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Alumni Spotlights

Teagan - Scotland (2017)

Major: Fiber and Material Studies
Study abroad program & why you chose this specific one:  
KEI (Knowledge Exchange International) was the study abroad program I chose to use for my education experience overseas. I primarily chose KEI because of its availability, association with Harper College, and the locations that were offered through their program.

Favorite Experience(s):
The best experience I had in Scotland was the opportunity to explore my interest by immersing myself entirely in a textile environment. The space allowed me to expand my knowledge and skill set at an accelerated rate, and I was able to grow as a student, artist, and individual. I would also determine the friendships I pursued an additional highlight of my time abroad. I created incredible relationships with talented individuals with whom I am able to remain in contact since returning home.

What was your greatest challenge while being abroad? 
The greatest challenge I faced was adapting to a new environment and the obstacles of meeting new people. It wasn’t until the end of my experience that I began to feel fully comfortable with my surroundings and begin to form great friendships with the people there. I realized that it certainly takes time to adjust and that it is ok to feel apart from the norm for several months while abroad.

How has experience influenced your personal and professional growth?
My experience overseas has influenced my personal and professional life greatly. It has allowed me to become more independent in my behavior and the choices I make having returned to the United States. My professional life has certainly benefited from my semester abroad and has pushed me in seeking new challenges, experiences, adventures, and educational opportunities.
 
Advice to students:
Love what you do. Let passion guide you to opportunities. Find what ignites your heart and stretches your smile. Do whatever it takes to ensure you can live in your love for the rest of your life. This is your life. This is your decision. Change is a constant, but know that everyone and everything is changing. Ask questions when unsure. Be open to new experiences. Don’t conform, yet keep an open mind. Remind yourself why you do what you do, and live in those moments.

Hannah - Austria (2018)

"My time in Austria was a time i will never forget. I met a lot of amazing people not only from Austria but from places close to home. There are honestly no words good enough for the experience you get. I learned so much about culture not only by walking around but by going to things with my host family. I went to a ballet concert and to a fun church event with my host siblings. I learned so much about Austria and how kids interact there and just how easily they live life. After the stress of school it was amazing to see how the kids I was living with dealt with school. Even if they had a lot to do and we’re stressed they knew once they got done they could do what they enjoyed. They didn’t procrastinate as much. I also got to watch a pirates o the Caribbean movie with a host sibling. He loved pirates but didn’t know there was more than three movies! So we watched it in English with German subtitles so we could both practice our languages we were learning!
I was very nervous to travel, and I even got lost for a while right when I got there, but in all honesty it was a fun, educational, immersive experience that I can’t wait to do again. I could go on for days about it!
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