Alumni Spotlight: Katherine Fournier


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

Expect the unexpected and make the most of it! A lot of the time, trips don't go by the detailed itineraries you wrote up weeks in advance. Have fun with it and don't stress about it!

Also, try not to live through the lens of your iPhone camera during your time abroad. Live it in real life and actually experience it.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

When I first went abroad, I was very nervous about not knowing any of the people I was travelling with. I was anxious to meet them, but also nervous because I wanted to get along with everyone.

What I have started doing before my trips is email them all and say hello! Follow each other on social media like Instagram or Facebook. It really makes you feel like you're already friends even though you're meeting in the airport for the first time.

What do you wish you had known ahead of time/what would you tell your friends who are thinking about going overseas?

I wish I had known how to pack minimal and light! Nothing is worse than packing a giant suitcase for a one week trip and then having to pay baggage fees for it being overweight by the time you come home.

I have learned to only pack carry on, and keep everything to a minimum!

What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?

I have met life long travel partners through going overseas. My favorite memory is sailing the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia with my friend Harriet and laying on a dingy singing our favorite songs all day.

Another memory I have is playing cards and icebreaker games at the Newark airport when one of our flights to Germany got cancelled!

What would you tell others who are considering going abroad?

To my friends thinking about going abroad, I would tell them that it has completely transformed my young adult life and I am sure it will shape me into the adult I will be someday.

Going abroad is such a valuable experience and I think everyone should do it in their teen years.