For Jaleesha Maury, her years as an FCS student at EIU have been busy to say the least. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree and working toward a master’s degree she’ll finish in 2014, she’s found time to get involved in coaching the school’s cheerleading and Pink Panther squads. She was even voted Homecoming Queen in 2010.
Still, one of her most positive experiences as an Eastern student didn’t even take place in Charleston. Instead, it occurred more than 5000 miles away when she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, as part of the department’s Food, Wine and Fashion of Italy program.
“Making a decision to study abroad was easy,” said Maury, whose bachelor’s degree is in hospitality management with a business minor. “I love to travel and I love food, wine and fashion -- the focal points of the trip.”
Maury is in the family services master’s program and will intern at Lake Land College in Spring 2014 as an administrative assistant in the school’s cosmetology program.
“Studying abroad allowed me to see life differently, continued Maury. “I was able to make connections with students, staff and residents in Italy I never thought were possible. I learned so many things I can carry into my career.”
Additionally, Maury says her time in Florence inspired her to adjust her diet and feels her expanded knowledge of wines helped her attain a management position at a local restaurant. It’s safe to say she would recommend the study abroad experience to fellow students.
“It opens your eyes to knowledge and people you can’t experience here in the United States,” said Maury. “The experience is priceless and irreplaceable and will be something that is never forgotten.”