CIEE is a non-profit organization that provides study and work abroad opportunities for a variety of types of people. We have offices in Portland, Maine and all over the world in our Study Centers.
My official title is Senior Coordinator of Custom and Faculty-Led Programs. Long title, I know. The short explanation of what I do is that I serve as a liaison between our study centers around the world and colleges and universities in the US that have a faculty member who would like to take a group of students to another country.
The longer, more fun explanation is that every day, I get to work with people all over the world to design really exciting programs that real live students get to go on. Here are a few examples of programs I've helped to design.
1.) A month long trip to the Dominican Republic where students get to stay with Dominican families and immerse themselves in Dominican culture. For a welcome dinner, they get to have a huge authentic Dominican meal while a DJ plays Dominican music. Maybe I'm biased here since I happen to be pretty close with someone who is Dominican (ok so I'm more than pretty close, he happens to be my cute husband), but that sounds like so much fun!
|A month here? Yes, please. (This also happens to be the beach where we had our honeymoon!) via|
2.) A trip to Tokyo to study art. When most schools come to me to ask where to take an art class, Tokyo is not the first place I send them. But this professor is really ambitious and enthusiastic and she decided that even though she's never been to Tokyo, she is taking an entire class there to spend a week studying and reflecting. They will even take a weekend retreat to an island nearby.
3.) A trip to Berlin, Munich, and Krakow to follow the history of the Holocaust and how it is being remembered and memorialized today. Although the topic is very sad and can be overwhelming, our staff is really good at making sure there's some balance. This group is going to go to a really fun festival while they are in Krakow and will get to attend concerts and actually meet the musicians.
|These are the musicians the students get to meet performing at the festival they will go to! via|
4.) A trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to study how they are preparing for the Olympics and the World Cup. This is the trip I REALLY want to go on with the students. They are going to get behind the scenes views of the soccer stadium, meet with the police force there to talk about security, fly kites with children in one of the favelas, and take a gondola ride over another of the favelas.
|And of course, they'll go here too. via|
As many of you heard though, I will be going to Shanghai, China in November to attend CIEE's annual conference. Before the conference, I get to co-lead a group that will visit our study center in Shanghai. I can't believe I get to go!
Many people say that everything happens for a reason and I absolutely believe it. While my time of unemployment was hard, I tried to keep telling myself that something would come along that would make me realize why I had to go through it. This job was it. I'm living a dream. I'm doing work that I love and I'm getting opportunities that I never thought I would have.
I'm so glad you're all along for the ride. Hopefully soon I will be able to put pictures of my own showing all of the exciting places I get to go!