Kailey Pepin

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Class: Junior

Overall Experience

My overall experience studying abroad was amazing. I not only experienced so many new things, but I learned a great deal. I learned so much from my studies, but also from me exploring and traveling. I think I learned more abroad than I ever did the past few years. I believe being abroad and living in a new country allows you to learn about a different culture and that really allows you to learn and experience something you have never experienced before. I met so many people who I know I will be friends with for a long time, and I am forever grateful for my experience.

Learning experience

The most valuable experience I encountered was to not take anything for granted. There are people who can live with not much and not much money or access to food, but they manage to stay happy. I learned that you don't need much to be happy and that environments around you can change your mood and happiness so easily.

Memorable experience

The most memorable experience I have is the end of semester graduation. We all gathered together and there was a slide show on the big screen of everything everyone has worked on over the semester and the progress people had made on their projects. It was super cool to see everyone's hard work get displayed along with saying goodbye to my friends I had made abroad who I know will be lifetime friends.

What did you not expect?

I did not expect for the advancements Europe takes to be less wasteful and to make a better impact on the environment. I thought the U.S. was more advanced with that until I went abroad and learned that the U.S. is behind compared to Europe. This will change my approach to my professional life by trying to get companies to be more mindful of the waste they are producing.

What advice would you give?

Keep an open mind when going abroad and allow yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to try new things and meet new people because you never know the new experiences and people you will meet out of it.

How has this experience impacted your life?

This experience has impacted my life because of all the new things I learned and the new things I saw. I was able to travel to seven different countries and learned so much about different cultures and learned about the history of countries. Everywhere I went was so different from the last that I kept witnessing new things all the time. As of educational goals I learned so much from my wonderful and knowledgeable teachers who are in the fashion industry themselves. I can take what I learned from my classes and apply them to my long-term career goals because what I learned applies greatly to what I dream of doing when I graduate.

How did you learn about this experience?

When I toured Iowa State, I learned about the programs offered at London College of Fashion.

International Connections