Melissa Amy, a Texas native, loved being able to experience her Catholic faith in three countries through Discover the World.
Global Studies Program: Discover the World: Europe
What is your background?
I’m first generation Filipino-American with some Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese in my blood.
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Stafford, Texas, a small city outside of Houston.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I have wanted to study abroad since I was a freshman in college. I love to travel, and it would also be a great asset to my major. I also appreciated the fact that I would visit three countries in one semester. There’s no better way to make your experience at St. John’s amazing than studying abroad. I heard great things about the program as well, and they were all true!
What appealed to you about the particular program selected?
The program grabbed me with its unique opportunity to travel from country to country. Not any three countries, but three interesting ones that appealed to me as a person. I love fashion, therefore the opportunity to live in Paris was a deal I couldn’t resist! I wanted to go to Spain because I have cultural ties to the country and I’ve only heard good things it. Rome intrigued me with its history. The St. John’s Rome Campus was also a great attribute of the program.
What did you like best about studying abroad?
I loved everything about studying abroad! What’s not to love? It’s the experience of a lifetime to truly discover not only the world but yourself during a time period essential to understanding who you are in a world unfamiliar to you. As students, we engaged ourselves in cultures unfamiliar to us; doing that expanded our views of the world and what it means to be American.
The freedom to travel during our days off was awesome, too. It was unique to be able to learn and at the same time experience what we were studying about. We did not just learn about art in textbooks, we could go to the Louvre and see it ourselves!
What was your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience was being able to experience my faith in different settings of the world. Being Catholic, it was really a testament to how universal our faith is. I was going to mass at The Notre Dame or at The Vatican and that was priceless! I remember during Lent in Spain, they would process in the streets and I felt like I was reliving stories in the Bible! I can’t express how humbling that experience was.
How has the study abroad experience affected you now that you are back in New York?
The study abroad experience has opened my eyes to traveling more. I want to really discover the world! I know if I could handle being away from not only New York, but from America for so long, I can handle anything. It also has made me appreciate diversity more. I still practice my Italian whenever I can, since studying it in Italy was so much fun!
Would you recommend studying abroad to a friend?
I would definitely recommend studying abroad to a friend. I already have been spreading the news to incoming freshmen and friends whenever they have any inclination to try it out. I’m like, “just do it! You won’t regret it!” It’s interesting because those who have studied abroad before me have done the same to me, and it’s my turn to pay back the favor. I want to really let people know that I honestly feel it was one of the best decisions in my life.
What plans do you have once you graduate?
After I graduate, my plan is to send out my resume to companies in the New York and Los Angeles areas. I’m not certain, but I have said that along with sending resumes, I will continue to travel!