International Spotlight: Allie Rodriguez ('16)

Published on Nov 24, 2015

By Neal Steichen (MFA '17)

When Allie Rodriguez (’16) discovered that her Columbia College Chicago scholarships applied to the study-abroad exchange program, she knew it was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Studying Vocal Performance and Cultural Studies, Allie quickly chose Bath, England as her future home away from home. Just west of London, Allie spent the fall of 2014 as an exchange student at Bath Spa University and in the surrounding countryside and farmland.

What was life like on a day-to-day basis?
My typical day would start off by having breakfast with my flat-mates, and then I would attend class. I took a wide variety of classes: history, philosophy, literature, and jazz performance. It was a short bus ride into the city center of Bath, where we could go grocery shopping, eat at our favorite cafes, see shows and perform in jazz bars, and just walk around the winding, cobble stone streets.

Bath City Center

Why did you decide to pursue Bath for your study abroad experience?
Online, I saw stunning views of rolling hills, farm towns, big beautiful trees, and an even more gorgeous campus. Bath Spa University is secluded, but that’s exactly what I wanted! I grew up in Colorado surrounded by mountains and trees and miss that every day being in the Chicago.

How has life at Columbia College benefited you as you study abroad?
One of my classes was cancelled, which allowed me to take a music class. This Performance class ended up being one of the highlights of my time abroad. I got to sing through the Jazz Real Book for two hours nearly everyday with a full band, something I was only prepared to do after studying music at Columbia for two years prior.

Bath Spa University Campus

How do you think this study abroad experience will benefit you in terms of your education, future career plans, personal development, etc.?
I can say I definitely have the travel bug after being abroad. After I graduate, I plan to get certified in teaching English as a foreign language and hopefully spend a few years abroad or potentially longer! I have already benefited from studying abroad career-wise, as I now work in Columbia’s International Programs Office. I am so happy to be helping other students live out their dreams of studying abroad.

Check out the International Programs page for more information, explore additional opportunities, and to schedule an appointment to start planning your next adventure!