Samantha has proudly worked for CIEE since 2017 with the Teach Abroad and TEFL department. Prior to her time at CIEE, she studied in Granada, Spain for a year, received her TEFL certification in Peru, and taught English in South Korea for two years. Samantha is passionate about helping others gain the skills to bridge cultural gaps around the world.
What is your favorite travel memory?
That's a difficult question to narrow down to just one. At that moment, it might not have felt like it, but the best memories have been the ones where I was stuck in a tricky or awkward situation and was forced to work my way through it by stumbling on the few words I knew in that language, using finger puppets to explain things, or just going with the flow.
Those experiences really taught you to think on your feet and gave you something to laugh about looking back on them!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
CIEE gave me a job where I leave every day feeling fulfilled. It's helped me to grow as a person, learn even more about cultures around the world without having to leave the office, and given me opportunities to gain skills that will no double help me continue to succeed. I know that I'll only continue to grow!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
My favorite stories are when students are able to use the skills they've gained from our courses or from going abroad and apply them to their every day lives in their home country. It truly shows how we're helping bridge cultural gaps. We all know how we've felt from these experiences and it's exciting to connect with students over similar experiences!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would participate in our Teach in Italy Express program. I love the idea of a professional development opportunity that would allow me to travel internationally and fits within my annual vacation time. Two weeks spent helping EFL learners improve their English, learning new skills, and filling up on all that delicious food Italy has to offer - I don't see how it could get any better!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
CIEE TEFL and the entire company as a whole is built around the people that our programs serve. We're from diverse backgrounds and stages in life and all believe the same mission - to help create a more interdependent and culturally diverse world. Even better, most of us have been in your shoes. We remember the first time we went abroad and want to help others have that same experience!
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
One of the biggest factors in being a successful company is listening to your peers, students, participants, etc. They are the voice of the company and their experiences and feedback are what allow us to continue creating relevant and quality programs.
It keeps us moving towards improving our programs and bridging those cultural gaps!