Sabika Mirza ’19 Studies Abroad in France & Indonesia

July 12, 2017

Sabika Mirza on the beach

We caught up with Sabika about studying abroad — including her internship during Paris Fashion Week!

What are you studying at Simmons?

I'm studying marketing and political science, with minors in public relations/marketing communications and retail management

What made you choose Simmons?

The first thing I always say is that matriculating at a women-centered institution is a tradition in my family; my older sister is a Mount Holyoke alumna, and I have family members from the other sister schools! 

My family decided to tour Simmons, and as soon as I stepped on the residential campus, something just felt right. I loved how I could get the women-centered education I wanted while attending school in the best college town in America! My identical twin was also deciding on Simmons for the stellar nursing program, so I’d be lying if I said that didn’t play a part in my decision! 

Tell us about the your ​study abroad​ experience in Indonesia.

The Center for Global Education has an option called Travel Courses for students who aren’t looking for a full semester commitment to being abroad. The courses usually last 2-4 weeks and focus on a certain area of study in a foreign country — and you get academic credit! 

My travel course was a 4 week, immersive experience in Bali, Indonesia. My Simmons peers and I worked with students from Ganesha University in Singaraja to come up with a social entrepreneurship idea in an effort to solve a local, societal problem. My group came up with the idea of starting an educational outreach program in local villages to spread awareness about the dangers of cervical cancer. Throughout the process of working hard in school, we were able to take a couple days here and there to explore the beautiful island and do things like snorkeling and dolphin watching.

Sabika Mirza 3

What was your favorite part?

Snorkeling at the Pemuteran Coral Reef Restoration project. They’re the only organization in the world creating artificial coral called biorock in an effort to save the dying coral off the Indonesian/Australian coast.

Where did you intern during Paris Fashion Week?

Paris Fashion Week was an absolute dream! I got the connection to a fashion studio that helps with breakout designers and their shows through an upperclassman at Simmons! With her reference, I was able to secure a spot on the team covering these breakout designers and helping backstage at the shows. 

I also applied as an external applicant with Teen Vogue to cover some of the bigger, more mainstream names of fashion week. Through this surreal opportunity, I was able to assist the Public Relations team for shows by Chanel, Vera Wang and Louis Vuitton.

What advice would you give to students looking to study abroad?

Stop by the Center for Global Education to see what options are available. It’s never a bad idea to use any and all resources available to make connections with upperclassmen and your professors. These are the people that will help you land those amazing internship and study abroad opportunities. 

This applies to everything at Simmons, not just studying abroad — help is always there.

What is your Simmons moment? 

My first time as an Orientation Leader last summer, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel that was about student involvement on campus. While answering a question about my Simmons experience, I had the chance to reflect on all the decisions I’ve made at Simmons — including participating in the Student Government Organization, Simmons Sirens, Hall Council and even Colleges of the Fenway theatre.

That’s why I love Simmons; even when you’re involved in everything possible, there’s always an opportunity to grow, learn and be educated by another experience. I owe all my growth these past 2 years, as a student, leader and general person to Simmons, and I cannot wait to see what's ahead!

Top photo: Sabika Mirza '19 on the beach in Bali, Indonesia. Bottom photo: at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.