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Connect with a Returnee

We know how important it is to hear stories of students who have been in your shoes and made study abroad happen as you decide which program is right for you! To help you gain as much insight as possible, we have collected a list of study abroad returnee "ambassadors" who are eager to share their life-changing experience with you!

Please note these returnees are volunteering their time to talk about their own perspective studying abroad and are not employed with our office. For any official questions about the study abroad process with Cal Poly, eligibility requirements, and/or program selection, please reach out to our STUDY ABROAD PEER ADVISING TEAM! 


Recently studied abroad and want to become a returnee ambassador? Complete our online Ambassador Sign-Up Form!




Major: Wine and Viticulture
Study Abroad Program: Cal Poly in Australia - Winter 2023

Hi! My name is Liesl and I studied abroad in Adelaide, Australia winter of my sophomore year. I absolutely loved the program and the ability to meet so many great people in the program, as well as explore the wine industry of South Australia. Myself and some others in the program took the opportunity to travel on our weekends to places like the great barrier reef, Tasmania, and take road trips to famous beaches around Australia. Since the program was an accelerated program we spent a month traveling after to places like Bali and New Zealand. 



Majors: History and Child Development
Study Abroad Program: Cal Poly in London - Summer 2023

Hi, my name is Hannah Chaney and I studied abroad this past summer (June-August 2023) in London. Being able to study on an international basis was nothing short of a dream. Immersing myself into the diverse culture that London fosters within its demography, is an experience that I have a hard time fathoming into words. The program helped me overcome the slight fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, and I have found that I have since developed a welcoming attitude to situations in which I might need to, again, step outside of my comfort zone. Trying to put the impact of my experience studying abroad into 4-5 sentences is extremely difficult, but if given the chance to I would study abroad again in a heartbeat.



Majors: Business Administration
Study Abroad Program: Cal Poly in London - Summer 2023

Hi, I'm Ashley! I am a third year business administration major at Cal Poly and I extremely enjoyed my summer abroad in London. My program was 6 weeks and I took 3 classes with all of the students in my program. I enjoyed that the program was a small, tight-knit group of 35 Cal Poly students. While we interacted with many students from other schools, I made new Cal Poly friends from all different majors that I still spend time with regularly. I loved London because there was so much to do in and outside of the city! My friends and I took weekend trips to Nice, France and Edinburgh, Scotland, as well!



Majors: Mechanical Engineering
Study Abroad Program: Cal Poly in Rome: Mechanics - Fall 2023

Hi! My name is Sara, I am a Mechanical Engineering Student (switched from Materials) who studied in Rome, Italy through Cal Poly's Mechanics in Rome Program. I had an incredible experience traveling, living in Rome, and spending time with the people in my program. I'd be so happy to answer any questions someone may have and share more about my time abroad! 





Major: Computer Science
Study Abroad Program: CSUIP Taiwan - Spring 2023

Feel free to ask me any questions about CSUIP and studying abroad in Taiwan!





Major: Psychology 
Minor: Statistics 
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Amsterdam, Netherlands – Social Sciences & Humanities – Spring 2023 

Hi, I'm Evan and I'm a 4th year Psychology major with a minor in Statistics. I studied abroad in Amsterdam in spring 2023 and absolutely fell in love with the city. I loved exploring the city on my bike and really felt like I fit in when I rode on two wheels. It was hands down one of the best times in my college experience so far, and I think everyone should seriously consider going abroad!

Sydney D.


Major: Biomedical Engineering  
Minor: Mathematics 
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Madrid, Spain - Engineering & Social Sciences - Fall 2022 
I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain last fall as an engineering major taking classes at UC3M in Getafe and Leganes. While abroad, I went to 8 different countries and visited all of my family internationally. Studying abroad was the best 4 months of my life and I cannot wait to help you along your own journey.



Majors: Business (Marketing Management Concentration) & Law and Society
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Amsterdam, Netherlands - Summer 2023
Hello, I took the chance a little later than most to study abroad but I appreciate it so much. I have never left my home state and my first time traveling was to Europe, imagine my shock! I loved the experience, the country, and the curriculum abroad. I enjoyed the classes the most because they had a global approach and taught me about the world, not just western culture. 



Major: Psychology
Minors: Child Development and Spanish
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Seville, Spain: Arts & Sciences and Advanced Spanish Language and Culture - Academic Year 2022 - 2023

Hello! My name is Julia and I am a fourth-year psych major with minors in child development and Spanish. I enjoy spending time outside, cooking, and reading in my free time. My experience in Spanish immersion primary education inspired my desire to travel abroad. I am deeply grateful for all my experiences in Spain, especially living with a host family and volunteering at a local elementary school. I look forward to answering any questions and sharing more about my experience.



Major: Business Admin - Information Systems 
Minor: Spanish
Study Abroad Program: 
CEA CAPA Seville, Spain - International Business - Fall 2023

I am a third year and I studied abroad in Seville. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life! I went random with my roommates and loved all of them so much, and I traveled almost every weekend. I loved my host mom and practiced my Spanish every day. 



Major: Environmental Engineering
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Madrid, Spain: Engineering & Social Sciences - Fall 2023

I'm a third year at Cal Poly and recently I studied at UC3M at the Getafe and Leganes campuses and had an amazing time! My favorite class I took was Spanish language and I would definitely recommend doing the same even if you've never learned Spanish before, it was useful in so many more situations than I expected. I loved Madrid and exploring Spain as well as other countries in Europe, my picture is from my trip to Dublin, Ireland which was one of my favorite places I visited. While traveling was amazing, my favorite part of my time abroad was meeting so many new people and making so many new friends.



Major: Computer Science, Game Development
Study Abroad Program: 
CEA CAPA Buenos Aires, Argentina - Intensive Spanish Language - Summer 2023

Hello! My name is Alexi and I am a computer science major at Cal Poly. My time in Buenos Aires, Argentina with CEA CAPA was absolutely incredible! My host mom (and her two cats) made me feel so at home, my teachers were clearly invested in my academic success, and the on-site staff were amazing at giving you access to all the resources you needed! I loved the opportunity my program gave me to really hone in on learning Spanish and connect with Argentine culture. 



Major: Industrial Engineering
Study Abroad Program: 
CEA CAPA Paris, France – Engineering - Fall 2023

Hey! My name is Rin and I studied abroad in Paris, France. I really enjoyed exploring the city and immersing myself in the culture. I met some amazing friends and learned so much from studying abroad. I would love to help anyone find their perfect program and share some experiences I had!



Major: interdisciplinary studies, global citizenship, and social sustainability
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA Barcelona, Spain - Business, Design & Innovation - Fall 2023
I am an Interdisciplinary and Entrepreneurship student passionate about adventure, travel, and everything ocean sports. I most enjoyed pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and learning things about myself that I never could have learned in the classroom.



Majors: Environmental Management and Protection & Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources and the Environment
Study Abroad Program: 
CEA CAPA: San Jose, Costa Rica - Spanish Language, Liberal Arts & Environmental Sciences 
My name is Carver, and I am a third year ENVM major. I just returned from San Jose, Costa Rica, where I took environmental and Spanish classes during the week and explored the country on the weekends. I loved being able to see a new country for three months because it allowed me to feel familiar and in touch with a different part of the world and way of life!





Major/Minor: Biomedical Engineering, French (Minor)
Study Abroad Program: CEA CAPA: Paris, France - Engineering 
Hi! My name is Josh Gottschalk, I am a third year Biomedical Engineering student with a minor in French. I had the pleasure of studying in Paris, France where I was able to not only develop my biomedical engineering career in an international setting, but experience the endless wonders of the French language and culture! I could not have asked for a better cohesion of life, school and exploration in one of the world's most grand cities!




Majors: Environmental Management and Protection & Sustainable Environments
Study Abroad Program: DIS - Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark - Summer 2023

Hi I'm Jasmine, a 3rd year Cal Poly student, and I recently studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was an amazing 4-week program that even included a week-long class trip to another country, in my case Poland. I really got to test my independence by going abroad without knowing anyone and in the end, I learned a lot about myself. I met some wonderful people and fell in love with Copenhagen, so I look back at my time abroad very fondly. I highly encourage anyone who's even slightly considering studying abroad to do it and I'm here to share my experience with you!




Major: Biological Sciences
Study Abroad Program: TEAN, New Zealand: Clinical Research and Business Development Internship - Summer 2022

As a biology major, I have a passion for healthcare and clinical research, and was always interested in going abroad but felt as though I wouldn't be able to go during the school year. I was able to participate in an international internship in Wellington over the summer before my junior year. Not only was I exposed to the rich culture of New Zealand, building relationships with locals and those also participating in the program, but I was able to gain hands on experience in my field of interest. The experiences I had while working and travelling were unlike anything that I would have been able to get in a traditional study abroad experience. 



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Major: Kinesiology - Exercise Science
Minor: Spanish
Study Abroad Program: USAC Spain: Alicante - Spanish Language, Linguistics, European, Mediterranean, and Gender Studies - Summer 2023

I loved my study abroad experience with USAC. We lived in apartments in the center of the city with shops nearby and just a 15 minute walk to the beach with more a tram ride down the coast. It was easy to travel around and the program leaders were always willing to help. I loved my spanish classes too and learned so much about the language between being in classes and being surrounded by the native speakers! I would definitely recommend this program!