Staff Member Spotlight: Nicoletta Marchionne

Title
International Programs Co-Ordinator

Photos

Nicoletta was born and raised in Rome where she studied International Relations at Roma Tre University. During her studies, Nicoletta did an internship with a Study Abroad provider in Rome. As a part of her internship, she shared housing with American students, accompanied them in cultural activities and shared her local knowledge to help them immerse in the Italian culture.

Nicoletta has been working in the study abroad industry for over 10 years as a Student Services Lead, Housing Coordinator, Site Director and more recently as International Programs Coordinator . She has lived and worked in Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, and the UK and developed a good understanding of students’ needs and all the essential aspects required to build a unique program abroad. Her great experience in risk management helps her to create not only unique but also high quality programs abroad.

She is curious and energetic and loves sharing her insights into a new culture to help students experience their time abroad like a local! Local traditions and food are her favorite ways to learn about a new culture.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It is hard to pick just one... Bathing in a river with Elephants in Chang Mai? Or the first town I ever visited in Ireland... Dingle? Or the road trip from Rome to Amsterdam with my best friends? I don't think I can choose just one. Every experience, both the good and is an experience I cherish. May these moments abroad continue!

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

I joined EazyCity, the European sister company of EZC Study Abroad, in 2014.

I started out as Branch Manager in Cork, Ireland, then worked as International Operations Coordinator and I am currently working at EZC Study Abroad as International Program Coordinator.

I have definitely grown from a professional point of view. I also changed my approach to students, at the beginning I was younger and I used to live the experience together with them, now I am more focused on the full picture of the program. My priority is to select the best opportunities out there to guarantee not only a fun experience but also a valuable one that will help students with their professional growth.

My focus is also on the health and safety and risk management procedures which I find to be an essential aspect of any study abroad program. I try to put all these elements together when building a new program!

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

I have plenty of romantic stories to tell. Many students fell in love while abroad and now they have families with the person they met during their study abroad. But my favorite one is the story of Chloe, a student I met in Rome.

She was the only one from her school attending the semester abroad at that time because her friends backed out at the very last minute. With all the other students coming in groups, I was concerned she might feel alone. It's safe to say she had the time of her life; she met so many people and made new friends whom she then traveled Europe with. When she returned from her semester abroad, she applied for the same job as her friend (the friend who decided not to study abroad), they both got the job but Chloe's salary was higher than that of her friend, thanks to her experience abroad.

When students complete their Study Abroad program and return home, they return with new perspectives on culture, new language skills and a great new willingness to learn. All these are very attractive to future employers.

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

It is not easy to pick one... Maybe Sorrento, only to start every single day with that amazing view of the Costiera Amalfitana? Or Cork, to be surprised again by the Irish landscapes and the kindness of the people? It is not easy to choose just one but if I really had to choose I think I'd like to go to Valencia in Spain.

Valencia is the perfect destination for an authentic experience. It is a medium sized city with a beautiful beach, great universities, rich history, and delicious food – what more could you ask for! The city is also very well connected with the rest of the country. Our academic partner in Valencia provides valuable courses and really allows the students to make the most out of the experience… So yes, the combo semester + internship in Valencia is the program I would choose!

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

Most of the study abroad providers are US companies who develop their onsite teams abroad. EZC Study Abroad was set up the opposite way: we have first developed expert on-site teams and strong local connections before opening our US office to reach out to students. I believe these are the elements that make our programs so successful! We are experts on the ground and I am proud of our dedicated on-site teams, always helping our students deal with any challenges abroad.

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

Having a strong company culture, a clear and ambitious vision and hiring the right people who understand our values. Allow people to play to their strengths, and you will be shocked at the productivity and efficiency that is created within your organization. At EZC, we are all passionate about what we do and we never stop learning and exploring. We also always try to anticipate the needs and wants of our customers so we can always provide them with the best experience abroad.