Study Abroad Panel Describes Life-Changing Experiences

Kate McLaughlin ’21

News Editor

On Monday, October 1, the Office of Study Abroad and the Office of Multicultural Education held a study abroad panel discussion. The panel was titled “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and featured eight students who studied abroad in countries as widespread as Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Australia, and Tanzania. The students discussed a wide range of topics, from why they decided to study abroad to the most important lessons they brought back with them to Holy Cross.

The panel speakers, all members of the class of 2019, were Adrian Cacho, Angel Carrillo, Bioribel Castillo, Izzi Lambrecht, Mary McGregor, Mithra Salmassi, Brian Senier, and Cheng-En (Emmanuel) Wu. The students described wanting to study abroad for a variety of reasons, including the chance to meet new people, to learn new languages, to explore big cities and new opportunities, to go outside of their comfort zones, and to learn more about themselves. They described their study abroad experiences as “transformative,” “riveting,” “eye opening,” and “transcending, shameless, and liberating.”

Some of the panelists said that studying abroad taught them to live independently, to go into new experiences with open minds and positive attitudes, and to understand that they cannot predict the future. Many explained that their study abroad experiences gave them new insight into what they had learned in the classroom and allowed them to look at their experiences at Holy Cross in new ways.

Izzi Lambrecht, who studied for one semester in Cork, Ireland and another in Rhotia, Tanzania, said that studying abroad in two drastically different countries allowed her to apply her Public Health major and her Africana Studies concentration to new contexts. Her experience gave her a deeper and fuller understanding of what she had been learning in her classes and allowed her to observe firsthand how the abstract concepts she had studied directly affect people and communities.

Mary McGregor, who studied in Australia, found it valuable to “remove yourself from your space, see the world that you are used to from the outside, and realize that the American way is not the only way.” Following the discussion, the panel broke up into smaller groups, allowing the attendees to ask more specific questions about their study abroad sites and experiences.

Holy Cross has study abroad sites in 19 different countries, and offers both foreign language programs and field studies programs. Students who are interested in studying abroad should research Holy Cross’ various programs on the College’s website and make an appointment to meet with a Study Abroad director to discuss the application process. The application for the 2019-2020 school year is open online at sa.holycross.edu until Friday, November 2.

Photo by Hui Li.

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