Center for International Programs

Grace Armstrong '23 and her friends wanted an ATV adventure even though no one in her party had ever driven a four wheeler before. In hindsight, their inexperience would be the least of their concerns. Driving at dusk on an island somewhere off the coast of Greece, one ATV ran out of gas. Down one four-wheeler, the headlights went dark on another. Driving blind, they stayed parallel to a different ATV just to see the road. Sometimes the most memorable adventures are the ones that don't go exactly to plan.

Grace is studying in Madrid for the semester, but on spring break, she flew with some friends to Athens. Their ATV mis-adventure was all part of their island hopping exploration of a country they'd never seen before. Grace loves Madrid, but once you've already made it to the other side of the ocean, she encourages students to travel as much as they possibly can. 

Grace also did some island hopping, or jumping, back in Spain. She went cliff jumping in the Canary Islands and in Madrid, she was in the middle of the famous Easter celebrations, which for Grace, ended by watching the sunset with friends. Studying abroad isn't an adventure, it's the amalgamation of one completely different adventure after another. Ready for your own adventure? See below. 

“The best part about study abroad is the amazing people you meet both in your home city and while traveling. It has been such an eye-opening experience for me, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I definitely want to return to Madrid someday.”

Grace Armstrong '23

Over the first two weeks of April, Matt Schiesel '15, associate director of study abroad and international fellowships, visited with Siena's study abroad partners in Ireland and Italy and checked in with more than a dozen Saints spending their spring semester in Europe. 

"During the first week, I was selected to participate in Education in Ireland's familiarization visit with 14 other study abroad advisors from around the U.S., where we visited five national universities across the Isle of Ireland to meet with faculty, university representatives, and current students. The visits allowed us to network, develop new study abroad partnerships, and get a feel for the campus life at each institution.

During the second week, I headed off on my own to the heart of Tuscany: Siena, Italy! Here, I met with our study abroad program - Siena Italian Studies - and spent a few days with five Siena College students currently there. I hopped into a few of their classes and they took me on a tour of their favorite spots across the city, especially their go-to gelateria for a mid-afternoon snack. I was so impressed with how much the students have grown in these few short months and how much they have learned.

Since the start of the pandemic, study abroad has been hit particularly hard and our office has worked tirelessly to bring this opportunity back to the Siena community - which makes it all the more encouraging to see these students flourish during their spring semester, and eager to share what they've learned with many more Siena Saints in the future!"

To learn more about study abroad opportunities, email