UI grads go abroad following graduation

Kyler Johnson and Raj Aditya plan to take their talents out of the states after they graduate in May.


Shuntaro Kawasaki

UI student Kyler Johnson poses for a portrait at the English-Philosophy Building in Iowa City on Monday, May 1, 2023. Johnson received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award and will teach English in Brazil during 2023-2024.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

Two soon-to-be 2023 University of Iowa alumni have found unique opportunities to take their talents abroad following graduation.

UI students Kyler Johnson and Raj Aditya will further their education abroad after they graduate.

Johnson will graduate with an English and creative writing bachelor’s degree and minors in French, Portuguese, Chinese, and translation for global literacy.

Following high school, Johnson spent a year abroad in Belgium before coming to the UI. Johnson said this trip is what sparked his passion for foreign languages and creative writing.

Johnson said he enjoys relearning how to communicate in other languages and is passionate about using his writing abilities to tell the stories of others.

While at the UI, Johnson has worked at the Writing Center and led the student organization Translate Iowa Project, which produces the magazine Boundless and features UI students’ works of creative writing translated into different languages.

Out of his accomplishments during his time at the UI, Johnson said his proudest achievement is the community of friends he built here.

“More than any year, I realize just how many connections I’ve gotten to make over the last four years and how I’ve made that community for myself over time, which definitely gives me hope for the future,” Johnson said.

Johnson received a Fulbright award that allows him to travel to Brazil next year and teach classes in English at a university for nine months. The university he will work at has yet to be decided, he said.

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When he is not teaching, Johnson plans to start at least two community projects with his students in Brazil. He hopes to begin a student publication similar to Translate Iowa Project’s Boundless and create a writing center for both English and Portuguese.

When his time in Brazil is over, Johnson said he wants to attend graduate school to pursue further education in nonfiction writing and literary translation. For a career, he would like to work in a publishing organization while maintaining his interest in foreign languages and translation.

“Specifically with the things that I’m interested in, the unfortunate necessity sometimes is having to occupy a lot of talents and positions within the humanities to make it a sustainable effort financially,” Johnson said. “My post-grad plan is learning as much as I can to follow my interests, stay afloat, and keep doing what I’m loving while making it sustainable.”

A finance major and international student from India, Raj Aditya will also work abroad after graduation. Like Johnson, Aditya’s interest in furthering his education and finding employment outside the U.S. came from an earlier study abroad opportunity he had during his time at the UI.

In 2021, Aditya started applying to study abroad in Ireland for summer 2022. However, he soon realized he would not be able to go because he would not be able to get an American Visa in time, which was required for him to travel.

Aditya could still apply to a virtual internship in London, where he worked as a prospect researcher for a business from June 2022 to August 2022.

Even though his study abroad experience wasn’t traditional, Aditya said it allowed him to get hands-on experience in a friendly, low-pressure environment.

“The people I worked with were great,” Aditya said. “It’s not a big company, so I got to talk with the CEO, I got to talk with ex-Olympic athletes and stuff like that.”

During his time at the UI, Aditya worked as a student lead at Catlett Market Place and has been involved in the Global Engagement Student Advisory Board, which helps foster engagement opportunities for international students majoring in business.

After he graduates, Aditya said he will attend Royal Holloway University in London to get his master’s degree. After that, he plans to work in England for a few years before moving.

“I’m thinking I’ll work in England in a big city like Manchester or London for two years, then I’m going to start applying to Japan because that’s where I really want to go,” Aditya said. “If I want to settle down, I want to settle down in Japan.”