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Global Mentors

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Program: Granada, Spain Fall 2017
email: christina.carr@bc.edu

Why are you excited to be a Global Mentor?
I want to be a global mentor because I want to encourage underclassmen to go abroad and to help answer any questions they have before going. Choosing to go abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made and I want as many BC students to go and have an amazing semester like I did.

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Program: University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand
email: willa.disbrow@bc.edu

What did you learn about yourself while abroad?
Being abroad was a really eye-opening experience for me for a number of reasons. It’s easy to get caught up with the fast-paced, stressful atmosphere here at BC. Being away from my friends, classes and family really forced me to reflect on parts of myself and my life that I don’t normally consider in my busy life here in Boston. There’s something really valuable about being alone and uncomfortable in a situation for such an extended period of time; being in the security of a study abroad environment while still being so out of my comfort zone in a new culture is a perfect scenario for exploring new interests, making meaningful relationships and learning new things. Lots of decisions about life at BC were made freshman year, so it was incredible to have a fresh start where I got to have those new, unique experiences. I’ve changed the direction of my career path and live by new values after NZ.

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Program: University College Cork, Spring 2018
email: sophie.fonseca@bc.edu

Why are you excited to be a Global Mentor?
I am excited to be a Global Mentor because I want to emphasis that is possible to go abroad! I think CSOM students need more support and encouragement to go abroad. I also had an amazing time at UCC and want to share my experience, especially my experience on a sports team abroad.

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Program: Quito, Ecuador, Spring 2018
email: zhen.fu@bc.edu

What did you learn about yourself while abroad?
Living in Latin America has made me more open, more decisive, and more willing to take on new challenges. Using Spanish on a day-to-day basis has not only strengthened my language skills, but more importantly, moulded my views of the world and my personality. It encouraged me to overcome my reservedness, to step out of my comfort zone, and to love life as Ecuadorian do. Coming back to BC, I found myself more eager to interact with people and firmer in pursuing my dreams.

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Program: University of Queensland, Fall 2017
email: thomas.gabel@bc.edu

Why are you excited to be a Global Mentor?
My semester abroad was the most enjoyable and enriching semester I have had at Boston College. It is my hope to be able to mentor students considering study abroad in order to guide them to make the best decision possible for their academic, social, and emotional well being. Furthermore, I hope to serve as an informational source to answer any questions or concerns students may have. As previously stated, I had to do most of the research about the “in’s and out’s” of Australia and abroad by myself; however, as a Global Mentor it is my hope to be able to be a resource for students who may be in a similar position as I was to facilitate their transition at their abroad university.

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Program: Queen Mary University of London, Spring 2018
email: ashish.gurung@bc.edu

Was there any reverse culture shock coming back to the U.S. or BC?
There was certainly some reverse culture shock since coming back to U.S. and BC. Some general shocks were with the vocabulary and slang that I had adapted to in London, and the lack of efficient public transportation in the U.S. The most shocking however might have been the lack of environmental care in the U.S. ranging from the consistent use of toilet papers here versus omnipresence of hand dryers there to the plastic bag and drinking straw tax present in the stores.

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Program: University of Otago in New Zealand, Spring 2018; Intensive Intermediate French Program, Bordeaux, France, Summer 2016
email: mackenzie.hulme@bc.edu

Why are you excited to be a Global Mentor?
I’m excited to use my experiences to help underclassmen navigate the often overwhelming process of figuring out where they want to study abroad and how to prepare. I hope that my experience with two wildly different programs can provide a variety of advice for students who are not sure what they hope to get out of an abroad experience. I’m also excited  to show other BC students that going abroad and being on the pre-health track are not mutually exclusive. The skills learned abroad are transferable to wherever you are in the world and whatever field of study you’re interested in.

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Program: University College Utrecht, The Netherlands, Spring 2018
email: ninutsa.nadirashvili@bc.edu

What did you learn about yourself while abroad?
I discovered the joy of being alone with yourself. That may sound weird and counterintuitive, especially for a person as extroverted as I am. Still, having financial independence, being so removed from anyone from my family and just having a room of my own to live in was really liberating. Even travelling alone brought me so much joy.

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Program: Chinese Studies Institute at Peking University, Spring and Summer 2018
email: jonathan.qu@bc.edu

Advice for your past self before going abroad?
Check the BC alumni group in the country that you’re going abroad to. Expats or even nationals, you never know what you can learn about the country or maybe even for your professional career. Even if you are feeling down and not willing to travel, give yourself that extra push, it is extremely worthwhile. Despite being abroad and away from BC friends, always be sure to check in on them every now and again especially if you’re gone for so long.

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Program: BC in Parma: Istituto Dante Alighieri, Spring 2018
email: yacine.sarr@bc.edu

Has coming back from studying abroad changed your relationship with BC?
Studying abroad changed my relationship with BC in a variety of ways. It allowed me to make so many new friends that I would have never met if it hadn't been abroad, and those are relationships that have continued upon my return to BC. Also, being forced to step so far out of my comfort zone and live in another country allowed me to gain a lot more confidence in myself and my ability to handle more challenging situations. It also allowed me to gain experience in interacting with different kinds of people. These new qualities I gained pushed me to become involved in more leadership positions here at BC that I may not have even considered prior to going abroad.

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Program: Université Paris-Dauphine, Spring 2018; Hong Kong Internship, Summer 2017
email: jagpal.singh@bc.edu

Describe your transition period when you arrived in your host country:
The idea of spending a whole semester in Paris was definitely as daunting as it was exciting. I had only taken 1 semester of French before and I had never been to Paris, so after I landed in Orly Airport, I was immediately on edge. Luckily, BC does a great job of making your transition as seamless as possible. With Ophélie as your BC coordinator, your host family, and the other BC students in Paris, you instantaneously have this community that really acts as your safety net. The beginning of the semester is littered with activities organized by Ophélie, such as walking around different arrondissements or visiting some of the notable monuments of Paris, which is a nice way to get to know the other BC students as well as the city. Events like these, coupled with the BC+host family network, really help you ease into Parisian living for a semester!

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Program: London School of Economics, 2017-2018
email: matthew.terry.2@bc.edu

Was there any reverse culture shock coming back to the U.S. or BC?
The biggest shock that came to me since I came back was the sense that time was so much slower. You get used to always having something going in your host country, while here it's easier to get bogged down with academics, the job search, or waiting in the line at Tavern in the Square. I'd liken the first month back to going 80mph and then slamming the brakes.

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Program: IAU External Program in Aix-en-Provence, France, Spring 2018
email: jordan.tessler@bc.edu

What did you learn about yourself while abroad?
I definitely learned that I am more capable of adjusting to new situations, quickly resolving problems, and living in the "real world". While at BC we have so much support from our peers, professors, and all the other staff on campus, when I went abroad I was on my own to make new connections and make my own decisions with little guidance. It was definitely hard at first, but it made me realize that I am far more capable than I gave myself credit for, and that in less than a year when I graduate, I'll be ready for whatever comes next.

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Program: Mussoorie, India, Summer 2017; Dublin Internship, Summer 2018
email: andrew.towriss@bc.edu

Describe your study abroad experience:
During my time at Boston College, I've had the opportunity to go abroad twice to two very unique places. In the summer of 2017, I went to Mussoorie, India and took Writing out of Place, and in the summer of 2018 I went to Dublin, Ireland as a part of the Ireland Internship Program. Going abroad made my friendships back at BC even stronger, while also adding a whole new group of friends. When away from the BC bubble, I had the chance to reflect on what my life back at BC is like, how it can improve, and what I missed most. Stepping outside of BC really put everything that happens at BC into perspective. Plus, next time I was back at BC I came back with a whole new community of people.

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Program: University of Glasgow, Fall 2017
email: jillian.zavistaski@bc.edu

Describe your study abroad experience:
I had been planning to spend a semester abroad since high school, so BC’s extensive study abroad program was one of the many reasons I chose to come here. I eventually chose to go to Scotland because of my family genealogy and the BC compatible science classes available at the University of Glasgow. During my semester abroad I was surprised to find that I didn’t need all the support networks—family, friends, familiar places—to which I‘d been accustomed. In the end, my semester abroad turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I am excited to be a global mentor because I want to be able to support others who challenge themselves to venture beyond their comfort zone while abroad, so they can create some memories that will last for life.