First SPS Graduate Student to Study Abroad

March 22, 2017
Portrait of SPS Study Abroad Student in Europe

Ashley Stephens, a current SPS student, is the first graduate and SPS student to study abroad. With help and encouragement from UIW International Affairs, Ashley traveled to Austria in September 2016 as an exchange student with the IMC Krems University of Applied Sciences (UIW sister school).

Check out the below article published in UIW's The Word to read about her amazing experience!

Study Abroad Program Offered Unique Learning Experiences for SPS Student

Twenty-seven year-old Ashley Stephens was sitting in her School of Professional Studies (SPS), formerly ADCaP, class with UIW Director of International Affairs Dr. Javier Lozano when he mentioned the UIW’s Study Abroad program. For Stephens, the idea of taking part in immersion studies in another country was intriguing.

“After class, I talked more with him about it and expressed my interest. We continued our discussion and looked into testing out the idea of a non-traditional student taking part in studying abroad,” she said.

By September of 2016, Stephens was studying in Austria. She is the first graduate student from UIW’s School of Professional Studies to participate in the exchange program with IMC Krems University of Applied Sciences in Austria, a UIW sister school. The university has built an international reputation over the years, with over 2,500 students from all over the world currently studying at the school.

Born and raised in New York City, Stephens is one of eight children. She will complete her graduate degree in organizational development and leadership from UIW by May 2017.

“I was working full time in human resources and made the decision that this was something I needed to do,” she explained. “Before this experience, I had never even visited Europe. I am so happy that I now see the bigger picture and I will be able to step out of a situation and give a global perspective.”

Stephens noted her five-month study abroad experience has helped her appreciate the opinions and feelings of others more readily.

“When you are sitting in class at UIW and sharing your opinion with fellow U.S. citizens, you hear their point of view but choose to accept or reject it,” she said. “The people in class have a stake in their own opinion, but a non-U.S. citizen doesn't. They are sharing what they think from the outside looking in. The view of what is happening overall is better communicated and not filled with personal attachments.”

Read the full article

View Spring 2017 edition of The Word (PDF)

Interested in Study Abroad Opportunities for SPS Students?

Visit the UIW Study Abroad website or email