Carmen Arrúe

Site Director - GEO in Oviedo, Spain
Carmen Arrúe was born in Cuba and raised in the USA where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology. She has been director of the Oviedo program for over 20 years and been a long time resident in Asturias, the land where her ancestors are from. There she says she has " found her place in the world."

What is your favorite travel memory?

hands in heart over city

Every trip I have taken has left a mark. I guess it is because the places are well chosen for some quality that strikes my fancy - be it natural beauty, cultural richness or human interest. Wherever I go, I prefer to linger in depth versus skimming over the surface.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I consider myself very lucky to do what I do for GEO. My work has been most rewarding in offering me constant opportunities to cross cultures and help others to do so as well.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are many, the best have to do with undergoing a significant change or transformation (personal, emotional, mental) as a result of their study abroad experience. Sometimes this has been most dramatic, an absolute change in career or life direction which comes accompanied by the courage to do so.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

conquering a hike

I would go on just about any of the programs we offer because many of them take place in sites that are not the typical places where students study abroad, where I think it is easier for them to immerse in the language and the culture.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

As an anthropologist I have always been very proud that we were among the first study abroad organizations to value and put an emphasis on intercultural training for the students who participate on our our programs. Local, experienced, permanent staff members offer support and mentorship to our students and are an important strength of our programs.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

As always, the human factor is what in the end brings success to any company. Without the dedication, commitment, energy and hard work of people you can't get very far.