On February 6, 2016, IES Abroad Program Advising Manager Nicole Zeimis (pictured far right) spoke on behalf of our organization to 50 Girl Scouts from the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council about study abroad.
Part of the Travel Toolkit program, Nicole was on a panel that included five international travel experts. The event was hosted by Hostelling International Chicago.
The expert panel spoke to two groups of girls for about an hour each, and both groups of Girl Scouts had great questions about all aspects of travel. One girl asked the panel to talk about a time they “just didn’t know how things would turn out”. Each panelist shared a story about being lost in a new city, missing a train or bus, losing a watch, or getting sick far away from home—each woman not only persevered, but went on to travel again and again.
As the Program Advising Manager, Nicole spends her days speaking with students who have given a great deal of thought to their plans, and have received messages about study abroad from their college or university, guidance from mentors and friends, and support from a study abroad office.
“I loved having the chance to speak with girls who are just starting to imagine exploring the world on their own,” said Nicole.
“It felt important to be there, and to tell them, this can be you. I think as we ‘grow up’, we sometimes forget the power of asking questions. We get timid about putting our fears our doubts out there for others to see. We think we have to be our own guides. For me, it was rewarding to be able to offer a few bits of advice to these budding travelers, but also so very encouraging to see how curious and brave they already are. It gives me hope for the future.”