Although I grew up in Wisconsin, I was introduced to the wonders of travel early, as my family took yearly road trips around the U.S. This led to a fascination with international travel as well, so, in high school, I traveled to Costa Rica with my high school. This was just the beginning. As an undergrad, I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand, which was an amazing experience. After graduating from college, I was unsure of what I wanted to do, so I worked in the hospitality field and traveled when I could. When I discovered I could work in study abroad, I chose to pursue my Master’s in International Education Management with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which gave me the understanding of the international education field that I wanted before launching my career with CEA.
I have been lucky enough to travel to a large variety of countries, including Haiti, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Fiji, Denmark, and Italy, and more. Of course, I hope to continue exploring the rest of the world as well as all of the beautiful spots within the U.S. When I’m not having adventures abroad, I entertain myself by playing volleyball, exploring nature, going to trivia nights, reading good books, and watching movies in the theater.
Some of my very first and fondest memories are the ones that I made while living in Japan with my family from ages five to seven. I don’t remember much, but the little I do remember—things such as images of cherry blossoms, the refrains of traditional songs, and the energy at local festivals—instilled a life-long passion for Japanese language and culture and languages and cultures in general.
After moving back to Arizona, I studied Japanese, German, and Russian at Northern Arizona University, where I majored in modern languages. I studied abroad in Fukuoka, Japan for a semester and volunteered to teach English to Japanese elementary school students. This experience inspired me to work abroad as an assistant language teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program for over three years in Fukushima, Japan. I also spent an additional two years working as an English teacher and international exchange program coordinator for a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.
As someone whose life was changed by studying and living abroad, I feel privileged to help CEA students with their own life-changing experiences. I want to help equip students with the knowledge they need to feel confident and excited about their upcoming international adventures. When I’m not at CEA, I enjoy watching Netflix, besting my friends at Mario Kart, playing with my dogs, and brushing up on my language skills for my next trip!