Current Peer Mentors
2012-2013 Study Abroad Peer Mentors
Thinking about studying abroad and need information from the student's perspective? Check out our Peer Mentors' stories! If you have any questions about their experiences abroad, feel free to send them an email!
Amy Loud- Biomedical Sciences
Studied Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark through DIS
Studying abroad in Denmark was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I stayed in the capital city of Copenhagen, which is rich in Danish culture, but also very tourist friendly, since nearly all Danes speak English as well as their native Danish. There are dozens of sites to see including the famous Little Mermaid statue, colorful Nyhavn Canal, miles of safe streets full of stores and bakeries, the Queen’s home- Amalienborg Palace, Hamlet’s Castle, beaches, the two oldest amusement parks in the world, countless castles, and museums.
I took a class called Human Health and Disease. The class was held in a hospital and taught by two Danish doctors and a medical student. We reviewed human pathology in each body system, examined clinical case studies, worked in teams to come up with possible diagnoses and treatments for hypothetical patients, had CPR training, and visited a medical history museum. We also had some unique opportunities that would have been more difficult to carry out in the United States, such as taking actual patient histories in the hospital, drawing blood from the veins of an artificial arm, suturing pig skin, and putting arm casts on one another.
I did an optional weekend trip in Kullaberg, Sweden, that was set up by DIS. This was the highlight of the entire trip. About 30 of us stayed in a beautiful hostel in the countryside as we escaped academia. We canoed, rappelled off of cliffs on the shore of the North Sea, and hiked to Nimis, the hidden gem of Sweden. I love talking about my time abroad, so feel free to email me if you want to know more.
Have a question for Amy? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Kelly- Photojournalism
Studied abroad in Dubrovnik, Croatia (RIT Faculty-led Program)
I was craving a new culture, a change of scenery, to speak a new language and to meet new people. I had never been to Europe before but had heard so many wonderful things about it. When I saw a sign for the Film Workshop being offered at our campus in Croatia, ACMT, I knew that I wanted to do anything in my power to be there! I'm really glad I made the decision to go because it was a life changing experience. I grew as a person, tried new things and worked outside my comfort zone. I met beautiful people and got to produce an international film in the process! I would encourage everyone to go abroad to have the great experience that I did!
Brianna Hanley- Graphic Design
Studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan (RIT Faculty-led Program)
I chose to study abroad, because I have always wanted to travel to foreign countries, particularly to Japan, and I wanted to increase my Japanese language skills. By studying abroad, I was able to study Japanese intensively and stay there for the right amount of time to feel like I really experienced the culture. Out of this experience, I made many friends, learned how to converse in a foreign language and travel through large cities using trains and subways, and gained an interest in learning how to make Japanese food.
Email Brianna at email@example.com
Nicholas Gawreluk- New Media Publishing
Worked abroad in Heidelberg, Germany & Sao Paulo, Brazil
I wanted to study abroad to gain experiences outside of the United States and to learn about the different cultures worldwide. Living in Heidelberg, Germany and Sao Paulo, Brazil changed the way I view almost everything in my life. I now have friends around the world and a strong passion to continue global travels.
Arienne Dzubak- Biology
Studied abroad in Genoa, Italy (RIT Faculty-led Program)
Ciao tutto! Hello everyone! My name is Arienne Dzubak. I am one of the Peer Mentors at the Study Abroad Office. I am a dual enrollment second year Biology major, ASL Interpretation minor and Italian Language and Culture Studies concentration. This past summer I went to many Italian cities such as Rome, Turin, Genoa and many more. Pictured above is myself in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I have gone to a number of different countries: Australia, England, France and Italy two times. I have studied the Italian language and culture for seven years, French for a year and American Sign Language for three years.
In RIT I am part of competitive Rock Climbing team, teach Tae Kwon Do and participate in Capoeira. I live in the Global Village Housing Cluster.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and please contact me if there are any questions about life in the housing cluster or traveling abroad.
Avani Sudhakar- Biochemistry
Studied abroad in Cambridge, England through Arcadia University
When I was ten years old, my mother and I moved to a town in northern England called Stockton-on-Tees. It was a primarily a middle-class, former mining town, that now expanded into retail and IT as its primary sources of business. We lived there for a year, and I fell completely, irrevocably in love.
Out of all the places I’ve traveled, England is by and large my favorite. The climate is cool (and yes, rainy) but the landscape is amazing. From the rolling hills in the South, to the stark and majestic crags in the North, there’s an almost fantastical nature to the atmosphere. The land is steeped in history, with the ruins of ancient castles and cathedrals throughout the countryside, and sometimes even in the midst of major metropolises. The culture is more emotionally reserved than that of the USA, which suits me just fine.
Reality doesn’t always measure up to fantasy, and memory is fluid. I was young when I first lived in England, and I didn’t understand much of what it would take to live there as an adult. That’s why I went back in the summer of 2012, to study abroad at the University of Cambridge. England was just as enthralling as I remembered. London, with its castles and museums and cobblestone and something new to see every time. Quaint countryside villages and ancient castles, with history waiting to be discovered and footsteps of the long-gone waiting to be followed. The “Oxbridge” education system is very different from the American university teaching style, focusing much more on student initiative and reading – so much reading. It’s a good thing the weather was cool and the libraries numerous and quiet! Despite all the reading, though, there was plenty of time to travel and explore England. The public transportation system there is extremely user-friendly. From the iconic Tube system in London, to the regular buses and trains and taxis that run every ten to fifteen minutes, it was easy to get around the town and the country without ever needing a car.
There were mishaps and bumps in the road, as there always are – a cold, and the fact that 24/7 isn’t a concept across the pond come to mind – but my study abroad trip to England was one of the best experiences of my life. It gave me confidence in my ability to live on my own, to travel under my own power, and to adapt. It reminded me that there is a bigger and more beautiful world beyond my horizons. I loved studying abroad, and it’s something I highly recommend everyone experience at least once during their college careers. I look forward to being to sharing my experiences with other students interested in studying abroad, and helping and encouraging them any way I can!
Email Avani at email@example.com
Edin Heric- Hospitality & Service Management/MBA
Former ACMT (Croatia) Peer Mentor
My name is Edin Heric and I am from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I start my education at ACMT (RIT Croatia), while now I am a graduate MBA student here at RIT. While at ACMT, I served as a peer mentor to fellow RIT students who came as a study abroad to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Being all the time with them, and seeing them as they enjoy and embrace different culture, I decided that I have to do the same. Coming RIT as a study abroad was one of the best decisions in my life. It enabled me to see world from the different perspective, to embrace new cultures, to gain global experience and to meet new friends.
Feel free to contact me at my email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adam Coccia- Environmental Science
Studied Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark through DIS
I wanted to study abroad in Denmark, because I've always had a high interest in Europe. Studying abroad in Denmark really opened my eyes to living in another culture, and I fully embraced it. In fact, my semester abroad in Denmark has been the best four months of my life thus far. I was able to travel vigorously throughout Europe, made many friends - both American and European, was able to learn the basics of a new language, Danish, and grew as an individual.
My desire to work, live, and study abroad continues. I plan to attend graduate school in Europe, and I recommend all students should have an experience abroad. It really is an once in a lifetime experience.
Email me at email@example.com
LisaMarie Gaeta - Advertising & Public Relations
Studied Abroad in Genoa, Italy (RIT Faculty-led Program)
The best decision I've made in college was studying abroad in Italy, and I never thought it would ever happen. I had seen a study abroad presentation the beginning of my sophomore year, and by the end of that year, I was studying in Italy. I didn't think I could afford it, but thankfully I received aid and qualified for special scholarships from the program itself, the Honors department, and my college.
I had only taken two beginning Italian classes with professoressa Elisabetta D'Amanda, and was in the total immersion group in Italy; in which we signed a contract prohibiting us to speak English at all. This was such a challenge because I was one of the few in the immersion group that had the least amount of grasp on the language. However, it was a blessing because being of Italian descent, I was dedicated to learning my own culture's language and I made sure to use necessary emphasis in my speech. Having had many years of Spanish teachings was helpful to fall back on as well. Soon I was able to use tenses that I hadn't dreamed of using, took directions, and was even complimented by locals for how well I spoke.
While I was in Genoa, I took two Italian language courses and did a part-time internship at the school I attended there, A Door to Italy. I managed their social media, assisted with website presence, and created a bilingual blog of other RIT students' experiences. On the weekends we traveled to Rome, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Torino, and the Alps. After the 6 week program was over, my two roommates and I traveled for another week to Milan, Verona, and Venice.
I wouldn't change anything about my time abroad, and have numerous stories such as the time I navigated us out of Venice after midnight, another time when we got on the wrong bus and got locals to take us to our hotel, and the beautiful gondola ride at night- all of which occurred in that last week. I enjoyed both the time in the program, and the week on our own, and often find myself reminiscing or reading through my Italian diary. If you would like to hear more or have any questions, send me an email.
Here is the blog I kept for school, which I filled with mostly pictures from my journeys http://lisamarieitaly.wordpress.com/
This is the bilingual blog I made for A Door to Italy http://adoortoitaly.blogspot.com/
Questions? Comments? My email is Lrg6036@rit.edu
Catherine Zhou- Information Sciences & Technologies
Studied Abroad in Marburg, Germany (RIT Faculty-led Program)
Studying abroad in Germany has been an enchanting experience for me. I stayed for the most part in Marburg, which has historic associations with the Brothers Grimm. Walking through town, I would find depictions of Grimm fairytale characters on houses, on walls, and by the castle on top of the hill. I quickly learned my way around town, guided by landmarks like the castle and St. Elisabeth Church. The community was incredibly mindful and supportive.
I found it interesting that, as a town that advocated for the blind, patterns of stones along the streets carried distinct significance. Having the stones set a certain way marked shopping streets, parking lots, or sidewalk edges. The sun set late in the evening, and I got to do a bit of reading and drawing in my spare time. It was a bit of adventure gathering ingredients for a meal; I took care to spot the label 'vegetarisch' on vegetarian-friendly products. I also became attached to bubbly water and small chocolate bread loaves.
Accompanied by the professor, other students and I visited a few cities during the weekends. We went to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, the spiral of the Reichstag dome, the Goethe House & Museum in Frankfurt, the town near Neuschwanstein Castle, and many others. As students of German language classes, we got hands-on experience ordering at restaurants, navigating transportation systems, getting groceries, and meeting new people - in German.
At the end of the trip, we were to write a report on what we had experienced, the differences we found between German and American culture, and such. It took me ~30 minutes to write about my encounters and ~4 hours to tailor it down to three curt pages. I learned a lot about staying in another country and gained a rich insight into German culture, history, and language.
Email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org!
|Le Nguyen- New Media Marketing; PR/Advertising
Studied aboard in Genoa, Italy
My name is Le Nguyen and I am from Hanoi, Viet Nam. I went to the US to study when I was 16. Let’s face the truth, study aboard sounds really fun but it is not as easy. There are many paper works, from passport, health insurance to visa. Not to mention, most students will certainly face culture shock in the foreign country. However, in exchange to that, it is the new world out there waiting for me to explore. I have learned so much ever since I left home and started my own journey. Now when I look back to all the frustration with the language barrier, all the hard work that I went through; I gained valuable knowledge not just in the academic side but in life in general.
In summer 2013, I want to challenge myself more to get out of my comfort zone and learn about other culture. I chose Italy as my destination. In only 6 weeks, I felt in love with this country. Beautiful panorama and wonderful people! I felt so alive after the whole busy academic year. Oh I forgot to mention about the foods! You know it is good. I truly believe that everybody should take a chance and study aboard while in college. It is time to explore, to learn and to expand the networking.
My mission as the peer mentor: make sure to help students go through the paper works smoothly and less stressful; prepare students with culture facts to reduce the culture shock; and encourage students to take a chance to study aboard while they can.