Strasbourg Global Ambassadors

Catelin StrasbourgName: Catelin Turner ’21

Major: International Relations

Semester Abroad: Spring 2019

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish that I had been less worried about making friends. I only knew one other person on my program and I was terrified that I wouldn’t make friends, but within the first few days I had found people that I formed intensely close bonds with over the next few months. The Strasbourg program is so small, which makes it a lot easier to make friends then some of our bigger programs and the seminar definitely helps but I was worried for nothing.

Contactcgturner@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, LGBTQ+, Selecting a program option


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


Name: Samantha Cooke ’21

Major: International Relations & Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Being able to study in Strasbourg was truly an experience I will never forget. A big part of this was because of my incredible host family and also because of my community internship. My host family welcomed me into their home with open arms and was extremely patient with me while I tried speaking to them in very bad French. They consistently encouraged me and also introduced me to traditional alsacian culture while wanting to know more about my own. I immediately felt like part of the family and got close with my host siblings as well. I still keep in contact with them today!

Additionally, I got to be an intern for a refugee welcome and housing center where I got to learn about the process of migration in France and got to meet many new refugees. This internship opened my eyes to a new path that I didn’t even know I wanted to pursue and may not have otherwise discovered.

Contact: sacooke@syr.edu


Name: Eva Kamman ’21

Major: Environmental Engineering

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience abroad was traveling with friends for an interrupted week during fall break. It was a new experience to pick a destination I wanted to go to and make it happen by myself!

Contact: erkamman@syr.edu


timothy kimName: Timothy Kim ’21

Hometown: Flushing, NY

Major: English and textual studies

Semester Abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2017

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The connections I made with my fellow students and professors. They were incredibly friendly, and I not only made friends with other freshmen, there were upperclassmen that were approachable and gave advice on how to continue university life. My friends made my life so much easier considering the loneliness and homesickness I felt being so far away for the first time in my life. The classes at the Discovery program were also small and allowed interpersonal relationships with professors to develop.  The closeness I developed would make it easy for me to ask for recommendation letters further along my college career, as I felt that close to my instructors.

Contact: tkim26@syr.edu


sarah laceyName: Sarah Lacey ’21

Hometown: Holliston, MA

Major: French & Francophone Studies

Semester Abroad: Discovery Strasbourg Fall 2017

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most unforgettable experience abroad was when I was able to rent a bike using only French. This interaction was the first time I realized I was becoming a part of the community and how much I had grown since arriving in Strasbourg. Also having the person I was talking to fully understand me in conversation was very rewarding and helped give me confidence in my French communication skills.

Contact: sglacey@syr.edu


Name: Kaitlin Mckoy ’21

Major: Information Management and Technology

Semester Abroad: Spring 2020

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? Put your fears aside, take your comfort zone out of the picture and just think about the amazing opportunity you have to study on foreign grounds. You have likely spent the upwards of 15 years in schools in America and going out and experiencing it in an unknown land is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would do over in a heartbeat if I could. You are going to be surrounded by so many other people in your program who are feeling the same way as you – anxious, nervous, unsure and uncomfortable, bond with them! Talking out your fears with someone is so helpful and will help you get through it even easier than expected.

Contact: kmmckoy@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Race & ethnicity, Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Selecting a program option


Name: Yangzhi Xiao ’22

Major: Music Industry

Semester Abroad: Spring 2020

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I am an organ student, and during the time when I studied in France, I was able to study with one of the four organists of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. I have learned so much from him, and more importantly, I have earned a very unique perception of the way of life as an organist. It is just so worth it to spend at least one semester aboard, it’s a such life-changing experience. Sometimes, there is not only one way to study, man who travels far knows more. To have real experience with the world beyond your borders will definitely benefit your future.

Contact: yxiao22@syr.edu

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


Name: Lauren McNamara ’21

Major: International Relations, Economics, ESP (Environment, Sustainability, and Policy)

Semester Abroad: Spring 2020

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I loved having a host family as a part of my experience. Not only did I learn a lot from my host parents about the French language and culture, but they were also a great support system for me where I found comfort being away from home. I was able to meet their daughters and some of their extended family, and found out that we had a lot more in common than we thought! I plan to keep in touch with them and hopefully visit them again in the future.

Contact: lamcnama@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, Living with a host family, Race & Ethnicity, Selecting a program option, Staying in touch with friends & family.


Name: Blake Moyer ’22

Major: Political Science, History, and Citizenship and Civic Education

Semester Abroad: Spring 2020

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable experience I had within my host country was two excursions I did with my host family. In the first week at Strasbourg, we had a day that wad dedicated to spending time with our host family. For my day, I spent my time with my host mother (Rajaa Patry) and her best friend. They took me to her best friend’s mother’s house in the countryside. There we celebrated her 70th birthday and I got to meet his entire extended family. Even though I knew little French (because I took Spanish in high school), they treated me as one of their own, gave me plenty of food, taught me some French, were the first people I had to do la bise with, and we played some games together. Additionally, I had a wonderful day excursion with my host mom, her best friend, and my Russian host brother, Igor. We went to Baden-Baden and the Black Forest, there we walked around a frozen pond that had the legend about mermaids, ate wonderful sausages, tried on ridiculous hats at the store (and we have pictures). Then we had lunch by the pond, explored the city of Baden-Baden and window shopping. We ended the night singing, reminiscing, looking at old videos, eating home-cooked food, and enjoying a fire.

Contact: bpmoyer@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: Marie Svoboda ’21

Major: Musical Education

Semester Abroad: Spring 2020

What would you tell a student undecided about going abroad? Going abroad opened my mind, and it helped me realize who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to change the world. I know that saying that going abroad changed my life is the most trite phrase you can think of, and that hearing that phrase a million times is not helpful at all when actually deciding, but understand that when someone says that, it is because they don’t know how to easily explain how their entire life has now become overall richer. Going abroad is not just about traveling and speaking a new language, it helps you realize how to live your life the best and become the best person you can be. I love my home at Syracuse and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but now I have another home in Strasbourg, and believe when I say that I would never change that one either.

Contact: mfsvobod@syr.edu

Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Living with a host family