International Connections


Amber Vander Veen

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design


Minor/option/emphasis: Business; Journalism

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Orange City, Iowa

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: London College of Fashion: Introduction to Fashion Business
Experience website: http://isuabroad.iastate.edu/?go=fashionbusinesssummer
Destination: England

Overall experience..
Studying at the London College of Fashion was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Our instructors for the program where professionals who actually worked full time in the Apparel Industry. I was able to work hands on with the instructors and was given the opportunity and freedom to put my creative ideas into practice! London College of Fashion is also a world leader in fashion design, media and business education so I knew I was learning form the best.

I learned...
I learned about this international opportunity through the Study Abroad Fair. Hannah Svensson came to Iowa State from the London College of Fashion to talk about the program to prospective students.

An impact to my life...
Studying in London incredibly impacted my life in such a positive way. I was able to experience what it was like to adapt in live in a different country. While I was abroad I was also fortunate enough to travel to 8 different countries. Traveling to different countries and experiencing their culture gave me perspective and changed my point of view about the world. Seeing the world for myself improved my vision and my grip on reality. By studying abroad I was able to develop highly sought after professional skills like adaptabilty, self-awareness, and confidence. These skills will not only make me more hirable but will also help me in launching my future career!

My most valuable learning experience...
My most memorable experience was actually during my Styling class at the London College of Fashion. Through this class we had to be stylists of our own editorial shoot. Some things I had hd to focus on were current trends and key upcoming seasonal looks. We had to find and coordinate a model, photographer, hairstylist, and even makeup artist for the shoot. Overall it was a great project and I was very proud of the end product because it taught me to take creative risks and also acted like a stepping stone for doing more shoots in the future!

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I had while living in London is getting to see the Queen! During her 91st Birthday Parade the Queen and the Royal Family made an appearance outside of Buckingham Palace. My friend, Olivia, and I managed to squeeze our way through the crowds and get a front row seat to see Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, and even Kate Middleton!

A surprising discovery...
One of the greatest and most surprising things about Europe that I experienced was the ability to witness first-hand how unique each country can be. For instance, traveling from Croatia or Greece was like entering a new world. Everything from the beautiful scenery to the way people interact with each other was so different from anything I had ever experienced. When traveling to another country, I opened my eyes to the beliefs and values other people and its influence on their everyday life. This changes my approach in my future career because I will be able to relate to people from different cultures due to my experiences abroad.

Advice for others...
Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for me as a college student. By studying abroad, I had the opportunity to study in a foreign country and experience a different culture in a new land. Studying abroad says a lot about you on your resume. Not only does it highlight an interest in other cultures but also your ability to adapt to a new environment. Overall just go for it because studying abroad will positively change your life and you will make memories that will last a lifetime!

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