I am an Admissions Advisor and have been a part of the ITA team since October of 2020.
I had the fortune to start traveling at a young age. That early exposure started a lifelong passion.
In high school, I didn’t know where I wanted to go to school or what I wanted to study but I was always sure that I wanted to move abroad. I wanted to experience food textures and smells I had never known before, memorize a new phone number, and address in a foreign tongue. Learn about new holidays and traditions.
I had my first extended experience in Taiwan. I’ll never forget the feeling as I boarded the plane. I was nervous and excited but couldn’t figure out which was the dominant emotion. I opened up the in-flight magazine to distract myself from the monumental shift my life was undergoing. The first page I opened to was a spotlight on the town I went to college in, Greensboro, NC. Four years before, I hadn’t known of that city at all but it was now a home away from home. I took this as a sign that no matter where I went, I could make a home.
I lived a year and a half in Kaohsiung in what I fondly think back on as my “rumspringa” days. I traveled out of the country once a month, went camping, and scooted around every other weekend. I made lifelong friends and memories that have sustained me through being locked inside during COVID.
Next, I ventured to South Korea. My mom had done Peace Corps in South Korea and I had always been interested in living there. The opportunity presented itself when an acquaintance from college told me of an opening at his school and I decided to roll the dice. In a very serendipitous turn of events, that acquaintance is now my boyfriend. We have had the opportunity to travel all around the world together; eating, diving, and hiking.
Living abroad has given me all of the things I hold most dear to my heart. My partner, my cats, my closest friends, and my favorite foods.
I’m from Brookline, MA.
I attended college at Guilford College with a major in Business Management.
The first time I went abroad, I had just turned six. My uncle was living in Japan at the time and we were going over as a family to visit him. I remember getting my long hair chopped into a short bob before the trip, in preparation for the heat of Japan’s summer. I remember getting to pick my own meal on the flight and having my own personal TV in front of me! I could have never gotten off that plane and been happy.
When the plane landed in Narita, I waited with my mother in a long line for the restroom. The first one that came available was a squat style toilet, which I had never seen before. I recall looking up at my mom, probably with huge eyes full of apprehension. She said, “you’ll have to eventually, might as well do it now.” Those are the words I’ve lived by since.
Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, and Cambodia.
I lived in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for a year and a half to teach English. Then I moved to Daegu, South Korea, and taught for two more years!
While living in Taiwan, I went to a “firework” festival. This festival was written up as one of the most dangerous in the world, which meant I had to go. My friends and I geared up for the festival. Wore layers and layers as well as a scooter helmet to protect ourselves from the stray fireworks we were told would be pelted at us. We were covered head to toe and ready for the excitement!
We get to the festival and it is swarmed. My friends and I tried to navigate the crowds and keep track of each other, but everyone was wearing a helmet and were pretty indistinguishable. I ended up getting separated from my friends. As I got out my phone to try and call them, an older Taiwanese gentleman grabbed me and pulled me. Instantly I was nervous but then I saw what he pulled me away from - an exploding firework! He and his family took me in, gave me tea and treats while I waited for the fireworks to finish to be able to connect with my friends. This story is my favorite because it encompasses my time in Taiwan. I was a little bit disoriented but always greeted with the utmost kindness and warmth.
My life has been fully shaped by living and teaching abroad. Being able to help facilitate that for others brings me the deepest joy.
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