Discover the World: Europe
My name is Cassandra, and I am currently a senior here at Niagara University. In May, I will be graduating with a dual major in French and the Romance languages, and a minor in communications and international studies.
With such a diverse study path, I was able to participate in a study abroad program called Discover the World: Europe. It is a program run through St. John’s University in New York City. The great thing about Niagara is that it is the sister school of St. John’s, which means they both are Vincentian schools and, therefore, Niagara students can participate in programs at St. John’s and vice versa, while still paying the regular Niagara tuition. The best part of this program is that there are different rotations so you meet different people in each city you visit while still traveling with the same 30 people to each country.
Discover the World: Europe is a fantastic program offered. It allows participants to visit Rome, Italy, Paris, France, and Salamanca, Spain, for five weeks in each country.
With my language skills in French, Spanish and Italian, this program was perfect for me. All of the classes are taught in English because not everyone has a background in all three languages. Rome and Paris's campuses are actually owned by St. John’s; in Salamanca, students are enrolled at the University of Salamanca, which is well-known throughout the world.
There are numerous excursions offered for free or at very discounted prices, some of which include climbing the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica (the Vatican), a day trip to the beaches and battleground of Normandy, and a two-day trip to Seville, Spain. Each trip was a new adventure that we, as students, were fortunate enough to partake in.
Another great feature of this program is that most classes are Monday through Thursday, so you and friends can travel to other cities and countries on your own. For example, I was able to visit Naples and the region of Tuscany in Italy, Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, and Belgium and the Netherlands while I was in France. I booked all of these trips on my own and it was not only easy, but it was also reasonably priced too! Many places offer student discounts or youth prices, which ultimately saves you more money and allows you to do more.
Spring break is a 10-day vacation where you can do whatever you want. Some people backpacked throughout Europe while others, like myself, simply spent the 10 glorious days laying on the beaches of the Canary Islands. The islands are located in the southwest corner of Spain near the coast of Africa, which has amazing weather and beautiful landscapes.
Overall, this program provided me with an incredible opportunity to see the world, while still allowing me to fulfill college credit. Many different majors, such as accounting, international business, and sports management, can partake in this amazing program. You meet a diverse group of people while seeing the world. After completing this study abroad program, I have an advantage when applying to future jobs and graduate schools. I can apply for any job that uses communications, international relations, or language skills. This means that I can be considered for jobs in the government, international organizations and/or work in a foreign country.
I am currently looking at a graduate school program that, upon completion, I will have a Ph.D., in cultural communication from the University at Chicago.
Discover the World: Europe gave me the experience of a lifetime and I would do the program over again in a heartbeat if I could. I strongly urge everyone to study abroad and, if possible, to participate in the St. John’s Discover the World program.