Stories from Our Community

Global Exploration Creates Impactful Experiences for Maxwell Student

Jacob Grindstaff-Espinal ’24 grew up in Miami speaking English and Spanish. Despite his bilingual childhood, he never imagined he would one day take a French history class—or a class taught in the French language—while studying abroad in Strasbourg, France.

In fact, one of the reasons why Grindstaff-Espinal selected Syracuse University was because Syracuse has one of the top study abroad programs in the country—plus access to expansive educational offerings where students can explore their interests from all sides. Grindstaff-Espinal chose to triple major in international relations and policy studies at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences and public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

“I’ve always had an interest in ‘everything’ beyond what I knew. In middle school, I took a liking to the French language, so the opportunity to study abroad played a role in my decision to attend Syracuse,” Grindstaff-Espinal says.

Attending Syracuse Strasbourg provided Grindstaff-Espinal with the opportunity to see places he had only read about growing up, places which he says filled him with a daily sense of awe. “It’s a blessing to learn about the world one normally only sees on their phone or in a textbook,” he says.

Grindstaff-Espinal says this blessing wouldn’t have been possible without the three scholarships he received and the generosity of those who make scholarships possible. He is a Posse Scholar, an Our Time Has Come Scholar, and he also earned the Maria Melendez Hinkley Lift As You Rise Scholarship.

“I never would have been able to attend Syracuse or study abroad if not for the scholarships I received. They made a huge difference for me,” he says.