who go abroad are studying something in the humanities or outside of STEM. I decided to go and get all of my required electives out of the way on a limb, and I’m so happy I made that decision and didn’t have to miss out on a literal once-in-a-lifetime abroad semester because of my classes.

Contactglelizee@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, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure


kristen in parisName: Kristen Bashen ’23

Major: International Relations and Biology

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What advice would you give to a student before they go abroad? Be super open minded about living with a host family/going to a smaller city where you can actually learn the language and not rely on speaking English. Also go on the trips with your Syracuse center. It’s a good way to make friends with the students in your program and it gives you something to do (for free) on the weekends

Contactkabashen@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, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure


mihika gogateName: Mihika Gogate ’24

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable and unforgettable experience was getting to live with a host family. I was given the opportunity to stay with one of my closest friends from Syracuse and we lived in a quaint apartment in the Robertsau neighborhood of Strasbourg with our host mother and father. My host father is originally from Birmingham, UK and spoke English very fluently, he was always ready to share a hilarious story about his friends or tell me about his 20+ years of marriage with our host mother. He shared the difficulties of first adjusting to the French culture and language after moving to Strasbourg and was more than willing to listen to me ramble about my classes, friends, or family problems. I felt like I truly found a friend within him and his over-the-top personality. My host mother came from Bretagne in France. She was much more soft-spoken, however she welcomed me and my roommate with open arms and so much love and care. Her and I had extensive conversations in French during our nightly dinners and she always quick to gently, but firmly correct any mistakes I made with the language. She would consistently offer to help me with my French homework and if it wasn’t for her I truly don’t think I would have understood the French language as well as I do now. Though it might sound cliche, they were much more than just a host family to me and I was truly very lucky and very thankful to have been accepted into their home with such open arms. I think of them everyday and cannot wait to return to Strasbourg and go visit them again.

Contactmsgogate@syr.edu

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


Name: Fabiana Suarez ’24

Major: Communications & Rhetorical Studies

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most unforgettable experience while being abroad was meeting people and communicating with people in French. I went into the program knowing nothing about the language and I left the program feeling confident in my ability to speak French and form relationships with others.

Contact: fcsuarez@syr.edu

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


Name: Madeleine LeFranc ’23

Major: Political Science

Semester Abroad: Spring 2022

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Getting to stay with a host mom was definitely the most valuable experience for me. It helped me learn so much about the unique culture of Strasbourg while really helping my language skills. I feel like I got a really immersive abroad experience because of staying with my host mom and I was able to learn so many things I couldn’t in a classroom. Having to speak in French for all my meals and time with her was a challenge, but it was great practice and definitely helped my speaking. Doing activities like watching the evening news with her as well helped me learn about current affairs while also seeing news in another language.

Contactmblefran@syr.edu

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