Study Abroad Advisors - You Think You Know But You Have No Idea

study abroad

Originally Published: February 14, 2012

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I receive emails every day from aspiring study abroad professionals asking me for advice on how to get into the international education field. These are people who have typically studied abroad before, loved it, went off and did some kind of work in (insert almost any country name here), and now want to "keep the experience alive" by working in study abroad. More often than not, I first have to do a lot of coaching and explaining on what it actually means to work in education abroad, because phrases like these pop up a lot when someone is explaining why they want a gig as a study abroad pro:

  • "I've always thought it would be cool to travel for my job."
  • "I'm really skilled at booking travel online and know all the secrets."
  • "The chance to travel with students and show them how amazing the world is...well that would be awesome!"
  • "It seems like a pretty laid-back job which would allow me to travel a lot."
  • "I'll get paid to travel! Amazing!"
  • "I country hopped during my entire semester abroad and could really provide MUCH BETTER advice on cheap travel to students than my advisor told me."
  • "I just love travel."
  • "I just love studying abroad."

You can sense a theme, right? Don't get me wrong. Not every person that writes to me says things like this and frankly, I don't fault the ones that do. Understanding study abroad as a professional is more complicated than most would believe and takes time and education to get to know it. Heck! I'm still working on it every day - currently reading a history of education abroad (because I'm basically a study abroad nerd).

Anyway, I digress. In response to the emails I get every day, I'm working on a post that's all about what it's really like working as a study abroad advisor (coming soon!), but for now, I thought I'd take a turn at one of those profession memes that have been circulating the web: Study Abroad Advisors. It's definitely a tongue-in-cheek look at what it means to be a study abroad advisor, but I'm guessing it will hit home for a lot of people. 




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