Olivia Reed

Alumni Spotlight

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Klein Global Opportunities (GO), formerly known as Study Away, provides opportunities in the U.S. and internationally for all students through academic and practical experience. We aim to assist students in becoming influential leaders and empowered global citizens. Programs range from ten days to semester long. Klein GO programs are designed to not only enhance a student’s marketability in the workplace, but to also cultivate their global perspective in a growing multicultural environment. Through guidance and expertise, we encourage our community to propose and participate in international and domestic experiential learning.
**Some responses have been edited for clarity and consolidation purposes.**

When and where did you study away?
I participated in two Klein GO programs during my time at Temple University. I did the London semester program in Spring 2018 and the Arcosanti spring break program in 2019.

How has studying abroad helped you in your professional life? Your personal life?
Studying abroad in London gave me the confidence to work in an international setting. I had an internship with the startup Word on the Curb while I was there; it gave me exposure to the work/life balance the English have and I realized it was a way of living I agreed with. Personally, I had experiences in London and Arcosanti that shaped who I believe to be my most authentic self. The lessons and values we learned at Arcosanti reaffirmed my desire to fight for environmental justice through the practice of environmental law. Because of the experiences I had in London, I’ve decided it’s a place I want to go back to, to continue my education and hopefully live and work.

What are lessons you’d consider invaluable from your experience?
One of the most important lessons I learned studying away was to go with the flow. I’ve found that some of the best times I’ve had studying away were when I didn’t make plans. Becoming adaptable to the moment is something I’ve had to embrace as I get older and I’m happy I do. Living to fixed plans doesn’t always allow you to seize your freedom and creativity. I would argue that being open to whatever happens is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned, and I don’t think it would’ve been so strongly reaffirmed if I hadn’t have studied abroad.

How has your experience guided your career path?
My study abroad experience has completely changed my career path. I really believe studying abroad in London was the best decision I’ve ever made. The friends and experiences I came away with will forever have an impact on me. So much so, that I know going back to London for graduate school is the best choice for me. After getting a taste of what working is like through my internship, it’s changed the way I interact in other professional settings and has changed my outlook on how we conduct ourselves in US society. After London, I decided pursuing environmental law was something important in my life. Going to Arcosanti helped me come to an understanding of how my
choices in the future can be implemented in future urban planning.

Where are you now? What are your plans for the future? How do you feel studying away help you get there (if at all)?
I am a few weeks away from graduating and am currently deciding to pursue degrees in environmental law and policy at either SOAS University or UCL (University College London). Studying away has 100% influenced my decision. I fell in love with London and realized I’ve never felt so at home in a city or with its people. Studying away helped me gain confidence in working and living in an international setting. My current future plans will be to attend grad school in London in the Fall.

Advice to current students studying away and/or prospective students
considering doing so?
My biggest advice to students considering studying abroad is to just do it. It is a daunting task to get everything ready, and it may be a little more expensive than staying at Temple. However, if your schedule permits, I would say go for it. You never know how your experience could change your life. I didn’t. You may find that working and living internationally isn’t for you, which is perfectly acceptable. You could also find that it’s the best thing for your personality. Studying abroad in college gives you a taste of going abroad during a time period where you have no restrictions or other commitments you might have in the future that hinder your ability to travel. I’ve spoken to numerous people who are well past their college years who all agree studying abroad would’ve been a great experience if they had taken the opportunity when it was presented to them.