The international learning experience – culture, language, global perspective – profoundly shapes the lives and career paths of students who study abroad. Global students have risen to prominence in politics, performing arts, business, journalism, literature, and more.

Study abroad opportunities provide unrivaled access for students to gain a global perspective, deepen cultural understanding, and learn other languages. Study abroad experiences have helped shape the lives of many past students, including U.S. presidents and members of congress, poets and actors, executives and journalists, and just about everything in between. This page highlights some of those study abroad and Peace Corps alumni who have gone on to accomplish great things.


Reed Hastings

On his Peace Corps experience:

"It was an extremely satisfying experience...Once you have hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn't seem too intimidating."

Founder and CEO of Netflix


Kerry Washington

On her time studying yoga and a rigorous form of traditional theater in India:

“I never even got onstage. You're not allowed to until you've studied for years.”



Russ Feingold

On being a Rhodes Scholar:

"Overall, it gave me a perspective that has proven very valuable, now that the world seems to have become very different for Americans after 9/11. And I owe a lot of that to the experience as a Rhodes Scholar."

Former U.S. Senator


Wesley Clark

On lessons learned as a Rhodes Scholar:

"It was about diversity, dealing with people of different backgrounds. To be successful in life you have to have a purpose and you have to have discipline to work for it. Oxford was a proving ground for that"

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander


Kate Snow

On studying in Sevilla:

"I will never forget singing with a choir at the gorgeous cathedral in Sevilla, taking classes alongside Spanish students and having the time of my life! Studying abroad opened my eyes and taught me things you can't learn from a book."

NBC News Correspondent


Catherine Coleman

On her exchange with AFS:

"At NASA, we have a very international team, and all of those skills I first started learning in Norway are vital."

NASA Astronaut