CISABROAD BLOG · August 16, 2022 · 6 Min Read
Q&A Spotlight With Program Enrollment Coordinator – Britni

Meet Britni Purcell, our new Program Enrollment Coordinator for Japan & South Korea!

Britni received her BS in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. After her exchange program to Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea she decided to pursue a career in International Education. After working at her alma mater as an Academic Coordinator and Student Services Specialists, she decided to Return to South Korea to teach English. She spent a year teaching English to kindergarten and elementary students in Bucheon, South Korea.

In her downtime, she’s usually drawing, playing video games, and hanging with my family/close friends – if not resting, she’s more than likely engaged in an intense battle of Uno, trying new food, or a chaotic battle in Mario Kart. She also believes that Spongebob seasons 1-5 are top tier comedies.

Why are you excited to work for CIS Abroad?

I’m most excited to work with a team who is genuinely passionate about making study/intern abroad experiences accessible and affordable to all students. My previous experience as an exchange student and other work abroad sparked my interest in International Education – especially in serving students from underrepresented backgrounds. CIS Abroad enables me to apply these experiences in a way that helps the next generation of students become more informed, culturally aware, and empathetic through embarking on their own global journey. The most encouraging aspect is the ability to support students through the entire process and see them succeed!

Describe a memorable moment from abroad

Between teaching English to Korean kindergarten/elementary students and laughing at their antics, to losing my phone on the bus and having to use my broken Korean skills to find it, I’m not sure where to start. Some of my fondest memories were spent with my Korean friends and their families. One time, I spent the weekend with my friend’s that own a cafe in Goyang; it was nearing Christmas time and I got to help decorate! Afterwards, their mom cooked dinner and we ate together – it really made me feel a part of the family!

Exploring Cheongbukgong

What has your career path looked like? How did you end up in the field of International Education?

I spent a semester in Seoul, South Korea during my junior year of college. While I was studying Korean media & culture, my exchange experience literally shifted my career path. I wasn’t sure what to do after graduation, but I knew I wanted to work in International Education – so, I worked in retail as a manager and volunteered at a study abroad office when I could. The volunteering paid off because it led to my role as the Academic Coordinator for an international faculty-led program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business. A few years later, I decided to earn my TESOL certification and taught English for a year in a hagwon (private school) in South Korea. I’m excited to use my experiences to help support CIS!

Overlooking Inwangsan

What does a typical weekend look like for you?

I like to keep my weekends pretty chill – usually spending time with family and friends. I enjoy gallivanting with my friends to different restaurants, volunteering at my church, drawing, playing board/video games, and reading comics.

What are 5 words that describe yourself?

Effervescent, Thoughtful, Joyful, Loving, Patient

What’s your best travel tip?

Find ways to connect with your host community – the language, everyday activities, common gathering places. You’ll discover that you can gain the most genuine and life-long friendships just by trying to immerse yourself into the culture.

Angelically posing in front of a mural in Ulsan

Why do you think students should choose to study abroad in South Korea or Japan?

South Korea and Japan are full of history and enriching cultural experiences – both are technologically fast-paced yet care deeply about the natural environment. You can be surrounded by large city buildings one moment then find a peaceful respite in a park or forest. It’s easy to get around both countries and there are so many hidden gems to find.

South Korea is very beautiful, very lively (especially in Seoul), and the people are welcoming. Popular activities include hiking, themed cafes, exploring palaces, and eating lots of ssamgyapsal (Korean bbq)! If you want to enjoy more nature, definitely travel outside of the city – Daegu, Gwangju, and Goyang were some of my favorite quiet cities to visit.

Japan is extremely clean, the people are polite and so helpful. There are so many wonderful temples and palaces nestled in the forests. Tokyo is fast-paced; some popular spots include Akihabara, Shinjuku, and the famous Shibuya Crossing. If you’d prefer nature, I’d recommend exploring outside of the city – the Nikko Toshogu and Kamakura temples were among my top favorite spots.

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