GoAbroad Interview

Rose Guth - Admissions Counselor

Rose Guth - Admissions Counselor

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Rose attended IAU College during her undergraduate studies before graduating from the University of San Diego in 2015. While still living in San Diego, she now works for IAU College as an Admissions Counselor.

You are an IAU alumni yourself. How did you own experience studying at IAU inspire you to work for the university?

Studying at IAU truly changed my life. My year-long experience in Aix helped me find my passions and realize what was important to me in life. Working for IAU seemed a natural and exciting progression of my time there. I am so happy I get to help other students realize their dream of studying what they love in such a beautiful and inspiring setting.

Observers at the Louvre in Paris, France

Alan Roberts, Dean of the Marchutz School of Fine Arts, with students in the Louvre in Paris, part of a five-day intensive museum field study.

What did you like most about the university as a study abroad student?

I loved the openness of the professors and their desire to help students learn and grow as people. A huge part of IAU’s curriculum centers around experiential learning (as study abroad should!), so getting out and learning outside of the classroom was so helpful to my studies in French and art.

In the ever-globalizing world of today, why do you think study abroad is valuable?

I think in today’s world, especially with recent terrorist and other violent attacks, many people are fearful of what could happen. Unfortunately, this has driven many people to become suspicious or wary of people who are unlike themselves. I think study abroad is one of the absolute best ways to expose students to different cultures, people, and ways of life, and to become accepting of people's differences. I think  study abroad is a great way to squash stereotypes and broaden students’ worldviews to become more accepting of and open to people from all places and all backgrounds.

Professor and students exploring Van Goghs artwork in Provence, France

Associate Dean, Professor John Gasparach, with students on a Van Gogh field study, exploring sites around Provence where Van Gogh completed some of his most prolific work.

What do you think makes IAU different from other academic institutions in France?

At IAU, you are truly part of a family. The faculty and staff in the U.S. and in Aix really care about the students who come to study at IAU. Having a small, American school in the heart of one of the largest college towns in France gives American students the best of both worlds; the comfort of an American-style education and similar peers in their classes, while at the same time being a part of a lively and fun French college town with many opportunities to meet French students and assimilate into French culture. I also think the opportunity to live with a French host family is invaluable; you’ll forever have a home and a family in France!

What is your best piece of advice for incoming IAU international students?

Go in with an open mind and be ready to change, learn, and grow in ways that you do not expect. When I went to Aix, I had a very clear idea of what my experience was going to be like, traveling every weekend, hanging with friends, and taking classes that counted for credit at my home university, but what I discovered was much deeper than that.

I gained a greater sense of self, wonder, independence, and passion, and learned to really get outside of my comfort zone.

Painters working on their paintings in a meadow

Marchutz School of Fine Arts students painting outside

How would you describe a typical day in the life of an IAU student?

No day is typical when you’re a study abroad student! I’m kind of kidding, but there are definitely new things to be learned and discovered every day at IAU. My typical day was to eat a yummy breakfast of toast and French confiture, yaourt, or a croissant and then grab some coffee from one of the great cafes near IAU. I’d often walk through the daily outdoor marché or at the marché des fleurs, which happened twice a week. Then I’d head to art history or French class in the morning.

I’d usually grab lunch at the market, a boulangerie, or a café in town, and then start walking up to the Marchutz studio for painting and drawing class. Sometimes I’d meander through the large and beautiful Parc de la Torse on my way to the art studio. The evenings were always different, but I have very fond memories of  many nights of just drinking wine, cooking dinner, and chatting with my wonderful friends who became my Aix family.

Why do you enjoy working for IAU?

I love being able to help students go abroad and pursue their dreams in France. It makes me so happy to be able to relay my own experiences in Aix to students who are thinking about going and then to see them actually enroll in the program. I have a big soft spot for the Marchutz School of Fine Arts, and I love seeing students enroll in this program because I know it will impact their lives for the better. Any program at IAU will be life-changing, really; it’s unavoidable.

IAU Assistant Dean with honors students outside Centre dEtudes Francaises

Assistant Dean, Dr. Muriel Cros, with French Honors program students outside IAU’s Centre d’Etudes Francaises

Are there any new study abroad opportunities we should keep an eye out for this year from IAU?

Yes! Besides our amazing semester program in Aix, our awesome summer programs in Aix and Barcelona, and our huge array of January term traveling seminars. We now offer master’s and bachelor’s degree programs as well. We have graduate programs in French studies, fine arts, and international relations, and undergraduate programs focusing on business administration and international relations.