International Studies Alumni: Where Are They Now? Jon Hibbard

Belonging to one of the first graduating classes of the International Studies major, Jon Hibbard was able to combine his interest in European art and culture with his passion for the French language through pursuing a double major in International Studies and French. Jon views the International Studies major as having given him a distinctive opportunity to explore his diverse academic interests in a manner that was complementary to his studies of French and history. In light of the multidisciplinary nature of the major, Jon explained that, “I was able to meet and form connections with many amazing professors and peers I wouldn’t have otherwise met.”

As an undergraduate student, Jon worked at the UK Medical Center to support himself through college. During his junior year, he was given the opportunity to study abroad in Saint-Etienne, France for the full academic year. Jon described his time in France as, “the most profoundly impactful experience of my life to date. The knowledge, skills, and friendships I gained during that year shaped who I am as a person and are still part of my daily life.” The flexibility of the International Studies major not only afforded Jon with a formative personal experience but also helped him solidify his career intentions.

Upon graduation, Jon began his master’s degree in French Studies through Middlebury College’s French School while living in Paris and Poitiers, France. In light of his study abroad experiences, Jon completed his master’s degree and returned to work as a Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Cincinnati. In September of this year, he returned to the University of Kentucky where he now works as an Education Abroad Advisor and Curriculum Integration Coordinator. In this role, Jon uses the global mindset he developed as an International Studies major to help current UK students pursue transformative international experiences.


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