Patrick is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Roman-Greco
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to expand my world view outside of the United States. I really wanted to return to Europe, and Roman-Greco gave me two places that I did not get to experience in my previous travels. As an economics major, the time period I spent there during pivotal economic decisions was a fascinating prospect for me.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
As a class, we attended outdoor mass at the Vatican to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II council. It was an extremely moving service that involved multiple languages and people, including the Patriarch of Constantinople. It was an incredible experience to be at the heart of the Catholic church for such an incredible occasion.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad will rank as my best college decision. I expanded my world view so much, and learned so much about the rest of the world. I feel incredibly blessed to have had such an opportunity and I want everyone else to have this opportunity.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Benefits are innumerable. Getting outside of a classroom setting and learning firsthand about a place is so much better than a book. Expanding socially with people you never would have connected with is one of the greatest blessings of the program. Personally I feel more able to adapt to change now than ever before. Being lost in so many places forces you to learn how to communicate efficiently and an amazing amount of inner learning occurs there. Classroom learning is such a small piece of the puzzle, and while abroad I think I learned more about myself than anything else.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
One of the most incredible college experiences you can have. Work hard, save your money, and immerse yourself fully wherever you decide to go.