Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

Saint Rose Studies Abroad: England Edition

Every year, Saint Rose students decide to leave the familiar — their friends, family, the comforts of their dorm room — to embark on a life-changing journey.

Our students can study abroad in 35 countries, from Ireland to China, learning different languages, trying new foods, becoming expert air travelers, and bonding with new friends.

For the next several weeks, we’ll profile many students who studied abroad and learn about their experiences. Maybe, it will spark your interest. Maybe, you don’t know if studying abroad is right for you. Either way, we encourage you to reach out to the Saint Rose Study Abroad Office at studyabroad@strose.edu.

Maja De Garay '21 in front of the London Bridge

Maja De Garay in front of the London Bridge

Study abroad profile:
Maja De Garay ’21, English: Adolescence Education (Secondary Ed/Special Ed B.A./M.S.Ed.)

Where are you studying abroad?
Regent’s University in London, England.

Why did you choose to study abroad?
I wanted to give myself the opportunity to see more of the world than the little part of New York I grew up in. My favorite high school teacher often refers to the Ray Bradbury quote, “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” I’m here to see and experience as much as I possibly can.

How has your experience enhanced or informed what you’re studying at Saint Rose?
I am studying to be a teacher. I believe that immersing myself in other cultures, places, and ideas will better enable me to put myself in my students’ shoes and see where they are coming from and what they need from me to be successful. In my opinion, the best teachers are the most open-minded. I try to travel as much as possible because it gives you the chance to broaden your horizons in unexpected ways. Also, as a future English teacher, it’s incredible to live in a city where some of the world’s most renowned authors have lived and worked.

Saint Rose student sitting in front of Buckingham Palace

Maja De Garay in front of Buckingham Palace

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a student who is contemplating studying abroad?
Just do it. That’s cliché, but literally sign up, apply, book your flight, and ignore the little voice in your head telling you can’t do it. When I was applying, and even as I packed my suitcase, I was terrified I wouldn’t make friends, wouldn’t like it and would want to come home. I have lived in London for a little over a month now, and I already don’t want to leave in December. You’ve got this.

What is the most interesting information you have learned so far?
The London Zoo, which is also located in Regent’s Park, was home to a female black bear named Winnie, who was adored by AA Milne’s son, Christopher Robin.

How have you grown as a person by experiencing different cultures or developing new
friendships?
I’ve learned, more than anything, how to be independent. At Saint Rose, I have an incredible friend group with whom I do pretty much everything. Here, I’ve had to put myself out there, meet new people, go places on my own, and take the time to figure out what I want to do. I’ve learned to take every opportunity to try something new even if it means putting myself outside of my comfort zone.

Maja De Garay in front of Stonehenge

Maja De Garay in front of Stonehenge

Study Abroad Tips:

suitcase with feet beside it

  • It’s imperative that students start thinking about their trip as early as their first year at the College. Some majors have strict course requirements that are not offered overseas. Students should plan ahead and save their general education credits for their experience abroad.
  • Our students’ financial aid packages follow them wherever they choose to go. That does not mean they shouldn’t save their money! Once they settle into their new college, they won’t stay put for long. One of the many benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to explore — they’ll never know when a spontaneous trip to Paris might pop up!
  • When our students return from their adventures, their wanderlust stays with them. You can often find them hanging out at the Center for International Programs, volunteering at ESL programs, or attending one of the many events that the center sponsors.

What do you think?

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