Europe Study Abroad Program Spotlight: Colleen Highland
April 27, 2020
Colleen wanted to see more of the world while developing a global context for the education she is receiving through Pamplin. Since she plans to travel for her career in the future, she was excited and grateful for the opportunity to experience international travel as part of her undergraduate studies.
“Professionally, I feel more comfortable operating in unfamiliar environments and personally, a sense of confidence came from studying abroad. These are all skills that I’ll be able to use in the workforce, especially in hospitality.”
Over the course of five weeks during the summer, Colleen travelled to Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria as part of the Business and Culture in Europe program. Her favorite memory was an evening spent in Bolzano, Italy.
“There was a night where our whole program (about 30 of us, plus professors) took over a local pub’s outside patio and spent the whole night laughing. Talking to locals, reminiscing about our trip, and listening to music in the most gorgeous town I’ve ever been in is an experience I will cherish forever.”
Colleen is also thankful for the faculty that went on the trip, as well as the other students who became some of her closest friends.
“My professors and advisors on our trip created an environment of community while both pushing us out of our comfort zones and making sure we felt safe. The people on my trip are now some of my best friends, and I am so glad we got to explore the world together. While the places I went were amazing, I am so happy I met this wonderful group.”
Key Advice From Colleen on Studying Abroad
“Soak it all in! You can rest when you’re back in the states. You will never be as young and fortunate as you are when you are studying abroad, make sure you’re doing all you can to make the most of your time there.”
Colleen is expected to graduate in the spring of 2021 and hopes to work in travel and tourism.
- Major: Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM), Event and Experience Management Minor
- Year: Junior
- Hometown: Clarksboro, New Jersey
- Study Abroad: Business and Culture in Europe
- Involvement on campus: Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, Hokie Ambassador, Student Alumni Associates