Alex "discovered" the many sights, sounds and
opportunities available to students through Global Studies
Major: Hospitality Management
Global Studies Program: Discover the World:
What is your background?
My father’s side is Russian and my mother’s side is Irish.
I had traveled abroad a few times prior to studying for the
semester. In high school I went on a trip to Italy with my Latin
class. We went to Rome, Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. I
also went on a family vacation to Mexico. My freshmen year of
college I participated in a Campus Ministry service plunge in
Panama, where we lived with poor families for two weeks.
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Pennsylvania and lived there all of
my life. Leaving Pennsylvania was a good decision because I find
the urban environment more stimulating. Life is faster in New York
and I knew there would be more opportunities in New York,
especially with my major in Hospitality Management.
What student clubs, sports, or extracurricular
activities are you involved in?
I am involved in VITAL, Conduct Board and Student
Ambassadors. I was also a Parent Orientation leader for two
summers. I assist Campus Ministry with retreats as a retreat
leader. I work on campus at the Campus Concierge. I’m involved a
lot on campus, so deciding to study abroad was difficult. I thought
I would be giving up all that I was participating in, but that was
false. When I came back I picked up where I left off.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I came into college with the notion that I would study
abroad at some point. I was attracted to St. John’s University
initially for their established study abroad programs in Rome and
other places. When the Office of Global Studies unveiled Discover
the World, it seemed like an opportunity I had to take advantage
of. Boy am I glad I did.
What appealed to you about the particular program you
Discover the World seemed like an innovative program. The
thought of studying in three major European cities really drew me
in. I also wanted the opportunity to travel more on top of the
three countries. In total I visited 12 countries during my four
month stay in Europe.
What did you like best about studying
When I was in Europe I treated each day as a new day. Not to sound
cliché but you “discovered” something new each day. For instance,
in Rome I wanted to find a new way to tour the city so I would go
running. I had a routine of running through the Villa Borghese,
Rome’s equivalent to Central Park, and it was my way of
familiarizing myself with Rome. I also enjoyed the freedom and
responsibility. Each weekend I traveled to a new city or country.
It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time.
What was your most memorable experience?
It’s hard to pin-point one moment. The most memorable
would be the entire experience. I got to travel to 12 countries. I
saw so many European cultures, tasted new foods and attempted to
speak new languages like German and Portuguese. But my most
memorable experience was the people I studied with. Some of them
were from the Staten Island campus and I would not have the chance
to meet them if I didn’t study abroad. I also met new people from
the Queens campus. My cohort was full of great people and I can see
myself carrying these new friendships farther into my life.
Would you recommend studying abroad to a
I would strongly recommend studying abroad to my friends.
I convinced one to go so far. He is doing the Discover the World
program. I would encourage anyone to have an international
experience. When you live abroad you are open to everything – the
food, the language, new smells, architecture, everything. You
notice things that you wouldn’t normally notice here in New York.
Studying abroad was such an invaluable experience. Everybody should
have the same opportunity that I had.