Alumni Spotlight: Emma Studer

Stories that Shaped Us: Living with a Newfound Global Mindset

Emma Studer studied abroad with ISA in Gold Coast, Australia Spring 2019 and was an ISA Global Ambassador at The College of Saint Rose. Emma reflects on how her time abroad inspired her to work on having a more multicultural outlook on life and led her to pursue teaching English remotely. We reached out to Emma to learn more about the stories that have shaped her!

What was your favorite part about studying abroad in Gold Coast, Australia?

This is a difficult question because the Gold Coast is such an amazing place to study abroad! My overall favorite would have to be the weather. It sounds silly, but I am from a town that was rated “top 20 in the US for cloudiest weather.” Seeing the sun every day enhanced my experience abroad more than I could have imagined. Gold Coast did not get its name for no reason.

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What did you learn about yourself through this experience?

At first, you might think this is an easy question to answer. The truth is, it’s two years later and I am still discovering ways that study abroad changed my life. I learned that I am a lot more capable of figuring out situations than I thought. At first I was nervous that I would not make friends, which is a common fear when deciding to go abroad. Studying abroad taught me that not only will you make friends, but you will find a friend within yourself. Before I went to the Gold Coast, I avoided doing activities alone at almost all costs. Now, I look forward to outings by myself!

Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. I went from trying to plan out every detail of each day to buying a flight to New Zealand with no return date or set travel plans. You can and will figure it out because everything is “figureoutable.”

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How did your semester abroad impact your personal goals?

My goals developed into a desire to be engaged internationally and to work on having a more multicultural perspective on the world. I fell in love with learning about different cultures and ways of living. I now work for a company where I teach English to international students. My personal goals also became much more globally-focused. Instead of just thinking about local careers or ways to impact the world, I started thinking about careers and opportunities where I could globalize my network. In the future, I hope to make an impact on individuals the way ISA has done so for me. 

How about your professional goals?

When I was abroad, I meet so many incredible humans that took the time to help me. Whether it was pointing me in the right direction or teaching me how to maneuver their culture, someone always had my back. I want to be that person for others. Although I am not sure what career path I will choose, I know that helping Americans go abroad or working with international students will be in my future. Working with QKIDS is just the beginning of my journey to that goal.

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Tell us about your experience teaching online! What’s your favorite part? What’s the most challenging part?

I am a TESOL teacher for an online platform called QKIDS! We teach English to international students. The job calls for early mornings and sometimes late nights. However, your schedule is flexible and you can still maintain a 9 to 5 job. My favorite part is being able to connect with students and learn about the Chinese culture. I get to be a part of their festival celebrations, such as New Year, and learn about their daily life.

Teaching with QKIDS requires you teach all different levels and ages, which can be challenging at times. You may have to switch between levels throughout the day and must tend to the unique needs of each class with little time to refocus. Overall, QKIDS is a fantastic company and I’ve loved my experience working with them. Teaching online is the perfect way to make extra money outside of your regular job and learn about new cultures. All you need is a bachelor’s degree! QKIDS will pay for you to get a TESOL certificate if you do not already have one. Interested? Sign up here

What are you up to now? Any new hobbies or adventures?

My love for moving around is not going away any time soon. Therefore, I decided to buy a van to convert in 2021 and start traveling the US after I finish my summer job. Most of my free time now consists of watching DIY van build videos and building my website where I will document my conversion process and travel videos (follow my Instagram @emma_jane7 for behind the scene footage once we start)!

After graduating college in summer 2020, I rediscovered my love for outdoor adventures. I enjoy taking some time away from work to snowmobile, hike and fish. Knowing that I plan to be on the road for a bit, I also have been spending quite a bit of time with my family!  

Inspired by Emma’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in an abroad experience? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!

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