Studying abroad is an experience that lasts a lifetime. Seriously, ask anyone who has done it — they’ll be happy to talk about how impactful their experience was and how it continues to influence the way they live their everyday life. Our alumni are the most loyal, dynamic group of people and we’re happy to have each and every one of them on our team. Some of them have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, others aspiring graduate students and one is even performing at Shakespeare’s Globe in London this summer! Keep reading to hear how some of our alumni are doing post-study abroad.
You may recognize award-winning actor André Holland from his roles as Kevin in Moonlight, Matt Miller in American Horror Story and many more, but did you know that he was once a theatre student at FSU? During his time here, André studied abroad with International Programs in London, England and later went on to work as a Program Assistant, prolonging his time as part of the International Programs crew. André is returning to London this summer, not as a student or PA, but as a headliner for a new production of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe! Congratulations to André!
Researcher, poet and proud dog momma Tabitha Cervantes spent the summer before her senior year studying abroad in Paris on our Intensive French program. Now, she’s finishing up her first semester of graduate school at FSU in Media Communication Studies and planning for another summer in Europe! Reflecting on her time in Paris, Tabitha says, “People always say that studying abroad is one of the best experiences you will ever have, but there is something magical about how that reason is different for everyone. I went to Paris to study French and it was extremely humbling to struggle to understand the locals. I tried my very best to melt into casual conversations and I found myself really making progress in my conversational skills by the end of the program. The thing about Paris is that it didn’t just help my French. It became a way to find myself and, really, it just made me a better person. When you study abroad you have the rare chance to live outside of yourself. My experience in France encouraged me to appreciate things more than I already did. It highlighted the need to understand cultural discrepancies and values. Truth be told, I learned there are so many insignificant things we worry about that take away joy from the bigger picture of our lives. All of the light bulb moments I had during my trip have stayed with me since then. I see the world in so many more beautiful colors — and my French is ten times better.”
Studying abroad is an experience with the potential to enhance your whole life, not just your college career. Take it from FSU alumna, Meghan Berger. Meghan studied abroad in London and Prague as an undergrad, and loved it so much she moved to Prague a few years after graduation. While living abroad, Meghan started her own travel agency, UnearthAway. Meghan and her team specialize in consulting and create personalized itineraries for travelers looking to get authentic experiences abroad on a tight budget. We’re so proud of Meghan and look forward to seeing her business grow! Visit her website for more information. PS: There may even be a special discount available for students!
Throwback to summer 2015 when FSU alumna Malory Hudson spent her summer studying abroad in Prague on our Social Work & International Affairs: Human Rights program. In regards to her time in Prague, Malory says, “The coursework was rigorous, the country was beautiful and affordable, and the people taught me so much about world history and humanity. We had the opportunity to spend some time with an incredibly strong woman who grew up in communist Prague and has lived there her whole life. Hearing her story and seeing the real effects of history on the city and its people, both before and after the revolution, reminded me why I want to do the work I’ve set out to do, and why it’s so important that we all strive to be and do better than generations before us. After that summer, I focused on seeking out opportunities back home in education, and actually ended up applying and getting accepted to Teach For America in Oklahoma City, where I live and teach now. My experience in Prague has made me a stronger teacher for many reasons, but mainly because I learned how crucial an education is to reaching personal freedom.”
FSU graduate Kaylyn Lambertt studied abroad on our Broad Curriculum in Valencia, Spain program during her sophomore year. Looking back on her experience, she says, “For me, studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life. It allowed me to fully immerse myself in a different culture and also allow me to step out of my comfort zone. When I went abroad, I didn’t know anyone but left with a family. Not only do you make friends within the program but you make friends with the locals as well who are so sweet. It’s truly magical to see students who came not knowing Spanish and seeing them evolve.” Consider studying abroad to meet new people, learn/practice a language or simply challenge yourself to try something different.
Candi Obrentz studied abroad in Florence, Italy during the summer of 1992! Candi’s study abroad experience and its lasting impact on her life was recently documented in a recent edition of FSU Valencia’s student run publication, Nomadic Noles. In this fantastic feature by Sam Gettis, Candi talks about how studying abroad with FSU helped her develop her character, “including her motivation and drive for new opportunities.” Today, Candi uses this motivation and drive to run her very own business in NYC!
Before graduating from FSU in 2017, Alyssa Velasquez studied abroad with us on our Dance in Paris program, where she spent a summer learning the history and technique of dance. Alyssa says, “‘Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.’ -Anita Desai. Even two years after attending the Dance in Paris Summer Program, this statement remains true. Those four weeks studying and learning in one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe, have and will always continue to impact the way I approach both art and my daily life. My experiences in Paris have given me a passion to continue traveling, continue learning about different people, languages, cultures and traditions that differ from my own. As a dancer, Paris opened my eyes to new dance companies, unique performance experiences, and teachers that challenged my own perception of what type of dancer I wanted to be.”