Reminder: Fall 2024 and Academic year 2024-2025 Study Abroad Application Deadline: March 1st at 11:59 PM EST!

Blog
Student Reflections

My Experience as a GEO Ambassador

Mackenzie Fuller
April 10, 2023

It’s January 2021 and I’m starting to plan my study abroad semester for the upcoming fall. As you’d expect, I had a lot of questions. My GEO advisor was a great resource, but I really wanted to speak with a student who had studied at John Cabot University, the program in Rome I was interested in attending. So, my advisor connected me with a current student enrolled on the program. I sent her this long email filled with questions:

Does John Cabot have clubs/activities to meet people outside of class? 

How is city life in Rome? 

Are there a lot of other study-abroad students there or mainly Italian students?

She replied that day with detailed answers to all my questions and expressed enthusiasm for studying abroad there. After getting assurance from a current student, I was ready to apply!

Coming back from my study abroad experience, I knew I wanted to help other students who hoped to study abroad. When asked by my GEO advisor if I wanted to be listed as an alumni contact for students considering JCU, I immediately said yes. I love when I get emails with the subject: Questions about studying abroad in Rome. So, when I got an email about becoming a student ambassador at the Global Experience Office, I knew I had to apply!

Being a GEO ambassador has been such a rewarding experience, so here’s what it’s like to be one for those curious. 

Connecting with Other GEO Ambassadors

One of my favorite things about being a GEO ambassador is connecting with other students who have studied abroad. All ambassadors have done at least one global experience, but many have done multiple. It’s been cool learning about other people’s time abroad. 

With so many global programs, GEO ambassadors have covered much of the globe. I’ve heard stories about trekking the Patagonia mountains, sky diving in South Africa, and visiting the Pyramids in Egypt. If you ever need travel tips, tricks, or recommendations, GEO ambassadors are a great resource. 

All of the ambassadors are so passionate about traveling and sharing their experiences. Last fall, I was applying to a dialogue in Japan. Another ambassador was accepted to that same dialogue a few years before and was able to tell me more about the professor and the program. GEO has cultivated a really friendly and supportive environment in large part due to all the wonderful ambassadors. 

Connecting with Advisors 

Another great aspect of working at GEO is the wonderful advisors. During my study abroad application process, I worked extensively with my advisor. She was such a great resource and support. Every GEO advisor is dedicated and works hard to help their students. They’re all extremely knowledgeable about their regions of the world. Like the GEO ambassadors, the advisors have traveled all over. They all have cool stories to share and region-specific insight about the programs in their portfolio.

Through the guidance of the GEO advisors, I was able to tailor my experience at the office to my interests. Within the first few weeks of starting, every GEO ambassador had a check-in with our manager. We got to share about ourselves, along with our personal goals and career aspirations, and what we hoped to get out of our time as GEO ambassadors. He then helped us develop projects that aligned with our passions and interests. After expressing interest in writing, he suggested I write for the GEO student blog!

I’ve loved writing about my time abroad and reflecting upon my experience a year plus later. When my articles get posted, I like to share them with my friends I met abroad and reminisce about our time together. Connecting with all the GEO advisors (in addition to all the other ambassadors) made me look forward to my days in the office!

Connecting with Other Students Hoping to Study Abroad 

A traditional semester abroad in Australia (preferably Sydney) for a computer science major? A dialogue for a psychology major looking to finish up their NUpath requirements? A business major looking for more information on the Semester In: San Francisco program? I’m here to help! 

GEO has so many wonderful opportunities to study abroad that it can feel like information overload. I enjoy helping students find programs that work for their schedule or allow them to visit a country they’ve always dreamed of going to. Sometimes people reach out because they want to study abroad but don’t think it’s an option. Maybe they’ve never left the country and don’t have a passport. Maybe they’re an architecture major with little wiggle room in their academic schedule.  No matter your circumstance, we can work together to weigh all your options out. Having gone through this experience myself, I’m also privy to certain tools and resources I can share with others.

Studying abroad was such a positive experience for me, but it was stressful getting prepared. Finding the right program, going through the visa application, and getting housing abroad can seem overwhelming. I’m happy if I can in some way, big or small, help to make this process easier for other students. I also love when I get update emails from students who had questions about a program telling me that they’ve got accepted. 

 

There’s so much joy and excitement surrounding studying abroad, which makes working at GEO and with students going through their abroad journeys so rewarding!