Lily is part of the programs team for TEAN based in the Chicago office. She is a graduate of Temple University and interned abroad in London.
What is your favorite travel memory?
This is such a hard question!
I think my favorite one most recently would have to be waking up in Queenstown every morning and opening my shades to see Cecil Peak across Lake Wakatipu. It's an absolutely unreal sight; photos don't do Queenstown justice.
I understand now why all of our students go back again after their orientation!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I had a student that went on our University of Otago program in New Zealand which houses a number of international students together with a local kiwi flatmate to help them get acclimated to the area.
This student, in particular, had made such a great connection with her flatmates that they still talked regularly and she was planning to go visit some of them in their home countries over the summer.
It's great when study abroad experiences open up students to more cultural opportunities not just relating to the country they’re in, and more future travel!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I love our Semester in Shanghai program. I've fallen completely in love with Shanghai as a city -- there's so much to do and see. Plus then you can travel through the rest of China, in addition to the Chengdu and Beijing excursions we include in the program.
I'd personally love to see the sunrise over the Great Wall. I'm always so jealous when I see the photos each semester! Also, the language program is an excellent opportunity. It's incredibly immersive and I'd love to advance my Chinese language skills.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I really like that at TEAN it's very one-on-one when working with students and we focus on a specific part of the world. It gives you the opportunity to know your students well and your regions intimately. I love being able to tell students about my favorite places to get pork bao in Shanghai or where the local farmer’s market in Wellington is.
Working in an office in Chicago, we don't get to see students much but have the opportunity to get to know them through their pre-departure calls and emails which is really nice.
I'm always proud of our team here, but especially when I see someone working closely with a student when they run into an issue or just need extra help. We really try to go above and beyond for our students here and when I see colleagues going an extra mile to make study abroad work for the students, I get a swell of pride for what we do.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Being able to adapt and change. We're constantly revising our processes and looking at what works and what doesn't for students and then making changes to make the process easier.
You get students from all different backgrounds, ranging from those who have traveled extensively to those who have never even set foot on a plane before.
We want to make sure everything is clear so that whatever your background is in terms of traveling and studying abroad, it's made easy for you - and fun!