A Guide to Life After Rice

Life after college is a strange algorithm of the familiar and the novel on a spectrum ranging from reassuring to utterly daunting. On most days, though, we’re guessing that the post-undergraduate life presents a mix of mundane and new tasks. We know you’re up for it because, as Rice grads, you’ve already had lots of practice finding your path, working ridiculously hard, overcoming challenges and having fun. To help make this exciting and likely stressful change, we’ve gathered some practical advice from your fellow Owls (and more) about navigating the next stage of young adulthood.

Illustrations by Ryan Snook


Illustration by Ryan Snook

Each year, hundreds of Owls transition from being a Rice undergraduate to graduate students, job seekers, employees, entrepreneurs, volunteers, adventure seekers and more. If college life involves well-worn paths of classes, internships and campus-based opportunities, postcollege life can unfold as an unwieldy, multilayered map that spills across the table with any number of roads, byways and detours. This journey requires stamina, determination, optimism, a heavy dose of critical thinking and all of the skills that a Rice education bestows.

Where Owls Fly After Graduation*
*Data from various Class of 2018 surveys

Choices: Grad School? Internship? Full-Time Job?


Nick Fleder ’17 considered all of these options. A sport management major, Fleder became interested in basketball analytics through an internship with the Houston Rockets. After a few months of watching the Rockets organization capture data, he approached Rice basketball and was soon leading a team of students who collected and analyzed data on Rice practices and games. Fleder then parlayed his data skills into an internship with the Indiana Pacers after his junior year.

Even with his deep dive into real-life data analysis, there were no full-time openings in the NBA when he approached graduation. He also saw plenty of candidates with graduate degrees or five to 10 years of work experience getting the few coveted data analyst positions. This knowledge, along with an understanding that machine learning was becoming an indispensable part of the data industry, convinced Fleder that he needed graduate school to complete his skill set. While at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, Fleder kept the conversation going with his contacts at the Pacers. When a job opened, he interviewed and received an offer.

A Crash Course in Interviewing

Sending your resume out via the internet can be something akin to tossing a stone into a deep, dark pool at midnight, in the middle of a tornado, while standing on your head. So when you land an interview, call your mom, celebrate and do your homework.

Rice’s Center for Career Development offers a host of consulting services for students looking for internships or jobs. Here’s what they recommend.

Before the Interview

  • Think of the interview as part of your exploration, not as a test
  • Prepare by doing research about the employer (sources include company websites, Vault, Glassdoor and news publications)
  • Consider your first impression; be on time and dress appropriately
  • Prepare responses to the most common interview questions, like “Why should we hire you?” and “What are your weaknesses and strengths?”

During the Interview

  • Answers should be appropriate to the questions and well organized
  • Summarize your career goals
  • Ask questions about the position and the employer
  • Be aware of your nonverbal behavior, such as:
    • Posture, expressions and eye contact
    • Personal space boundaries
    • Filler words and consistent volume
    • Enthusiasm and confidence
  • Close the interview by asking about the hiring timeline, restating interest in the role and clarifying who makes the next move

After the Interview

  • Send a customized thank you note within 24 hours via email to everyone you interviewed with
  • Keep a record of important dates and details for following up

Be Prepared

"The key to having an effective interview is thorough preparation and identifying what the interviewer is looking for.” — Nicole Van Den Heuvel ’81, Center for Career Development

Just For Owls

Owl celebration

Get a job, find a mentor or seek career advice. The Association of Rice Alumni’s Sallyportal is a networking and professional development tool created exclusively for Owls that can help grads. With new jobs posted regularly and almost 9,000 members, Sallyportal offers 24-hour access to Rice wisdom — parents and alums working in hundreds of industries. There, you’ll find these features:

Personalized feed: Customize your Sallyportal feed to fit your interests and specialties.

Expanded groups section: This feature allows you to grow your network based on professional interests and affiliations.

Dedicated mentoring section: Mentoring is at the core of Sallyportal, and the expanded “willing to help” profile features and a dedicated mentoring section help to connect Owls with similar career paths. Mentors can offer resume advice, consult on building a personal brand or create networking opportunities.

Book Learning

Owl reading a book

The Strategic Career: Let Business Principles Guide You” by Bill Barnett
Drawing from his popular career strategy course, Barnett, an adjunct professor in management at the Jones Graduate School of Business, applies business strategy principles to optimal career planning.

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
This book, written by Stanford experts, is all about transitions, including moving from college life into a career and adult life.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant
A perfect read for when you’ve landed your first job. Grant, a professor in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will convince you that being a “giver” is the key to success in all aspects of life.


“Seek a field of work where you’ll naturally emphasize the service you provide to others, build an expertise that makes you proud and strengthen an institution you value. You may enjoy the immediate rewards from work, such as pay and prestige, but those factors never will matter as much to you as the fundamentals of the work itself. If you find this field and if you’re well qualified there, you may have found your calling.” — Bill Barnett

If At First You Don’t Succeed


When Maggie Edmunds ’16, a psychology major, started her first job out of college as a strategy consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, she was anxious to use her talents in communications, but she was especially interested in learning more about data analysis.

In just her second project assignment, she got her chance — she was charged with building a model around trade promotion. It didn’t take long for her to feel underwater. “I was working pretty much 24/7 to get this project organized,” Edmunds remembers. “But I didn’t have the tools necessary to be successful.” In the end, she delivered a working model but felt frustrated and uncomfortable about the way her work had unfolded. “I had never failed at something like that. This was real life, and I knew I’d need to repair my reputation.”

After that disastrous assignment, Edmunds was faced with a choice: seek out projects that played to her communications strengths, or develop the skills necessary to be a first-rate data analyst. Ultimately, she challenged herself to master the skills she lacked and began putting together a plan to increase her analytical expertise. She sought out mentors, asked a lot of questions and pursued small analytics projects. Her hard work paid off some months later when she landed a spot as the chief data analyst on an eight-month project. This time, her performance was a resounding success, and the client lauded her as the strongest analytics consultant they had ever worked with.


“Don’t play it safe by sticking with skills you’ve already developed. It’s OK to ask for help and have some hard conversations. Those are the experiences that will shape your career.” — Maggie Edmunds ’16

Listen Up!

The Tim Ferriss Show
The No. 1 business podcast on Apple, “The Tim Ferriss Show” takes a close look at successful individuals and breaks down the habits, actions and perspectives that helped them along the way.

CareerCloud Radio
One of the all-time most popular career podcasts, “CareerCloud” addresses career topics from resumes to networking to social media.

Dear HBR
Alison Beard and Dan McGinn, senior editors at Harvard Business Review, answer questions on all manner of workplace challenges and career strategy.

Safe for Work
An advice show led by an ex-chief marketing officer who tackles subjects like “How to Deal With Friction in the Workplace” or “Too Eager? How to Keep Your Cool in an Interview.”


Man sitting on top of boxes

The days swirling around graduation are filled with cliché advice: The world is your oyster; you can do whatever you set your mind to; and follow your passion. So whether your next move takes you across the world or down the street, surrounded by friends and family or in a city full of strangers, here’s a practical guide to help with the endless logistics involved in finding and securing your first home after graduation. Let’s take it step by step.

An Organized Search

The internet and cellphones are your biggest allies when searching for apartments. The following sources can help you find your next place — from scouting to signing.

Some cities (like Houston) have apartment realtors who can help you find a place. The apartment complex you select will pay the realtor, not you.

Every major city has a Reddit forum flowing with helpful information about the city and an active audience to answer questions. In some cases, you can view rentals directly.

Use the map feature to focus on your top neighborhoods.

Download free apps like Zillow Rentals, Zumper, Hotpads and Rent.com.

Social networks
Post your inquiry on the Rice alumni Facebook page in your desired city to see what your fellow Owls can share.

Winging It
John Rudd ’18, who works as an architect in London and shares a flat with a Rice alumna, found that sometimes you just have to improvise your moving plans, especially an overseas move. “As much as we tried to plan our move to London, we just had to show up with nothing but a few of our belongings, a 10-day Airbnb reservation and ourselves. The day we arrived, we made a few phone calls, walked into some real estate agencies and saw a few flats. Luckily, we found a place we liked,” Rudd said.

What Matters?

Owl in a lounge chair

Central air conditioning? High-speed internet? A dishwasher? Which features in a rental matter most to you, and what can you live without? Is it a neighborhood location, the distance to work, a porch or patio, or a full kitchen for dinners with new friends?

For Thu Nguyen ’17, who works in Washington, D.C., as a communications manager, an important amenity was an in-unit washer and dryer. Proximity to work was also a big plus for Nguyen. “Our row house rental is in the middle of two different Metro stations and four bus stops and is a 10- to 20-minute walk to work, groceries and restaurants.”

For Rudd, the amenity that makes his London flat feel like home is access to the outdoors. “Other than the location, we took our flat because it has a generous private terrace. It allows us to have people over at our place when the weather is nice,” he said.

Finding the Perfect Roomie

Remember Rice’s first-year roommate information forms? Use the same premise to determine whether you and a friend (or someone you’ve never met) will be compatible roommates. Here are a few questions to ask a potential roomie.

  1. What are you looking for in a roommate?
    This will help you understand if they’re looking for someone to simply split rent with or if you’ll lock in a lifelong best friend.
  2. How do you socialize?
    Do you want your space to be the setting for social events or a quiet zone at all times? What kind of music do you like?
  3. What’s your work schedule?
    Will you and your roommate be ships passing in the night?
  4. Do you work from home?
    If a potential roommate works from home, you may rarely have the apartment to yourself and might be expected to keep the noise down during certain hours.
  5. Are you in a relationship?
    How often would their significant other spend time in your space?
  6. How often do you travel?
    Depending on if you like having space to yourself, the answer to this question could be very important.
  7. What’s your go-to temperature on the thermostat?
    Something to keep in mind as temperature preferences affect energy bills each month.
  8. How do you like to divvy up chores?
    How will shared spaces, like living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, be cleaned?
  9. How would you like to split apartment costs?
    Make sure to discuss rent costs if bedrooms are different sizes. Also discuss utilities, household items and parking logistics.
  10. Do you like to cook?
    It’s not a bad idea to discuss how often you will be in the kitchen and when.

Making It a Home

Whether your new abode is a fifth-floor walk-up, a townhome or a house with more room than you’ve ever had, it’s important to create a space that ignites joy and helps you relax at the end of the day.

  • Furniture
    Search thrift stores, Craigslist and Nextdoor for secondhand finds. Try Ikea and Amazon for new, affordable basics.
  • Shelving
    Get your belongings organized and off the floor.
  • Paint
    A neutral paint color can make a cramped space feel brighter and larger.
  • Window treatments
    Simple blinds or curtains assure privacy and needn’t be costly.
  • Lighting
    Switch out harsh lighting for softer incandescents.
  • Plants
    Adding greenery is an inexpensive way to bring nature inside the house.

Roommate Routines

Whether you and your roomie are besties or just share a space out of economic necessity, being fair and thoughtful is always appreciated. Having a roommate, as you surely know, ranges from exasperating to fun. Here’s what our young alumni had to say about sharing a home.

Tessa Fries ’18, who lives in Kona, Hawaii, shares a home with three roommates and teaches high school through Teach For America. “I have to do monthly fridge purges, but it’s also a lot of fun.”

“My two roommates and I responsibly take care of things when we can and try to be fair about it. We all kind of know when it should be our turn to take out the trash. The best part about roommates is sharing food. I love to bake and sometimes I don’t want to eat everything.” — Thu Nguyen ’17

“Getting to know people in a big city can be difficult, but at least I know there’s someone who’s usually down to go on some silly adventure or just talk through serious issues.” — John Rudd ’18

They Say the Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

Whether you’re developing new friendships or catching up with old pals, potlucks are a great and inexpensive way to socialize. Verena Schulman, Baker College executive chef, recommends some of her favorite recipes.

Cauliflower Rice With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

  • 4 whole cauliflowers cut into “rice”-size pieces
    Note: Cutting the cauliflower by hand is better. If you use a food processor, it’s very easy to overdo it, causing all the liquid to come out and make the salad mushy.
  • 1 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup creamy feta cheese
  • 6 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh crushed pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and let rest for at least 1 hour before serving.

Edamame Hummus and Grilled Minted Naan

  • 3 cups shelled edamame
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Water (as needed)
  • Fresh mint to taste
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Using a food processor, blend edamame, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil until smooth. Add water in small increments to achieve a creamy, smooth texture. Buy some good-quality naan bread, brush it with melted butter or olive oil, and grill or toast for a few seconds on each side. Sprinkle fresh mint, salt and pepper on the naan and arrange with hummus on a plate for serving.



Busy alumni, a mental health professional and a dietitian agree that there is not just one definition of healthy living. Each individual has to define their own goals and priorities for how they will live a life that balances mental, physical and emotional well-being. Here are some essentials they’ve learned in their pursuit of a healthy life.

Pursuing Happiness

Jarvis Miller ’16, a data scientist at BuzzFeed in Los Angeles, defines a healthy life as “being happy and content with the decisions I’m making.”

If necessary, reboot your career direction
After Rice, Miller entered a doctoral program in statistics, which left him feeling dissatisfied, alone and unhappy. But he thought it was what he “should be doing.” Several months after quitting his Ph.D. program and moving to LA for a new data scientist job at BuzzFeed, Miller says he is much happier.

Expand your friend network
After moving to LA, Miller attended a couple of tech events to meet new people. He also used the best friends feature on the Bumble app to look for guys who had also just moved to the city and wanted to explore. Through the app, Miller found a few friends to hang out with every week.

Fitting it in

Lauren Heller ’17, an investment banking analyst in Houston, maintains a healthy lifestyle by focusing on what’s in her control with a demanding work schedule.

Work out when it works for you
Since Heller works 70–100 hours a week, she’s accepted that her sleep schedule and work routine are out of her control. She packs a healthy breakfast and lunch every day and tries to work out at night after dinner before returning to the office.

“It’s hard leaving your really close friends and keeping in touch with people.” Heller schedules outings on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, when she is sure that she’ll have time off.

Befriending Routines

Olivia Hsia ’17, a KIPP graduate teaching fellow in Houston, maintains a healthy life by being disciplined and trying new routines. Here are her tips.

Owl riding a bike

Cut yourself some slack
“I hate cooking. I despise being in a kitchen, but eating well is obviously a super important part of being healthy.” Though not the most cost-effective option, Hsia buys prepackaged salads and meals to avoid the hassle.

Make workouts easy
“I eventually figured out that I need to have all of my [workout] equipment already in the car. I even bag up my workout clothes each week.”

Try something new …
“The postcollege years are a chance to join new gyms, take classes and find something you really like. All of a sudden old friends are traveling the country to go rock climbing or run their first triathlon.”

… or swim in the familiar
“Because I stayed in Houston, I kept up with some familiar activities, like Rice’s master’s swimming team. It’s an adult swim team that I joined in college, and I continue to go almost every day.”

Consider hiring a trainer
“Obviously this isn’t for everyone, but for me it was an intentional decision that has helped me get so much better at weightlifting and also helped me save time at the gym.”

Mix it up
ClassPass and trial gym memberships make it really easy to try different workout routines.

A Life Balance

Chas Taylor ’17, a first-year law student at the University of Chicago, believes that the key to a healthy life lies in keeping his relationships well balanced. “A healthy life is one in which we establish rhythms that allow us to flourish in our most fundamental relationships.”

Seek balance
Taylor says law school has shown him that he can push himself academically, but he makes sure that school doesn’t overwhelm the other parts of his life.

“I need to be careful that by pushing my limits as a student, or an attorney, I am not sacrificing my responsibility and cherished identity as a husband or child of God.”

Prioritize relationships
“A healthy life means that eventually I need to be content with a ‘lower rank’ academically or professionally in order to thrive holistically.”

Embracing Perspective

Tahir Malik ’17, a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, stays healthy by embracing perspective and making the most out of his free time.

Set realistic goals
Malik is currently on rotation at Texas Children’s Hospital, where he is working on the 19th floor. Because his 10- to 14-hour days make it challenging to work out, he chooses to take the stairs. On his off days, he tries to live a more active lifestyle and heads to the gym.

Keep doing the small things that are important to you
On Friday nights, Malik says he stops studying and heads to the Burger Joint or goes for a run.

Cultivating Resilience

Owl in a hot air balloon

Timothy Baumgartner, a licensed psychologist, is the director of Rice’s Student Wellbeing Office. He defines resilience as the ability to recover from failure.

“When people come up against meeting a task that seems really large, what do they do then? Do they give up? Do they panic? Do they define it as a crisis? Or are they able to find a way to recommit to the task and maybe back up a few feet and look for other resources?” Baumgartner asks. “Just because it’s hard or I fell down doesn’t mean I can’t get back up and accomplish this. It’s a product of having survived failure in the past. If we can’t fail, we can’t be resilient.”


  • Work with a mental health professional
    Baumgartner says therapy can be a great way to develop resilience. “There is something very unique in seeing a mental health professional. They’re not holding any personal agenda, they’re just there to help you develop.”
  • Normalize difficulty
    Baumgartner says emotional pain, whether from a broken relationship or failed task, doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. “Not all intense emotional difficulty represents failure.”
  • Give back
    Be kind to yourself and others. “When you authentically do something for someone, even anonymously, it takes you out of yourself in ways that are very freeing. It allows you to realize that you’re adding to the overall good.”

Resources Recommended by Fellow Owls:

Healthy Eating

Dietician Rhea Li is a nutrition consultant at the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. She understands that all the advice around health food fads and diets can be confusing. We asked her for the nutritional scoop on a few millennial meal staples. Here, Li takes aim at a few myths — and suggests ways to season your diet with a dash of healthful knowledge.

They’re full of dietary cholesterol — and healthful nutrients. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, moderate egg consumption — up to one egg a day — is not associated with increased heart disease. Li follows the “moderation is key” guideline. “For those who love eggs on a daily basis, I have recommended one egg a day, whether in recipes or on their own.”

Delivered Meal Kits
The calorie count in meal kits can be as high as 700–800 calories, but they should be 600–700 calories per meal, at most. She recommends choosing lower-fat options when selecting meals and making meals without added sauces. Use healthy oils instead of butter and milk instead of heavy cream in kit recipes.

Avocado Toast
Li says avocados have good fats, but their healthfulness depends on how much avocado you put on your toast. She says that one-third of an avocado is a good serving size.


Owl in a suitcase

Can busy, budget-conscious millennials incorporate travel into their lives? Kay Rodriguez ’15, the proprietor of Jetfarer, a website that’s packed with travel guides, tips and itineraries, says, “Yes!” A self-described “adventure addict,” Rodriguez turned an undergraduate summer travel blog into a travel career focused on helping “ambitious, travel-loving young professionals” see the world in a smart and budget-friendly way. We’re happy to share this travel pro’s advice.

A Jetfarer Is Born

After her freshman year at Rice, Rodriguez decided to sell her car and use the money to travel all summer. She went to Guatemala, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong. “That whole summer really opened my eyes to different types of travel, traveling on a budget and traveling by myself without family members,” Rodriquez said. To keep family and friends up to date, she started a blog called The Kay Days, where she posted her travel stories and photography. “By the end of the summer, I had more than 500 subscribers,” Rodriguez recounted. “I said to myself, ‘Well, these people care about what I’m writing about and like seeing my photos, so I can’t just stop.’”

Rodriguez continued to travel and share her experiences while still a student at Rice. After graduation, she landed management consulting positions — including a stint at National Geographic — but her wanderlust could not be stifled. She grew The Kay Days’ audience to about 5,000 viewers per month but considered going in a different direction.

Owl in an airplane window

“I started writing posts that I would want to read as a millennial, as a full-time employee and as somebody who loves travel but feels constrained by the amount of time and money that I had.” It was then that Jetfarer — a name she invented that combines “jetsetter” and “wayfarer” — was born. “I decided to build Jetfarer from scratch,” Rodriguez said.

While growing Jetfarer, Rodriguez learned how to monetize the blog through travel-related display ads and affiliate marketing. Seeing that alternate source of income, she took a major risk. “I decided I would take a year off [from work] and give this Jetfarer thing a spin,” Rodriguez said. “I would use the money that I’d saved, travel around, write about my adventures and if at the end of the year I could not make this business work, I’d recruit for jobs again.” At the time of writing, Rodriguez is nearing the end of her trial year. In that time, she has visited more than a dozen countries and more than doubled Jetfarer’s audience to 50,000 viewers per month. She has been successful in supporting herself with income from the blog, supplemented by freelancing and independent consulting gigs.

To date, the 26-year-old has seen more of the world than many adults twice her age — so much so that she no longer counts how many countries she’s been to. “I lost count in 2018 at about 55 [countries],” she said.

Travel Like a Pro

Consider the per-day cost of your destination, not just the cost of a cheap flight to get there.
“A lot of people get sold on this idea that if you get a cheap flight, then you’re going to have a cheap vacation, but that’s definitely not the case. For example, there are cheap flights to Iceland, but Iceland is a super expensive destination. Once you get there, you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars a day. On the other hand, a flight to a place like Peru or Guatemala is a little more expensive, but places are significantly cheaper per day.”

Be flexible with your time to save money. You’ll pay more for speed and convenience.
“People often choose to take a taxi from the airport to their accommodations because public transportation is difficult and there’s a language barrier. For example, in Chile, depending on where you’re staying, a taxi could cost anywhere from $60 to $100 from the airport. Taking a direct bus to the bus station and connecting to the metro is easy. You don’t need to know Spanish because all you have to do is look at the names of the stops. You would pay about a tenth of [the price of a taxi] or less.”

Identify where you want to splurge and cut back elsewhere.
“I have an article on Jetfarer called ‘On Dining at a Michelin-Star Restaurant While Staying at a Hostel.’ I paid more than $100 for my meal at this Michelin-star restaurant, and I went back and stayed in the dorm room at a hostel.”

Owl with a suitcase

Maximize time off by combining company holidays, weekends and
vacation days to extend your trip.

“Every Thanksgiving, I took the whole week off. I only used three vacation days, but I was able to travel for nine to 10 days.”

Don’t be afraid of traveling solo!
“If there’s any aspect of travel that’s impacted me the most, I would say it’s traveling solo. It’s really forced me to get out of my comfort zone, to be independent and resourceful, to put myself out there to make friends and meet people, and to evaluate risks and learn how to identify warning signs when they show up.”

Choose a place where you actually want to go, even if it isn’t the most popular destination with the most tourist infrastructure.
“I recently spent four months in Central Asia. For most of the time I was there, there were zero tourists. I met tons of locals and I got to learn about nomadic living, which is totally unique and different from anything else I’ve ever experienced.”

Set up a travel savings account.
Rodriquez advises setting up two bank accounts for paychecks. Put 10% into the travel savings account and 90% into a household account — or whatever percentages work for you. “[Funds] go directly into savings for those vacations and big trips. I think if it had come from my checking account first and I had seen it there, I would have been more reluctant to put it away.”

Top Travel Regions for Young Explorers

Owl flying around the globe

“The most expensive places in South America are about the same price as traveling around the U.S., and the least expensive places in South America you can easily get by on less than $40–$50 per day. You also only need to learn one, maybe two languages in order to get around multiple countries. It’s great for hikers and for people who love culture, food and history. There are a lot of amazing places that people have on their bucket lists, like Machu Picchu in Peru or the Salar de Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia.”

“After I graduated from Rice, I spent nearly four months in Southeast Asia. There are so many different cultures there that you can get to know. The locals are really kind when it comes to helping with directions, even if there’s a huge language barrier. There’s also great tourist infrastructure, and it’s budget-friendly. The flights between countries are cheap, and you’ll meet plenty of other travelers — whether you like it or not.”

“An up-and-coming area of Europe is the Balkans. I’ve spent significant time in Slovenia in particular. It’s an under-the-radar destination and economical — much cheaper than traveling in Western Europe and Scandinavia. Because it’s not such a hot spot for tourists quite yet, it’s a lot easier to meet locals.” — Kay Rodriguez ’15