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Alumni Stories

Five Times Studying Abroad with KIIS

Article based on Telephone Interview with Luci Smith

I live for travel and nature which is part of why I love the KIIS programs so much. I saw so many beautiful waterfalls and lakes that just made me happy to be alive. There’s so much beauty in the world to experience.

My first KIIS program was the 2017 Italy Winter. The following Summer, I participated on the KIIS Austria program. I joined the KIIS Italy Winter program again in Winter 2018-2019, and then in Summer 2019, I participated on both the KIIS Austria and KIIS Munich programs. KIIS had all of the course credits (Art, Business, Chemistry, German, History and Leadership Studies) I needed for my degree programs and general education credits which enabled me to graduate in three years.

I found studying abroad to be the best way to engage in classes because I was able to understand what I was learning about firsthand. My Italian History course was awesome because we substituted the four walls of a classroom for museum visits and walks around the city to discuss and see the course content up close.

One of my favorite memories in Italy was the New Year’s Eve Fireworks at the Coliseum. I attended a concert in the square with 1000s of Italians. I couldn’t understand most of the songs. Then they sang one song in English, and I felt connected to everyone around me.

The city of Bregenz where the KIIS Austria program operates has incredible views in every direction. Switzerland and Germany, the mountains and the lake were part of my daily landscapes, but the best part of the program was my host mom. She cared for me like a mother and took me on day trips to experience more of the local cultures. I loved that I was able to return to the KIIS Austria program a second time and live with the same host mom.

Studying in multiple locations twice enabled me to learn more in-depth about each culture. I enjoyed vibrant, happy dancing in the streets in Italy and peaceful lakeside bonfires with friends in Austria. In Italy, art is in the public plazas and displayed all around you. In Austria, I focused on the architecture of the buildings and relaxing with my host mom. In Germany, I viewed science and artwork in museums. Living with host families and studying in both Austria and Germany enabled me to compare the German dialects and learn new slang terms.

All of my experiences abroad taught me how to interact with people more freely which has helped me in my travels and my professional career.


Luci Smith

KIIS Austria, Italy Winter, Munich
Business Administration & Marketing
Kentucky State University

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