University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Patron of the Month

Teka Grigley, world traveler


Teka having fun in Brussels, Belgium.


Street scene in Brussels.

Read December’s Patron of the Month here.

RFL Rookie or Regular:

Semi-regular — it’s been a few years since Teka’s last visit! She was last at the Library in 2011, searching for grants for a study abroad adventure. She is now back after a successful trip, looking to fund a graduate school adventure.

Her success story:

Teka studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium with an affiliate program while she was a student at the University of Texas. Though the program she chose was pricey, it allowed her to go on organized trips to locations she probably would not have otherwise gone to, such as to the beaches of Normandy, France.

“The hardest part was the financial burden, and making sure money was there.”

Luckily, through a combination of grants — some of which she discovered at the Regional Foundation Library — and loans, Teka was able to study abroad for a semester.

Teka had always wanted to go to Europe, and the program in Brussels filled a course requirement. Belgium ended up being very centrally located — perfect for traveling. She also was able to work on her French (Belgians speak Dutch, French, German and English). Overall, although finding funding was a lengthy process, she has no regrets.

“It was one thing I wanted to do before graduating. The program was expensive, but worth it for the experience.”

What’s next:

While studying abroad, Teka took culture courses which gave her a different historical perspective than courses in the U.S. Her education abroad definitely influenced her future goals, and she presently wishes to go to graduate school to ultimately work with a nonprofit, grassroots, and/or community engagement organization.

Thanks for the interview, Teka! We are so glad you found funding through the Library.