“When you study abroad, you meet new people and you gain a new perspective about life. You also learn other people’s perspective of your country and you have a lot of fun. It’s like an adventure.” Tempest Alexander on studying abroad in Spain.

After a night of nervousness, excitement and careful packing, Tempest kissed her mother and three-year-old daughter goodbye at Dayton International Airport early Saturday morning in May 2014. Tempest was leaving the sunny (and sometimes unpredictable) Ohio weather to board a plane that would bring her more than 4,000 miles and thirteen hours closer to red, Mediterranean rooftops and a new life view in the country of Spain.

Reaching a Dream

Tempest Alexander, a senior from the University of Cincinnati, made the decision to take her accounting education further by seeking an international focus that would allow her to broaden her economic and cultural understanding of another country.

After working for Education at Work for nearly a year at the time of her departure, Tempest decided to use her tuition assistance from school and work to fund a study abroad trip. With the help of Education at Work and the University of Cincinnati, Tempest was able to embark on a six-week adventure in Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, and Segovia, Spain with new-found peers from the University of Cincinnati at home hosted by a study abroad family.

Life in Spain

When Tempest was not touring the Palace of Madrid or seeing ancient Egyptian Monuments, she was in class to enrich her understanding of Spanish culture and economic development. Tempest’s minor studies in Spanish helped her confidently navigate through her classes – taught entirely in Spanish.

Additionally, Tempest utilized a skill learned from work that helped her navigate through Spain: understanding.

“When I am taking calls at work, people cannot see my screen or understand certain processes that are in place for customers so sometimes I have to be patient and listen closely to understand,” said Tempest. “My experience at Education at Work helped me become open-minded to situations and point of views. That was very prevalent while I was in Spain because there is a different lifestyle, culture and language.”

Through her studies and experience, Tempest learned that globalization has a broader effect on the world than what meets the eye.

“Globalization is real,” said Tempest. “Everywhere we turn, we are connected to something. Each culture relies on the other whether economically or socially.”

To her surprise, Tempest also found several relationships between United States and Spain. “The company that is building the railway in Cincinnati is a Spain-based country. There is a place called Toledo, and it has a factory dedicated to the Lord of the Rings,” she added.

Future Plans

Tempest Alexander is currently serving as a Customer Service Representative at Education at Work. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati in December of 2015 and plans to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. In the future, Tempest is determined to travel as a CPA and perform international auditing in countries like Spain.

heck out the photo gallery of Tempest’s travels below! For more student spotlight stories and news about Education at Work, subscribe to our newsletter.

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