Walking through the big black front gates into Mercyhurst College, students are often filled with excitement and ready to experience all that college life has to offer.
Not only does Mercyhurst go to great lengths to get students involved on campus but in the real world as well. Expanding knowledge and curiosity beyond those front gates has traditionally been a goal of Mercyhurst.
One student, junior Felicia Guerra, has taken advantage of these opportunities.
Guerra is currently on a six month study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. She left to Europe in August and will be back in Mercyhurst by the start of winter term. Originally from Managua, Nicaragua, Guerra is no stranger to exploring different countries and cultures.
Guerra had heard nothing but good things and encouragement from students before she decided to travel to Florence.
“Three other girls who are now seniors went last year and told me it was worth it. I decided to go to Florence because it is my goal to learn a third language,” Guerra said.
Although Italian and American cultures vary greatly in terms of everything from the hustle and bustle to the food, Guerra said she couldn’t be more excited to be engulfed in the culture.
“I am having the time of my life! All the places I have visited are incredible,” she said. “It’s funny to think that when you’re on the other side of the world you don’t imagine what there is in another continent; so many beautiful sites and so many different cultures.”
Guerra advises those students who want to go out and explore the world to not be afraid of the application process.
“The program is very organized and has done this for many years, always improving,” she said. Many students and professors say they agree that the trips are amazing and can be easily arranged.
Professor Robert Hoff, who traveled abroad this past summer with students taking the FSAT Comparative Psychology course to the Galapagos, is a big supporter of cultural exploration.
“I would give my strongest endorsement to the study abroad program at Mercyhurst College. There are few experiences that have the potential to be as transformative in one’s education as experiencing another part of the world,” Hoff said. “You won’t see the world the same way after studying abroad.”
Junior Jennifer Stevens, who also took the trip to Ecuador, said she agrees with Hoff. “I loved my trip to Ecuador. I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity,” she said. “The best part for me was the time we spent on the Galapagos Islands snorkeling with the wildlife.”
Guerra says studying abroad is made easy through Mercyhurst.
“This is designed to meet the needs of students who want to travel and learn about the culture without getting behind in their classes. The choice of classes is large,” she said.
Whatever students’ traveling dreams entail, Mercyhurst seems to have a program for them.