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An Open Thank You Letter to AIFS

by Kaitlyn Emerson
Thank you letter to AIFS Study Abroad from an Alumni Ambassador

Last Updated on July 3, 2019 by Kaitlyn Emerson

Dear AIFS,

Three years ago, I sat in the exact spot where I sit now, writing this letter, at the University of Wyoming’s Education Abroad Office asking about study abroad in Spain. I had no idea what I wanted to do – only that I wanted to visit the place of my childhood dreams to improve my Spanish literacy. Growing up in Wyoming, I didn’t have much opportunity for travel outside of my state, let alone the country. Three years ago, I felt anxious and excited when I chose to study in Salamanca, Spain with AIFS without knowing that the tremendous effect of studying abroad would echo through my past, present, and future.

I had a perfectly planned picture of study abroad before leaving the country: 1) leave Wyoming; 2) live in Spain; 3) learn Spanish; 4) return home to teach Spanish. However, that plan was severely altered when I came home and applied for the AIFS Alumni Ambassador program. I knew that I wanted to spread the word about study abroad on the University of Wyoming’s campus; so, when I learned that I could apply for this competitive program after returning home, I took the chance and sent my resume to AIFS in Connecticut.

Since then, I have completed the program twice, helped jumpstart an ambassador program at my home university, gained a student internship at my university’s Education Abroad Office, won a grant to attend a professional conference on Education Abroad, and applied for a full-time position as an Education Abroad advisor. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without AIFS. Through the AIFS Alumni Ambassador program, I have gained valuable skills to carry into my professional career and have learned how to dive into the field of Education Abroad. Further than that, though, I have made lifelong friends, connections, and experiences which I will always treasure.

As my second, and final, year in the Alumni Ambassador program comes to an end, I genuinely want to thank AIFS for lifting me up and helping me achieve my fullest potential. Without the fabulous support of your study abroad program and staff across the country, I would not be in the position that I am in today. You helped a nervous student break out of her shell and grow into a confident young professional through cross-cultural experiences, international exchanges, and professional development. Thank you for everything.


Kaitlyn Emerson, University of Wyoming

AIFS Alumni Ambassador, August 2017 – May 2019

Thank you letter to AIFS Study Abroad from an Alumni Ambassador
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