Spreading their wings

Seniors make the daunting decision to study abroad leaving the familiar behind.


Sarah Ma

Irene Straniero announcing her commitment to the University of Amsterdam ready for her new journey abroad.

On decision day, May 1st, high school seniors across the country announce the furthering of their education as they embark on new journeys. Out of these millions of students, several choose to go out of the country. Seniors Talia Wansikehian and Irene Straniero have taken the leap to commit to study abroad.

Talia Wansikehian chose to partake in the Trojan Transfer program. Through this program, students spend their first year studying abroad gathering credits, before transferring to the University of Southern California.  Wansikehian will be attending John Cabot University for college in Italy.

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad, especially because I’ve lived in Orange County my whole life,” said Talia Wansikehian.

For many students, the thought of traveling to another country and being immersed in a different culture is exciting. For, Irene Straniero, moving abroad for college will be a familiar experience. Straniero moved from Italy to Orange County for her junior year. She has chosen to further her education at the University of Amsterdam, majoring in Political Sciences.

“Moving and adjusting to culture in California was a unique experience, that I feel has prepared me for the culture shock of moving. I’m scared but excited to be in a big European city,” said Irene Straniero

Straniero partook in the International Baccalaureate classes offered at SM. These classes offer credit that can transfer over to international schools. Although the college application process can be daunting, Straniero found that by taking these classes the process was less overwhelming.

“By taking full IB, I was able to transfer more credits over, while also feeling more prepared for college,” said Straniero.

Wansikehian and Straniero are looking forward to their future overseas and all the new experiences they will have.

“Traveling and studying at an international school can make a dream a reality,” said Wansikehian.