Study abroad
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
By Allison Grier (BBA20)

Before my college career began, I knew I wanted to study abroad. No one in my family, not even extended relatives, had ventured outside North America. I wanted to be the first and I made sure my advisor knew this when we met at orientation.

I remember planning my first semester schedule, mentioning "I want to study abroad." My advisor encouraged me saying "Iowa has many programs to choose from, but let’s stay focused on getting through your freshman year." 

I met with my advisor numerous times during my first four semesters at Iowa ensuring my schedule would keep me on track towards a semester abroad as well as graduate in four years. Some students would ask why I didn’t want to consider a two-week winter or four-week summer session abroad. I told them I don’t want to return from the experience with any regrets. Also, this may be my only opportunity to travel for this length of time. The business world doesn’t necessarily allow you to travel for three-month periods unless it involves a rare project opportunity.

When choosing the program, I knew CIMBA was my best option. This is because CIMBA is a University of Iowa program in which classes offered by the program transfer directly. Also, the program is set in Italy, a country centrally located within Europe that offers lots of history and diverse culture. The CIMBA office is located within the Tippie College of Business with open office hours every day, which made it extremely convenient if I had any questions regarding the application process or the program. (And I had many questions!)

It was important to me that I had the funds to be able to pay for my abroad experience. That spring, I prioritized getting a paid internship, not only for the hands on business experience but also to be able to save money if it turned out I was accepted for the CIMBA program. I applied to over thirty companies, reached out to alumni on LinkedIn and eventually landed my first internship. The experience was more than I could have asked for and I was able to save most of my earnings to prepare for my next journey.

I was determined to expand my horizons, to learn more about myself as an individual, and to become a better more decisive decision maker. I can’t wait to get started.

If you're interested in other first person perspectives on Tippie students studying abroad, check out our Instagram Story "Q&A" highlight.