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Study Abroad Profile: Steven Sunseri '12

Steven Sunseri

Major(s): Biology w/ concentration in Physical Therapy
Minor(s): Chemistry
Estimated Graduation Date: Graduated May 2012
Course or Program: Study Abroad program in Rome Italy through St. Johns University/ UC Berkeley (Honors program)
Host Country: Rome, Italy/Oxford, England
Length of Experience: 8 months abroad total. 3 months in Rome, 1 month in Oxford, the rest was traveling and living with family in Italy
Experience Overview: Amazing.

1. What is your career plan at this point in your education? How do you think your international experience might affect your career, both in the short- and long-term?


I'm currently preparing to attend Columbia University come September for their Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate program. My experiences abroad definitely helped me to have a greater understand about the intricate relationships between countries as well as an overall greater appreciation for the various cultures I have been exposed to.

2. Where did you go? When?

While abroad, I was able to study in Rome, Italy as well as Oxford University in England (through the honors program at STAC). However, during my time abroad I was also able to visit a number of difference cities including countries such as Greece, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, The U.K., Italy, and the Czech Republic.

3. Why did you pick the program and location?

I picked the program at St. John's in Rome because of my love for the Italian culture. I had been to Rome once before but it was definitely not long enough so I decided to go back and explore the city. What's amazing is that after being there for 3 months, I still hadn't seen everything.

4. Would you recommend this location to another student and why?

Yes, Rome is an amazing city with so much to offer- especially in the ways of Art and Architecture.

5. What was your most memorable experience/day/moment?

My most memorable moment abroad was probably during my time in Pamplona, Spain where I participated in the running of the bulls at the festival of San Fermin. The adrenaline was still pumping a few days after the initial running I had participated in- It's definitely an experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life!

6. What was the worst experience/day?

Possible the worst experience of my entire study abroad experience was during the first night on the mainland in Venezia, Italy. We had booked a campsite that we could travel back and forth from to visit the Venetian archipelago for the Carnevale of Venice but we had no idea that the temperatures would be sub zero! I was forced to wear every piece of clothing I had brought with me on the trip to stay as warm as possible (including the backpack itself!)

7. What are the benefits of studying abroad? (Personal/ academic)

For me, the study abroad experience allowed me to finally experience, firsthand, cultures and peoples that I had only read about up until that point. It's one thing to read about these places and things, it's an entirely different experience when you're standing in front of it, experiencing it all for yourself. In addition, it definitely helps to bolster a real sense of respect and appreciation for people of different cultures which graduate schools and future employers look for.

8. What advice would you give to somebody considering studying abroad?

Do it! Be prepared to live on the edge while you're abroad and you'll get the most out of your experience there.