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France study abroad alumni take further adventures

March 01, 2011, Whitney Schaefer

${image-alt} Kate Bruehler (left) is currently teaching English as a second language in South Korea. Alexis Allen (right) traveled to Antigua, Guatemala and Conception, Chile during her years at the College of Business.

After traveling to Grenoble, France on the annual College of Business study abroad experience, some students found that spending a month abroad just wasn’t enough. Alumni Kate Bruehler and Alexis Allen went on to travel to South Korea and Latin America, respectively.

After graduating from SIU in 2008 with a marketing minor, Kate Bruehler started working in Carbondale, but soon realized that it didn’t feel right. She decided to step out of her comfort zone and travel to South Korea in July 2010 to teach English as a second language. “I left a fantastic corporate marketing job to come here and although I’m sure many can’t fathom why, I knew that this is what I needed to do,” she said.

“When I was considering this move in my life, I definitely thought back fondly to my time in France. Of course, Europe and Asia are worlds apart, but it gave me the confidence to be able to pack up and spend a year in South Korea,” she said.

Bruehler has thoroughly enjoyed teaching. “These kids are tiny geniuses and I’m so envious of their opportunity to be immersed in a second language from so early in life. As a teacher, it is rewarding to see the littlest ones progress so quickly over a period of months, as well as to see the higher level kids develop,” she said.

Once she returns home, she has a job lined up at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a small self-sustained and eco-friendly community. Bruehler discovered this passion while in Korea. After that, she will travel through seven Southeast Asian countries, and then get a one-way ticket to Australia to travel and work with WWOOF, the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization. To read more about her journey, visit her blog, cultivate.kate.

Alexis Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in management and an MBA from the College of Business. She also travelled to Europe through the College, and then decided to pursue another study abroad experience after visiting France. In January 2008, she spent a few weeks in Antigua, Guatemala to work on her Spanish before ultimately studying at La Universidad del Bio Bio in Conception, Chile. There, her experience focused on assisting two professors with research about political and voter behavior from a consumer behavior perspective.

In addition to traveling to France and Latin America, Allen has been to Ghana with the Black American Studies program here at the university. “My wonderful study abroad experiences through SIU really encouraged me to continue traveling throughout college and afterwards.”

Allen’s favorite part about studying abroad is seeing the world from another perspective. “It’s easy to get caught up in the details of day-to-day life, but traveling really allows you take a step back and recognize how big and diverse the world really is.”

Allen is currently a doctoral student at Florida State University studying for her Ph.D. in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.

The SIU College of Business has continued its one-month study abroad trip to Grenoble, France for eight years. Drs. Dennis and Suzanne Nasco lead the group of students as they travel around Europe and study at the Grenoble Ecole de Management. Students have the opportunity to learn from international faculty, visit multinational companies and world trade organizations, and gain a global business perspective. If you are interested in taking part in this experience, contact Dr. Suzanne Nasco at snasco@business.siu.edu.