Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Smart

Kelly is a Spanish education major from Temple University in Philadelphia. She loves taking naps and laying in the sun. She dreams of someday living in Central or South America.

little cutie little monkey

Why did you pick this program?

I picked IFSA Butler because of the academic aspect of the program. I was able to freely enroll in the courses I needed, no matter under what major they happened to fall.

Also, this program was one of few that offered me the opportunity to be in classes full of native speakers. Being the only international student in a class gave me the chance to make local friends, enriching the immersion into the language and culture.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

To my friends thinking about going abroad, I encourage that you do thorough research and follow through. I often hear about people being scared to miss certain experiences from their home college, but honestly nothing changes. I can home and everything was the same. The experiences made abroad completely make being away from home worth it.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My biggest piece of advice would be to establish communication with your professor at the beginning of the semester. They are usually proactive in reaching out to you, but voicing your questions and concerns will make the course go more smoothly.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

One time I was at the beach eating a sandwich, being watched by at least 5 hungry monkeys. If I turned to keep watch on one monkey, another would creep up from behind. I've never eaten faster in my life. As soon as I took the last bite, I showed my empty hands to all of the monkeys and they disappointedly walked away.I watched a ton of people fall victim to food theft that day.

What was it like living in a host home?

The program did a great job of matching up our preferences with host families. My host mom was a great help and made everything so much easier for me. Although it was weird not having an apartment like I have at my US university, I really appreciated the laundry and meals. She really was like a second mom for me.