How to Launch Your Career in International Education

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It's finally happening (again), my friends. The Global Pro Institute is open for enrollment and I can't be more proud and nervous for this SPRING 2016 cohort of the program to begin.

But let's back up a bit and start from the beginning.

For those of you who don't know my story or are just stumbling upon Inside Study Abroad for the first time, let me share a little bit about how we arrived to this place.

Inside Study Abroad began as my passion project and side hustle in early 2009. Back then, I had just landed my ultimate dream job in international education as the Global Learning Coordinator for international programs at the University of South Dakota.

My position title was very deceiving. "Coordinator" didn't really encapsulate the work I did at USD (most titles never do). I was hired as the FIRST full-time international education professional to create, manage, and grow all aspects of global learning at the University. I was jumping into the deep-end head first without a life preserver.

Since deciding my senior year in college that I wanted to work in study abroad and international education, this job at USD was what I'd been working toward. And it was finally here.

And I had no idea what I was doing.

Well, I theoretically knew what I was doing, but I was working from theories, ideas, assumptions, and best practices. But this was the first time I was completely responsible for putting into action all of my knowledge, education, skills, and experience into a university, study abroad office, and a student body living breathing humans. I was nervous beyond belief!

This "deep end" experience forced me to learn a lot in a very short amount of time. In just a couple of months, my newly created department at USD went from not really knowing if students were going abroad or where they were going to having a full-on administration system, promotion and marketing strategy, partnerships across campus with academic and administrative offices, and a streamlined advising and application system for students. I even established a system-wide international insurance policy for all universities across the state of South Dakota.

Talk about hustle.

But it didn't come without a lot of challenges, roadblocks, and straight-up irritations. I thought to myself daily "I wish there was someone out there openly talking about what it's really like to work in international education, the trials and tribulations of the work we are all doing, and chronicling interesting approaches to the biggest issues of the field."

And so the idea for Inside Study Abroad was born. It became this tiny little corner of the internet where I would vent about challenges I was facing in my work, showcase different approaches to common issues, and even poked a little fun at our work and the study abroad experience.

But it was just this little side blog that I would update maybe every few months with no real focus or direction.

Slowly more and more people started to show up to the site. And I began getting a LOT of questions from people about how they too could launch and grow their own careers in international education and youth travel.

Meanwhile, I was growing the Global Learning Office at USD, taking on state and regional leadership positions with NAFSA, presenting at conferences, and eventually getting noticed by others in the field for my ingenuity, hard-work, and moxie.

My work started to speak for itself and I began getting approached with job offers and consulting opportunities. I worked with CISabroad to spearhead their student advising system as they merged with IEP and taking their organization nationwide.

Later, I became Senior Vice President at ushering the organization through a very challenging period and creating multiple initiatives to elevate the GoAbroad brand and presence in the field (this included GoMedia, a program review website, the Innovation Awards, The GoAbroad Roadshow, and others). I also created the GoAbroad US operations, built a team of very young emerging professionals, and became the professional face of the company.

All along, I continued to sporadically write on Inside Study Abroad including doing video interviews with other professionals. I started to see that specific topics seemed to resonate with my audience: getting a job and growing your career. In fact, my website crashed from all the traffic the day I shared my Top Master's programs post with the secuss-l listserv. And my "how to get a job without a Master's degree" post continues to receive hundreds of hits a day.

I was on to something.

But I resisted it. Mostly because I'm an ideas person and as an entrepreneur to my core, I had a few other business ideas that I wanted to pursue outside of the international education arena. Most notably, my company Yoga Travel Tree, the Yelp for yoga.

But over the past two years, while I've been growing my yoga company, Inside Study Abroad always seems to pull me back in. This is mostly because meaningful international experiences changed my life and helped pluck this Kansas farm-girl from the pasture years ago. Those experiences helped me see the world with new eyes, and see myself in new ways too.

Frankly, I wouldn't be where I am or who I am without international education. It's in my blood, it's core to my identity and how I understand the world.

But I struggled to see how I could take my own talents, skills, and experience and contribute to the field with Inside Study Abroad.

Until the summer of 2014. I was out on a walk with my pup Barnaby thinking about the study abroad coaching clients I had at the time, and it dawned on me:

Entry-level professional development programs for international education and youth travel do not exist.

It's a small industry, very different from fields like accounting, or law, or computer science, or anthropology. We don't have established internship programs for people wanting to work in this field or discover if it's something of interest and worth pursuing.

[bctt tweet="Entry-level professional development programs for #intled do not exist. Until Now."]

There's no real track for people to follow to get a job. And since there's no real track, people are funneled into graduate programs that may not be of real interest or very helpful in launching a career in international education. Graduate school becomes a box to check instead of an experience rooted in your interests and built to move your career forward.

And it puts people further into debt.

>>>We need an AFFORDABLE professional development program for people not yet in the field or just starting out.

>>>We need professional development opportunities that don't require several years of experience.

>>>We need networking and community building opportunities that don't require expensive conference attendance.

And I kept thinking about how unfair (and maybe criminal) it is to expect someone to invest tens of thousands of dollars on a master's in order to gain access to a career path BEFORE they've had a chance to:

  1. Figure out if they like and,
  2. Figure out if they are any good at it.

Because let's face it. International education is a wonderful career path, but it's not for everyone.

Almost anyone working in accounting has the chance to learn something about and experience the accounting industry before committing even an undergraduate degree to it, let alone a master's.

Why can't we also provide an introductory look at the field in a format and price-point that is manageable for newbies? 

When I had this first epiphany, I immediately started calling some friends and colleagues in the field to bounce this idea off of them. And I asked them:

Do you think we need this? Do you think it's time? Do you think there's value here?

And in every case, I got a resounding "YES!"

They each had their own ideas on how something like this could happen, what should be included, how it could really help elevate the professional world of international education. But they all agreed it was needed.

And so I've spent the last several months with an incredible team of interns, to create a comprehensive roadmap for anyone curious about the professional world of international education.

We're focusing on the biggest challenges people face when trying to break into the field and provide modern, innovative approaches to launching your career. We help you bridge the gap between being a passionate participant to becoming a professional with real knowledge, skills, and experience in the WORK of international programs.

So without further ado, Inside Study Abroad is excited to to open enrollment for the Spring 2016 Global Pro Institute (GPI) cohort!


The Global Pro Institute is a 6-week online professional development and training program for aspiring professionals in international education. Our hope is that the Global Pro Institute provides a much-needed community of support and comprehensive information that will help bridge the gap between being a passionate participant and to a competent professional.


We've created two program tracks to accommodate different needs in terms of guidance/support, depth of content, and finances. We totally understand that not everyone needs the same level of detail, support, or connection to get massive value from this program. And we also know that cost can often be the big barrier of participation. 

So you have two options: 

GPI FOUNDATIONS - This is a self-study, self-guided version of the program. You'll get full access to all of the video lessons and materials for each of the six Foundations modules. On top of that, you'll be able to download all the PDF Workbooks, checklists, and calendars associated with each module. This is a GREAT option for anyone who just wants the content and doesn't feel they need the community, weekly/monthly coaching, master classes, etc. 

GPI MASTERY - This is the FULL PROGRAM EXPERIENCE! You'll get all the GPI Foundations modules, workbooks, checklists, and calendars PLUS 24/7 access in our online community, group coaching with Brooke and the Inside Study Abroad team, access to our full library of masterclass interviews, over 8 hours of resume critiques, 7+ hours of past group coaching call recordings....AND several other bonuses to enhance your experience. Whew!

Here's everything included in the Mastery (Full Program) experience: 

  • Complete 6-module Foundations curriculum designed to help you gain an insider’s perspective of the field, grow your network, develop your personal brand, and rock your job search
  • Downloadable, action-oriented Career Roadmap including pro development activities, reflections, and checklists
  • 14 Masterclass interviews (and counting!) with established thought leaders in International Education and Meaningful Travel (with more being added each cohort)
  • 6 Live weekly group coaching calls with Brooke and the GPI team
  • Lifetime access to the GPI curriculum including anything we add to the program
  • BONUS:  Private cohort and networking group on Facebook
  • BONUS:  Discounted memberships and national conference registration fees
  • BONUS: Exclusive invitation to all GPI real-world networking events
  • BONUS: On-going support via our year of monthly coaching calls with Brooke to continue your development and get ongoing feedback
  • BONUS: Access to 8+ hours of video resume and cover letter critiques!
  • BONUS: Access to all past group coaching call recordings - that's 7+ hours of invaluable coaching!

The program will begin Monday, April 4th is open for enrollment!

If you're interested in learning more and joining the Global Pro Institute (or know someone who would), get on our early-bird VIP list here:


(And yes, there's a BIG benefit to being on this list, but you have to sign-up to find out). ;)

I truly believe that the Global Pro Institute is the culmination of my work and career in international education.

And I'm excited to help usher in a new generation of inspiring, innovative international educators to continue moving the field forward and changing the world, one program participant at a time.


3 Secrets To Build Your Study Abroad & Global Education Career...

Watch our free workshop on launching and leveling-up  your career in global programs - and learn how I went from intern to executive in just 4 years!