Kalea Lucas

Photo of Kalea Lucas in Queretaro, Mexico

International Business and Marketing.

Campus activities:
Business Fellows, Cupcakes for the Cure.

Graduation year:

Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Doing Business in Mexico, Querétaro, Mexico.

Describe your study abroad location for someone who has never been there:
Querétaro is a beautiful city in central Mexico. At its center, it is rich with old cathedrals and cobblestone streets. On the outskirts past the highway are new apartment complexes and the largest mall in Latin America. Querétaro is a wonderful blend of new and old. The climate is extremely hot and dry, similar to most of the Southwestern United States.

Why did you choose your program?
I've always wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country, and as an international business major it's my goal to go on as many study abroad trips as i have the time and resources for while at UC.

How did you afford an international experience?
I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Lindner College of Business as well as Circle of Excellence.

What was your favorite class or academic activity abroad? Why?
My favorite educational experiences were the classes we took because they were all in Spanish. My classmates and I learned a variety of cultural norms that must be applied when doing business with Mexican clients or partners.

How has study abroad changed you as a person?
Each new travel experience teaches me something new about myself. It teaches me that I am stronger and more resourceful than I think I am. Going out of my comfort zone generates new obstacles, obstacles that I must overcome in order to move forward. Traveling to Mexico broadened my understanding of Mexican culture and gave me a sense of belonging. After meeting all the wonderful people I did, I felt that the world might not be so big after all.

What professional skills did you gain abroad?
While abroad I learned the proper customs, phrases, and etiquette to use when working with Mexican partners or clients.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time abroad?
I am proud of two things that happened while I was abroad. The first one is that I used my Spanish throughout the trip. I used it with my host parents, with my teachers, and with the vendors at the stores and on the streets. I am also proud of myself for climbing the giant rock in Bernal, something that I never saw myself doing; my determination was very spur of the moment.

Why should every student study abroad?
Everyone should study abroad because you are never going to truly understand others and yourself if you stay within the borders of your homeland. Being immersed in an environment linguistically and socially different than your own forces you to problem-solve in ways you never would have to if you were still in the US. Not only that, but UC makes it so accessible. Study abroad is everywhere and it is so vital to being a competitive adult come graduation. Plus it's loads of fun!