Mathematics major goes ‘Fara-way’ to gain new knowledge

October 17, 2011

By Steven Johnson ’13

Studying abroad is an opportunity many university students share, but each takes away a different experience. Alyssa Fara, a mathematics major, found that enrolling in a London study abroad program can reveal much more than England’s capital city.

“My experience in London was beyond what words can describe,” said Fara. “While I was abroad, I also went to Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sweden, Ireland, and Wales. I learned so much about the world, different cultures and myself.

“London itself has so much to offer and I’m sure I didn't even make a dent in what I could have accomplished. While I was there, I stayed in Kensington, which is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in London. I quickly grew accustomed to the area, and when it came time to leave, I found out I was emotionally attached to the area and all of London.”

Fara had already thought about her career goals before going abroad but worried about getting too far ahead of herself.

“Before going to London, I had that mindset of, ‘If I don’t get a teaching job a year after college, I’m going to go overseas and try to start something there,’” Fara said. “Now that I am back here in the States, I ask myself, ‘why wait?’”

Fara also had the distinction of being featured on the American Institute for Foreign Study website.

“When I studied in London I went through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) program,” said Fara. “I was featured on its website because Shannon Sanctuary, the Admissions Officer, sent the study abroad students an e-mail after we returned offering us the option of e-mailing our stories, pictures, or blogs to help AIFS get the word out to other students.

“I couldn’t resist and one day this summer I sat down and wrote a whole paper to send her. I just couldn’t stop writing. I loved my experience in London and I wanted the students who are looking into the program to know how truly great it was.”

After having such a positive experience going abroad, it was still clear to Fara what she hopes to accomplish upon leaving Bradley.

“No matter what, my top dream and priority is to teach high school math,” said Fara. “Whether that be in the United States, London, or somewhere else, I am not sure yet but being a math teacher is what I desire and London helped me realize that.”