What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite memory was visiting the Alhambra with the Sevilla Summer Abroad program. I have been studying Spain and Spanish culture for many years but it was my first opportunity to travel to this particular location. The students' reaction to the Alhambra was remarkable, they couldn't stop smiling and taking pictures, it was a trip of a lifetime.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Since working for CIEE I have realized how passionate I am about student travel. I've always know that students should travel and learn about language in native countries, but this experience allowed me to see the true value of learning first hand and the unique difference that study abroad makes for students.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
My favorite story comes from a student I worked with in Madrid. He sent me a picture with a wonderful description of his first homemade tortilla española. The student was overjoyed at recreating a recipe we learned in cooking class. He was so proud to share his new skills with his natural family and they were overjoyed when they saw him reading the recipe in Spanish.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
If I could go on any program, I would go to High School Summer Abroad.
The one month language program (specifically in Spain) is amazing. The in country staff, the program leaders, and the cultural experience is incomparable.
Although there are great programs for Gap years and semesters/years abroad, I would prefer high school summer abroad because it allows high school students to get the experience of a lifetime.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
This company is unique because every activity has the students in mind. The language courses are taught by native speakers/teachers who really care for each and every individual student. The program leaders are educators in the field and well versed in culture as well as language acquisition. The support staff in Portland, Maine is incredible and quick to respond to any issue while abroad, before, and after departure. There really isn't an equal in my opinion.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think the biggest factor in being a successful company is a fool proof plan with happy customers. I think that when the people who work for you feel confident, and the people who attend your program feel confident, the company cannot go wrong.