Kate is the Outreach Coordinator at Greenheart Travel and works with high schools, universities and alumni. Kate studied abroad in Spain and worked in Thailand and Mexico after university graduation. She currently lives in Chicago, USA.
What is your favorite travel memory?
This is always the most difficult question to answer. I think one of my fondest memories was when my parents came to visit me in Thailand after I had been living there for a year.
I planned a two week trip with them, got to show them around my town and introduce them to local friends, show off my new language skills, and order them my favorite foods! It helped me realized how much I had learned and grown over the past year, and how much I had come to enjoy my new life in Thailand.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
My time at Greenheart Travel has really allowed me to really see the full circle of cultural exchange. From what motivates people to move abroad and immerse themselves in a new culture, to how they use that experience once they've returned home.
I also learn so much about new countries, cities, and cultures every day from our amazing participants' stories - I feel like every day I'm learning something new that I can then share with others.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I chat a lot with our alumni, sometimes a few years after they've returned home from their programs. It's always amazing to see how much their experience abroad impacted their future goals and university or career decisions. I also help facilitate our alumni service grants and leadership conferences, and the alumni who attend are amazing people who continue to inspire us every day!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would definitely choose High School Abroad in New Zealand! Our students that study there always seem to be doing some amazing outdoor adventure and the pictures are beautiful! It's a country that's always been on my travel list, and I think it would be amazing to be there as a student. Beaches, mountains, skiing, swimming, hiking - I'd love it all.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I think what makes Greenheart Travel unique is that everyone here has either worked, studied, or lived abroad at least once, sometimes multiple times. We all know first hand how much cultural exchange can impact you, but we also know the challenges of being away from home, family and friends for an extended period of time. Everyone here truly wants our travelers to have an amazing and life-changing time abroad.
We've been trying to encourage people who may have never considered traveling abroad to take the leap, and I'm especially proud that our team put together scholarships and resources for first time travelers! It was great to hear all of our scholarship winners' stories from their time abroad.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
With travel, I think it's extremely important to be upfront about the highs and lows of traveling abroad. As I mentioned, everyone here at Greenheart Travel has experienced this first hand, and we feel it's really important to share this with future travelers. Letting people know about the challenges they may face will help them overcome them in the end, and that's what we're always looking to do!