An Interview with Nancy Carey - Parent of a Study Abroad Alumna
Photo: Nancy in Alaska on a trip with her mother
Meet Nancy Carey, who is interviewed by her daughter Liz Carey, a CAPA alumna. Liz studied abroad in Dublin during Spring semester 2016. Nancy is a Senior Budget Advisor for Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut. She has been traveling for a long time now and has spent time traveling as a family too, especially with Liz. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and reading when she gets the chance. Below, she speaks to Liz about her thoughts when Liz brought up her desire to study abroad, the importance of travel in the world today and some of the personal and professional changes she's noticed in Liz since she returned from Ireland.
Photo: Nancy and Liz together in NY
LIZ CAREY: As a mom, what were some of the initial thoughts you had when I first mentioned studying abroad in Dublin?
NANCY CAREY: I was very excited that this would be a great opportunity for you. I was happy that you had the opportunity to do an internship and to take classes abroad.
LC: That’s it?
NC: Yeah, well, I mean I was proud of you for being accepted and being able to go.
Photo: The whole family together at home
LC: Were you scared at all?
NC: Even with you not at home, I always say I hope she is okay today. But, that level is lessened because of who you are.
LC: And I am?
NC: Well, because of the trust I have in you. Because of the trust we have given you. I mean you will be married and I will always think I hope she is safe today but I don’t fear you into a corner.
Photo: Nancy traveling in Bermuda with Liz's dad
LC: How much has travel abroad been a part of your own life in the past? Do you feel like your own personal experience with travel played a role in how you reacted to my desire to study abroad?
NC: Well, I have never studied abroad, but your dad and I did travel and although it wasn’t an educational experience through a school, it was definitely an educational experience we had on our own. And yes, I wanted you to have that same opportunity. An opportunity to experience other parts of the world.
LC: What changes have you noticed in me since I came back from Ireland?
NC: I would say Ireland has contributed to it, but I would say over time we have noticed a lot of independence (not financially, of course), but in your confidence. It also helped you have a broadened process, a global thought process. It let you know that there is way more out there than the US and Boston. The culture has influenced you, but you have made it your own.
Photo: Nancy traveling in London
LC: I have been cooking a lot more. What did you think about that?
NC: I think it’s great you started to develop another skill, even though it was out of necessity and I know that your dad teased you about it before. So I think that having to do it and the encouragement you had from other people really helped you figure it out and shine.
LC: And so many the group miss my cooking.
NC: It helps in that process of growing and becoming independent when others actually admire or rely on you for things. The experiences are good that you did have.
Photo: Nancy traveling in Alaska with her mother
LC: Do you think the international experience, and internship specifically, will benefit me professionally?
NC: Yes, I think that it helped you with patience. I know at the beginning of your internship you weren’t necessarily pleased and that you were being patient and holding out and not getting a bad attitude about it. I wouldn’t say there was a reward, but definitely a benefit to being patient. After a few weeks of the humdrum tasks, they started to give you cool stuff to work on.
LC: Very true, and I loved my coworkers.
NC: And after learning how to work with a variety of people, it helps you figure out the workplace better. And you made friends, which was great. And professional connections.
Photo: Nancy traveling in Ireland with Liz's dad
LC: What are some of the challenges you’ve dealt with as a mom from the moment I brought up the topic of study abroad through the time I’ve been in Ireland?
NC: The challenges?
NC: Um, I don’t know if there really were challenges. The money to get you over there I guess. I mean, I guess it sucked that we couldn’t see you to the airport, but it was nice that you were independent to take an Uber to the airport. You robbed me of that hug moment.
Photo: The almost-complete family in Bermuda
LC: Why is studying abroad important?
NC: Oh, our world is becoming so small that I think it is important to know about the world. You are our future Liz, and we do have to think globally now; a lot is different. It is kind of hard to think globally if you have no experience in the world and learning and gaining an appreciating of that. Did you go to Nothern Ireland?
LC: I did.
NC: Well, there you go. You don’t have checkpoints in America when all of a sudden you have a checkpoint moving you to another country. That in and of itself is different. And, everyone needs to know the different signs and symbols for the bathroom [in different places].
Video: A message Liz sent to Nancy while celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Dublin
LC: Very true mom. What advice would you offer other parents whose children hope to study abroad during college?
NC: Trust in your child and trust in yourself that you have done what you needed to do to give them the skills that they need to be on their own in a foreign country. That is one of the reasons why I don’t have huge concerns about you because dad and I worked very hard to give you as much as we could to get you all you needed to be on your own. We started when you were little with navigation in the car and as we slowly watched you grow, we have less concern with your safety and more concern with the experiences you can receive.
Thanks Liz and Nancy!