Study abroad is definitely something that will change your life, period. Take it from our 2021 IES Abroad Ambassadors of the Year, Miles Nabritt (IES Abroad Madrid, Fall 2019 | Bates College) who learned how to connect with others through Spanish as well as the art of storytelling and personal identity, and Emma Bailey (IES Abroad Salamanca, Spring 2020 | DePauw University), who wrote her senior thesis on making off-campus programs more accessible for first-generation students and completely changed her future career path after spending a semester in Spain.
Miles and Emma were selected as our 2021 IES Abroad Ambassadors of the Year for going the extra mile to engage their fellow students on making their study abroad dreams a reality. Read on to learn a little bit more about how their time abroad impacted them to pay it forward.
Miles Nabritt (He/Him/His) | IES Abroad Madrid | Bates College
Miles is a recent graduate of Bates College who double-majored in Politics and Spanish while minoring in History. He is currently working as an executive assistant for the CEO of a real estate company and studying for the LSAT.
During his time as an ambassador, Miles reached out to several students and talked about his study abroad experience. He emphasized how great it was to use his Spanish-language skills as much as possible to be fully immersed in the culture in Madrid. Whether it was in class, ordering food, or just through casual conversations, Miles improved his verbal and written skills at every opportunity that he had. Additionally, Miles was able to serve on two virtual IES Abroad panels: Studying Sustainability Abroad and Coffee Chat: Making the Most of Your Time Abroad. On those two panels he was able to discuss more about the many fun and exciting experiences that he had in Madrid.
"While I was in Madrid, I had to explain to those who I was meeting about my life as a college student, identifying as an African American from New York, and as a person who was visiting Spain for the first time. Through storytelling, similar to communication, I was able to open myself up to others and share meaningful experiences with them. It was through being emotionally vulnerable that I made so many friends while I was in Madrid. Using that emotional vulnerability was cathartic, and helped me connect with prospective students as well as IES Abroad alumni and staff."
Emma Bailey (She/Her/Hers) | IES Abroad Salamanca| DePauw University
Emma is a recent graduate of DePauw University where she received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed. at Harvard University in Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology.
During her time as an ambassador, she worked closely with her university's study abroad center, and also completed her senior capstone thesis on supporting first-generation students through study abroad. As part of that, she developed graphics and programming ideas for better engaging first-generation students with off-campus opportunities earlier on in their collegiate experience. "If students are able to prepare earlier on, studying abroad might be a better, more equitable experience." She enjoyed this experience the most because it provided her with the opportunity to engage with her position as an ambassador and use her senior thesis to make improvements to her school's program.
"While I was abroad, I had the opportunity to see different styles of education and share conversations with classmates that encouraged me to explore. Now, I am working on a Master of Education in Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology. Going abroad through IES Abroad helped me explore passions that I didn't know that I had and work through a life plan that I had not previously anticipated. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to go abroad and share that experience with other students. I am excited by the prospect of a new career in education and exploring the world in my next program."
Congratulations to Miles and Emma and thank you for sharing your love of study abroad with so many others!
Our IES Abroad Ambassadors are here to help. Contact an IES Abroad Ambassador to learn more about a program or a location.