Three years ago, I had never lived anywhere other than my home state of Tennessee. Though my state has given me many things I cherish, I knew I lacked exposure to other aspects of the world. AIFS swept me off my feet, allowing me to explore my curiosity for different cultures. I got my courses approved through my university, then prepared to embark on a journey of a lifetime. At this point, I was oblivious to how this particular summer would forever alter the direction of my life.
Through AIFS, I had the opportunity to spend nine weeks at Richmond University’s Kensington campus, and I had two of the best months of my life. I saw and experienced things which shaped who I have become as a young adult. I made friends I hope to keep for a lifetime, and I furthered my development of understanding different regions of the world other than my own. Richmond has professors that taught subjects I was interested in and turned them into topics in which I now feel educated. We traveled to museums, shows, and iconic streets. The opportunities in London are endless, and my experience was both challenging and awakening.
My short two months in this city enriched my global awareness by giving me new perspectives. I developed a sense of empathy while improving my cultural discernment when encountering new people, and I left at the end of the summer desiring more – longing for more time at Richmond. I found myself wishing to benefit further by what the university offers that no other place I have ever studied was able to provide.
As I began to form my plans in advancing my education at the graduate level, Richmond was the place I felt I needed to be. I looked into programs and found an M.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, which I am now concluding. This Master’s program was able to provide both practical and professional skills in advertising and public relations, a unique duo of disciplines other programs do not offer. Additionally, Richmond is the only accredited university in the United Kingdom to provide graduates with both United Kingdom and United States degrees. I now feel qualified for countless work opportunities around the world, making this graduate degree versatile. Richmond’s optional internship program was a significant asset to my experience and resume. Through the internship module of my Master’s program abroad, I secured a full-time position as an International Account Coordinator.
Even before I knew what the future held for me at Richmond, I was confident it was just the enrichment I needed for my personal growth. I believe credit is due to AIFS for initially introducing me to the university, which has changed me for the better.
I have never felt more authentically myself than I have while studying at the University of Richmond. Now, two degrees later and much more world experience, I am set to move to New York in September to begin my career in Public Relations.