Education Abroad Peer Advisors
Education Abroad Peer Advisors (EAPAs) are Babson students who have studied abroad for an academic year, semester, or summer. They are here to offer peer advice and answer any questions you have while searching for a program, while you’re preparing to go, while you’re abroad, and even after you’ve returned to campus.
Meet the Spring 2018 EAPAs!
Sophia Cue ’19
CIEE Business and Culture in Barcelona
Home to “The Cheetah Girls 2” movie, Barcelona became more of a home than I could have ever imagined. I decided to stay in a homestay and I think this factor, combined with my much improved Spanish language skills, had me feeling like a local by the time I went back to the States in December. I chose Barcelona for many reasons. First, I wanted a big city. I wanted a place with a big airport that is easy to travel through. Oh boy, did we travel! I also chose Barcelona because of its beauty. From the beaches of La Barceloneta to the views from Tibidabo, Barcelona is breathtaking. Lastly, I chose Barcelona because I wanted to take fewer Babson-y classes. I loved my art history class! Taking field trips to the Picasso museum and studying Dali beats a semester of QTM and Marketing for me.
Academic Interests: Finance and Accounting
Hobbies: Traveling, eating, working out
Aidan Dennis ’19
IES Abroad Emerging Economies in Buenos Aires and Santiago
Thailand and Laos Elective
Studying abroad was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made, and so was the program that I chose! The IES Emerging Economies program allowed me to explore both Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, and experiencing both of the unique cultures and countries was an amazing experience. In one program and one semester, I got to visit countless countries and learn language, culture, and business practices. I’ve grown immensely through my abroad program. My program involved a homestay and I think that was the best way to immerse myself into the culture and develop my support network away from home. What drew me to the program was the requirement of a homestay. With host families that cooked for me and introduced me to local cuisine, guided me through the intricacies of the language and the local dialect, and gave me an insider’s look on the city, it provided for an amazing experience. Finally, I felt it provided for a more authentic cultural experience and allowed me to become more culturally competent. I’ve also had many abroad experiences with Babson, including an independent study I was allowed to participate in through the Glavin Global Fellows program and an elective I took in Spring 2018 to Thailand and Laos.
Academic Interests: Global Business Management, Social and Cultural Studies
Pranjal Joshi ’19
You know that saying “She has a certain je ne sais quoi”? Replace "She" with "Paris" and the saying becomes very true. There’s just something about Paris that makes it unique: the architecture, the food, the fashion, and, of course, the people. It took me no time to adjust to the Parisian life and this includes dealing with the frustrating train delays. Learning and interning at the same time was exhilarating as I spent half the week on campus going to classes and the other half commuting to central Paris where my internship was. The most memorable aspect from this experience has to be the food I ate. The startup I interned at is related to food, so I was taken to client dinners at fancy restaurants that served Japanese fusion food and had brunch at hipster cafés which served avocado toast (Yup, I had my first avocado toast in Paris.). The team, which included a Belgian shepherd, was amazing and extremely friendly. Campus life at HEC is very similar to that of Babson as everyone is business oriented, dressed well, and it’s a small community. It was quite interesting that all my classes had some kind of group work, and I got to work with people from so many different countries and of different ages. Though they were older and much more experienced than me, what I admired most was that they were humble and willing to share what they knew. It was refreshing to see the different thinking processes of these people because they let me see a completely different way of approaching problems in class. Studying abroad is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. My biggest advice on going to Europe is to get to know the local culture because it is so different from the stereotype that we are exposed to. Visit as many local towns and less-mainstream places as possible because this is the best way to experience new food and get amazing photos. Use every opportunity to learn something new, step outside your comfort zone, and try new things (escargots are actually very delicious). Trust me, you’ll never forget it.
Academic Interests: Strategic Management and IT Management
Hobbies: Long walks, art, food, and reading/people watching at cafés
Erin Jozwiak ’19
Arcadia in Rome
My first time out of the country was in Rome, Italy, with my family when I was 11. We met a group of girls studying abroad at the table next to us at dinner one night. They told us all about their adventures and funny stories from studying abroad in Italy thus far. I was in awe and told my mom that I would return here and study abroad. She laughed, and definitely did not believe me. I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took—I would study here just like that group of girls. Ever since, I have been intrigued with the idea of traveling and seeing everything the world has to offer. Nothing makes me happier than going on adventures and meeting new people. Babson College opened the door to many opportunities to study anywhere in the world, but it was an easy decision for me. I would be returning to the heart and soul of Italy, to fulfill the promise I made to my 11-year-old self.
I was fortunate to study abroad at Arcadia University in Rome for the fall semester in 2017. Like everyone, I experienced culture shock right off the bat. I lived in an apartment in a very old Italian neighborhood. Even simple tasks became an adjustment: grocery shopping, transportation, restaurant ordering, etc. It was the little things you don’t think about. Eventually, at no particular moment, you start to immerse and really understand the culture, with a little help along the way. It’s the best feeling when the locals start to recognize you and have your cappuccino made to order for you with a croissant next to it. The four months flew by, and I was able to explore all around Italy and Europe with friends old and new. It became second nature every weekend to jump on a train, plane, or bus to discover a new place. I fell in love with Italy, not just the food and wine, but the people, and how they viewed and lived life. It was the best four months, and an adventure I didn’t want to end. I got a better sense of who I was, what I believed in, and where I wanted to go in my future endeavors.
Academic Interests: Strategic Management, Marketing, Technology
Hobbies: Travel, photography, Buffalo sports
William Kennedy ’19
University of St. Gallen
I was torn between two destinations; New Zealand and Switzerland seemed comparable in a number of aspects, except for the fact that they were halfway across the world from each other. Stuck with an important decision in my collegiate career, I chose to follow a piece advice from my father: “Study abroad in a place where you could potentially see yourself living in the future because your brief experience will provide the most valuable insight you can find.” And, with that, I booked a one-way flight, received a visa, and found myself in St. Gallen, attending one of the most renowned business universities in Europe. Without a doubt, I made the right decision as I quickly found my living experience to be enjoyable beyond belief. Whether it be playing sports such as handball, lacrosse, and basketball, exploring the quaint town of St. Gallen, discovering new cafés and lunch spots weekly, or moving around Europe from my central location, I immersed myself in the local cultures, made memorable friendships, and learned a bit of Deutsch along the way.
Academic Interests: Finance and Quantitative Methods
Hobbies: Yoga, skiing, road-tripping, speaking broken German, jumping into freezing lakes, and enjoying Swiss chocolate
Lauren Mariano ’19
When I heard about BRIC during my admissions session at Babson, I was immediately intrigued. For study abroad, I knew I wanted something unconventional, and BRIC fulfilled that metric. Imagine living in a constant space of learning and growth for three whole months. For someone who values routine and security, it was a complete shift in lifestyle as I was forced to be adaptive. Prior to BRIC, my view of the world was limited, skewed by perceptions in the media that do not provide the whole picture. As much as you can read up about a culture in the news or through peers, it does not provide the same outcome as experiencing the place. My preconceived notions for all of Russia, India, and China were dismantled. In St. Petersburg, Russia, I witnessed pride and honor among Russians participating in the Siege of Leningrad war anniversary parade. In China, I marveled at the scale of innovation with the implementation of dockless bike sharing, which has transformed the urban method of transport for such a densely populated country. In India, I was shocked by the zest and religious fervor at multiple religious institutions within New Delhi. Essentially, you don’t know what you don’t know. After BRIC, it is certain that my life will never be the same. It has completely altered my view of the world, and the way I contribute as a citizen. It has shown me how little I know of the world, and how comfortable I am with not knowing. If presented with the opportunity to study abroad, I would highly recommend it, given the wealth of knowledge that is evidently out there.
Academic Interests: Global Business Management
Hobbies: Playing squash, podcasting, reading
T.J. Schrette ’19
BRIC and Tokyo Elective
I knew that I wanted to study abroad prior to coming to college. In my household, we did not vacation out of the United States until we went to Mexico when I was 17. Mexico was a great trip, but I began to wonder why my family had never done a trip out of the country. In fact, I was a bit disappointed. I had always loved watching travel shows and learned so much from them, but watching on TV is so much different than actually experiencing a country. So, after graduating high school I decided to backpack through Europe with a friend before we started college in the fall. This trip was the beginning of my understanding of how beneficial traveling can truly be, and after coming back from that trip, I knew that I needed to take advantage of all the opportunities I could. The next opportunity I had was to participate in the Tokyo elective abroad program in Japan. This was a truly incredible experience that gave me my first view into an Asian culture and pushed me to apply for BRIC. In fact, I wrote my BRIC application at the airport in Tokyo because of how much I had enjoyed and benefited from that program. To be completely honest, I cannot believe that BRIC is over and would go again if I had a chance. BRIC gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to not just experience the culture of one country, but of three different ones. While abroad, I grew more than I thought possible and can truly say that I am a better person for it. In terms of how my future looks after the experience, I fully plan on moving and working outside of the U.S. upon graduating because there is too much to discover in the world for me not to. After coming back from BRIC, I have been trying to come up with the short answer for how my experience was rather than just saying “amazing.” My answer to that question is that BRIC has been an incredible start to what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Academic Interests: Entrepreneurship, Global Business Management
Hobbies: Learning guitar, film, philosophizing, reading
Ian Shepardson ’19
IES Metropolitan Studies in Berlin
As I began my four years at Babson, going abroad was not on the front of my mind, but my sophomore year I saw friends and other classmates having the time of their lives in other countries and I wanted to be a part of it. Immediately, I started my search and was dead set on traveling to Berlin. Applying to study in Berlin was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. I chose IES Metropolitan Studies because I was able to do a homestay, which I felt would give me the most insight into the culture, and I was right. By staying in Berlin and living with a woman who called the city her home, I learned so much about the culture and the history that I felt as if I were a Berliner, even if it was only for four months. This helped me progress as a person and opened my eyes to the fact that there is so much more out there than what I knew from living in small-town America my whole life. Everyone has different circumstances and everyone may have different reasons why they do or do not go abroad, but don’t let small things like money or anxiety stop you. If you have interest, do it.
Austin Yang ’19
Before participating in BRIC, I had never traveled outside of the country. Russia was the first stamp in my passport, and this first experience traveling outside of the country lasted four months through four very unique countries. And, in the span of just a semester, I can confidently tell you that I had the time of my life, all while gaining a real-world understanding. I got to go to my very first banya in Russia, ride on OFOs and Mobikes for miles on miles throughout Shanghai, live in capsule hotels, and embrace the convenience store culture in Tokyo. Living every day of your semester abroad is something you don’t have the opportunity to do very often. Even to this day, the stories and experiences I had while abroad are still as vivid as the day they happened. I find myself constantly reflecting upon all the academic learning, social experiences, and personal challenges that came along with exploring the three fastest developing nations: Russia, India, and China. Studying abroad in such a dynamic trio of countries is no easy task and every day there are challenges waiting for you. I learned that while the world is open for anyone to explore, language is the key to truly understanding the people and the culture. The world is so limited when you really think about what you are able comprehend with the languages and cultures you understand. With that, I will forever change the way I see the world, even if it means learning a new language every year or putting myself through my most difficult cultural challenges. Be eager and audacious. Let the world you live in take you to places you knew about but never understood. Because every experience is different. Let your story inspire others to take the challenge of studying abroad in a different country.
Academic Interests: Strategic Management and Consulting
Hobbies: Snowboarding, cars, boba, and anything extreme