Anderson University senior Ashley Ledford is working toward a double major in global business and Spanish. Ledford received an opportunity to study abroad last summer with a program that offered her invaluable experience toward both majors.
Ledford spent two months in Sevilla, Spain, through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). She took classes at the University of Sevilla and completed an internship with Visual Clinic Optics in the marketing information technology department. Ledford was able to take part in four planned trips to the cities of Cádiz, Córdoba, and Granada and to the country of Morocco and also visited additional cities that broadened her cultural experience.
[Photo: Ashley Ledford studied abroad in Spain last summer.]
“Ashley was very purposeful in choosing a study abroad program that offered her a wonderful internship opportunity in Spain,” said Dr. Timothy Fox, co-chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. “Through her study abroad experience, Ashley has learned to work with a diverse group of people and to embrace differences and the unknown. She can function cross-culturally. She leads by example as a constant learner. As an AU student, Ashley has also been able to see Christ in others and to empathize with their circumstances. This is an added element that can make all the difference in working in stressful situations.”
Ledford was immersed into Sevillan culture. She lived with a host family that offered a taste of a typical Sevillan lifestyle. Toward the final weeks of her time in Sevilla, she could navigate her way around the city, taking metros from class to her internship and feeling at ease having conversations with local residents. At the end of her internship, Visual Clinic Optics offered her a full-time position after graduation. While she has not finalized her plans after graduation, she is thankful that the company recognized and nurtured her potential.
“I was so fortunate to be able to take part in such valuable experiences with my study abroad time in Sevilla,” said Ledford. “I am specifically grateful for my background knowledge in writing formal business reports, as one of my main tasks at my internship was to complete a formal report entirely in Spanish over the research I conducted for the company. This was such a learning process, and I took away so many skills that I will be able to apply to future positions.”
Ledford has held several leadership roles at AU, including president of Alpha Mu Gamma and president of Enactus, a student-run organization within the Falls School of Business (FSB). She has also been active in Americorps and has tutored students on campus and in the community in Spanish. Ledford's diligent work ethic, campus leadership, and activity involvement contributed to her acceptance in the CIEE program.
— Emmalee Strait is a junior from Anderson University, majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Strait is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.