First things first: tell us a little about your background.
Originally from Indianapolis, the travel bug bit early and I’ve always enjoyed learning about different countries, cultures, and languages. Spending my senior year of high school as a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany helped to set my future professional direction and solidified my love of travel. Later, I spent time teaching ESL in Japan before coming back to Indiana for graduate school. Most of my professional background was spent in International Higher Education, but I’m quite excited to now shift gears and join The International Center as the International Visitor Programs Manager. It’s great to be back in Indy!
What drew you to your role at The International Center?
I was drawn in specifically by the mission statement and the opportunity to be a link in the growing chain to help highlight Indianapolis on a more global level. I am also impressed with the passion to promote cultural understanding and a global perspective.
What are you looking forward to most in your new position?
I am looking forward to welcoming international visitors to Indianapolis, learning more about the exciting things happening all over the city, and helping to connect current and emerging foreign leaders with their Hoosier counterparts. This role is unique in that I can meet people from around the world and focus on creating impactful programming itineraries for visitors. Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about IVLP!
If you have traveled or lived abroad, which location was the most impactful on your life? Why?
I’ve been lucky to visit many countries, but by far my favorite place to have lived is 越前市 (Echizen City) where I spent three wonderful years teaching English through the JET Program. The people were lovely, the views were breathtaking, and the teachers/coworkers were welcoming. While in Echizen, located in the rural countryside of Fukui prefecture, I learned about the traditional art of paper making, took the local train to Kyoto for weekend trips, and strolled through rice fields with striking mountain views in the distance. I have so many good memories from my time there.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Great question – I’m terrible at coming up with answers for this type of thing.
Speed round (answer with only one word):
- Favorite food: Kansai style okonomiyaki or blueberries
- Favorite country you’ve visited or lived: Japan (lived), Belarus, Lebanon, Colombia (visited)
- Language you’d love to learn: Russian or Portuguese
- Favorite IC brand color (orange, blue, green, yellow): Green
- Social media handle: I guess I use Instagram on a fairly regular basis.
Profile completed by Leslie Grishin, International Visitors Program Manager