Learn Boldly: Kim DeLeon ’16
October 9, 2015
If there’s one thing Kim DeLeon has learned at Texas Lutheran University, it’s that anything is possible. As a freshman back in the fall of 2012, DeLeon attended the Study Abroad Fair on campus. Although the fair sparked her interest in travel, she was worried that studying abroad wasn’t financially feasible. Tired of just looking at the monuments and iconic locations in photographs, DeLeon decided to participate in the Harlaxton Program during her junior year.
As one of TLU’s signature study abroad programs, the Harlaxton experience through the University of Evansville in Indiana, and their British campus, allows students to study in a 19th century manor house on 117 acres of gardens, parks, and woodlands near Grantham, England and just two hours from London by train. During the spring semester of her junior year, DeLeon—who had never been on a plane or outside of Texas—decided it was time to start seeing the world.
“I just told myself to go for it,” DeLeon, a double major in sociology and psychology, said. “Personally, I had been putting off doing study abroad for financial reasons. When I started talking to people at TLU, I realized that it was possible and I received a study abroad scholarship. There are always possibilities at TLU and a way to make something like this happen.”
While in England, DeLeon also visited Scotland, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Poland. Being in other countries and interacting with people from around the world gave her a new perspective on life.
“There are so many places and people to see out there,” DeLeon said. “It’s great to explore beyond your own state or country. Seeing places like the arches in Italy and the beaches in Barcelona in person instead of on television is so cool. Actually being there living life with friends is an amazing experience.”
Learning about the different travel opportunities the university offers can potentially be a life-changing moment, DeLeon said.
“If it weren’t for my peers, mentors, and professors at TLU, I don’t think I ever would’ve gone to Europe,” DeLeon said. “For any student thinking about studying abroad, I want them to just go for it. I went from never leaving Texas to wanting to travel the world. I really gained confidence in myself. If you ever get the chance to travel, take it. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
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