What is your favorite travel memory?
My most unique and therefore favorite travel memory was staying with a host family in the outback in Tyrconnell, Australia. This area was a famous goldmine 120 years ago, but is now more well known as a "bush retreat" in Australia. The host family we stayed with used to mine for gold in the 1980s, but have since focused on restoring the heritage assets and sharing it with visitors. Our hosts shared the various challenges of remote living, yet there was also an evident and extreme beauty to it as we were camping out under the vast starry sky.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
I believe that every person's international travel experience is different and valuable - as long as they are learning from the destination, it cannot be viewed as overrated. On another note, while I would not view it as underrated, I especially enjoy sharing information about NYU Sydney. This program exposes students to a variety of excursions, included but not limited to overnight retreats at Milson Island, trips to the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves, surfing lessons at Manly Beach, visits to Featherdale Wildlife Park, and trips to watch the Sydney Swans play in the Australian football league (to name a few). There is always something to do in the hustle and bustle of the city, but it's also easy to venture out for some fresh air at the beach or a nearby hiking trail when seeking just a quiet moment. It's the best of both worlds.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful global program?
I believe the biggest initial factor in being a successful study abroad provider is communicating the value in seeking out a global education. NYU incorporates this as an overarching goal for all students attending the university.
How have you changed/grown since working for NYU Global Programs?
I have inevitably grown throughout my time with New York University due to the clear commitment to ongoing learning. The opportunity to participate in various training has been a regular and enjoyable aspect of being within the NYU community. These include sessions on inclusive advising, as well as topic-based "Zone training," such as Diversity Zone, Safe Zone I and II, and Action/Bystander Intervention Zone. There is always something new and something more to learn.
What unique qualities do NYU Global Programs possess?
NYU is unique due to the clear academic pathways we encourage our students to take advantage of in order to complete major and minor degree requirements abroad. While we do have conversations with students about the other aspects to consider when choosing a study away location, this model does provide a unique way for students to view the overall study away process. Rather than saving up electives and viewing study away as a "break" from their typical major progression, this allows students a continuation of their studies in a new location.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.
This question is challenging, not because I have a difficult time thinking of a proud moment, but rather because there are numerous proud moments. Overall, I would say that I feel especially proud each academic year when the summer rolls around because there is the time to step back and reflect on everything we accomplished. It's amazing to think about the various admissions cycles, recruitment activities, pre-departure events, and campus-wide collaborations we take on. It truly is a team effort.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The stories we hear from returned students contribute towards the most rewarding aspects of this job so there are many to choose from, but one particular student's experience at NYU Berlin always stands out to me. She initially intended to just spend one semester abroad, but within weeks of being there, knew that she would benefit from an additional semester in Berlin. Her experience learning from the sustainability initiatives within the city led her to launch the Earth Impact Club within the NYU Berlin community. She later was awarded the 2015 NYU President's Service Award for her contribution and continued commitment. Hearing her talk about this project will always be one of my favorite stories because it shows just how impactful a study away experience can be in determining areas of interest and clear passion.