Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Grabowski

Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at the University of Granada?

Lauren: I had a stack a foot high of study abroad brochures and packets on my desk for a number of different places around the world with countless different programs. It was after reading reviews and speaking to people who had been through the program themselves that I was sold on AIFS in Granada. I spoke to a friend of a friend who had gone through the same program I was planning to go on and she answered all my questions and reassured me of all the concerns I had and even those I didn't know I would have. I was beyond grateful to have first hand insight into the program and the experience.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Lauren: I initially thought that this program would be unique and special because it would be my first time leaving the United States. I had no idea just how unique and special it would really be and that it wasn't just leaving the U.S. that made it so amazing. Spending time in another country was eye-opening because it gave me insight into the lives, people, traditions, and views of a culture so different from my own.

Lauren with other AIFS students in Granada, Spain

I also didn't realize the possibilities once overseas. I had the chance to visit London, Italy, and Morocco in addition to my summer stay in Granada. Not only did i spend most of my days speaking Spanish but also eating Spanish foods, trying Spanish wines, learning Spanish traditions, wearing Spanish clothes and the list goes on. I loved every part of the experience. When made the trip unique and special was being able to be myself in a place I'd never been and being able to bring a large part of that experience home with me.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Lauren: Aside from gaining life long knowledge and perspective and opening my mind to new ideas and possibilities, this experience has been beneficial to me in a number of ways. Study abroad experience has shown well on my resume for programs in college as well as my work experience. My current employer noted that having studied abroad I was ranked higher than other candidates because it proves experience, responsibility and worldly knowledge. I am lucky to have found a job where I can use the Spanish I learned in Granada as well as through my studies as a Spanish and Anthropology major.