Staff Spotlight: Clarisa Depari

Study Abroad Advisor


What is your favorite travel memory?

In Chiang Mai, I volunteered at a local orphanage twice a week before class. From my housing, the orphanage was 20-minutes away by rod daeng (small red truck). All I had to do was flag one down and showed a sticky note with the name of the orphanage on it.

That was not the case one day. I talked to three different drivers and my sticky note trick didn’t work. I realized that they didn’t read the alphabet. I tried to pronounce the name in Thai. I knew I butchered it bad because they still didn’t know where I wanted to go.

I eventually pulled out a map of Chiang Mai and pointed at my destination. Luckily, the orphanage was on it! The drivers burst out laughing when they figured out where I wanted to go. It was rewarding to overcome the language barrier.

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

After seeing both sides of the process, I gained a deeper level of appreciation for study abroad. There is a great team of people behind each student’s successful study abroad preparation.

My study abroad experiences would have not been the same if I didn’t have a great team from USAC to support me.

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

For our Scotland programs, we offer an overnight trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands every semester. One of the destinations is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, where the Hogwarts Express runs along in the Harry Potter movies.

A return student told me that she was so ecstatic to have seen the viaduct in real life. It was the highlight of the field trip for her. Being a Harry Potter fan myself, I completely understand her excitement.

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

I would choose to go to the Santiago, Chile program. Santiago seems like a great city to live in. It’s surrounded by mountains which means I don’t have to travel far to enjoy nature. In the city center, there are a lot of museums and neoclassical architectures to check out.

The program offers interesting courses such as Chile’s Native Cultures and Latin American Technology & Globalization. Also, I would love to learn more about Pablo Neruda.

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

Teamwork. Whether it is between departments or within a department, everyone at USAC is always collaborating to improve the way we assist our students.