I am an Admissions Advisor and have been a part of the ITA team since October of 2020.
Growing up, my family traveled domestically, but never internationally. I had always loved languages and learning about how language shapes culture and personality, which led me to study Spanish in college. During that time, I studied abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, and later completed a Hospitality and Tourism internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I knew I wanted to go abroad again after college, so a friend and I found a teaching program in Chile, and despite never really having heard of Chile, we went for it! Once I was there, I realized how relatively easy and incredibly rewarding it is to find a job and make a home in another country. Teaching English abroad offers an insight into a new culture that I believe transcends traditional travel. To pay bills, to rent an apartment, to go to work in a foreign country allows you to integrate on a level that traditional travelers will never experience. Teaching abroad taught me to be a better public speaker, to become confident in who I am, gave me lifelong friendships, and shattered my knowledge of what is widely accepted to be the status quo.
I’m from a rural town in the Finger Lakes region of New York called Naples.
I went to college at SUNY Geneseo which is a small liberal arts school not far from where I grew up, and there I studied Spanish. I was very much undecided on my major throughout my time in college, but Spanish was always something that interested me, and that decision really shaped the rest of my life.
I went abroad for the first time in high school, on a school trip to Mexico. It changed my life and opened my eyes; I don’t think I slept the entire week.
Canada, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Iceland, France, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria.
In college, I studied abroad in Costa Rica, and then two years later I did an independent internship at a hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduating, I knew I wanted to go back to South America, so I got TEFL certified and moved to Santiago, Chile, where I lived and taught English for four years.
When you live abroad, opportunities arise that would seem impossible back home. While I was living in Santiago, I was a part of an expat Facebook group. I answered a post looking for two people to caretake a sheep ranch in a remote area of Patagonia. Within the day of speaking to the owner, we were going. My now-husband and I spent seven months through the winter and spring living without running water or electricity in a small, isolated cabin in Northern Patagonia. Our days were spent walking dogs, caring for the sheep and horses, cutting firewood, and cooking and reading at night when the sun would go down. It was to this day the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life, and I try to connect with the lessons I learned there as often as possible in my life today.
Mexican food! I love the freshness, the flavors, and the spice. My favorite international cocktail is the pisco sour from Peru and Chile.
I feel so lucky to work at ITA because teaching abroad changed my life and altered my personal and professional trajectory forever. To help other people realize their wildest dreams to teach and live abroad is one of my wildest dreams!