The Olin Ambassador Program is a way for students looking to study abroad to learn more about the available programs by being matched up with a student who has already been abroad. The ambassadors have studied in a diverse set of locations (Europe, Asia, and South America) and programs (traditional study abroad and internship). Below are our current ambassadors, feel free to reach out to any of them to learn more about their program and study abroad experiences.
Ambassadors also serve as local guides for incoming exchange students, available to offer advice on adjusting to life in the US, St. Louis, and Washington University.
Asia Pacific Internship Program
Australia – University of Sydney
Although I was extremely excited to study abroad, when the time came around, I was very nervous to leave the states for five months. This was unlike any experience I’ve had before and I didn’t know if I was prepared for it. After my time in Sydney, Australia though, I can say without a doubt that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Traveling to these new places opened up my eyes to the world around me, allowing me to realize that there is so much more to this world than what we have been exposed to. Additionally, I was pushed out of my comfort zone many times throughout the five months, from figuring out how to open up a bank account to dealing with homesickness to learning how to get around Sydney. But these challenges and experiences helped me mature and develop into a more independent and confident person. Coming back to WashU, I have a new perspective on my life, on both the academic and personal sides, one that I could not have learned through the classroom.
China – Chinese University Hong Kong (CUHK)
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Be open minded, meet as many people from different places as you can, and take risks! Being abroad is an amazing and unique opportunity, so take full advantage!
China – Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
Denmark – Copenhagen Business School
Take as many pictures as you can, even of the silly things like food, your dorm room, classrooms, and buildings on campus. You’ll cherish all of them and you’ll be grateful to have them to look back on (plus it’ll make your family happy to see your adventures).
Try to meet as many new people as possible. Not only will you build an international network, but you’ll also expand your mindset and make wonderful memories.
Finally, don’t be afraid to continue to take risks. Go on a solo trip, try a new food, join a club on campus, or even just say hello to the local students in your classes.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: I had an amazing experience yet figured a lot of things out on my own. Since I didn’t go to Copenhagen with any of my closest WashU friends, I had to figure things out myself, from housing, classes, residence card, phone plans, etc. I encourage students to get out of their comfort zones to really get the most out of the experience. My advice would be to not live with WashU students and make sure you sign up for all the school offers as it will allow you to try new things.
Advice to incoming exchange students: I would encourage them to try to join clubs that they are interested in as this could make WashU a smaller school and help them make friends. I would also encourage them to make friends with the other exchange students since they are all in the same boat and could relate about being at a new school together. Lastly, since classes can be different from their home country, I would really push them to get to know their professors through office hours as this will make the whole academic experience easier.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Travel with different groups of people and not to be afraid to travel with people you don’t know very well.
Abroad is an incredible opportunity to try new things, meet people from all over the world, and immerse yourself in to a new culture. Take advantage of your time away from WashU and home to learn something new and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The highlights of my semester included renting a bike and using it to explore the city, becoming friends with other international exchange students from my dorm, joining a Danish consultancy, and taking a solo trip!
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Study abroad was one of the most transformational experiences of my life. It taught me life skills and was a great global exposure outside of WashU. I met people across so many different countries and would have never had such an opportunity. I was also able to travel and learn so much across the different countries I visited. I want to do all I can in my capacity to ensure other WashU students have as much of a rewarding experience studying abroad as I did during my time. If I could, I would do it all over again!
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Please reach out with any questions. Going abroad is an opportunity you should not forgo.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: For a variety of reasons, this experience changed my life for the better and allowed me to return to WashU with a fresh mindset. Taking a break from the campus and people of WashU did wonders for me, and I think everyone could benefit from a change of scenery.
France – ESCP Paris
My study abroad experience was some of my favorite time at Wash U and I would love to help other students experience that as well. I would say my biggest piece of advice is to take advantage of your time as much as you can, but don’t overstuff your schedule because traveling is exhausting and you will need time to recover.
I would love any opportunity to speak to students looking to study abroad in Paris.
Germany – WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
The best thing about WHU is the flexible nature of the school. I have not of any abroad program that enables its students to travel with such ease. This, in part, is due to WHU encouraging their exchange students to travel as frequently as possible.
Ireland – University College Dublin
Want to speak to a past student? Contact Sara Stratton
Israel – Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC)
Want to speak to a past student? Contact Maureen Wysocki
Israel – Israel Summer Business Academy (ISBA)
I absolutely loved my ISBA experience. I was a bit nervous going in just because Israel is the farthest that I have ever traveled from home. Yet, I truly cherish my study abroad experience. Living independently in different apartment scattered throughout Tel Aviv gave me the opportunity to experience the city first-hand and learn new communication and critical skills. I also loved taking classes on the Israeli start-up nation and creating my own venture! If you have any questions I would love to help answer them!
Italy – Bocconi University
I would love to talk to students traveling to Milan! I had the best experience and would love to speak with anyone and answer any questions.
My time in Milan was an incredibly formative experience. It was one of the hardest experiences of my life but also one of the most rewarding. I learned so much about myself in the process and was forced to handle a whole new culture in an immersive way. I was able to pick up some Italian along the way, which was definitely a bonus! I’d recommend going abroad to most people, especially if you’re ready to learn more about yourself in a completely unique way.
Loved my experience, would love to share it with others!
I’m a great resource to someone applying to the Milan study abroad program as I am familiar with and can give an honest opinion about what classes to take/not to take, where to live depending on what type of experience a student is looking for, what to explore in Milan and travel tips.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: For WashU students going abroad, I would say learn how to be comfortable with being flexible and adaptable, not everything is going to work out the way you want it. Also, don’t become complacent; you have to go outside of your comfort zone to experience the city you’re in and meet new people.
Advice to incoming exchange students: For exchange students attending WashU, I would say that the school work is very different than Europe; there are a lot more little assignments throughout the semester, but it teaches hard work and time management. Also, WashU is a great place to be to feel comfortable at a different university as there are so many resources.
The Netherlands – Maastricht University
Advice to outgoing WashU students: My advice to students considering going abroad would be to do it because there is nothing to lose, and you will likely never get the opportunity to travel nearly anywhere in the world with out worrying about work for 5 months. I never thought I would go hang gliding through the Swiss Alps or kayak through caves along the coast of Portugal, but studying abroad gives you these opportunities and more!
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Pick a program that fits what you want. I wanted a more structured experience and Maastricht was perfect, but that may not be the same for everyone. Take advantage of the time you have abroad. It truly was the best time of my life. Be open to new people and get close with those you wouldn’t normally seek out as friends. They may surprise you. There’s a lot to bind over when you are in another country. Also seek out students from your host country. They are just as interested in your perspective as you are in theirs.
Singapore – Singapore Management University
Singapore is an amazing country in the sense that it’s a unique blend of Eastern and Western influence. My advice to anyone studying abroad in Singapore would be to immerse yourself in the ways the locals do things – you’ll learn a lot about Singaporean culture. Also try local dishes and hawker centre food whenever possible!
My semester in Singapore is definitely the most unforgettable and fulfilling experience I’ve ever had. Having never traveled to Asia before, I was certainly nervous to spend four months nearly 10,000 miles away from my family and friends. However, almost immediately after I arrived, I realized just how easy it would be to call Singapore my new home. The country has no shortage of things to do, whether you’re interested in visiting tourist attractions, discovering cool cafes and fitness studios, or enjoying the nightlife. Additionally, Singapore is extremely safe and clean and has an excellent public transportation system. In other words, I felt entirely uninhibited regarding where I could go and what I could do.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: I would encourage anyone hoping to broaden their sense of independence along with their cultural horizons to look into the Singapore exchange program.
This program provided a more amazing experience than I could have ever asked for, and I want to be able to share with people why they should opt for the same experience I had.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: In terms of advice for WashU students going abroad, push yourself out of your comfort zone. The value in immersing yourself in a foreign culture is being exposed to things you would not in the US, and if you stick to what is comfortable you will not maximize that opportunity.
Advice to incoming exchange students: In terms of advice for exchange students at WashU, get to know us. I think American students abroad (and I felt this with European students who were on exchange at SMU) get a bad reputation based on international perception of the US, but not everyone fits the single conception that many foreign people hold of Americans.
South America Emerging Economies – Chile & Argentina
As the inaugural student for the South America program, I can share valuable insights with students that were not available to me.
South Korea – Korea University
Spain – ESADE Barcelona
I was so nervous to go abroad to say the least. I was that girl that bawled to her dad when he dropped me off at the airport. I had never left the country, I was going abroad not with my friends, and I was going to a country that spoke another language and was supposed to hit the ground running. It was a mess of an experience in the beginning but that is SO NORMAL. It is supposed to be a mess. You are in a new environment and a new country for four months and you have everything at your disposal. I simply had no idea where to start. I started school with confidence and took if from there. I took advantage of everything that was offered to me in Barcelona and Europe and as a result abroad was the best 4 months of my entire life. You get to travel and eat some of the best food and listen and learn from people around you. You get to see how your life has been different from theirs and realize what you are grateful for and how we all play a unique role in this life we have been given. Abroad taught me to be my most independent and happy self, and I could not be more grateful. Most of abroad is WashU throwing you into a new and vulnerable situation and seeing how you can grow and adapt, and I can say with full confidence that I am not the same person I was six months ago in the best way possible, and I have Barcelona to thank for that. My advice for abroad is to go in with open arms and learn and experience as much as you can. Four months seems like a long time, but I promise you it goes by in the blink of an eye when you are in it. Cherish it and treat abroad well, and I promise you will have the experience of a lifetime.
Spain – UC3M Madrid
I loved getting close to the friends I made abroad and interacting with my host mom. Try to say yes to as much as possible and be open to new experiences! Some of the times I was most dubious about doing an activity or trying a food turned out to the most memorable experiences.
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Be as outgoing as possible. It can be very nerve-racking but the people you will be around are incredibly nice and want to meet you too!
Advice to outgoing WashU students: Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience to live, learn, and gain independence in a new and exciting place. Being abroad will expose you to different people and ideas which will change your perspective on the world for the better.
The UK – London Internship Program
Want to speak to a past student? Contact Maureen Wysocki