Alumni Spotlight: Kimberly Anastasi


Kimberly is 29 years old and was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland. She attended the University of Hartford from 2004 - 2008. She is currently an Administrative Secretary for Montgomery County Public Schools and is planning her next trip abroad!

Why did you decide to go abroad with your provider?

Kimberly: I knew when I was applying for colleges that I had every intention of studying abroad. The second I saw any information about traveling, I was at that meeting, even if it was my freshman year and way too early to go. I had previously been to the United Kingdom when I was younger and knew it was a place I was comfortable with, so when I found Academics Program International, I knew it was going to be a great fit.

I decided to go with that program because there was a Resident Director that would be in the area and accessible via phone if we ever had any trouble. There were also scheduled excursions which I was very excited to be given the opportunity to go on. Lastly, the arts program that I would be attending, while new, fit with what I was studying at my home university.

Where was your best photo taken and what was it of?

Kimberly: When I first arrived at Camberwell College of the Arts, I was overwhelmed with our first project. Not because it was a hard project, but because we were given so much freedom with what to do with it. American schools are a little more specific on what you do, but for this project we were just told "Time."

Each person had their own idea of what time meant. Some appropriated images that were found, while I took it literally and tried to freeze time. I took this picture of a double-decker bus traveling through Leicester Square and was very pleased with the results. I have it printed poster-sized and hanging on my wall at home!

What is one piece of advice you'd give future students traveling with your program?

Kimberly: Take advantage of every opportunity that you have while you are abroad. Any events that your school is putting on, excursions with the resident director and other members of your group, and make friends outside of your group. If you make friends with local students, you will get to see London from a their perspective and not just from the program. Lastly, if you are brave enough, travel by yourself! I traveled to Paris for the day and I was able to see the city at my own pace.

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc)

Kimberly: First and foremost, it gave me the travel bug! I decided after my program finished, that I want to see as much of the world as possible. For my senior year of college we were given the chance to take a course where were would go to Sicily for 10 days during spring break to take pictures, paint and draw. I gladly applied for that class.

Later, I ended up heading back to London for my masters. I was able to spend a year living in the heart of London. From there, I was able to travel to Belgium, Croatia, Ireland and visited family friends who live in Newquay, England.

I feel like studying abroad has given me a respect for different cultures and cities that I might not have had before I went. I am very appreciative of every opportunity that I have had to travel and I feel that this has made me a braver and stronger person as a whole.