Not sure this view will ever get old!
One spring day, Go Overseas CEO and co-founder Mitch Gordon asked me, "Have you ever considered relocating to California?"
Never have more beautiful words been spoken!
Okay, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but as I sit in my new office and look out across the Bay, I can only feel an overwhelming sense of belonging, purpose and good fortune. Having just relocated from Beijing to Berkeley after two years in China, my new West Coast friends tell me I'm "fresh off the boat," and that "no, 'that's what she said' is not cool to say anymore" (or ever).
To work in an office where the word "Tweet" is not coupled with cringes, to be surrounded by individuals who likewise believe in the power of travel, to devote large potions of my day to brainstorming ways to encourage people to study overseas - this is a dream job!
Not to say that I didn't love my life in Beijing. Working for China Study Abroad and getting to interact daily with international students in my multicultural office was a pretty sweet gig. I was able to see firsthand the transformations students made from the day I picked them up at the airport to the day I dropped them off (and I'm not just referring to their comfort level when speaking Chinese with the taxi driver!). These students left as new individuals - change agents - armed with a wealth of new understandings and perspectives to bring back to their home communities. Global awareness, confidence, acceptance, patience - to know these skills and put them into use daily changes a person for the better.
I will hold these memories with me as raw motivation to keep tackling away at a society that deems study abroad as a luxury and not a necessity.
It's been a great first few weeks in the Go Overseas office, in large part due to our excellent crew of interns for the summer! GO recruited five awesome and energetic individuals to work alongside us - no coffee makers here - these students are jumping head first (or maybe cannonball?) into the behind-the-scenes of GO. We wish them all a happy and productive summer, full of shared pizza lunches and great brainstorming sessions (it's also nice to not be the only newbie!).
A hearty welcome to our top-notch summer interns.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be the Study Abroad Director for Go Overseas and hope to serve the study abroad and international education communities effectively - to increase our communication, to better understand the best ways to inspire the current college kid, to provide relevant and interesting information so students can make more informed decisions prior to going abroad. I want to be a part of it, all of it, from the moment a student first considers a semester in London to the ways that same student builds on their experience after coming back. We can all work together to create a generation of Americans who are actively concerned about people both within and outside our borders.
Besides, it's all for the students and ensuring they have the best experience going overseas possible, right?