¡Hola! Talofa. Kia Ora. Bonjour. Hello!
As an active adventurer and explorer of many places and things, my travels throughout the world led me to Monterey, California to pursue a degree in International Education Management. Originally from a rural, farming town in the Midwest, my move to California was a shock to my system, but one that was necessary in order to shape my global citizenship and stimulate my path toward a career in study abroad.
My passion for international education began when I was a junior in college, preparing to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand. Having never left the United States before, I was excited, nervous, and ready for a challenge. My studies and explorations in the Land of the Long White Cloud were invigorating and began to shape a career I had never even considered. It was through my classes on the native Maori people that I discovered my love for culture, travel, and languages. I became a global citizen in a few months, and I wanted nothing more than to share my experience and influence others to get out and just go.
Upon my return to the United States, I became highly involved with my undergraduate’s office of international education: I was a peer mentor to international students, I actively recruited prospective study abroad students, I attended conferences, I ran booths at study abroad fairs, and I accepted a position to work with the office during my senior year allowing me to gain experience and use my skills to develop creative projects for marketing and advertising. I had discovered a career that enthralled me in every way.
Following my graduation from college, I began teaching developmental English classes at a community college and was able to gain higher education work experience through a side position in the academic dean’s office. After a year at the college, my itch to travel led me to the island of Tutuila in American Samoa where I spent a year as a volunteer English teacher at a rural high school. For the first time in my life, I went to work every single day with a smile on my face – content with what I was doing. I knew that I needed to find a position in the United States that allowed me to carry that smile with me wherever I ended up. It was here that I decided to attend graduate school.
I am currently a Study Abroad Advisor at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. As of December 13, 2014, I have received a master of arts in International Education Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.