Ashley Colbert

Ashley Colbert and a friend in a busy town square in Milan, Italy


Campus activities:
Gamma Phi Beta sorority, American Marketing Association.

Graduation year:

Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program in Milan, Italy.

Describe your study abroad location for somone who has never been there.
Milan is located in northern Italy and has a mix of both historical and modern architecture. It is known for landmarks such as the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and is also considered one of the fashion capitals of the world.

Why did you choose your program?
I chose this program because I am a marketing major but I am also interested in fashion. Traveling to one of the fashion capitals of the world to study international luxury retail was something that stood out to me from the first time I heard about the program at orientation. I also work in retail here, so the opportunity to be able to compare retailing strategies from the US and abroad intrigued me.

How did you afford an international experience?
I received both a grant from the Circle of Excellence Program as well as the University Honors Program to help me afford this experience.

What was your favorite class or academic activity abroad? Why?
My favorite class while abroad was about luxury retailing strategies because it was very interesting and we were able to see the strategies in action when we visited various luxury stores. In the lecture, the professor discussed positioning strategies in the store and the different paths that customers may take upon entering the store. We also discussed innovation and how brands create new strategies to put themselves above their competitors which I thought was very interesting.

How has study abroad changed you as a person?
Although I was only abroad for a short amount of time, I discovered a new love and interest in travel and a new appreciation of cultures that are different than my own. After this experience, I hope to study abroad again in the future for a longer period of time.

How has study abroad influenced your career path?
After this study abroad experience, I am still going to continue with my marketing major, but I am also considering double majoring or minoring in international business or possibly fashion design studies. I really enjoyed my time abroad and I definitely want to study abroad again before I graduate.

What is something you learned from studying abroad?
One thing that I have learned is that studying abroad is not as intimidating or scary as it may sound and that people of different cultures are just as eager to learn about you and your experiences as you are eager to learn about them.

Why should every student study abroad?
Every student should study abroad because the experiences that you gain overseas are things that cannot be replicated here in the States. In addition, after returning home from studying abroad, your view and understanding of the world changes and your desire to learn about other cultures grows. Studying abroad offers once in a lifetime opportunities that I am glad I got to experience and I hope that every student will get to experience during their time at UC.