BSU gives Thanks

 As the harvesting season was already amongst us and Thanksgiving was fastly approaching it meant that the end of the semester was in sight. As we go home to be with our families we leave behind the family that we have made here at Marist College.


Marist students engaged in a game of Foosball.

For some students, the Thanksgiving holiday was first experienced here at school, as it is an American born and only holiday.


When the Black Student Union here at Marist College spread the word of their Potluck dinner that would be happening before the first-holiday break, there was a different reaction amongst some of its members. With the Black Student Union accepting students from all different types of backgrounds, races, and coming from different places around the world. Sophomore board member, Alycia, stated “From last year up until this year the number of international students we have within our club has grown tremendously”. Ranging from a variety of activities that the club participates in and around the Poughkeepsie community they value what they have within themselves before anything else. “You know some of these students have never heard of Thanksgiving until they get to Marist” said Alycia. “Me being Dominican but from the Bronx, I have always celebrated Thanksgiving and going home is something I look forward to” shared Alycia. With only two weeks of the semester remaining when we return from the Thanksgiving break, it would be pointless to return home internationally for such a short time. “Family is very important to me and thankful for the friends that became family while I have been here they mean a lot to me, so sharing my culture and giving them the opportunity to feel at home was important to us” added Alycia. 

  For freshman Da’Shon, who is an athletic training major said that “Leaving Marist for only about a week, I can’t lie it was kind of hard”. Da’Shon who was in attendance of the Potluck dinner was just so accustomed to his routine and being around the same people for the last couple of months that if it stopped it would feel weird. “I worked with football this semester sometimes throughout the week, I didn’t really know the guys but just being there you get that family vibe.


Social activity is shared amongst the Potluck dinner guests.

I knew that Thanksgiving approaching just meant that this season had to come to an end sooner or later” Da’Shon shared. To many students, it seemed as if they were going to miss school and their friends after all. Besides the fact that day in and day out there are complaints about this and that, and how students should receive this instead of that, the feeling of togetherness was going to be gone once everyone made their separate ways back home. 


Senior international student, Nathalie, who is from the Dominican Republic enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday here in America while she can. “During this break we get, I got back home to my country because it is the only time I get to see my family again until the summer”. Nathalie shared. While countries outside of the United States do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do as a national holiday, it is just another Thursday in the week for them in the month of November. Many students who come to America for the first time ever for a college education can get here and be in for a huge culture shock. Adjusting to how fast and rapid things move and how many different holidays different parts of our country celebrates. 

  The Black Student Union here at Marist College accepts any and everyone because it is who they are and what they stand for. Being thankful for the people that have crossed their paths while they all work towards reaching their lifelong goals.


Friends gather around the table to enjoy the variety of different cultures’ foods.

Sharing and embracing one another’s cultures and telling stories along the way. The Potluck dinner was home to many students from a various amount of different ethnic cultures to come together and celebrate as one.



Water Polo Team Competes in Collegiate Cup

On Nov. 9, the women’s water polo team left behind the cool, crisp air of New York to enjoy a warm, sunny weekend in southern California as they competed in the annual 2018 USA Water Polo Collegiate Cup tournament.


View from the pool at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif. Photo courtesy of Anais Mathes.

Freshmen Gabrielle Gervasi and Sawyer Alter both described playing in the “fast-paced” environment of their first Collegiate Cup as “unforgettable” and different from any other tournaments or games they played in high school.

“It was super exciting but nerve wracking, especially because we were playing University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), who is one of the top 5 teams in the nation.  We have been working really hard this season to be able to compete at the Collegiate Cup, so to have my first collegiate tournament be against top teams, while also being competitive against them, was an amazing experience,” said Gervasi.

Although playing in the tournament was stressful for Alter because she did not know what to expect from her first collegiate game, she found comfort in her teammates. “It felt like a big family trying to attain one common goal of winning.  I really liked that everyone made me feel included and everyone had their own role to play,” said Alter.

The two-day tournament took place on Nov. 10-11 at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif.  The annual event brings together the top collegiate women’s water polo teams to complete with the USA Water Polo Women’s Senior National Team.  This year, Marist was one of three East Coast teams, aside from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, who were invited to play in the tournament.


The team gathers in a huddle before the start of a game.

When asked about the team’s dynamic while preparing for a game, Caoimhe Whitebloom, a senior on the team, described their preparation for a game as “cohesive chaos.”  In the beginning, each team member branches off to mentally prepare themselves individually by doing things such as listening to music or engaging in pre-game rituals.  Afterwards, the team eventually comes together to finish off stretching exercises and doing jumps to “hype” themselves up.  “The energy tends to get pretty intense and people bounce off each other as we get more excited,” said Whitebloom.  “We try to be as level-headed as we can and concentrate on what we are about to do beforehand.”

On the first day, Marist fell to one of the top five seeds, UCLA, 12-3, in its first game of the tournament.  That weekend, the team also faced Pomona Pitzer, San Jose State, and the University of Hawaii.  In their final game, the team competed for a second time against Pomona Pitzer for 13th place, but were outlasted 12-10.  Nevertheless, after catching a red-eye flight from Irvine on Sunday night, the team returned to campus Monday morning feeling thankful for the opportunity to participate in the tournament and excited about the prospects of the upcoming season.

“The tournament was a good kickoff to the season that starts in January because we get to see what we need to work on both individually and as a team,” said junior Anais Mathes.

Whitebloom shared a similar sentiment about the Collegiate Cup, stating that in addition to preparing them for the upcoming season, it offers the team a significant advantage.  “Most other schools don’t play a game outside of practice until second semester so [the tournament] allows us to see how well (or not) we work together,” said Whitebloom.  “We can see what we need to fix and what works.”

According to Mathes, since the team arrived back on campus, they have resumed their daily practice schedule, starting most days at 6:45 a.m. doing strength training and ending around 9 a.m. practicing specific plays and skill swimming in the pool.  After spending nearly every day together, it comes as no surprise how close the team feels with one another.

“I like how everything is very team-orientated and it makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself,” said Alter.  “I want to do well for my team and my coach.”

“What I love about being apart of the Marist Water Polo team is our team dynamic. The team is so supportive in the water and on the bench which keeps the team momentum and energy really high,” said Gervasi.

Unexpected Snow Storm Strikes Poughkeepsie

Last week, Robert Haley, a senior at Marist College, was expecting snow flurries.  However, he hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of this snow storm, which called for a “Winter Weather Advisory” in Dutchess County, Thursday night.

“I was shocked.  The forecast all week said we were going to get, like, just a few inches,” said Haley.

Haley was correct, the forecast hadn’t foreseen the severity of this storm.  In fact, on Monday the forecast predicted 2-4 inches. Then, on Thursday the forecast was raised to 4-8 inches.  However, this still wasn’t indicative of Thursday’s snow fall. In fact, Poughkeepsie accumulated up to 12 inches of snow, and some neighboring communities, such as Fishkill, saw up to 14.5 inches of snow.

“The storm ended up being more intense than we thought…The forecast we put out is based on the best science and the best analysis we have,” said meteorologist Ray O’Keefe in an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Many students and residents in the Poughkeepsie area were caught off guard by the  unexpected snowfall last Thursday. And, like Haley, it appeared that students and residents struggled to drive safely during the storm.

“It was mayhem on the roads.  I actually was hit by a car that couldn’t slow down in time in the snow.”  Haley continued, “But there were accidents left and right. Everywhere. The roads were definitely not safe.”

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Snow plows attempt to clear the roads during Thursday’s storm.  (Photo courtesy of

This being said, not everyone was had unfortunate experiences due to the snow, especially Marist students.  

“I was ecstatic.  I had a project due Thursday night, but my class got cancelled.  This was a blessing in disguise,” said Matthew Bannon, 22, a student at Marist.

Bannon, like many others, was happy to see classes cancelled on Thursday night, as well as throughout Friday.  Other colleges in the area closed their campuses, as well, including Vassar College, the Culinary Institute of America and Dutchess Community College.

Some students even decided to make their snow day by sledding on campus.

“Me and my friends went sledding on the hill behind behind Hancock.  It’s really steep,” said Will Smith, 19, a sophomore at Marist. “Hey, I may be 19, but I can still enjoy the snow.”


Himmelberger Legacy Marches On

Those who entered Fusco Hall the night of Nov. 9 were met with the sounds of triumphant and patriotic marching music. The monsoon outside failed to prevent a crowd comprised of both young and old faces from gathering to hear Art Himmelberger share his knowledge of music’s role in the setting of World War I.

Himmelberger serves as the Director of the Marist College Music Department and Director of Bands. He has been a member of the Marist faculty since 1986.

Since becoming director in 2001, Himmelberger has expanded the Marist College Band from its original two trumpet players to the approximately 150-person group it is today.

Himmelberger’s story extends well beyond his time at Marist. He is also a veteran of the United States Army and, throughout his service, found ways to marry his passions of music and the military.

Art Pres

Himmelberger taught audience members about the role of music in World War I on Nov. 9

During the Vietnam War, Himmelberger was an undergraduate student attending the University of Michigan. He received a student deferment that allowed him to continue his studies, but afterwards he was to be entered into a lottery to determine whether he would be drafted.

“A lot of my classmates at Michigan became draft dodgers because Ann Arbor was very close to Windsor, Canada,” said Himmelberger. “The night the draft lottery [aired] on TV, I saw them pack up their rooms and they went over to Windsor, stayed there during the war.”

These peers were among the as many as 60,000 American men to cross into Canada to avoid being drafted for the war.

Rather than gambling his fate, he auditioned for three of the Armed Force’s special bands and eventually enrolled to play in the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C.

“I call it the Cadillac of the service,” said Himmelberger.

Himmelberger was among the more than eight and a half million Americans to serve in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, as stated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was not among the more than three million to see combat.

At 21 years old, Himmelberger travelled with the band around the country, going as far as Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Their purpose was to rouse the spirits of the American people at a time when citizens participated in demonstrations and burned the nation’s flag.

“I was on the road 200 days a year,” he said. “Get up, throw me on a bus, play a concert, get back on the bus, go play another concert. [But] it was a wonderful experience.”

Himmelberger dedicated three and a half years to the service, and afterwards became a public school teacher in his home state of Pennsylvania.

However, he found his life as a teacher in public schools to be underwhelming. Underpaid and struggling to make ends meet, especially upon the birth of his daughter, he additionally played in 3 small city symphony orchestras to help pay his bills. In 1983, the time he stopped teaching in Pennsylvania, teacher’s salaries were $21,935 in current dollars.

Himmelberger went on to become a full-time member of the band at the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he designed halftime shows and special events, including celebration activities in Germany upon the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall.

He recounted performing for military heroes, former Presidents, and kings and queens of European principalities.

During his 26 years at West Point, Himmelberger rose to the rank of Sergeant Major.

“My military experience was certainly much nicer than those soldiers who had to serve in combat,” said Himmelberger. “I had dear friends that were not so lucky as I. I had talents and I figured out how to use them to my benefit.”

In addition to his role at West Point, he taught at Marist as an adjunct professor in the evenings.

“[Himmelberger] just loves this country,” said senior band member Caroline Carrano. “The Army regiment definitely comes across in rehearsals sometimes.”

Himmelberger was first introduced to music when he was two years old. He often accompanied his father, a percussionist aspiring to be a professional musician, to community band rehearsals, sitting on a bench his father created for him.

As a boy, Himmelberger always dreamed of attending West Point, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who served in both World Wars. His daughter also went on to serve in the Army.

Himmelberger has coordinated numerous events on campus concerning the wartime history of America, including the upcoming “Echoes of World War I” concert on Dec. 2. The proceeds from past concerts were donated to veteran organizations.

“Art calls us his ‘children’ and never fails to remind us that he loves each of us,” said Carrano. “Even through long rehearsals we know we are appreciated for our hard work.”

Women’s soccer caps off successful season

After losing to Siena 2-0 last Wednesday, the Marist women’s soccer team wrapped up an impressive 2018 season.

According to, the team finished with a 9-8-2 overall record and a 7-3-1 record within the MAAC conference.  The Red Foxes made it all the way to the MAAC semifinals before getting toppled by Siena.  Their loss does not discount the team’s regular season success.  The team improved on their 2017 regular season record of 8-8-3, and Coach Leigh Howard won MAAC Coach of the Year in her first season with the team.  The team’s website points out that  Howard was the first Marist women’s soccer coach to win the award since Katherine Lyn in 2011.

The team is losing five seniors this year (Kristen Reilly, Hope Quinonez, Alexis Prisco, Tori Flaherty, and Sarah Hasselkamp), but they will have plenty of young and promising talent to  build upon for next season.  Quinonez believes that this senior class has left a positive, lasting impact on the underclassmen.

“Being a part of the Marist women’s soccer team is an honor and something they will learn to cherish as their time comes to an end,” Quinonez said. 

Coach Howard commented on the senior class’ resilience and ability to get results on  “To be able to do that with a new staff, and to go through some of the turnover they’ve seen in four years speaks volumes about them as people,” Howard said. 

Quinonez shared some of the most valuable lessons that soccer has taught her over her 18-year career.   “I think the most important lesson it has taught me has been to never take anything for granted and enjoy every single second you get to be on that field,” Quinonez said.  Quinonez was sidelined for half of the season with an ACL injury, but she is still tremendously grateful for the opportunities that soccer has given her and the success that the team has experienced this past season. 

Quinonez also commented on some of her favorite moments from this past season.  Specifically, she mentioned her game-tying goal against Yale.  “There is no better feeling than scoring a goal and lifting your team up when they need it most,” Quinonez said.

The end of the season is, by nature, a reflective time for players.  It is an especially nostalgic time for seniors.  For most of them, it will be their last time playing soccer competitively.

“Might be cliche, but all good things come to an end,” Quinonez said.  “I would not change my four years as a Red Fox because my time has shaped me into the person I am today, and has prepared me to face anything that comes my way in the future.”



Transforming Campus Culture

This past year, Marist has sought many physical improvements to its campus, but now, administrators are after atmosphere of the college.

Ranklin & Associates Consulting, a consulting group specializing in college settings, has been contracted to conduct this survey. Ranklin & Associates has previously conducted similar climate surveys for schools like Syracuse University and Ithaca College. They are responsible for working with Marists’ faculty, staff, and students in order to thoroughly complete this survey.

David Yellen, Marist President, addressed the Climate Survey in a letter to the campus. He said, “I consider this climate survey to be an investment in the College’s future, an opportunity to have a positive impact and help create a more inclusive campus.” He also believes that Ranklin & Associates will “ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective.”

But what is a campus’ climate? When many hear the word climate they think of our

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A slide from the Marist presentation on Campus Climate

earth’s climate, instead of on a smaller scale by considering the climate of our community. Campus Climate is defined by Marist faculty as “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

The climate of a campus is measured by “personal experiences, perceptions, and institutional efforts,” as defined by Ranklin & Associates. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity for students to voice their true, anonymous opinion of Marist College. However, although many students have been unwilling to fill out the survey. The reason seems not be because they don’t care, but that they don’t want to find the time to take the actual 10 minute survey.

In a last minute effort, faculty and staff have pushed for students to complete the survey, in order to get a full and accurate reading of Marist. Weather it be handing out candy to survey-completers on election day, or sharing the survey in class Facebook groups, there has been a huge push for survey completion.

Assistant Dean and Lecturer, Professor Molly Reddish, gave students class time to complete the survey, if they wished. Although they were not forced to take the survey, giving busy students a chance to contribute their opinion on their own institution is beneficial for not only themselves but also the college as a whole.

In order to gain a complete understanding of the campus’ climate, staff and faculty at Marist were also given a separate survey.

The climate survey is now closed, but upon assessment of the survey, Ranklin & Associates  will provide “ a report narrative of the findings based on cross tabulations selected by the consultant; frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations of quantitative data; and content analysis of the textual data.”

This survey is a step in the right direction for Marist, and will better the campus for future classes to come.

Best Buddies Host “Superhero” Event

Laughter and chatter filled the room at Marist on Sunday as Batman and Superman faces piled up on the table as part of the Best Buddies event. 

Best Buddies Marist hosted their superhero event where Marist students and their buddies could do a series of superhero-themed arts and crafts.

Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization that is dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of over 200 million people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Best Buddies Marist is one of 2,500 chapters worldwide that exist within this organization.


Pictured: Best Buddies Superhero Event


There was an overwhelming sense of community and friendship in Student Center Room 3104 on Sunday afternoon, as the students helped their buddies complete their activities so that they could be awarded with their certificate of completion.

 Marist students and buddies worked together to complete the crafts. These crafts included making a superhero symbol on a plate, making superhero masks, making wooden superheroes, and others. made as part of the Best Buddies Marist event.

The club works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The buddies are from the community and they are paired with Marist college students. The bond that is formed is unbreakable.

According to Melissa Fletcher, the Vice President of Best Buddies Marist, many students remain in contact with their buddies after graduation. She recalls that there are numerous members of the Class of 2018 who are now graduate students who still come back to the monthly events to see their old buddies.

Each month Best Buddies Marist hosts an event. In addition to this, they do events on campus to raise awareness and fundraise for the international Best Buddies organization.

Secretary of Best Buddies Marist, Bianca Gibbons-Morales, describes it as “a nice break in the flow of college to help other people.”

“The purpose of this club is to build these relationships and friendships between people with disabilities and the college students on campus. It’s mostly to get them aware of each other and to build friendships,” said Fletcher.

There are over 40 students who are a part of Best Buddies Marist. Of those interviewed, each described the club as one that is unlike any other.


Pictured: Jon Newfield and Dave Wallace and their buddy, Joe

“The people that come to this event are just some of the best people in the world. They really bring positivity into your life, so it is really a great thing to do,” said new member and senior, Jon Newfield, “There’s a wholesome feeling that you get. It’s a great thing to do.”

“When you come into this club, it is just a happy environment. Everyone in here is always having fun, playing games, and being happy. Other clubs it’s more you do informational things, it’s not really interactions with people. This is very interactive,” said Fletcher.

Best Buddies Marist leaves a lasting impact on all parties involved.


“These events brighten my day because it is truly heartwarming to see the positive impact I have on a buddy by simply setting aside a part of my day to spend time with them,” said freshman, Caroline O’Handley.


Pictured: Caroline O’Handley, Marist freshman, with her wooden superheroes

Composting 101: Bananas and Buckets

Every morning, the smell of coffee fills Tess Cimino’s apartment, marking the beginning of her daily routine. The senior removes the coffee grounds from the machine and puts them into her compost bucket: a small container in her freezer full of organic food scraps such as banana peels, egg shells, and apple cores. 

Cimino first began composting while participating in the Marist in Manhattan program in the spring of her junior year. She kept a compost bucket in her freezer then brought it to a local farmer’s market each Sunday. “My mom thought I was crazy keeping my trash in my freezer,” chuckled Cimino. 

Over the summer both Cimino and fellow senior Aaron Tod were visiting other college campuses that had composting stations, which inspired them to bring the practice to Marist. “It’s so  interesting to think about how we can give new life to our old waste,” mused Cimino. “It’s an ongoing evolutionary process.”


Senior Tess Cimino holds her compost bucket.

Since returning to campus for their senior year, Cimino and Tod have begun creating a composting pilot program. The pilot will first focus on the Foy Townhouses, where students will be given a few three gallon buckets to collect food scraps suitable for composting. 

Once the buckets are full students will bring them to the dumpster with their normal trash, and the grounds department will collect it. When the compost becomes soil, it will be used on campus.

“Our ultimate goal is to have a widespread composting program that’s in sync with  Marist’s values and sustainability plan,” said Tod. 

While some students may already compost at home, the method of composting Cimino and Tod are proposing is different according to Richard Feldman, Associate Professor of Environmental Science. “It starts with a feeder material that stimulates the growth of yeast and fungi, and it’s anaerobic, meaning it doesn’t use oxygen,” Feldman explained. 

Students will be given this agent, called Bokashi, to combine with their food scraps. Bokashi ferments the food scraps and reduces methane, the gas responsible for foul odors, making it suitable for indoor composting. 

The choice to give students Bokashi was a purposeful one. A compost with Bokashi, “Will take meat, dairy, and even bones, which is a benefit because it further simplifies the process for students” said Feldman. 

Tod added, “The type of composting we’re trying isn’t necessarily the fastest way, but it will be the easiest for students to adopt.” 

The next step for Cimino and Tod is educating and gaining support from students. To do this Cimino and Tod plan to host workshops to teach students how to compost. “At this point it’s mostly about getting students to be aware of the waste they’re creating,” commented Cimino. 

The biggest challenge the two seniors face is ensuring their composting program continues after they graduate in May. Steve Sansola, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, revealed a few students began a composting pilot three years ago with the Upper Fulton residences, however it didn’t last due to a lack of interest. “We have everything in place, we just need enough student interest and commitment,” said Sansola.

If students who don’t live in Foy want to participate in the pilot, Cimino recommended they collect food scraps in their freezers then dispose of them in the receptacles that will be located next to the dumpsters in the Foy parking lot. “When it comes down to it, composting is so simple,” said Cimino. “It’s just one extra bin but it can make a big difference.” 

Veteran reporter joins Sports Center


Jane McManus, photo courtesy of Marist College

Westchester native, Jane McManus will serve as the Director of the Center for Sports Communication starting December 1st. The powerhouse addition to the acclaimed program has two decades of experience covering New York Sports and working for publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, and ESPN.

Marist released a statement: “McManus has had an illustrious career covering 18 U.S. Opens, five Super Bowls, two NCAA Final Fours, and the inaugural season of the of the New York Liberty WNBA team.”

Familiar to collegiate education, McManus was also a professor at her alma mater, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.   The faculty at Marist looks forward to the new hire, who will bring a new standpoint for the program with her wealth of industry knowledge.

“Hiring Jane McManus is a real coup for Marist. She injects instant credibility and experience into our Sports Communication Center and program with the good name she built in decades in the industry, most recently with ESPN where she was often on TV and radio. She’ll really propel us forward, and that’s hugely exciting,” said Leander Schaerlaeckens, professor and assistant director for the Center of Sports Communication.

In a previous article, Dean of Communications and the Arts, Dr. Lyn Lepre, mentioned the advantages that McManus will add to the program. “She will bring a wealth of experience to this position from her many years as an active journalist and sports media expert,” Lepre said.

McManus may not just be influencing the communication department; her impact may stretch to other regions of Marist College. The former ESPN writer and reporter has a chance to rally with Red Fox nation.

“I hope that with her background in ESPN, she’ll not only embrace but really roll up her sleeves and work real closely with the partnership that we have in athletics with the Center for Sports Communication–in terms of the production with ESPN 3 games through the athletic program,” said Tim Murray, director of athletics.

IMG_0357 Director of Athletics, Tim Murray

As of one year ago, all Marist basketball home games are streamed live on ESPN 3, the company’s online streaming service.

McManus is excited about her new role at the college, in a time when the sports industry is shifting. “The business of sports media is at a crossroads, but the need for prepared professionals is greater than ever. I want to be part of a center committed to anticipating the needs of emerging employers even as it steeps students in the history that will create engaged and critical thinkers,” said McManus in a statement for Marist.

As far as students–one sports communication senior is thrilled that McManus will be joining a program where females are among the minority. “It’s really awesome that we have a female director in a program that’s about 80% male based. It shows myself as well as the other girls in the program that even though we’re outnumbered, we still have something to offer and can really make a name for ourselves in the sports industry,” Kerry Flynn said.






Study Abroad: “Complex but Worth it”

Colleges and Universities across the globe offer numerous study abroad programs and even encourage this form of study.

“I think it is important for young adults to get out and see the world.  So many of us are stuck in a little bubble without even realizing it,” said Maya Guzman, Marist College Junior.

Colleges and Universities aren’t the only types of schools that offer overseas programs.  Many high schools offer the opportunity as well through a certain Rotary club.

“I was so young when I decided to leave my home for a year to study in Brazil.  I had barely just turned 16 years old and I walked onto a plane knowing I wouldn’t be home for a year; it was the most surreal moment of my life.” said Christina Schumchyk, Stony Brook University Junior.  “I just knew there was more to see. I come from such a small town and I felt so isolated, I knew I needed to get free and explore,” continued Schumchyk.

According to research conducted by NAFSA, roughly 325,339 U.S. students studied abroad for college credit in 2016.  The enrollment increased by 3.8 percent from the previous year.

The Power of International Education organization conducted research that concludes more women than men study abroad each year with an approximate 70 to 30 ratio.  There is also a higher number of undergraduate students going abroad compared to graduate students with a rough 90 to 10 ratio.

So where are these students going?  The U.S. Study Abroad Data from the 2017 Open Doors Report claims about 12% of students choose to study in the United Kingdom, nearly 11% in Italy, and 9% in Spain.

“Going to London was important to me because it seemed to be the most centralized destination.  I figured from there I had pretty easy access to every other country and city I wanted to visit, which is exactly what I did,” said Erin Greco, Siena College Graduate.  

“I would do it all over again and I am a huge advocate for current students going abroad.  There is nothing like it.” said Greco.

Rachel Thayer, a Junior at Marist College, described the process of going abroad “complicated but worth it.”  “There is just so much that goes into it and so much I didn’t fully understand. So many government documents are needed and you really have to take everything into consideration.  I mean you are leaving your home country for a full semester.” said Thayer.

Thayer expressed that the process shouldn’t discourage students from traveling and studying abroad.

“Once you are here, once you sit in a class, once you are eating your first meal, it all just falls into place.  You take a sigh of relief and just feel grateful for the opportunity.” continued Thayer.