Student Testimonials

2020 Opportunity Scholarship Winners

The following students received the USD Study Abroad Opportunity Scholarship. Click on each student's photo to view their content about their individual study abroad experiences.


My experience with studying abroad was truly the experience of a lifetime. The places I went, the people I met, and the things I learned will stay with me forever. I began my study abroad experience by spending a weekend in Paris, France with two of my friends from USD. It was the perfect way to kick off our study abroad experience. Then we spent our 3 weeks in London, taking in everything the city has to offer. We spent our mornings visiting places like Borough Market and Camden Market, our afternoons in class, and our evenings exploring the city. A highlight of my experience was visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford with my class. It was such a wonderful hands-on experience as I was able to see what I was learning about in class in person. It was such a privilege to be able to see all of the plays we were studying in class, and it made the experience very well-rounded. My friends and I also spent a weekend in Dublin, Ireland which was a wonderful experience. We got to spend a few days exploring Dublin, and it was especially exciting for me because of my Irish heritage. Traveling is such a privilege and with USD fantastic program, it’s imperative that everyone takes advantage of this opportunity. I will never forget these experiences, and they have all together shaped my college experience. I have a new found desire to spend more time traveling abroad because of this program.”

- Alex Hudome

New Zealand

“One of my favorite parts about studying abroad during intersession was the balance of it all. There was never too much of just one thing. There was the balance of going to school but also leaving the classroom and adventuring around. There was a balance of people I already knew and friends I met along the way. There was the balance of being there maybe too long but also not being there long enough. Studying abroad during intersession provided me with everything I wanted for my first time out of the country and I feel extremely grateful that I got to visit New Zealand through my SYE!”

- Akemi Ito


“My experience abroad was something very new to me and was something I never thought I would do in a million years. I will admit it was hard to find my place in the group of 18 students but by the end, I was getting food on my own and even planned my own short adventure for the day and walked around the city by myself. I always knew I was an independent person, but this trip gave me a whole new sense of independence that I never knew I had. I feel like I have changed so much as a person and was put out of my comfort zone every single day, but I am proud of myself for not only pushing through but actually really enjoying all of the last minute, all day adventures to places I never knew existed. I think everyone should take advantage of any study abroad opportunity, whether it's across seas, in a country that speaks a different language or simply just a new culture and place you've never experienced. I'm so glad I went to Sydney!”

- Sabrina Sullivan

USD Madrid Center

I have to say that going abroad in the spring with just twelve other people was amazing. We all got along and were open to trying new things and going new places and I am so happy to say that I have made such great friends with people I otherwise would have never met. Something we all did as a group was go to a Flamenco dance show in Granada where we had to take a small bus with the nicest bus driver who drove us through the Albaicin neighborhood in order to get up to the venue. We stopped at a viewpoint where we could see the Alhambra at night and took a group photo and it was absolutely incredible. Even though our time was cut short, we all got to know each other, travel together, and create amazing memories together!”

- Emma Valdiserri


- Spencer Pitts