2015 2015: Maegan McConnell: Study abroad is life-changing

Maegan McConnell in Amsterdam
Photos: Above, Maegan on tour in Amsterdam, near the Anne Frank House. Below, at the John Lennon wall in Prague.
2015 2015: Maegan McConnell: Study abroad is life-changing
Maegan McConnell: Study abroad is life-changing

Maegan McConnell studied abroad for a semester in Prague.

‌Maegan McConnell '15 can sum up her study abroad experience in a single phrase: "It changed my life for good."

A management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business, Maegan spent a semester in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. She took advantage of Prague's central location to visit other cities in Europe, such as Amsterdam and Berlin.

The Dartmouth resident studied business at Prague's University of Economics and plans to return to Europe as soon as she graduates to pursue newfound interests in linguistics and international culture.

Why did you decide to study in Prague?

I chose Prague because it was highly recommended as a great school for business students.

My favorite part about Prague was that it wasn't necessarily the typical study abroad location. I didn't even know where it was until people started telling me I should go there. It's such an amazing city and truly underrated. If I hadn't chosen to study abroad there, I may never have gotten to travel to the Czech Republic and see all the beauty it has to offer.

The program I chose was great because I studied at the University of Economics. It worked well for me because I was able to take courses that applied to my major, as well as business electives. Also, Prague was the most affordable program for me, which was a huge decision factor.

‌What did you do beyond your coursework?

Maegan McConnell at the John Lennon Wall in PragueMy school schedule allowed me and my friends to travel all around the country. The weekend trips we took together were the absolute best times ever. I got to see so many of the big cities in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

It was the most magical time of my life.

How has studying abroad changed your life?

Study abroad changed my life for good. I learned so much about myself and other people while I was there. I can now walk into a room full of people I don't know and feel completely comfortable. I feel more confident now that I have a more cultured background.

What are your plans following graduation?

There are so many things I would like to see and do before I settle down in a particular area, but my study abroad experience introduced me to opportunities in linguistics and international culture.

I plan on interning or studying linguistics abroad after graduation. I haven't applied to or enrolled in any specific programs, but I do have plans to spend a few months doing WorkAway in Barcelona as a live-in nanny teaching English to the children of the family. From there, I plan to spend a few months in either Prague again or Germany to get my TEFL certification in order to teach English formally somewhere. A few friends and I also have plans for the 2016-2017 school year to teach English at a school in Thailand through another program. 

I may not be going into business management, but there are so many skills that I have learned through my education that can be relevant in whatever I chose to do. I've developed many leadership qualities that will enable me to take charge of any kind of situation. I'm results-driven and highly motivated. These characteristics will benefit me greatly in my future endeavors.