Andrew de St. Aubin
Andrew de St. Aubin is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece and Italy.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
While in Athens I quickly realized the importance of bargaining. Essentially I could try and bargain the price down at any store or restaurant as long as it was not part of a chain. I really enjoyed this aspect of their culture. One time in particular a large group of us was looking for a place to eat in the center of Athens. As is very normal every waiter at every restaurant we walked by tried to get our group to come to their restaurant. I was at the front of our group so I was doing most of the talking with the different waiters. Eventually we got to a place where there were two restaurants that were practically on top of each other. The head waiter from each restaurant came up to me at the same time so I started a bidding war between the two of them. Eventually I had gotten to a point where we were able to get a great group discount. I will never forget the excitement of bargaining with these two Greek men and the satisfaction of actually getting a discount.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I knew studying abroad was a once in a lifetime opportunity and by going on the Greco-Roman trip I was essentially getting two programs for the price of one. Going to Europe had always been a dream of mine and now that I have gone I could not be more happy with my choice.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
The first thing I would say would be to stop thinking and just go. The experiences that they will have abroad will significantly change who they are. To try and describe the whole experience does not really do it justice but I would certainly do my best to convey that whatever is holding them back the positives far out weigh the negatives.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
This trip has had such a profound impact on me I do not know even where to begin. I have always been someone who likes to have a plan, however, after studying abroad I feel like I can more easily and adapt to new surroundings and situations. This trip has also gave me a greater understanding of the world and I find myself paying much closer attention to world news especially news from the areas I traveled.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Just relax. Leading up to the trip everything can be very stressful. I found this especially to be true for pre travel before the program started. They should try and prepare themselves the best they can but in the end they will get to their destination and they will have some amazing memories when they are done.