Announcing the 2014 Ambassadors of the Year

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Jill Kruidenier
February 20, 2014

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Ambassadors of the Year, Jacob Goldstein (Milan, Spring 2012) and Sarah Ziomek (Galápagos Islands, Fall 2011)!

Jacob is an alumnus of the Spring 2012 IES Abroad Milan program and has recently graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Jacob was drawn to study in Milan because of the city’s rich artistic heritage. While studying in Milan, Jacob took advantage of every possible opportunity to engage in the Milanese culture, from studying with a professional Milanese opera singer to developing a close friendship with his elderly Italian neighbor. Jacob remembers these experiences fondly, “When I look back at my semester abroad, I feel so blessed to have been influenced by so many cultural experiences”. 

The Milan program caused Jacob to develop stronger intercultural communication skills, and led him to continue exploring cultural opportunities at home. As a result of his new found interest in intercultural communication, Jacob decided to seek out friendships with the international students on University of Illinois’ campus. “I seek opportunities every day to explore new cultures, and I believe much of this is due to my time abroad. My experience living in another country allowed me to see the world through new eyes, and I will continue to encourage others to do the same.” 

After returning from Milan, Jacob sought out opportunities to share his experiences abroad with other students on his campus. Jacob has been extremely active in the IES Abroad Ambassador Program, participating in several Ambassador Program projects, including consistent communication with other students about studying abroad. Additionally, Jacob hosted several on-campus study abroad information sessions with different student organizations, and volunteered with his study abroad office to meet one-on-one with students looking to learn more about international education opportunities. Ultimately the Milan experience made Jacob passionate about intercultural engagement in everyday life, and led him to consider a career in international education.