Preston Hardy

Preston is an Ambassador who studied abroad in South Africa
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics


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

South Africa was one of a few trips that offered a service learning aspect. Another thing, is that I feel I will be able to visit Europe when I am older, but probably will not make my way to Africa. I figured this was the perfect chance!

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

On a tour of the city, we were in a large bus that was giving our group a tour. At one point we stopped and all of the local kids started running up to the bus! We got out and just played with them briefly. They were so happy to see us and barely let us leave when we had to go. 

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Wow, what a question! It was definitely an experience that will be with me forever. Not only will it stay with me, but it has changed the way I think and will continue to think about cultural perspectives

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?

In terms of personal development, I've become much more patient and able to live in close quarters with peers. Academically, I was challenged in terms of the material as it was very different from my Math and Computer Science curriculum. Professionally, I worked on a website as part of my service learning so I became more proficient in creating a website!

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

I would recommend starting to plan for it NOW! This is the biggest reason that people cannot/don't study abroad- because they didn't think of it early enough. Plan for it now and maybe save a fine arts or humanities or experiential learning requirement to satisfy while abroad.

Do you have questions about studying abroad in South Africa, or want to have access to my blog? Email Preston at