It’s been almost a year and a half since study abroad student Angele Schembri set foot in Clarion. A year and a half since she’s been to Cook Forest, experienced a Clarion snow and has seen the many friends she’s made here.
Studying abroad had always been in the picture for Malta native Schembri, but she never really considered studying in the United States.
“I’ve been wanting to do it from a very young age,” said Schembri. “I never actually thought about America before a year ago, I was accepted to study abroad in Sweden, but I didn’t have enough money at the time so I decided to apply the next year and apply for America or Canada and go farther than Europe.”
And she’s glad she did. While studying at Clarion, Schembri was an active member of Clarion’s student-run television station CU-TV where she was a news anchor and reporter. Also being a part of the communication department, she was able to find a new love for advertising, all thanks to one professor in particular.
“Dr. [Naomi] O’Neil was amazing,” said Schembri. “She’s one the nicest professors I’ve ever met. We only have one university back at home, and all the students are in that university. We’re just a number, so we don’t get that one on one interaction like I did at Clarion.”
Schembri is now working on a part-time basis at an advertising agency, and once she’s done with school in December, she says there is a pretty good chance she will start working there on a full time basis. However, Schembri is looking forward to getting to travel again soon.
“My main priority is to save up and travel,” said Schembri. “Hopefully I will get to visit a friend of mine in Ecuador whom I had met while at Clarion. I’m also planning on getting a job in the States eventually, and move there permanently.”
Schembri mentioned that the transition to going back home was bittersweet. Her family and friends greeted her at the airport, and her mom bought traditional Maltese pastizzi (pea cakes and cheese cakes) for dinner. But Schembri still misses everything about being in America.
“My favorite moments were traveling,” said Schembri. “My weekend at Virginia Tech, holiday in Canada, spending Christmas in Pittsburgh at a friend’s house, and New York for Thanksgiving. Also the little things like our trips to 7-Eleven for tea at night, my friends, the scenery, driving on the endless highways and walking along Main Street.”
Schembri wants to encourage all students to study abroad, even though she herself was hesitant at first.
“My advice to anyone considering going abroad is to just go for it and take the leap. It may seem scary at first, however once you get on that plane and leave home, you will return a totally different person with a new outlook and experiences that will make you a better version of yourself.”
Schembri leaves with one final note.
“When I go back to the States, I will definitely be visiting Clarion, and hopefully get to be there during ALF.”