Irma Guzman

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Class: Junior
Timeframe: Fall 2021

Overall Experience

Far beyond my expectations. I gained knowledge and appreciation for the history of fashion and how we got to where we are. In my business luxury class, I can confidently say I learn how to start my own business and the tedious steps that come with that. I also met some of the most amazing people and got to make friends worldwide, who I now hold very dear to my heart. As a person, I got pushed to my limits and shaken out of my comfort zone, but I became more confident in my work and myself to take on projects and travel the world.

Learning experience

The experience that led me to the most growth and taught me the most was my styling class. We had to produce two photoshoots with eight looks, each editorial, and a lookbook. Both for which we had to scout our photographer, make-up artist, hairstylist, and buy clothing. As daunting as it sounded at first, I was able to complete both, and it taught me how to professionally work with other creatives when everyone has different ideas, but you want to put out your best piece of work.

Memorable experience

Four other ISU students and I traveled to Paris, Milan, Rome, Ibiza, Madrid, and Barcelona. Each day, we made unforgettable memories, from visiting the Eiffel Tower, swimming in the beautiful waters of Ibiza for my birthday, to dancing the night away in Barcelona. We also got the opportunity to meet up with other people from our program in Paris and Rome and go out with one of my closest friends who was studying in Rome during the same semester. As hectic as all the preparation was, it was all so worth it.

What did you not expect?

I did not expect that culture shock from moving to London. This was not my first time moving to another country or living in a new city. I always saw London as very similar to the U.S as they both spoke English. However, as similar as they may seem, they each have very profound differences. I also did not expect much of a difference in the teaching style. However, LCF focused more on project-based learning, where you learn the material through the semester without having to take constant tests on it, and you apply your knowledge at the end to a big project or a project you had been developing throughout the class.

What advice would you give?

As cliche and gimmicky as it may sound, go for it. The price threw me off at first and made me uninterested, and to add to the mix, COVID-19 came along, which made any insecurities I had about this trip already just that much worse. However, the program was all so worth it. Since freshman year, I knew I wanted to study abroad, so I started saving up early, and I was very lucky that my Multicultural Vision Program Scholarship helped cover the tuition side of it. If you're going to take any advice, start saving up early, budget, apply to scholarships, and plan ahead.

How has this experience impacted your life?

This impacted my life in the way I see the world now and how I go about my work. Before studying abroad, I had a very structured path on what I wanted to do after college and to always play it safe. This trip taught me that it's okay not to know where you're going as long as you do something you love. It also taught me to stay up to date on fashion through resources such as Business of Fashion and Tagwalk and how I see luxury fashion.

How did you learn about this experience?

I learned about it through the College of Human Sciences International Programs Office.

International Connections