Hometown: Hastings, MN
Class of 2012
Lauren studied abroad in Milan, Italy during the spring semester of 2009.
Why did you choose the U of M?
"I grew up near the Twin Cities, took many trips to campus and most likely knew the Minnesota Rouser before I could write my full name. However, when it came time for me to choose a university for myself...so I spent a great deal of time looking elsewhere and considering my options. I am proud of that time and thoughtfulness put in, because I know that across the board - in terms of academics, opportunities for personal and professional development, location, atmosphere, and pride - I made the best decision for myself in attending the University of Minnesota. "
What's the best part of being an Honors student?
"I appreciate the opportunity to look at my collective course work as a whole, and consider how the individual pieces fit together. It's very rewarding to have made it to a point in my academic career where I actively use information I've received in my classes to complement or better understand what I am currently learning. Additionally, I've enjoyed meeting and working with a network of students and advisors that I frequently connect with at the University."
What was your study abroad experience in Italy like?
"I attended class four days a week and enjoy the opportunity to do quite a bit of traveling on the weekends, as it was certainly an influencing factor in my decision to study overseas. One of the aspects of this program that I value most is that it is truly an international experience. I spend a great deal of time with other exchange students who find their homes all over the world...This has allowed me to build friendships and networks that will continue to make this a rewarding experience long after my return to the United States."
How has this experience contributed to your education?
"I've long considered a study abroad experience to be an extremely valuable tool in both learning and character development. My travels have brought to light many lessons in both achieving independence and relying on available resources, which I would consider to be highly transferrable skills in any occupation or industry. For as much as I've found study abroad to be introspective and about learning outside the classroom, it wasn't until I got into the classroom that I realized how much this opportunity will benefit my experience and perspective in my career. Participating in discussions with people coming from such varying backgrounds has been really enlightening in terms of how others see the world and their role in it. I've been fortunate enough to engage in conversations that have broadened my perspectives to a global scale through a scope that not just any group of peers could provide."