Students at St. Joseph’s University, New York learned more about global studies and the Disney College Program internship at the Long Island Campus’ sixth annual Study Away Conference this month in the McGann Conference Center.
“I have watched all these students metamorphose before my eyes in a matter of months,” Linda Lubranski, director of the Global Studies Office, said of the student speakers and alumna keynote speaker, who shared details at the conference from their trips abroad and away.
“Our University truly values study away experiences, which in turn values students because it makes them more competitive in the job market and starts them off on a journey of lifelong learning,” Lubranski continued.
Students heard from Alyssa Bosco ’15, M.A. ’17, who had the chance to teach in Italy as a graduate student, as well as from students who participated in both faculty-led and solo global studies trips to such places as Greece, Italy, Spain and Barbados. Two students who interned at Disney also presented during the Oct. 13 event.
“We made a very deliberate decision 15 or more years ago to expose our students to traveling and studying abroad,” Eileen White Jahn, Ph.D., executive dean and a professor at the Long Island Campus, said during the conference. “It’s what we call a high-impact experience. You learn so much.”
Working in Italy
Bosco, who earned a bachelor’s degree in child study and speech communications as well as master’s degrees in special education and literacy at St. Joseph’s, completed her student teaching component for St. Joseph’s special education program at a school in Scandicci, Italy, four miles outside of Florence, during the summer of 2017.
“Staying home for college really gave me that yearn to travel abroad,” Bosco said.
While in Italy, she lived with a host family and was placed in a teaching position through Florence University of the Arts (FUA). She spent two months there.
“Since it was my first time traveling abroad alone, it gave me the comfort and relief of feeling like I was home with what truly did feel like second parents,” Bosco said of being placed with a host family. “I had the option of doing an Airbnb-type of apartment, and I had friends do that, but with the host family, I had home-cooked meals every day, they did my laundry, and they would correct my Italian. It really forced me to immerse myself in the culture and the language.”
While working abroad in Italy, Bosco visited five countries and 29 cities, traveling to the likes of France, Ibiza and Switzerland.
“When you go on interviews, they’re looking for something that makes you unique and separates you from everyone else, and traveling abroad definitely does that,” Bosco said, adding that in a recent teaching interview, the school mentioned that they were interested in her for the position because of her experience teaching abroad.
“I would encourage all of you to take the same leap of faith I did,” added Bosco, who’s in the process of getting her dual citizenship. “Do it all, experience it all. Take advantage of everything being abroad has to offer.
Students Studying Abroad
Joseph Candia, a junior biology major who went to Greece through the BI0 210: Science Without Borders course last spring, shared that the trip made him become more independent and encouraged him to try many new things.
“Throughout the experience, my mind was open to a whole new world of possibilities of what I could do with my life,” said Candia, who mentioned he’s now highly considering returning to Greece to receive his Ph.D. “We live a really sheltered life here, and I think that traveling abroad is a huge opportunity that opens our minds up to what else is out there.”
Serena Moterio spent the spring semester studying abroad in Italy. While there, she visited six other countries: Portugal (where her family is from, with whom she got to spend Easter), France, Hungary, Spain, Czechia and Austria.
“I want to thank Linda and everyone in the Global Studies program for making this possible, because there’s no way I would have been able to do this myself at all,” said Moterio, a senior speech-language pathology and audiology major with a minor in psychology. “St. Joe’s makes it very easy and affordable to travel abroad and experience the world.”
Victoria Machlica presented on her experience interning in Disney.
“I’ve loved Disney pretty much my entire life,” said Machlica, who learned important business and communication skills while working at the Florida resort. “Part of why I applied is because I felt like I was stuck in a rut and needed to do something different to get out of it. Within two weeks of applying, I was accepted, and I was so happy. I lived in a beautiful housing complex there and was granted this new level of independence.”
The rest of the student presenters were Maeve McKeon, Nina Del Re, Alexandra Tobin, Ashleigh Marcus, Joy Witzke, Grace Hayes, Gavin Antos and Payton Cline, Shannon Dodenhoff, Madeline Clausey and Alexa Alaimo.
Learn More About Global Studies
Upcoming study abroad trips for the spring 2023 semester include such destinations as Austria and Germany, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Greece, Italy and Mexico.
To learn more about opportunities to travel abroad, contact the Global Studies Office at email@example.com.