When did you attend Harlaxton?
Did you have any unique experiences during your time at Harlaxton?
The whole experience was unique. I enjoyed traveling with close friends from UE, but also making new friends from other locations that I still keep in contact with on Facebook.
Does Harlaxton still feel like a second home? Have you returned since studying abroad?
The UK feels like a second home. I have been back to Harlaxton once. After I was married I visited with my husband, mom and sister for a couple of days.
Do you have a favorite trip from your time at Harlaxton?
I was so lucky to get to do a lot of traveling while at Harlaxton. I really enjoyed the school trip to Ireland. After the semester, several of us traveled by train on the continent for a month. That was certainly a highlight also!
Did your time at Harlaxton have any influence on your future? Was it a life-changing experience?
Harlaxton changed the trajectory of my life in every way! I had studied abroad in Glasgow, Scotland while in high school. I had such a wonderful experience, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the UK while at UE. I had always maintained contact with my high school host family. My first weekend at Harlaxton I took the train up to Scotland to see my host sister who I hadn’t seen in four years. That weekend, I met some of her friends, including Dave, who is now my husband! We began dating during my semester at Harlaxton. I made several trips to Edinburgh during those five months.
After Harlaxton I returned to UE for the fall semester and began working with Susie Lantz and Heidi Gregori Gahan in the international office on campus as a student worker. I also was saving money for another semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh the following spring semester (1997). During that semester in Edinburgh, Dave and I were engaged, much to my parents’ horror at the time! We began the immigration process for him to move to the US after I graduated.
I returned to campus and continued to work in the international office until graduation. During that time I began to realize that I could have a career working in the field of international education. I was an international studies/global business major and was trying to decide what direction I was going after graduation.
After graduation Dave received his visa to come to the US, and we got married in 1998, the summer after graduation. I started working in the Office of Admission for Butler University before moving to their study abroad organization, IFSA-Butler, the following year. I worked at Butler for seven years as a coordinator of study abroad programs in Scotland and England. I loved working with students who were excited to travel abroad and change their view on the world.
My next position in international education came with my current position as senior international scholar advisor at IUPUI. I work with our international employee population that currently exceeds 600 employees from all over the world. I prepare their visa petitions, assist with relocation services, and provide support for the university employee and their family while living in Indianapolis. Despite the current difficulties in working with US immigration, I love my job and the opportunities it has given me to meet so many amazing people from around the world.
Study abroad was the trigger for my world perspective and my family. We have made it a priority to expose our children to the world and have been fortunate enough to take them to the UK each year to visit our family, as well as to Costa Rica, South Korea, Iceland, and over half the US. We adopted our daughter from Korea, and both our children are dual US/UK citizens. We have also decided to enroll our kids in a full Spanish immersion school as we believe that learning a second language fluently is critical for the world we live in!
Without my study abroad experiences I am not sure what my life would look like today! I will forever be grateful for my time at Harlaxton!