International Connections

Lauren Latham

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Minor/option/emphasis: Creative and Technical Design

Year: Sophomore
Hometown, State: Eldridge, Iowa

Type of experience: Faculty-Led Program
Experience: Studying Craftsmanship and Hospitality in Western Europe
Experience website:
Destination: Germany

Overall experience..
My experience during this study abroad trip was a once in a lifetime thrill. I was able to see things in Europe that I likely would never have been able to see without this trip (such as the Anne Frank House, or being able to learn to make lace while in Belgium.) While walking around the cities of the countries we visited, I got to take many pictures I hope to use as inspiration in my future designs as well. The architecture over there is absolutely stunning.

I learned...
I first learned about this opportunity because the professor orchestrating the trip was my textile science lab teacher at the time.

An impact to my life...
This experience has impacted my life because it was honestly a once in a lifetime experience. I will more than likely never get to go to Europe again, and even if I do It probably won't get to be as interactive as this.

My most valuable learning experience...
I think the most valuable learning experience we encountered was the Anne Frank House, I believe learning history is important and having read her journal in middle school, it was nice to be able to put what I had in my head to something real right in front of me. The house was super interactive with an audio tour and really makes you reflect on everything. I think it's important to hear her story and to understand the tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.

I will never forget...
I think the l'orangerie museum in Paris was the most memorable experience because they had a huge Claude Monet exhibit and he is my favorite artist, so being able to see so many of his works, especially the lilypads which are my favorite, will truly be something I cherish for the rest of my life.

A surprising discovery...
I didn't expect to be inspired by the fashion exhibits we visited as much as I was. It was a designer I had never heard of, and the designs were out of this world. Seeing how they affected society and started conversations in different controversies was inspiring, and I hope to design some clothes inspired by the designers we saw.

Advice for others...
I would say just take it all in while you're there, don't worry about having cell service because it was nice to take myself away from all of that for a bit while I was there so I could just breathe in the history and experience things to the fullest. And take lots of pictures, because you could use them for inspiration or for background images for your projects, honestly anything. I took so many pictures and I cherish those picture every day since coming back.

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