Alumni Spotlight: Travis Thomas

Travis is an ambassador in cross-cultural relations with a passion for teaching and learning through global citizenship. He is currently teaching English and developing businesses in Bogota, Colombia.

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Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program with the intent of being self-employed and continuing in my pursuit of living cross-culturally. I chose this program to advance in my goals and better my life. I desired to live intentional, and this program provided with the tools and resources to do just that. I wanted to have control of my destiny and to possess my work, and this program provided me with this opportunity

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provided me with the resources and the tools to be a proficient teacher of English as a foreign language. It was up to me to seek out the opportunities and then apply them so I can make a living teaching.

The program does not work without the execution. I gained the knowledge necessary to change my life, and it was up to me to apply that knowledge through wise choices.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would advise that they pace themselves, master the art of incrementalism, take little bites at a time, and be patient. Just like learning any new trade or skill, you want to take your time and truly absorb the content and information. When the opportunity arises to apply what you know, take those opportunities.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I usually wake up around 8 AM or 7 PM depending on when I have a class. I teach my classes, and study. Any spare time I divide between leisure and business ventures. The program was not arduous nor overbearing, I was able to complete it in three weeks and then immediately apply the skills I had acquired to teaching English classes.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was moving abroad and not being able to sustain myself. What if I don't book enough classes? However, after 1 month of working, I had made enough to pay my rent and more. I succeeded quicker than I expected. Don't be afraid to take the risk of going abroad, and don't underestimate your ability to swim in unknown waters. Find the security and peace of mind to invest in yourself.

Some more advice.

As you are growing abroad, simply plan as much as you can, even for spontaneous exploration. Never be afraid to wander, allow yourself to get lost, and work your way out of foreign places and circumstances.

If you never test yourself in these spaces, you'll never uncover the hidden potential and resourcefulness you have.

Give yourself over to the process of risk and new experiences. Create meaningful connection as much as you can, and don't be afraid to ask for help from people around you, even strangers. The world is much more inviting than you can imagine.