Staff Spotlight: Maria Patsou

Program Coordinator
Maria Patsou is the Program Coordinator for London. Maria moved to London from Greece four years ago to pursue an MSc degree in psychology and work in academia and in the field of mental health support.

female headshot

What position do you hold at Global Semesters? What has been your career path so far?

Maria: I am the program coordinator for the London semesters. My career path has been very diverse, perhaps a bit too diverse for some peoples’ taste. I have worked as actress, singer, mental health support worker, waitress, DJ, event planner, mentor, researcher, editor and teacher.

I have studied drama and psychology in separate degree programs, and specialized in therapy and clinical psychology the last few years. I have been involved in non-academic roles in UK universities and I am currently undertaking an interdisciplinary PhD degree in theater performance and clinical psychology. Since I moved to London, I found myself drawn to roles that involve adult student support, teaching and extra-curricular group activities; my current role gives me an excellent opportunity to explore this area even further.

What country have you always wanted to visit?

berlin wall

Maria: Although I have visited USA and more particularly, New York, I have been dreaming of a cross-country road trip for quite a few years now. It takes a lot of planning and some money saved aside, but the past year I have been getting closer to that dream.

The landscape of USA is unbelievably diverse and exciting, its national parks are a true treasure and unique in character, plus there have been a few cities that I have always wanted to visit for the richness of their cultural and music history, such as Memphis, New Orleans and Savannah. Next to this trip, I would put a week of endless fun in Havana, Cuba.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

Maria: I have to say Spain was the ultimate traveling experience for me. Last year I planned a short trip to Barcelona, in May, to attend Primavera Festival which magically included my dream line-up of bands such as Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age and many more.

While the weather was not what you would expect for a Mediterranean country at the time, I still managed to hit all the gorgeous sites, attend an amazing stop-motion exhibition, go to the festival every day and eat at one of the most sought-after restaurants in the world, with a menu by one of the most famous chefs in the world, Ferran Adrià. Every single moment of this trip was an intense, fulfilling experience that will stay with me forever.

Lefkada greece

What language have you always wanted to learn and why?

Maria: This has not been a lifelong dream, but the last few years I have wanted to learn Portuguese. I have always thought that this is a particularly emotionally charged language that carries a lot of the culture of Portugal (and Brazil!) in its sounds, but since I traveled to Portugal that impression of how the language fits perfectly the coolness of Portuguese people, was verified.

I guess every language reflects the culture of a nation, but Portuguese feels particularly representative of its people, attitudes, spirit and even weather!