Study Abroad: Karlee Tanel

Karlee Tanel

Students in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) are taking advantage of Eastern Kentucky University’s study abroad programs. CBT students are studying abroad through a variety of affiliates and exchange programs.

Following is the next in the Study Abroad Series aimed at sharing students’ life-changing experiences studying abroad through EKU. 

Study Abroad Series: Part Seventeen – Karlee Tanel

Q -  What is your major? Are you currently a junior or senior, and when is your expected graduation date?

A - Business Management, May 2017

Q - Where did you go? 

A - Granada, Spain (And traveled to other regions in Spain, Norway, Belgium, and The Netherlands)

Q - Did you take a course and earn academic credit that transferred back to EKU?

A - Yes! 3 courses: Spanish Language, Islamic Culture in Spain, Business in Spain

Q – What study abroad organization was your trip through? (Magellan Exchange, CCSA, KIIS, etc)

A - Sol Education Abroad

Q - How long did you study abroad?  

A - 5 weeks

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A - I wanted to further my skills in Spanish and I had never had the chance to travel abroad so I thought this would be the best opportunity for me to travel while gaining credit toward my minor and get to see a new culture.

Q - How did you decide to go to that particular location?

A - I loved the idea of the Sol Education Abroad activities combined with a language program that was an all inclusive cost upfront. I had also heard great things from other students that have participated in this same program and wanted to experience what they had.

Q - What were three of the most important things you learned from your experience studying abroad?

A -1) It is important to be flexible. Even when you expect something to go as planned, there is a good chance it won't so being flexible is extremely important when traveling
2) Every place has it's own unique culture. Even within the region where I lived there were many different areas with different people and ways of life. Taking the time to get to know the people and the culture is such a valuable experience I think everyone should have.
3) Sometimes it is important to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. I am an extremely busy person and I find myself missing out some things. In Spain, I had the chance to slow down and really enjoy my time. I had the opportunity to spend time getting to know the other people in my program, to try all the different foods and drinks.

Q - What was your favorite and least favorite part of your abroad experience?

A - My favorite part of my abroad experience was having the opportunity to see and experience all the beautiful landscapes as well as the amazing ancient architecture and the relaxed and less rushed culture that went with it. It gave me a new outlook on how I should be living my life. Although my experience as a whole was extremely positive, my least favorite part of my abroad experience was the language barrier I found myself in at the beginning of my experience. I wish I had a higher level of Spanish so I could develop even more meaningful relationships with my host family and the others that I met in Spain. However, towards the end of my experience my Spanish had improved considerably and I felt much more comfortable in my level of Spanish.

Q - What did you gain from studying abroad that has changed you as a person and professional?

A - Most importantly I've gained the ability to adjust to culture change easier than before. I've gained such a respect for other cultures and ways of life. I've also gained skills in Spanish that I could have never gained unless being immersed in the culture. I learned how to adjust to situations where language may be a barrier and how to handle being overwhelmed in situations where I'm not close to home or close to any family or friends. I've also learned that I absolutely love to travel and see new places which is why I am currently searching for a job with an international corporation to hopefully explore new places and work for a company at the same time.

Q - Would you recommend that other College of Business and Technology students study abroad? Why or why not?

A - Absolutely. It is an extremely valuable experience even for a few weeks or a month. I learned more history than I ever imagined I would. I gained such a respect for people that were from other cultures and I even learned more about myself than I thought possible. The programs offered to college students are hard to pass up. I wish every student could take the opportunity to study abroad.

Q - Who do students contact if they are interested in studying abroad? 

A - ​Contact the EKU Study Abroad office at 859‐622‐8794 or or stop by their office in Keith 129

Q - What advice would you give to College of Business and Technology students before they study abroad?

A - Go into your experience with an open mind and be flexible. It may be completely different than what you are expecting. Don't take a single minute for granted and really immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds you.

Q - Since you have not graduated, how is your study abroad experience helping you with your job search?  How has it helped you network with potential employers?

A - My study abroad experience has begun to open lots of doors for me. As I start my job search and my search for spring internships, it is a great feeling to be able to say I have skills in Spanish language. Many applications ask if you have any experience or skills in another language and I truly believe this gives me an advantage over other job candidates.

More photos from Karlee Tanel's Study Abroad experience...

Find out more about Study Abroad:

Students interested in studying abroad may contact Jennifer White in the Education Abroad Office in the Keith Building, Room 129, to discuss all the program options. Jennifer can be contacted via phone at 859-622-1705 or by email at

Find out more about International Business. Contact Dr. Lana Carnes, Chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business via phone at 859-622-1377 or by email at

Published on December 01, 2016