Celebrating IEW 2022: International Education Career Inspiration
At CEA CAPA, we understand that studying or interning abroad expands traditional boundaries of education and offers opportunities to explore global perspectives. That’s why we’re excited to celebrate International Education Week (IEW) from Nov. 14-18 by highlighting the benefits of working in education abroad. In this series, we asked our colleagues about their personal impacts, expertise, and unique experiences from international education and hope their responses inspire the next generation of students.
We asked: What inspired your interest in pursuing a career path in international education? Our colleagues answered...
I studied and interned abroad with CAPA in London, and it was the driving factor in my career path to international education. It was a transformative experience for me, both personally and professionally, and I found I wanted to support students who were looking to have a similar experience.
Being a study abroad student, learning a different language, and learning about how people live elsewhere in addition to facing challenges in adapting to life outside of my home country and in a new school system had a profound impact on me and the way I view the world. These experiences continue to help me take a step back before judging, to adapt to stressful situations, and better understand myself and others.
After six years as an English teacher in Spain, I realized while I loved working with students I did not want to continue to work in a classroom, thus I began to think about the study abroad sector. It’s an opportunity for me to work with students and provide them with the same kind of opportunities and assistance which changed my life.
I lived and studied abroad for a long time, and I could see firsthand the impact that experience had on my personality, skills, and personal development.
I stayed at the Université de Paris for several years after graduate school. As a doctoral student, I had a phenomenal opportunity to start working in the field of study abroad, and it was such a perfect fit. Years later, I am lucky to work in a field that is satisfying, exciting, challenging, and loads of fun!
I spent time in the USSR (I'm that old!) and in the U.S. as a student, and it was truly transformative. Looking back, those experiences were rites of passage, and I would be a different person without them. I want our students to have that kind of experience, too.
The love for supporting students, especially as they venture far from the comforts of on campus education.
My world was rocked by study abroad when I studied for a year in Osaka, Japan. For almost 12 months, days were those of wonder and reflection. I knew I was a "lifer" then.
I knew from a young age I wanted to work with students. My love of traveling and working with students brought me into the international education field and to CEA CAPA!
I am passionate about traveling and language acquisition as well as education and counseling, which led to a natural trajectory into the field of international education.
My own travels have had a long-lasting impact on my growth and development as a person. I want other students to have similar experiences as I did, both abroad and returning home, in the hopes that it can help catapult their lives to new heights.
I worked in the study abroad office at UNL, where I fell in love with international education and assisting other students in pursuing their experiences abroad. After studying abroad in South Korea in Summer ‘21, I knew I wanted to pursue this career path and ended up working as a Project Coordinator for UNL's Global Affairs offices prior to joining CEA CAPA as a Site Specialist.
Coming from an immigrant family, I've seen firsthand how education is a tool that can unite cultures, countries, and people despite the language and other cultural barriers that exist. I studied anthropology in college, so I’ve always been pursuing a career that lets me push boundaries (culturally and linguistically) and work with people from many diverse backgrounds in hopes, one day, they're able to go out and see the world for themselves.
Having such an impactful study abroad experience myself, I decided I wanted to help and encourage other students to have the same kind of transformational abroad experience!
After studying abroad in London, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in education abroad. There's no greater joy than supporting and advising students to find the experience that will change their life forever.
While I didn't study abroad, I did have the opportunity to live abroad in West Africa for more than two years after grad school. I am immensely thankful for this opportunity, as it significantly challenged and changed my perspective. It's a huge part of why I love the work that we get to do - helping to make opportunities accessible for students to have their own perspectives challenged, while also impacting others.
I feel like I'm one of the few people in the field that did not study abroad. I wanted to, however, being a first-generation college student, cultural perceptions, and the financial implications of study abroad did not allow me to participate. My academic and professional background as a career counselor gave me the unexpected opportunity to create and manage international internship programs early on in my career.
Both of my parents were educators and exposed me to travel at a young age. When I visited Epcot at Walt Disney World and was exposed to different cultures and cuisines I was hooked and wanted to explore the world. This later translated into a passion for helping others do the same.
I love supporting students as they expand their perspectives and successfully articulate their newly acquired intercultural skills after high impact learning experiences. I wanted to pursue a career in international education because I love steering this process -- whether I'm helping students develop deeper self-awareness or supporting faculty in strengthening their own intercultural communication skills.
I grew up as a third culture kid living for stints in Sweden and Norway before settling back in the U.S. Even then, I had the chance to attend highly diverse schools. I thought all of this was normal, until I studied abroad in college. There, I realized many of the other Americans on my program were using their passports for the first time and had grown up in more homogeneous settings. Abroad, I witnessed them explore the world for the first time, and honestly it was hard to watch at times. Still, I saw a unique space for self-reflection and openness that could be used to promote values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the study abroad field.
When I studied abroad for a semester in South Africa, I learned so much about myself as a person, about my peers from the U.S., and locals from different cultures and identities. That’s when I decided to devote my life to helping other students seek out transformative international education experiences.
I started teaching English when I was 18 years old. Years later, I became certified and worked for private institutions, public schools, private companies as their in-house instructor, translator and interpreter, and ultimately became Adjunct Professor at my alma mater. As I navigated a personal immigration journey, I knew I wanted to work in international education, providing services, resources, and support to students going to different parts of the world.
It's simple. I studied abroad and found myself through that experience, which drove my passion for helping others experience something similar and better than my own experience.
My time studying in the U.K. as an undergraduate (full year direct enroll program) and then as a graduate student at the same university (enrolling directly, not through a program) had such an impact on me that I loved the idea of working in that field and helping other students have such an experience.
What inspired you to pursue a career in international education? Tell us in the comments below.
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