Graduates without borders

Seniors Alessandra Nocco, Alexandra Lilly, and Grace Passannante celebrating their last day of class.
Courtesy of Grace Passannante '16

Seniors Alessandra Nocco, Alexandra Lilly, and Grace Passannante celebrating their last day of class. Courtesy of Grace Passannante '16

As most seniors pack up for their college dorms, five Convent of the Sacred Heart seniors prepare to pack their bags and travel across the world for a semester abroad.
During their first semester at the University of Southern California (USC), seniors Lauren Monahan and Grace Sutherland will travel to Lugano, Switzerland as part of the FUS Fall Semester in Switzerland program. There, they will attend Franklin University, an American liberal arts school in Lugano. 

Seniors Lauren Monahan and Colleen DeConcini enjoy their last moments at Sacred Heart. Courtesy of Lauren Monahan '16
Seniors Lauren Monahan and Colleen DeConcini enjoy their last moments at Sacred Heart.
Courtesy of Lauren Monahan ’16

“I am excited because I will still be able to travel a lot. On the weekends you can go to different countries and they have a two week travel program where you take a class in a different country,” Lauren said. “Living abroad will definitely help me to become more independent while dealing with different currencies, languages, and countries.” 
Senior Corina Gonzalez will join Grace and Lauren at Franklin University for that same semester. She will be travelling to Lugano through the Southern Methodist University (SMU) and will be part of the SMU-in-Switzerland program.
“Living outside of the country for a semester will give me a bigger worldview and give me a better outlook on other people and also myself. I think I will learn a lot about myself,” Corina said. “Sacred Heart has put me in situations that push me to take action and handle things by myself, even when I do not think that I can handle it at first.”
In the program, each student will be able to choose her courses, and the earned credits will transfer to USC and SMU. They will all be studying abroad in Switzerland from August 22 to December 17.
“I am going to miss my friends and my family. Every single day is like a countdown now, so it’s very sad. Everyone I know has been in my life for a while, but I am excited to be in a new environment and new country, and be able to travel and meet new people,” Corina said.
Meanwhile, senior Grace Passanante will study abroad at Arcadia University in London, England for her first semester at Hamilton College. The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University offers the program, and Grace will be abroad from September 1 to mid-December.
Seniors Alessandra Nocco, Alexandra Lilly, and Grace Passannante celebrating their last day of class. Courtesy of Grace Passannante '16
Seniors Alessandra Nocco, Alexandra Lilly, and Grace Passannante celebrating their last day of class.
Courtesy of Alexandra Lilly ’16

“Living in a vibrant city like London is so interesting and such a great growth opportunity. I am very excited to be so independent,” Grace said.
Through the program, Grace will be able to enroll in five courses that are Hamilton-approved, and earn a total of 18 credits before she starts at Hamilton College in January 2017.
On the other side of the world, senior Alexandra Lilly will travel across the ocean to attend the Global Citizens Program in Singapore for her first semester at the Villanova School of Business. The program offers a 16-week overseas study in both Singapore and London.
“Studying abroad will add to my global perspective and will also add depth to my ability to work with a diverse body of people. Having gone on exchange in Madrid, I am certain that going abroad again will change how I understand people within an international context and will also aid me in my development of international business skills,” Alexandra said.
In addition to her coursework, Alexandra will also participate in a professional practice internship in Singapore. This internship will allow her to complete over 200 hours of business experience.
“I’m most excited about experiencing a new culture and working firsthand in an international environment,” Alexandra said. “This experience will both put me ahead in international business and also give me work experience which will be helpful in the long run.”
– Pau Barbosa, Staff Writer