Hey there! I’m Brooke – a study abroad enthusiast sharing the inside scoop on all things study abroad. Welcome Inside Study Abroad!
The Back Story
I’m Brooke Roberts. In college, I majored in study abroad. Okay, not really. But with three undergraduate study abroad experiences under my belt, it sure felt like it was my major. With those experiences (and all the research I did as a result), I became a study abroad pro long before I ever got my first gig as a study abroad staffer.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. The first 18 years of my life were spent in a sleepy farm town in southeast Kansas. There were probably 100 times more cows than people. You get the idea. We didn’t have Advanced Placement classes, but we lived for Friday night football. And there wasn’t much travel inspiration for a curious kid like me, since it seemed that anyone who ever ventured out, rarely came back. It’s a sad truth about small town America.
But with a hearty public library, that little town offered me a whole slew of adventures via books and my imagination. I was able to travel the world and live through the experiences of others from the comfort of a porch swing. With that inspiration in my back pocket, I eventually had my first brief encounter with international travel in high school during a two week tour of France and Spain, and I never looked back.
After sitting still in southeast Kansas for 18 years, I’ve spent the past 10+ years with ants in my pants moving around the world and across the US working in study abroad (for universities, for companies, for individual students, etc.). With adventures living/working/studying in Boston, Switzerland, France, London, Ohio, China, more Boston, around the world (literally), South Dakota (yes, South Dakota), and now Colorado, my story is full of triumphs, tribulations, good food, and amazing people.
Here’s a quick and dirty run down of my resume, but you can get all the details on my LinkedIn profile:
- Study Abroad Advisor/Grad Assistant – Baldwin Wallace University
- Faculty-Led Program Coordinator – Bowling Green State University
- English Instructor – Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, China
- University Relations Manager – EUSA Academic Internships (in Europe)
- Resident Director – Semester at Sea Fall 2008
- International Education Consultant – MIT School of Engineering
- Manager of Global Learning – University of South Dakota
- Director of Operations/Marketing Manager - Global Educators/CISabroad
- Vice President Marketing and Business Development – GoAbroad.com
- Senior Vice President – GoAbroad.com
- CEO/Founder – Yoga Travel Tree
- Founder/Director – Youth(ful) Travel Conference (coming soon!)
What I’m Doing Now
In my life and career, I’ve always pursued the next challenge, the next adventure where I can grow, contribute, and build something incredible. And that hasn’t changed. In 2013, I quit my job at GoAbroad.com where I was leading one of the most well-established and successful organizations in international education and adventure travel to start my own company from the ground up. This may be my most exciting adventure and challenge yet! Please come along for this crazy entrepreneurial ride! You can check out my company Yoga Travel Tree and follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, too.
As for Inside Study Abroad – this is my blog baby and focuses on a topic and experience that influenced my life’s direction and who I am in so many ways. So I can’t give it up. I’ll be back from time to time with interviews, random musings, advice, and more. Don’t stray too far.
Where I’ve Been
As with everything else, travel is relative. Compared to some people, I haven’t even scratched the surface of international travel and exploration. But for others, my experience looks vast and unimaginable. Regardless, all of my international sojourns have been uniquely special and eye-opening for me. I’ve had considerable, culturally-rich experiences in each of the following countries (and no, airport stop overs don’t count).
In order of appearance – 24 countries and counting:
*France *Spain *Switzerland *Italy *England *Scotland *Poland *Ireland *Germany *Canada *China *Japan *British Virgin Islands *Brazil *Namibia *South Africa *India *Malaysia *Vietnam *Costa Rica *Mexico *Belize *Philippines *Portugal *Fiji *Australia
Why I Started Inside Study Abroad
Having become the “study abroad girl” to just about anyone I meet (I can’t help it; it’s a big part of my life and it tends to come up…a lot), I get frequent questions, emails, Facebook messages, texts, you name it, asking for advice about study abroad – How does it work? How did you afford it? Where should I even begin looking? Will it help me get a job? What university has the best study abroad programs? and many, many more. I started thinking that maybe all this study abroad info that lives in my head would be valuable to people on the interwebs asking the same questions.
It also seemed odd to me that there weren’t many real people out there writing about study abroad – with a candid perspective and from every angle. Studying abroad isn’t rocket science (don’t believe me? just keep reading), but it can be a tough needle to thread sometimes for students, for parents, and for university study abroad staff. My goal is to offer a little smidge of valuable advice, fun fact, or insight to anyone who’s interested. So, this is my attempt to make a valuable contribution to an experience and career that’s meant so much to me. I invite you Inside Study Abroad.