Sean Pickthorn

Sean Pickthorn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Greece and Italy

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I have always wanted to travel, and the Greco-Roman program seemed like the best fit. The culture and history of these two areas have been developmental towards civilization. The birthplace of medicine, roads, philosophy, and so many other things existed between these two dominate world powers over 2000 years ago. I find it amazing to be able to travel to these areas and experience the culture and history that has existed for two millennia, and is still thriving today.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The idea that still is beyond fascinating for me was the material in the art class in Rome. I love being able to think that some of the world's greatest minds, and revolutionary workers lived and worked in this area. Their lasting effect is still visible today from the paintings, architecture, and schematics. I would say specifically, being able to see the famous David statue was incredible. Identifying that such a talented man, Michelangelo, had so much creative thinking and intellect was inspiring.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Unforgettable. There are so many things that people in Europe do differently. There are some things that I like and some that I don't, but being able to see the world from a different viewpoint is an excellent realization in your personality. The community that you experience abroad is also unforgettable. I honestly think that these people are going to be the friends I have for a lifetime. With the community, the culture, the food, the history, this trip is entirely unforgettable.
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?
Being abroad, as mentioned, puts an entirely different outlook on life. People take naps in the middle of the day; eat for sometimes hours because they love the presence of other people; set a great model for moderate drinking habits because of their culture. Being exposed to these things stretches your personality outside of its box. I think that being in Greece and Rome, the birthplace of some great minds, really is invigorating and stimulating academically. Professionally, I believe you can relate to more people because you are more knowledgeable about the world! With the United States being the ethnic melting pot of the world, you can now realize the background of some groups different than yourself. I had the opportunity to visit a couple hospitals abroad so I can compare the atmosphere to my potential workplace here. I believe all of these categories are touched on in an abroad experience.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
It is a great experience and you will never regret it. The advantage that this gives you on a resume or even in conversation is unbelievable. Today's world is growing to become more culturally intertwined, and an experience like this is almost necessary to be competitive. If you are planning on studying abroad, start looking into the country that you want to go to. Being knowledgeable about your destination shows determination, and is beneficial to you when you get there! Make sure to stop by career services because their help on resumes and interviews is excellent. This is a great way to start to build a resume for future uses as well.


Do you have any questions about studying abroad in GR/RG?  Contact Sean at