Staff Spotlight: Rocío Monteoliva Herrera

Abroad Program Director


Rocío grew up in Granada and has Colombian roots thanks to her mother. She inherited the passion for her city, traveling and learning from every new met person from her family. She studied Translation and Interpreting in English and German, but gave up after 12 years working as so because she realized she loved languages, but not to communicate with them through a computer, but to be able to share experiences and knowledge with others, no matter the language they speak.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I cannot say I have only one favorite travel memory. I love traveling and, consequently, I am happy to say that I have quite a lot of touching and unforgettable memories. For example, when I was living in Germany, I used to talk to my parents via cellphone every week. When I moved to Berlin, my mother hoped it wasn't for longer than some months, and I stayed there for five years! One day during the phone call they told me "we are traveling to Turkey" and I said I would love traveling to Istanbul as well. My mother's immediate reaction was "if you were in Granada, you would fly with us".

It was a turning point in my life since I had decided to give up translating and look for a job that made me happy, so I had bought a van and had the determination to travel around Europe until getting a professional inspiration... Three days later, I was in Istanbul having a tea with my parents and one of my best German friends after having crossed Europe in 3 days, from Germany to Turkey across Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and back across Rumania and Slovakia... Unforgettable!

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

First, I was able to change my job starting with Sol Education Abroad. I mentioned above that I have a turning point in my life when I decided I wanted to live not from translation but from another job that satisfied me. It wasn't it easy and it took me more than five years until I was able to earn my living just from working with people (as a travel guide, mountain guide and coordinator/director of abroad programs). The professional chance I took and changed that was starting to work with Sol Education Abroad.

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

It is not really a story, but seeing pictures of the marriage and genuine happiness of their learning from each other and together living of two of my SOLmates in Granada has being amazing and satisfying. Their story makes me happy and smile from heart.

Apart from that, I have still contact with one of the students (she calls me "big sister") and just to know the way she could overcome a really difficult situation and find her way to happiness is enough to feel that my "job" with the company is worth it.

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

Our company is unique thanks to the hard-working people and the team spirit. We give our uppermost in every link of the chain, from the very top at the office having contact with schools, universities, families and the "field team", to the last (but not least) link, that means, to us, taking care of our students, listening to them, learning from them and helping them out to grow up and evolve from this experience and meaning a change in their lives.

I am proud of Sol Education anytime. I am always amazed how they find such a wonderful and valuable team, either professionally as well as personally.