What inspired you to work in this field? As a Latina raised by a first-generation Mexican-American father and an immigrant mother from Mexico, I learned early on that some individuals aspire to pursue educational opportunities in foreign countries like the United States, but not everyone has the means to do so. Knowing that my mother could not afford to support herself to study in the U.S. fueled my initial drive to help students abroad who wish to come to the U.S.
What are the challenges you've faced?
When I first started in international education, one of the challenges I faced was imposter syndrome. I realized that most individuals in the field had studied abroad for their undergraduate and/or graduate studies, and I had not. Because of this, I felt that I was behind on certain aspects of the field and that perhaps I did not belong. However, I soon realized that my own experiences in Mexico, visiting family for long periods of time, and my own upbringing were something that international students could relate to.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to look back in a few years on what I have built within this field and see the international students I have worked with achieving their dreams. Witnessing others achieve their goals is an accomplishment and a great passion.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be?
My advice to prospective students is to get involved and ask questions. It's completely okay to ask for help, and it's important to reach out to people and create a new community. Don't be afraid to try new things, including different foods. Although they may not taste like the ones from home, it's important to try a variety of new foods as well.
What inspired you to work in this field?Opportunity. There was an opportunity to make a difference, and I decided to move in that direction. Becoming a marketing professional in higher education allowed me to join forces with my fellow marketing colleagues to attract and engage with students from all over the globe.
What are the challenges you've faced? Challenges are inevitable. One challenge was putting together a sustainable digital marketing plan to attract international students globally; mostly in countries we have not targeted directly beyond the source countries of Asia.
International recruiting has become increasingly competitive and it was important for our team to emerge markets around the world — Africa, India, and the Caribbean were just a few places. These countries, like so many others, have a huge demand of young people looking for a high-quality education.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? Building a bridge through digital marketing initiatives. When students see/read about other students that look like them, they are influenced and will want to know about the experiences of previous students from their country.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? 1. Don’t let anyone define your success. 2. Always know you were created for a purpose — move in it!
What inspired you to work in this field? I was attracted to our company’s mission statement — to advance quality and equity in education worldwide. Through our efforts here at ETS, we have the ability to change the world, impact the next generation of leaders, and improve the lives of thousands of students around the work through access to education.
What are the challenges you've faced? The world is changing at lightning speed. Technology is one of the keys to address change and provide access to education for students all around the globe. Staying on top of technologies such as AI has allowed us to better target our messages to students to provide them with the necessary information to help make the decisions that will be key to start their study abroad journey.
It’s an exciting time — and working with the various teams here at ETS to provide new products and services that will unleash the potential of students is a challenge that we’re all aligned on to make it happen NOW!
What do you hope to achieve in the future? To realize a world where education has played a key role in making dreams happen for students from all backgrounds around the globe. I want to be able to say I had a role in making that happen.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? Dream big! It can happen for you. Start your journey with access to education and continue learning throughout your life.
Have the confidence. There are so many resources to help guide you on your journey. Listen to others who have paved the way for you. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions - it's your future. And study hard — get the scores you need to set yourself up for success.
What inspired you to work in this field? I started working in the field of education right after graduating from university. A few years into my career, I was given the opportunity to coordinate the International Students Program at the college where I was working. I accepted the position because I loved the idea of working with students from all over the world and hearing their unique stories. I’m currently a director/academic counselor of an international program, and it has also been rewarding to assist students in achieving their educational goals.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? I would advise students to ask questions if there’s something that’s not clear about the application or enrollment process. The international program staff is here to help make your transition to studying in the U.S. a smoother one.
The other thing is once you arrive in the U.S., take advantage of all the resources your college or university has to offer. This includes using student services such as tutoring, health and wellness programs, student clubs, and academic counseling. It can make your educational journey more rewarding!
What inspired you to work in this field? Ideas have consequences; what is taught in the classroom today will shape our culture and society for the next generation. Seeing my students thrive, not only while at our school but as they move to top universities and on to impressive careers, is inspiring.
What are the challenges you've faced? The biggest challenge in managing the school has been working with the government. Whether it was zoning challenges with the local government when we expanded our facilities or current challenges for our international students attempting to get visas with closed consulates and long waits when they get an appointment.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I will continue to develop and promote programs that provide a wholesome education and teach students to discern, seek the truth, and live a life of abundance.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? You will learn to speak English and understand American culture when you assimilate into your school community. Avoid being branded as an “international” student. Instead, live with domestic students and participate in school activities that interest you.
What inspired you to work in this field? After hosting an international student from Spain during high school, studying abroad for a year in Spain during college, and completing an internship in Venezuela after graduating college, I realized I was intrigued by other cultures. Upon my return to the States, an opportunity to work with a USAID grant at my local technical college presented itself, and I never looked back!
Since then, my passion and dedication to global learning in higher education at two-year institutions have only deepened, and almost 25 years later, I find myself leading the way in international education initiatives at one of the largest community college districts in the U.S.!
What are the challenges you've faced? The ongoing struggle for the value of international education, its place in two-year institutions, and the amount of knowledge and expertise I have as a relatively young female professional. I haven’t always been regarded as an expert within my institution, and I have to fight not only for what I believe is critical for our students and their need to be globally competent citizens, but also for my voice to be heard.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and that leadership will continue to welcome my voice at the table. It is important to recognize that global education truly helps students develop their capacity to be informed, open-minded, and responsive to diverse perspectives. As educators, it is our responsibility to prepare and empower our students and employees to address the world’s most pressing issues and to do so in a collaborative and equitable way. If we do not, we are not adequately preparing them for the workforce.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? Preparation is key to success in studying abroad in the U.S. Not only do your homework and be prepared both financially and mentally, but also make the most of your time by learning about the culture, getting involved in your school and community, and trying new things. This way when you return home with not only a degree or your goal achieved, but the life experiences and skills you developed will set you apart from the other candidates when you apply for your dream job!
What inspired you to work in this field? My grandmother was a twin, born in New Zealand. I grew up hearing stories of her trans-oceanic immigration to the USA, and I realize that I am a product of her courage and bravery. It inspired me to be the first in my family to study, and also to study abroad as an undergraduate student many years ago. I have not yet made it to New Zealand, but it is a lifelong dream to go there and meet my family.
What are the challenges you've faced? Working in international recruitment and admissions requires international travel. I spent the last 10 years as a single mom raising two young boys, who are now grown and flown in college and work. I owe a debt of gratitude to my family, coworkers, and friends for their support while my work took me away from home.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I have a secret fantasy of winning the lottery and sponsoring a full-tuition scholarship to SUNY Plattsburgh for one international student every year. Luck aside, I would be honored to work in a philanthropic effort to support students abroad to study in the USA!
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? One — do your homework! Most of what you need to know to make a good shortlist of colleges for you is available online
Two — talk to current international students about their experiences - Who better to help you decide if a school is a good fit for you than students just like you who are already there? Ask universities for connections on platforms like Unibuddy or WhatsApp.
What inspired you to work in this field? When I was a student at the University of Iowa, I had the chance to work in Taiwan for a summer, and while there I realized that I did not know any of the international students at the U of Iowa. I returned to campus, started to volunteer at the International Center, and knew this should be my profession. That Taiwan experience occurred 34 years ago, and I am still so happy to be able to impact the lives of international students in the U.S.!
What are the challenges you've faced? International education is highly affected by global events that are out of our control, and there have been many of them over the span of my career, including 9/11 and COVID. Despite these challenges, it is wonderful to see that international students still want to study in the USA.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? After a long career, I have come to better understand that global changes start with each of us making a positive impact in our local communities. I want to ensure that the international students that I interact with know they are welcomed, valued, and are our future.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? You certainly possess leadership skills if you were able to make your way to studying in the U.S. Put those leadership skills to use in your campus community by joining or starting a club or organization that is meaningful to you. You bring a unique voice and perspective to our campus — share it with us!
What inspired you to work in this field? My love for international education really developed when I was studying linguistics as an undergraduate student. I began working with different languages and different people, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my work life.
What are the challenges you've faced? The biggest challenge I’ve had to face in my career is the covid-19 pandemic. The shutting down of the world caused a lot of stress in international education that we’re still working through today.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I want to continue to encourage students all over the world to study all over the world. Studying and living in another country and culture really expands your understanding of, well, everything.
I also want to continue advocating for equal and fair access to educational opportunities for anyone who wants to study in higher education. We should all get a chance to follow our dreams.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? Just give it a try — living somewhere else, speaking a different language, trying new food, etc. You might be scared, but as long as you are not in danger, do it anyway.
What inspired you to work in this field? I grew up very Internationally, so working with international students feels like home. I really enjoy being able to support students with their future educational and career goals: it gives me such energy! I learn from my students every day, and they continue to be my inspiration.
What are the challenges you've faced? Trying to have complex discussions with students about immigration or academic policies when English is not their first language can be very challenging, but I am more successful when I slow down, use clear language, be patient, and ask a lot of affirming questions.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to continue my efforts to create a diverse and inclusive learning and social environment for our international students. We are working on creating fun on- and off-campus events.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be? Get involved with your campus community. Whether that is going to events & activities, joining a club & student government, or working on-campus — getting involved with the community is a great way to make connections. Also, use all of your campus resources. We are all here to support you and your success!