Sage and Silvia Albenali grew up in different parts of the world — Sage in Kuwait and Silvia in Bolivia — but their shared desire to go to an American university brought them both to UW-Eau Claire in 2004. Both had spent time in the United States during their youths as their parents studied at American universities, experiences that inspired them to return to the U.S. for their own education.
Sage came to UW-Eau Claire for its reputation for offering a quality education as well as the winter weather he loves. Silvia chose UW-Eau Claire because of the scholarships offered as well as the opportunity to be on a campus that would require her to speak English rather than allowing her to fall back on her native Spanish.
At UW-Eau Claire, Silvia studied public relations, while Sage pursued a degree in journalism.
Within weeks of both being on campus, the two were dating; eventually they married and now live in Kuwait City, where Sage works as a public relations professional and Silvia teaches English to students with attention disorders, as well as students who have difficulty with learning the pronunciations of the English language.
While they now live in Kuwait, they say their hearts always will be in Eau Claire, a place that they describe as magical. To celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, they've returned to UW-Eau Claire this spring to visit campus, catch up with former professors, and enjoy the campus and community where they have such happy memories.
In this video, they talk about what UW-Eau Claire means to them.