Richard Klein G'21: A Non-Traditional Path to AUP

"When you head outside you also get the immersive experience of parisian living" 

I was born in Taipei, Taiwan to US Air Force parents. I am the second of four children, and the only one of my siblings to be born outside of the States. From Taipei we moved to Colorado, where everything seemed quiet, spread out and isolated. I remember being in elementary school and showing my fellow students the tiny island off of China where I was born – I’d been given a global perspective from day one. I graduated from Bear Creek High School and instead of going directly to university I put on my backpack and set out to explore the world. The first city I ventured out to was Paris! I subsequently lived in Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and returned to Colorado for my undergraduate degree.

I completed a BA in Communication from Regis University with two additional minors: leadership and conflict management. I started a little later in life, so am definitely not a traditional student in that sense. Despite being an artist, I chose not to pursue an undergraduate degree in fine arts in order to sharpen my educational abilities. One of the greatest achievements in this phase of my life was building my dedication to who I am, how I was born and what my life is all about: creativity and lifelong learning. This foundational academic experience has empowered me to be certain I am capable of more than I ever imagined. When choosing the institution for my graduate studies, I wanted to make sure that the curriculum challenged me, that the establishment offered an immersive cultural experience and that a plethora of opportunities would inspire my creative sensibilities. AUP offered exactly what I was looking for. Not only am I honored to be accepted, I am in awe that I pushed hard enough to make it happen! 

"Being exposed to so many global perspectives has enlightened me beyond the classroom."

– Richard Klein

I enrolled in AUP's MA in Global Communications as not only an extension of my undergraduate studies, but also a way to merge my creative abilities with my academic goals. As I go from one semester to the next, my classes are tailored to my changing interests. The courses offer a comfortable mix of theory and practicality which I find is helping refine my career trajectory. Being a student at AUP has reinforced my identity as a global citizen and my commitment to being a lifelong learner, and has reignited my life's passions. I will always be an artist, but I now know that I can use my creative abilities in a wider context with the addition of an academic perspective. The careers open to me after completing the program are routes I had not previously considered, but are truly relevant to my abilities. Many of these revelations come from my professors’ insight and my interactions with alumni and fellow students.

The way I conceptualize my potential has changed greatly, as have my future options. Just as I made my dream of attending AUP happen, I am mapping out my post-graduation and post-internship goals. I definitely feel a new dedication to myself, my abilities and my value as a human being in a larger context. I have a lot to offer, a lot to give back and a lot to accomplish. AUP is helping me identify and understand the multiple avenues ahead.

It’s great to study at a fantastic institution, especially one in Paris – a city that is a living museum. What makes this even more powerful are the human interactions that occur between students and professors who come from hundreds of cities all over the planet. Being exposed to so many global perspectives has enlightened me beyond the classroom. Yes, the classes are challenging and interesting, but when you head outside you also get the immersive experience of Parisian living. Take the traditional university experience, amplify it with the energy and magnetism of a 1,000-year-old city overflowing with history, and you get a truly unique experience. Studying in Paris is simply magnificent.