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Studying Abroad Helped Me Get Into Graduate School

Written by: Abby Coomes

I originally heard about the KIIS Slavic Europe program from my professor, Dr. Mandzy, during one of his History classes. Then I went to Morehead State’s Study Abroad fair, and I found out about the KIIS Berlin program. I learned that if I participated on two KIIS programs back to back, I would receive a small discount. Both programs offered history classes, and I needed two more history classes to graduate so both programs were a perfect fit for me. I wanted to go on the KIIS Slavic Europe program because not many people can say they’ve been to Ukraine and presented at an international conference. I chose the KIIS Berlin program because I have always wanted to visit Germany, and this was a great opportunity to explore more countries in Europe. Since I studied on two KIIS programs I stayed in Poland between the programs which put me in a position to learn how to confidently navigate another country by myself. Several KIIS Berlin students and I also visited Prague during an independent travel weekend.

One way studying abroad has impacted my career is that the paper I presented on the KIIS Slavic Europe program got published. It felt amazing to have one of my papers published. The paper and conference along with having two study abroad programs on my CV were talking points when I applied for graduate school at MTSU for a master’s degree in Historic Preservation. MTSU was impressed with my experiences studying abroad and offered me a graduate assistantship within my department.

I think study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn and explore not just about another country or subject, but also about yourself. I never thought that I would be doing the things I did during my study abroad programs. I had a paper published as an undergrad. I also traveled to places many people never visit. Learning about historical events while being in the country where it happened brought history to life. I also met new people. I’m still in touch with several KIIS Berlin and KIIS Slavic Europe students, but on the Berlin program, we also got to know the staff at a little Italian restaurant. They were amazing people and made my experience abroad even better. I would highly recommend studying abroad to any college student. Not only do you get to travel to another country (four countries for me), you also earn course credits while doing it.

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Abby Coomes

KIIS Berlin & Slavic Europe
Morehead State University

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