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Visiting Student Profiles

Want to know what it’s really like to study abroad with St. John’s? Check out what some of our past visiting students have to say!

Jillian Cook, Niagara University, Discover the World: Europe

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 Why did you decide to do the Discover the World: Europe program?

 Discover the World allowed me to study in three uniquely different countries in one semester, which gave me the opportunity to experience a  wide variety of cultures. The course offerings also kept me on track academically, so that I could graduate on time.

 What did your family think about your decision to study abroad?

 My family was very supportive.  They were excited that I would be able to have such a rare opportunity to study and travel at the same time.  Knowing that the university would keep me in a safe environment with access to good doctors was also comforting to my parents.  And once they learned that study abroad was not much more money than studying at my home school, they were all for it. 

What was your most memorable experience abroad?

There are certainly a lot of experiences to choose from, but my most memorable is the day I spontaneously took a bus to Gibraltar from Spain.  Long story short, I saw a wild monkey, hiked the rock of Gibraltar, went through caves, got lost and had one of the most humbling experiences of kindness of my life, all while making it back to Spain just in time to take my Ethics final. 

What did you think about the classes?

The classes were challenging, interesting, and very interactive—all without loading you down with so much that you’d miss out on the experience of being abroad.  The professors were very accommodating and willing to work with you. They seemed to genuinely care.

Melissa Rodriguez, University of Florida, Discover Italy: Rome Semester

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 What did your family think about your decision to study abroad?

 At first my family was hesitant and didn’t know whether or not they wanted me to study abroad; their biggest worry was my safety. However,  once I explained to them all the details about the program they were more at ease and supported my decision. The University of Florida  worked with St. John’s to prepare me with the information necessary to study abroad through informational sessions and survival/pre-  departure meetings.

 How did you keep it affordable?

 I applied for scholarships prior to studying abroad and was also a recipient of a scholarship from my home school. I created a budget for the  entire semester keeping in mind travel expenses, food, and miscellaneous things such as souvenirs/clothing. By setting a limit, I knew exactly  how much money I had to work with each month and could ensure that I didn’t exceed it. Other tips would be to travel light, stay in hostels  (instead of hotels), and buy cheap airfare/train tickets, etc…

How did your international experience impact you?

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that not everyone gets the opportunity to embark upon. Not only I was able to grow as a person by immersing myself in new cultures and customs but I also became more open-minded. Once you live abroad you see things in a new light and broaden your perspective on life. I would do it all over again with no regrets because I was able to discover personal qualities and skills I would have never known I possessed.

Gerard Morrone, Dominican College, Discover the World: Europe

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 Why did you decide to do the Discover the World: Europe program?

 I chose Discover the World because I saw it as a way to travel the world at an affordable price. I also thought it would be a good way to  make connections and create bonds with people that could last a lifetime.

 What did your family think about your decision to study abroad?

 At first, my family was a little skeptical. They tried to sway me into staying in the U.S. After much convincing and showing them what  study abroad had in store for me, they became more and more accepting of my choice to travel.

 What did you think about the classes?

The classes abroad were rigorous—we only had 5 weeks in each country—but they were also fun and intriguing. The best part was being able to explore each city through academic site visits, all while gaining a ton of knowledge in the process. The professors were really nice, accommodating and willing to work with students.