Allie Patterson

Allie is an ambassador who studied abroad in Italy and Greece
Major: Psychology

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I had wanted to travel for as long as I can remember, and knew this experience would be unmatched to any other. The opportunities to study abroad that are offered at CSB/SJU were partly why I decided to go to school here, and I had a relatively easy time deciding on Roman-Greco. Getting to experience two very different cultures put it at the top of my list, and was definitely the right decision.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

One of my favorite cultural experiences was when we went to a papal mass in Rome. It was really cool to see something so universal, and showed me that even though our cultures are extremely different we still share a common ground with people from all different parts of the world.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

This experience was truly life-changing in more ways than I ever expected. Before leaving, I thought I would have a hard time adjusting to a different life and culture, but found both places to be welcoming and open to us trying to adapt and fit in. Immersing in the culture was the best thing I could have done for myself, and I know I came back having experienced and learned things that I never would have if I hadn't studied abroad. 

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?

There are so many benefits to spending the semester abroad that it is hard to pick just one. You have the chance to develop who you are as a person, and get to see the world while you are doing it. I found that not only was I much more independent than I realized, but I enjoyed the new found independence and freedom. I also became more adaptable and curious, which are two qualities that I know I will take into my academic and professional life later on.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

First and foremost, take advantage of this opportunity and go. You learn more than you can imagine about yourself and the world around you, so don't be afraid to be open to the possibilities and try new things!


Do you have questions about studying abroad in Italy and Greece? Email Allie at