AUSTIN, Minn. - Kristen Carlson grew up in Austin, and graduated from Luther College in Decorah in May with degrees in communication studies, music, and philosophy.
Until June of 2019, she's teaching in Riga, the capital city of Latvia as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, run by the U.S. State Department. She teaches at Riga Teika Secondary School and Jāzeps Vîtols Music Academy of Latvia.
She says one of the biggest challenges in transitioning from the midwest to living abroad, is learning to live in a city. "Trying to get a hold of public transportation, learning my way around a place where I don't speak the language," she explains. "But at the same time, I've been really thankful that I've been able to make small communities in the places that I've been involved and that reminds me a lot of Austin and Decorah."
During her time in Latvia, she is taking Latvian and Russian languages classes and has also had the opportunities to travel to France and Ukraine so far.