Meet Tiffany, our new Assistant Director of International Operations!
Tiffany hails from outside Chicago, IL where she grew up, and currently resides in the city. While she’s traveled to 50+ countries thus far, she lives by Dorothy’s age-old-adage, “there’s no place like home”. Though her parents are immigrants, the first time she ever traveled abroad was in college on an exchange program in South Korea, and from there she declared a major in International Business and then onto International Relations for her Master’s degree, both of which support her career in international education.
Why are you excited to work for CIS Abroad?
My study abroad program changed the course of my life. Therefore, by working with CIS Abroad, I hope to share my experiences to inspire a new generation of global citizens. Each location and student experience is so unique that everyone walks away with a new perspective and therefore, potential for growth. I’m so excited to bring the world to students via CIS’s suite of programs.
Describe a memorable moment abroad
While I have family in Vietnam, I’ve only visited once. It was so wonderful to share this experience with my father who in his 40+ plus years in the US, has only returned a handful of times. Because of that, I did not get the “tourist” experience of Vietnam but a local’s experience. We were traveling from one village to another via a rented van over two days. In order to be economical, sometimes we brought our own food to cook instead of eating out, and that often included live fowl, such as duck, chickens and roosters. We drove straight into the early morning hours to a guest house but because it was 2am in the morning, no one was available to check us in and we ended up sleeping in the van on the side of the road.Towards dawn, the live roosters start crowing from the van trunk. I’m uncomfortable, hot and sooooo grumpy, yet all I could do was laugh! Roosters loudly crowing, in a crowded van, on the side of a Vietnam road, while everyone else still slept on! What is my life?!
What has your career path looked like? How did you end up in the field of International Education?
I started my career in a multi-national professional services firm in Chicago. I enjoyed the experience as I got to work with people from all over the world and even traveled to Europe, Asia and the Americas to plan small conferences in each region. However, the corporate world did not suit me so as I looked to make a career change, I considered my time abroad as a student and wondered “is that a career?”. Therefore, I started looking at universities in and around Chicago hoping to work in a study abroad office. Little did I know that it would lead me to an international position at a branch campus in Qatar. I thought “how could I ask students to challenge themselves by living abroad if I couldn’t do it myself?”. I decided to live my values and never looked back!
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
What I love about living in a major city is that there’s always something new going on! Therefore, no weekend is ever “typical”. You can find me checking out new restaurants with friends, watching a Broadway, theater or dance performance, or people watching as I ride my bike on the lakefront. Who knows…maybe next weekend I’ll be at a museum, checking out a local band, or wandering a street fest; the possibilities are endless!
What are 5 words that describe yourself?
Introverted, self-deprecating, adventurous, direct, kind
Why do you think students should choose to study abroad in Italy, Spain or Ireland?
There’s a reason these destinations are some of our most popular! Each offers their own unique landscape, cuisine, and personality! I don’t know about you but I love pasta, and wine, and sangria, and flamenco, and Guinness, and castles, and so much more!