Alumni Spotlight: Meredith Deacon

Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at Richmond in Rome?

Meredith: I had already been to Italy but wanted something different, so instead of going to where I have already been, I decided to go to Rome, where I had not been before. I decided on AIFS because it was affordable and provided the most support for its students. They had trips and different cultural activities planned and the classes were interesting which made it a very appealing program. I loved my experience with them since they definitely fufilled all my expectations and more.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Meredith: What made my experience so unique and special was all of the opportunities I had to really immerse myself in the Italian culture. I volunteered twice a week at a local bird shelter and I participated in a number of different activities such as plays, concerts, and cooking classes. I would have to say the program made it so special by doing everything they could so I would feel like Rome was my home by the end of my time there.

Meredith enjoying her time in Rome, Italy with AIFS

How has this experience impacted your future?

Meredith: This experience has greatly impacted my future by allowing me to consider a future of a year of service, and having the experience of already living on my own in a culture not my own is keeping me more open minded to relocating to Atlanta for that position. It has also immensely improved my self-confidence and my flexibility as a whole, which has helped my personal relationships grow into lasting ones based more on my true self. Overall, my future would not be as bright without this experience.