The University of Iowa

Meet our Spring 2020 study abroad correspondents

February 5th, 2020
 

We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Correspondents for the Spring 2020 semester! These unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad. Throughout the semester, these students will share their experiences through writing and photography to be published weekly here on International Accents. 

Meet the correspondents:

Emma Hartwig


Emma Hartwig, a second-year nursing major and French minor from Iowa City, Iowa, will be studying this spring in France on the USAC Lyon program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I've known that I have wanted to study abroad in France since the beginning of high school.

How did you pick your program?

When picking my program I focused the most on the courses offered and the living arrangements. My program, USAC Lyon, France, is perfect for me because it offers immersive language courses and I get to live like a local with my host family.

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about practicing and expanding my French skills. I have studied French for six years and it is super neat to finally get to speak French in my everyday life!
 

Derick Towar

 

Derick Towar


Derick Towar, a fourth-year human physiology and Spanish major from Granada Hills, California, will be studying this spring in Spain on the CIEE Liberal Arts Seville program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I knew I wanted to go abroad as soon as I started studying Spanish. I noticed that as long as I was immersed in an English-speaking community, I could use it as a crutch, and I would never truly reach my Spanish speaking potential.

I picked my program with help from my friends and my study abroad advisor. They helped me find exactly what I was looking for in an experience abroad and we found a program that suited those criteria.

What are you most excited about?

I'm most excited about the kind of person I'll be when I leave Spain. I think I'll have skills in communication that transcend what I would have if I stayed back home. This means a lot to me as I grew up struggling to express myself.
 

Gabrielle Coleman


Gabrielle Coleman, a third-year marketing analytics major from Saint Louis, Missouri, will be studying this spring in Australia's Gold Coast on the TEAN Australia: Bond University program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

Since my later high school years, I remember my family and hometown friends enjoying their academics throughout water cities in Italy, along the coasts of Spain, and in all sorts of stunning locations around the world. It wasn't until one of my closest friends came back with endless stories of her six months spent in Greece that I became incredibly interested in a future studying abroad. After reflecting on how positively this international experience affected her life in nearly every aspect, I knew I was sold.

How did you pick your program?

Choosing a program was relatively simple for me personally: I needed a beach. I have always loved the ocean and choosing a program was easy knowing this! What other destination is better for tropical life than Australia?

What are you most excited about?

While aboard, I am most excited about my nearby travels. Bucket list go-tos, such as New Zealand, Bali, Tasmania, and rich Australian cities are no more than a quick flight away. I am also excited to learn the local way of life through surfing, hiking, and new culinary tastes. I have already arrived and settled in Gold Coast, Queensland, and I wake up looking forward to each day's adventure.
 

Alexis Winecke


Alexis Winecke, a third-year international studies and Spanish major from Des Moines, Iowa, will be studying this spring in Argentina on the CIEE Buenos Aires Open Campus program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad. Being an international studies and Spanish major, it was obvious to me that a semester abroad would be the best way to supplement my academics.  I see myself working abroad after graduation and studying abroad is a good way for me to gauge what life is like outside the United States. 

How did you pick your program?

The choice of my study abroad destination is unlike any other. Originally, I planned on going to Valparaiso, Chile. but with all the political issues going on in Santiago (the capital), CIEE decided to cancel the program for the safety of its students. Then, my only viable option was to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I could not be more excited. Although I really wanted to go to Chile, I am looking forward to a semester in Argentina because of all the opportunities there!

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited to improve my Spanish skills. It's a goal of mine to become fluent in Spanish someday and spending a semester where I am forced to use Spanish will help me toward this goal. I am also thrilled to meet new people, experience the culture and take in all the beauty Buenos Aires has to offer. This is a once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful for!
 

Ashley Vannoy


Ashley Vannoy, a second-year international studies and French major from Des Moines, Iowa, will be studying this spring in France on the USAC Lyon program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I have always known I wanted to study abroad. I love to travel and try new things, so I think the desire to see the world has always been in my heart. The idea of living abroad has always been appealing to me and studying abroad a semester through my home university seemed like the best way to accomplish that goal.

How did you pick your program?

I took four years of French in high school and decided to go for a French minor in college, but even after taking years of French, I couldn’t speak it. I think learning another language is extremely important as a citizen of our increasingly connected world. Last year I changed my major from English to International Studies and changed my French minor to a French major. After I did this, I knew learning French was my goal while studying abroad. From there, it was easy. I found the USAC Lyon program to be the best program for me to learn French and get resident credit at the University of Iowa.

What are you most excited about?

I am excited about a lot of things, but especially to meet and make friends with all different types of people. I am also excited to see how my French improves after 4+ months of living in France. Finally, I am excited to explore France and the rest of Europe since it is very cheap and easy to get around! 
 

Kelsey Baller


Kelsey Baller, a fourth-year psychology major and Spanish minor from Iowa City, Iowa, will be studying this spring in Spain on the USAC San Sebastian program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I knew I wanted to go abroad midway through my freshman year of college.  I had been pursuing a minor in Spanish and was so inspired to REALLY learn the language.  I knew that studying abroad would help me become fluent.

How did you pick your program?

I had no clue where to start.  I went and saw my study abroad advisor and she told me about some of the more popular ones that might fit me best.  Ultimately, I ended up choosing a location that offers psychology classes as that is my major and I wanted to be enrolled in psychology class while abroad.

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited to continue learning about the language, fashion, music, activities, etc. of the people who live in San Sebastián.  I am excited to get to know a new way of life while continuing to learn a new language.

 

Interested in going abroad? Learn more about the first steps!

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