Travel brings history to life for MUDEC student

the mudec chateau covered in leaves and ivy

It was a bright April morning in 2016 when then junior Heidi Hetterscheidt and her class visited Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

The first thing she remembers is how nice of a day it was because it made her feel guilty. The whole class — which was normally boisterous and joking around with each other — was silent.

a woman smiles against a colorful background“It seemed surreal,” Hetterscheidt said. “I would recommend that everyone goes there just because it’s important to see that kind of stuff, but it was chilling.”

Hetterscheidt was studying at Miami University’s Dolibois European Center for a semester. This trip was the conclusion of one of her courses, focusing on the rise and fall of Hitler.

It was experiences like this that made her studies come alive, seeing the places she was learning about in class.

Outside of class, Hetterscheidt traveled every weekend while she was abroad. She said she fell in love with Europe and wanted to find a way back.

“Just being in Europe for four months, coming back [to America] was really tough,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I had finished my time here yet.”

After graduation, she worked in New Zealand for a while, but it wasn’t the same. She moved back to Ohio before trying to find a way back to Europe.

Hetterscheidt ended up googling ways to move abroad and decided to teach English. She found a company and moved to Prague, where she tutored English.

Now, Hetterscheidt is a conference producer and plans international conferences. Her job allows her to use her international studies degree and coordinate with people from all over the world.

“I love it,” she said. “I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.”

Lifetime Network

Over 11,000 Miamians have been a part of the 50 year tradition at the Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg (MUDEC). There’s a network of alumni ready to help connect students with internships and careers upon return.

Want to study abroad at MUDEC?

Registration for fall 2020 ends April 1.

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