Why did you decide to study abroad with API in England?
Lianna: I chose to study with API because they offered the program at the University of Leeds, which my home campus did not. I wanted to go to Leeds for two reasons: it was not London, which I had already been to several times, and it had a very good theatre community. I looked at the courses for English majors and was pleasantly surprised to see that theatre was an option; also, the theatre course that I chose was of great interest to me. One of the theatre professors at CSU used to be the head of the theatre department at Leeds; this only convinced me that I should go to Leeds through API. Although I wanted to be in England, I didn’t want to be in London because I was very familiar with it and because in Leeds, people treat you like a student and not a tourist.
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Lianna: I liked being in a city that I had never been to before with people that I had never met. This experience is something that I would not trade, neither the good or bad parts, for anything. What I found most interesting were the friends that I made. My friends in Leeds were very similar to my friends in Fort Collins; they liked the same movies, had the same sense of humor, and liked the same activities. Without the friends I made in Leeds, I would have regretted my experience. They made all the difference, and all it took was to get involved in the theatre, something I never had the courage to do at home.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Lianna: By getting so involved in theatre at Leeds, my confidence grew immensely. I am now in my student teaching phase of my education degree. Before Leeds, I was reserved in front of my students. Now, I am able to show my enthusiasm for literature that is then able to encourage my students into having an appreciation and understanding of the text.
I have come back home able to adapt what I learned in my classes in Leeds to my classes at CSU. The classes were so focused that I am now able to see things in the texts that others don’t. This also helped with my job as a newspaper reporter; my improved skills of analysis and my even greater appreciation for theatre (if possible) helped ask the proper questions when interviewing a source.
Mostly, though, I have become more involved through API with international education. I am now interested in working in boarding schools both nationally and internationally. I became a campus advocate for API and encouraged other CSU students to study abroad with them because of how helpful they were to me. I enjoy continuing my work with API and study abroad companies/offices in general.