Study Abroad Sets Career Path
Submitted on June 21, 2018
As a high school student in her hometown of Independence, Kentucky, Amber LeAnn Bridges made a list of the top three things she most wanted from her college experience. They were to play soccer, study art, and study abroad. In her search for the perfect fit, she soon determined that it was to be found not too far from home at Georgetown College.
Unable to decide between art and science for a major, however, she compromised and pursued both, graduating in 2009 with a major in art and a minor in biology. While working toward her degree, she also excelled on the college’s women’s soccer team, developing among her teammates “lifelong best friends.”
Now an avid world traveler and photographer, it was the opportunity for study abroad in Italy as a college sophomore that “opened my eyes to my passion for international travel,” she says. “I studied for a semester each in Florence, Italy, and then on the Gold Coast of Australia during soccer off-season. It was perfect because I was able to travel the world while still pursuing my degree.”
Amber’s experience through Georgetown’s International Study Program gave her the confidence to travel anywhere in the world on her own, she explained. “After my first study abroad at Georgetown, I made a goal for myself to travel to all seven continents before I turned 30 years old,” she commented recently. In 2017, “with two months to spare,” she checked off her final continent and traveled to Antarctica. “Since my first international trip in 2004, I have traveled to 50 countries and over 40 of the United States.”
After Georgetown, she went on to earn a master’s degree in nursing from Mount St. Joseph University and has now become a certified scuba divemaster. Her goal is to continue to make a living by pursuing her passions.
Now living in Covington, she has turned that passion for the combination of international travel, photography, and fitness into a career. She is what she describes as “a professional wedding, destination, and travel photographer.” She says she loves doing destination wedding photography and has taken photographs all over the world including India, Morocco, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and, of course, coast to coast in the U.S. Photos from her work and travel may be viewed online at www.AmberBridges.com.
“I love doing destination weddings and (have) booked many of them through making friends while studying and traveling,” she explained. “I want to continue to combine my passions and degrees to make a living while living life to the fullest.”
As a former collegiate soccer player, fitness continues to be a priority in Amber’s life also. “While home, I strength train five days a week, play indoor soccer, and do yoga. While traveling, I choose activities to stay fit while exploring destinations for such challenges as ice and rock climbing, caving, hiking, surfing, and scuba diving.”
A photo showing her ice climbing a glacier in Argentina in February 2017 was posted on her travel Instagram account (@follow…Amber) and described this way: “Ice climbing on Viedma Glacier in Patagonia. It taught me how far I could push myself both physically and mentally to make it to the top on each climb.” The photograph was picked up and posted January 30 on Women’s Health Magazine’s Instagram page (@womenshealthmag), which added, “Never be afraid to soar to new heights.”
Amber credits Georgetown College with expanding her horizons by giving her exciting international travel opportunities. Her goals now include working as a travel nurse, being a scuba divemaster abroad, learning the Spanish language, training to complete a fitness competition, and “booking more destination weddings.”
“What I learned to value most in life are my relationships and experiences, and Georgetown gave me lifelong friends and once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” she said.
For high school students looking for a college home and for current college undergraduates as well, Amber counsels, “Find your passion and make a career out of it! Put in the work. Don’t expect things to just fall into place, make it happen for yourself.”
Recalling what Women’s Health Magazine posted on Instagram, Amber said, “Never be afraid to soar to new heights.”
Where can Georgetown College international study opportunities take you? Learn more. Contact the Office of Admission. 502-863-8009 or 800-788-9985. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.