API would like to introduce a new travel advice column from API alumni and published author, Samantha Kaiser!
Samantha studied abroad with API in Salamanca, Spain during the summer 2018 session. Samantha believes “studying abroad is a transformative experience full of opportunities for personal growth and introspection.” She explains that studying abroad was a turning point in her life. Once the program ended, Samantha felt driven to encourage other students to take the leap abroad just as she had.
Samantha actively participated in the Global Leadership Academy through API, organizing cultural events on her campus and providing information to interested students. After graduating from University of Minnesota Duluth, she decided to continue advocating for educational exchange and applied for the Campus Relations Representative position at API.
As a CRR, Samantha traveled throughout the Midwest to college campuses, advocating for study abroad and sharing the API experience that had bettered her life. “As someone who had such an eye opening experience overseas, I feel like it would be a mistake not to share my story. Immersing yourself in a culture that is completely different from your own can open your mind, widen your perspective and change your worldview. It’s extremely beneficial and allows you to better understand others around you.”
As Samantha shared her impactful story with students in the Midwest, she wanted to take it a step further and expand her audience. In May 2020, Samantha released her first book, Become a Better You Abroad on Amazon. In the novel, she includes a workbook to prepare students, and explains ten skills that students can gain overseas through her own personal stories.
Samantha is currently pursuing a graduate degree in intercultural communication at American University in order to continue being a proponent for global understanding, human connection, and intercultural exchange. If you’re interested in learning more about her book, you can access it here: www.amazon.com/dp/B089B5WZJY You can also connect with her through her author instagram account @samanthamkaiser! And don’t forget to check the API Abroad Blog regularly for updates from Samantha…