Spotlight on Natural Sciences Alumni: Sabrina Gmuca

gmucaName: Sabrina Gmuca

Occupation: Pediatrics Resident

Education (UR and additional): University of Rochester, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

Current city/state/country of residence: New York, NY

Location of your study abroad experience: Berlin

Duration of your study abroad experience: 1 month summer immersion program

Community activities: Circle K, UofR Sailing Team


When and why did you choose to study abroad? What factors (your major, other commitments, Take Five) did you weigh as you were making the decision to study abroad?

I knew I wanted to study abroad while in college but I also wanted to make sure I fulfilled all of my pre-med requirements. When I found out I could spend a month over summer vacation studying in Berlin towards my German minor, I knew that was the perfect option for me. The summer study abroad programs really allow you to maximize your college education.

Who at UR encouraged you to pursue this option?

My German teacher freshman year promoted and recommended the summer program in Berlin. Everything was very well organized and went flawlessly.

Beyond the academic work, how did you engage with your new “community” and culture while you were away from Rochester?

All the students had a host family which really allowed us to experience the German culture and language through the eyes of German people rather than spending all of our time with other UofR students.

What skills, tools, or knowledge gained from studying abroad do you draw on since graduation?

The skills I draw on the most is my adaptability to new living environments and work situations. If you are able to connect with people who speak a different language and live on a different continent, you have a good knowledge base when it comes to interpersonal skills.

What advice do you have for current students contemplating studying abroad?

I think if you are even thinking about it, go for it and study abroad! Challenging yourself and going outside your comfort zone is a great personal experience that you will cherish years later.