Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
search this website

Lehman College Logo Click Here to go back to Homepage

International Programs & Community Engagement

Reflect on your Trip

Welcome back travelers!

We know that sharing your travels is oftentimes difficult to put into words; the amazing sights you visited, the relationships you have built, the endless things you have learned. As you have been reacquainting with friends and family members that have greeted you with “So how was it?”, how do you wrap up a life changing experience in one response? So, we are asking you to share a reflection to one of the more specific questions below. No specific length is required, just your sincere views of your now expanded world.

  • How do you feel you have changed as a result of living in (place of travel)?

  • How has studying/traveling abroad changed your values or identity?

  • 你的旅行经历对你未来的计划有什么影响?

  • Are there any issues (social, political, institutional, etc.) that you are more aware of because of your experience?

  • How are you looking forward to incorporating your experience into your life here on campus? To your own community?

When you are ready, please email your reflections

And we know you must have taken hundreds, if not thousands of pictures, during your trip abroad. We ask that you share 3-5 of your favorite photos with us on eitherInstagramor our Please try to include photos that may reflect the landscape, people, and culture. We will highlighting student on our Instagram and here at our office throughout the semester.

Student Testimonials

Lehman L.I.F.E. Program

Study Abroad

Lehman L.I.F.E.

Jessica Participating in the Lehman L.I.F.E. Program in Louisiana

Jessica Auguste – Louisiana, 2017

雷曼兄弟公司是我生命中的福音。从我们了不起的导师阿曼达,她一直在为我们而战,到小组中那些非凡的个人。雷曼兄弟是一次改变人生的经历。我是一名海地临时保护身份(TPS)持有者和DACA接受者,我作为成年人的第一次乘坐飞机是在雷曼兄弟公司(Lehman l.i.f.e)。在我听说这个项目之前,我根本不知道我可以旅行,也可以做志愿者。我永远感激这段经历和我获得的终身友谊。我是一名志愿者,过去是,将来也会是。雷曼兄弟已经证实了我为什么要做志愿者,以及为什么我应该继续为我的社区和世界各地的其他社区做志愿者。Lehman L.I.F.E.不仅仅提供志愿服务,还在旅行前后对学生进行教育。我在新奥尔良和巴吞鲁日的旅行让我大开眼界:你的生活可以在瞬间发生改变,你需要这个世界上善良、关心他人、富有同情心、有爱心、乐于助人、无私、受过教育的人。这次旅行给了我终生的技能,比如钻孔和安装板状岩石。 My math skills came in handy. This trip showed me a different side of myself; how much of a time player I am and how strong I am. Most importantly it taught me to be humbled and grateful because you never know what can happen tomorrow. In Lehman L.I.F.E. you learn many different skills, which broaden your mind and helps you become a better person without you even realizing.

Famata Participating in the Lehman L.I.F.E. Program in Peru

Famata Kajakhe - Peru, 2019

My trip to Peru was an amazing experience especially learning about the culture of the Peruvian people, the health concerns, their government & the population. Preparing for an alternative break program like Lehman L.I.F.E was not an easy route, but with a dependable team, supporters, amazing advisors, & lots of fundraising, I was able to fundraise for my trip & received a scholarship to cover the rest. My role on this trip was a journalist where I had to stay very focused on the daily work we did each day we were there. The goal was to serve our time in Peru because we were dealing with an underserved community where sex trafficking was a high concern & the age of these women who were affected started from age 14 and up. The health system was deteriorating and a lot of families could not afford to get checked. Huancayo really opened my eyes to a lot of things and I became more aware of how much there is to do abroad if you push yourself to understand the needs of those you are going to serve. I advise everyone to give it a chance & make it a skill to serve your time to be an additional hand for a community that is in need.

Rashid Participating in the Lehman L.I.F.E. Program in Chicago

Rashid Kapovich – Chicago, 2013 & Dominican Republic, 2015



Kimberly Participating in the Lehman L.I.F.E. Program in Puerto Rico

Kimberly Molina – Puerto Rico, 2019

Being a part of Lehman L.I.F.E. allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and do things that I usually wouldn't do. Lehman L.I.F.E. has allowed me to make lifelong friends and allow me to be grateful for the little things that people usually look over. It also allowed me to service a community outside of the Bronx. We met once a week throughout the fall and spring semester leading up to our trip to Spring Break. This was one of the best parts of Lehman L.I.F.E because it allowed us to get to know each other and also do research on the area we were going to be traveling to. My favorite part of the trip was getting to know the people of Mariana and making lifelong friendships in PR! We were also able to fundraise 100% of our trip and do so many different fundraising activities.

Melissa Participating in the Lehman L.I.F.E. Program in IndiaMelissa Pinales - India, 2015

My name is Melissa Pinales. I went to the India trip of 2015. For me Lehman LIFE allowed me to become a better overall student and person. It was about learning to work with one another, learning about a totally different culture, selflessness and love. We learned how to have each other’s backs when painting the school or even walking outside, how to not take things for granted when we saw many slums, how to love one another, and to share the love. We turned this experience that starts in our own city, globally to positively affect the lives of others. India was HOT! We stayed at a hostel with bucket showers, rarely anyone spoke English and there was definitely some tension within the group, but we all communicated well and came out stronger because of it. This was one of the best experiences of my life. It made me appreciate my life, everything that my parents have given me and helped me affirm that I want a career in which I can help others in Physical Therapy. On our last day the students we worked with wrote us letters and I still have mine. It was from a young girl who once I saw her I immediately connected with her…towards the end I wanted to take her home with me because I couldn’t stop thinking about her future if she stayed…her letter put a smile on my face and made me vow to be better. The fundraising was stressful, but nothing can surpass the feelings I feel when I read this letter.

Study Abroad

Lehman student Rafael Almanzar - studying in Greece

Rafael Almanzar

Rafael Almanzar studied abroad in Greece during the Winter session. He has since graduated from Lehman and is currently pursuing his Masters degree at New York University in Bilingual School Counseling.

To be able to witness what I have only seen and read in textbooks and on television has become a phenomenal and life changing experience for me. On my final semester at Lehman College, I learned about the possibility of studying abroad for the winter session. I was always under the impression that only wealthy students could afford to study abroad. Greece is a country that I had had an interest in because of its ancient and rich history. I had also enjoyed reading Greek mythologies. Determined to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, I applied for the STOCS (Study/Travel Opportunities for CUNY Students) Scholarship. I was honored to be the only Lehman student, at that time, to receive the max STOCS award. Receiving the STOCS scholarship was a tremendous support for me because it paid for half the cost of my study abroad.


Soon after my study abroad experience, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a Psychology minor. I am currently working for the S.E.E.K (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) program at Lehman and I am also a M.A. candidate at New York University in Bilingual School Counseling. I would ultimately love to work for the Board of Education as a School Counselor. The New York city schools are full of students from diverse cultures and backgrounds; going to Greece gave me a taste of what to expect in my career. I encourage all undergraduates to consider studying abroad. My experience in Greece was truly unforgettable and I have many fond memories that will last a lifetime. I thank the Study Abroad Office for all their help and support.

Back to top

Esmeralda Frias

Esmeralda studied abroad in Paris through the Paris/CUNY exchange program for one academic year. The following article is an excerpt from the Lehman Study Abroad Newsletter.

"Esmeralda’s Séjour à Paris"

Lehman student Esmeralda Frias in Paris大多数学生觉得出国留学的想法令人望而生畏。尽管这样的决定可能会带来紧张或焦虑的感觉,但在巴黎学习了一年的雷曼大学本科生埃斯梅拉达·弗里亚斯(Esmeralda Frias)并没有让她的恐惧阻止她在法国度过整个学年。埃斯梅拉达原本只打算在巴黎学习一个学期,但在巴黎待了两个月后不久,为了提高法语水平,她选择留在巴黎学习一年。她分享了她对法国的印象、教育体系以及旅行中的趣闻轶事。

Esmeralda began taking French courses at Lehman and felt that she could improve her language skills by participating in the Paris/CUNY exchange program. “I thought that studying abroad in Paris would be a great opportunity to travel and practice my French.” Students are required to complete three semesters of French language courses before they can participate on the program. As is the case for all Lehman students who participate in the program, language skills greatly improve. “I have now been living in Paris for 6 months and I feel that my French skills have improved a lot.”

Esmeralda talks about her impression of the French educational system, which she finds different from that of the United States. “You will most likely not get a syllabus or an academic calendar, but the professors are very helpful…” She also adds that while the classroom experience will vary from professor to professor, you should “enjoy the ride!”

Another great aspect of studying abroad, especially in Europe, is that students can easily travel to other countries at very inexpensive rates. Many students like Esmeralda, take advantage of their study abroad experience and explore other countries during their vacations and even weekends. Esmeralda notes, “Traveling is really cheap but you have to do a little research.” During her stay in Paris she traveled to numerous cities in Spain and Italy and “in 3 weeks, I’m on my way to Dublin, Ireland. I found a flight for 11 Euros ($15)! I just had to buy it.”

When asked about her overall experience in Paris, her response was “Life in Paris is GREAT! The French have a very different lifestyle, but it’s not that hard to adjust.” She adds “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so dive into the culture. Eat French food, listen to French music, and make friends!”

For more information regarding the Paris/CUNY exchange contact the Paris/CUNY Director: Dr. Maxine Fisher at, or Emmanuel Perez at

Back to top

Christopher Bethea

Christopher studied abroad in Florence, Italy through the College of Staten Island during the summer session. Below, Christopher shares his thoughts about different aspects of his study abroad experience.

"La Mia Mezza in Italia"

Thoughts about Italy before studying abroad

Lehman Student hristopher Bethea in ItalyI thought my idea of studying abroad in Italy for a month was great. I imagined that there would be great food, great scenery, and I looked forward to having a great time in another country. At this time, I had never left America and was anxious to see what it would be like to live in another country – especially one where English is not the official language. My Italian was at an intermediate level as I had taken Italian in two previous semesters, but my comprehension and pronunciation was terrible.


Florence is a small town located in the heart of central Italy. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian renaissance and it is home to some of the world's greatest artists and inventors. Two worlds come together in Florence, the old and the modern. The narrow driveways, architecture, and cobblestone streets are reminiscent of the renaissance, while the many restaurants, bars, cafes, and stores remind me of a modern ever changing world. It was easy to walk everywhere, although it took me a while to understand the addresses and where the street names were located. There was also plenty of art everywhere. I couldn’t turn around without seeing someone selling paintings or drawings on the sidewalk.


我们有几个选择,包括校外公寓、宿舍式房间和招待所住宿。当我到达时,我住在PLUS佛罗伦萨招待所,从我的学校和del Duomo教堂步行即可到达。这家旅社有一个友好的工作人员,他们的目的是取悦,一个地下室的酒吧也提供食物,和一个带蒸汽桑拿的漂亮的游泳池。我的房间可以上网,有私人浴室,电视,还有一个小厨房,我可以在那里做一些美味的饭菜。住在公寓里的很多学生都是来自美国各地的美国学生,但佛罗伦萨的游客大多是来自世界各地的游客。


The classes that I took were mainly taught in English, with the exception of the Italian language classes where the instructor interchanged between English and Italian. My professors were fun and engaging. They had a more interactive style of teaching. On nice days, my class would take place on the school’s patio. We were allowed to drink coffee and eat small meals during class! There were excursions at least every week; some were mandatory and some were optional. There were also daily homework assignments and weekly quizzes, which were fun and encouraged us to better understand Italian culture and strengthen our Italian language skills. My group felt well prepared for the quizzes and class assignments. It was very different compared to classes taught in America.




I studied abroad for an entire month in Italy and then traveled around Europe for another month before I went home. During my study abroad program, I traveled to Rome, the Vatican City, Pisa, Livorno, Naples, Milan, and all over Florence. I was able to travel around by train, which wasn’t too far from Florence. After the program ended, I traveled a span of eleven countries, including France, Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria, Ireland, and England. I scheduled a bus tour that picked me up at PLUS Florence and then dropped me off at different hostels during my travels. Since many of the European countries are a short distance from each other, the bus rides weren’t too long. I was able to meet and befriend many Australians, Canadians, Koreans, Europeans, and other Americans during the trip, and have a lot of interesting stories that happened to me along the way. Out of all the cities I have been to, I have seen some of the most beautiful scenery and tasted some of the best food in Florence.

Tips and Advice before studying abroad

  • Prepare in advance! It is very important to do everything months before you leave.
  • Make sure to have your passport on you at all times, because you will never know when you might need it.
  • Although many of the European cities are generally safe, always be aware of what is going on around you.
  • 从自动取款机上取的钱一定要多于你所需要的。大多数银行卡都要收取额外的费用,因为你要兑换货币或使用外国ATM机。如果可能的话,尽量使用你的借记卡或信用卡。
  • 只有当你剩余的货币没有任何用处时,才去外汇市场。他们通常会给你一个糟糕的汇率,然后向你收取使用他们服务的费用。
  • 如果你打算在住家以外的地方旅行,可以考虑买一张欧洲铁路通票,或者选择巴士旅行。你可以省下一大笔钱,而且还能以较低的价格参观一些地方。
  • It is very important to set a daily budget, and not overspend! If you happen to overspend on one day, subtract the additional costs into your tomorrow’s limit to balance the lost.
  • 轻装上阵,尽量不要带你不需要的东西。
  • Most importantly – Loosen up and have fun!

Back to top

Christopher Mammano

Christopher studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia during the summer session through AIFS' international studies program. Below, Christopher talks about his experience in Russia.


How big was the city or town?

Photo of St. Petersburg Russia圣彼得堡大约有500万人口,是俄罗斯第二大城市。俄罗斯最大的城市当然是首都莫斯科。莫斯科也许是俄罗斯的首都,但圣彼得堡一直被认为是俄罗斯的文化之都。这两个不朽的城市共同定义了这片广阔的土地,但圣彼得堡可能是世界上最美丽的城市之一。

Were there different things to do?

There is always something to do in St. Petersburg especially during the summer months. There are so many historical sights in St Petersburg that anyone can enjoy. It is incredible to witness fascinating and varying types of architecture that decorate this city. One can always tour the many museums, cathedrals, historic landmarks, and palaces that border the city. Being a cultural capital St. Petersburg always has fine ballets, musical performances, and art to offer. Summer nightlife can be very active as the sun on cloudless nights sets way past midnight. St. Petersburg is quite far north and so during the summer months the people can enjoy much longer periods of sunlight, a stark contrast to the long winter months. These sunlit nights, known as white nights, seem to energize the people and so one can enjoy strolling about the city even late at night. There are also many restaurants, cafes, and stores.

Was it easy to get around?

St. Petersburg has an amazing subway system. The trains may shut down at midnight but they run incredibly fast and are always on time. They connect you to all parts of the city and the metro fares are quite inexpensive. There are also tramway cars, and several buses that can take you outside the city. The people in St. Petersburg can be very friendly and helpful and generally appreciate anyone learning and participating in their language.


How often were the classes?

Every student in my program had two periods of the same language class everyday except Fridays. Students could also take elective classes such as Russian history, art, and literature. Elective classes met three times a week.

Were the classes with American, International, or Native students?

My particular program offered only classes with other program participants. The participants of this program are generally only American, but students from other countries may also apply to this program. At the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University however, there were other programs and students that were mixed with native students and international students.

What kinds of projects or exams did you have in your class?


Did you have any field trips?

I had nearly two field trips and or excursions every week. We toured many museums, and cathedrals and took bus rides to palaces outside the city limit. We also were able to see a ballet at the Marinsky Theatre, and see a traditional Russian orchestra performance. Students in the elective classes also went on different smaller field trips relevant to their classes. The many excursions and day trips were all fascinating and wonderful experiences.

Were the classes taught in English or Native Language?

Upon arrival a placement test is given. The language classes are primarily taught in Russian, but the lower the language level the more English is used.


I had a little more than 5 weeks in Russia. The greatest portion of my time was spent in St. Petersburg. Our program also allowed us to stay in Moscow for 3 days and we also had a whole day trip to Novgorod (Russia’s most ancient city). We traveled to Moscow on a fast train, and to Novgorod by private bus. In addition to these excursions we had 3 days in London before arriving in Russia, and one more day in London when returning back home.


The food was one my favorite things about Russia. The food was entirely unique to American food. Russian is a vast land that combines many traditions. Russian identity is the consolidation of many unlike things. Russian food is vast, extensive, and delicious. A traditional meal would have to involve borsch a dark colored soup usually served cold. Borsch is a beet stew that is served with dollops of sour cream. There are many variations to this hearty stew that are delicious. Another traditional soup is shchi, a cabbage soup. There is also blini, which are Russian style crepes that can be filled with practically anything, but are generally stuffed with caviar or sour cream. There is also Kvas, a fermented bread cider drink that is strong but very sweet. St Petersburg is where the rich and filling beef stroganoff was first created, and is also a great place to sample other traditional dishes like chicken-Kiev. There is also Kefir, a type of yogurt drink that can be flavored or plain. The list of great Russian foods goes on but interestingly enough I perhaps miss most a particular type of shawarma, which is a pita bread stuffed with lamb meat inside. Shawarma is available in New York, but the shawarma I tasted in Russia was entirely unique perhaps following a caucus recipe. Russian sweets such as chocolate are abundant and delicious as well.




If you have the opportunity to study abroad you most certainly should. It is a great opportunity that you will remember for the rest of your life. It is amazing to experience another culture and be able to become absorbed in its language, art, history, food, and very way of life.

Back to top

Giovanni Ortiz

Photo of Giovanni Ortiz in CreteGiovanni participated in the Summer in Crete program sponsored by Lehman College. Below, he shares his experience and notes some tips and recommendations for students interested in studying abroad through our program.


According to history, Crete it is the second largest island in all of Greece. It is located on the Southern part of the Aegean Sea. The upper part of Crete is Europe; the bottom part is Africa; and to the right side is Asia. But as a student studying on this island it seems much smaller. Smaller because of the warmth you experience from its inhabitants, the location, and the scenic surroundings that seem to kiss you the moment you step out of your hotel room.



Everyday we went to a site like Almyros. Kato Syme, Kato Zackros, Knossos, Malatos Cave, Malia, Myrtro Pyrogos, Palaikastros, and Phaestos, The cave of Zeus and the birthplace of Aphrodietes were other places that we were able to travel to. Because classes were held on the sites we were able to take in not only the knowledge we got from the text (required for the course). But as students, we were able to comprehend the lesson visually and orally. But the most important part of the lessons was not given during school hours. They were given at night as we gathered together and got treated to Greek Mythology by Prof. Marianetti. Since we all received Greek God names, we would start with the story of the Greek God, (for example my Greek God name was Dionysius God of wine and love), and go from there. As a group, we were also able to explore the towns and sites on our spare time.


Classes were held on site as students were selected to do presentations about the locations before and after the exploration of the place. Lectures were held mid afternoon after we returned from the site and some classes were held in the early evening. Other classes and presentations were also held in the hotels or villas that we stayed at.

There were two classes held on our study abroad trip but I took the Archaeology class along with another ten students. Every class included two presentations that were given by students on the site, or a book reading that was due on a particular assigned day. What made the lessons so easy to follow and absorb was the fact that whatever the students were going to present on their given day, was covered that same day or on the following day. Any unanswered questions could be resolved easily enough the following day on the site. Professors Marie Marianetti and Yuri Gorokhovich, both experts in their respective fields, led the program. Marie is a native of Greece and is very knowledgeable about not only Cretan but also Greek society and culture.

While we didn’t take any excursions or trips on our own, we had the opportunity to experience many beaches and sites as we traveled to and from sites.


The quality of the food was like no other. The fish, the feta cheese, cultural dishes, and the wine were exceptional. The people were so humble, the skeptical New Yorker in me, always felt that they were giving me something to receive something in return, but that was never the case. The people extended their hearts, culture, homes, and food so openly even after all this time still feel home sick for the island that I fell in love with.



I wish I had known we were not going to have free time or have a weekend to do some independent excursion. While it was amazing spending all my time with the other students and professors it would have been great to see the professors have alone time for themselves, allowing students to maybe go away for a day alone or with a fellow student without feeling as if I were in class. It would have been great to have the freedom to travel on our own for a day trip.

When it comes to packing, pack very light. Take every tip that the professors give you. A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rock climbing sneakers or sandals with proper grips are recommended. Always carry a bathing suit because you will go to the beach every day while you are there. Be prepared to let your mouth drop at every turn. Remain open to new experiences. Be open to laugh openly, cry openly, and form a family without even trying. Buy yourself a camera and never stop taking pictures they will remind you of this unforgettable experience.

Plus, there is no way you would not want to share this experience with your home school, fellow students when you get back, family, and friends.

If you never traveled before ask questions at the orientation meetings. No question is too small to have answered. Remain open to possibilities. Remain open to new adventures. Remain open to be guided by those more experienced than you. And never be to shy to ask for help or assistance from your fellow students or professors—after all you will become a family FOREVER1.

Back to top