Academics

Megan Isom ’17

Hometown:

Howell, MI

Major(s):

Foreign Service

Type of Alma Venture experience:

Spring Term, Off-Campus Study

Summary of your experience:

I traveled to Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy to study human rights and conflict resolution.

What did you learn as a result of this experience?

It broadened my horizons and gave me a hands-on learning opportunity that both challenged me and changed the way I think about the world around me. This trip inspired me to devote myself to learning a new language in order to aid in my international career goals. I also learned (what I think are) just generally important life lessons about international travel.

But I think the most influential and important things I learned were about the topics we were researching themselves – the application and violation of human rights around the world. The ability to see, in real time, lessons I had been learning at Alma and throughout my life was an invaluable experience. 

How has your Alma Venture solidified or altered your career goals?

We visited several international organizations in Geneva, Switzerland and I think those were the most influential in my career. I was able to see the organizations I’ve been studying and how a day-to-day job and career there would work. It was pretty inspirational and allowed me to make some more concrete career goals.

What was the most rewarding experience during your Alma Venture?

My favorite part was absolutely our visit to the Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich. It was a haunting experience, but it was the one that most took something I’ve learned in a classroom all my life and kind of “threw it in your face” – it was the experience that was the most different, classroom versus the actual thing in real life. 

What advice would you give a student considering this type of Alma Venture?

My Venture spring term experience was a time I’ll never forget. The opportunity the Venture Grant gave me, as an Alma student, was invaluable – I was able to broaden my own personal horizons as well as have an experience that I can bring back to campus to share with other students. I think anyone regardless of major would benefit from the spring term experience I had, because of the diversity of topics discussed and organizations visited.


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