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Study Abroad Profile: Marisa Lally

Marisa Lally, a Buckeye abroadProgram: ISA Spanish Language program in Valparaiso, Chile; Youth Leadership and Service-Learning in Ecuador; Critical Language Scholarship Indonesia
Location: Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia
Rank: First-year Graduate Student
Major: Higher Education and Student Affairs

“As an undergraduate student, I wanted to gain as much international experience as possible. My experiences abroad defined my undergraduate career and allowed me to form lifelong connections across the globe. Although study abroad certainly presents the opportunity to see beautiful cultural sites, eat delicious food and make new best friends, it’s most important contribution was my personal growth and greater understanding of me as a citizen of the world. 

During my Spanish language program in Valparaiso, Chile, my service-learning experience in Cuenca, Ecuador and my Critical Language Scholarship in Malang, Indonesia, I had unique opportunities to confront my own identity as an American university student, while engaging in the Chilean, Ecuadorian and Indonesian languages and cultures.

Marisa LallyThe best part of studying abroad was creating lasting connections with other people. Without study abroad, for example, I would not be pursuing my passion for higher education, which I realized in Ecuador due to the mentorship of Jennifer Gilbride-Brown, PhD, an expert in the field of higher education. Not only did studying abroad benefit my career, but it also contributed to some of my most cherished memories. For instance, in Indonesia we threw a July 4 celebration, which was directly in the middle of Ramadhan. The Indonesian students sang the U.S. National Anthem, and the American students sang the Indonesian anthem in return, then we all broke fast together as the sun set. These traditions made me feel like a part of a family so far away from home. Without study abroad, I would not be the student or person I am today.”