How Study Abroad is a Forever Experience

Feb 8, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

A CAPA Staff Interview: Taylor Nolan

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Meet CAPA admissions advisor Taylor Nolan. Below, she tells us more about her role, why her study abroad journey was the time of her life, and what her memorable experience is from working with students.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself and some of your hobbies and interests and where you’re from originally. What’s the coolest thing about living in Boston? 
TAYLOR NOLAN: Hi I am Taylor! I am from Rhode Island, went to college in South Carolina, and now I'm back in the great white north. Ever since I was little and I took "vacations" to Boston, I knew I wanted to live here. I love the hustle and bustle of the city. My hobbies involve doing anything social. I love to meet new people and chat over coffee for hours. The coolest part about living in Boston is that there are endless possibilities of activities to do: going to museums, concerts, games, restaurants, views, tours, coffee shops, etc...

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CW: How did your career journey lead you into study abroad? Where else have you lived/studied?
TN: I have always been an adventurer. I like changing paces, seeing new things, being around different people, and getting fresh perspectives. I made a big move to South Carolina for school and thought why not take it one step further by studying abroad. I think I learned so much about myself from stepping out of my comfort zone. My journey took me to Italy and all over Europe. To be cliché, it was the time of my life.

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CW: Take us behind the scenes: What does your job as an Admissions Advisor involve? What do you love most about your role?
TN: My role as an Admissions Advisor involves encouraging and guiding students to find a study abroad experience that will help them grow personally and professionally. What I love most about my role is that I am an encourager of adventure. I was really hesitant about studying abroad. I cannot imagine my life now if I had not taken the opportunity. I love that I get to be the person motivating them to travel the world.

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CW: What’s the most interesting thing on your desk right now? What do you wish was on your desk right now?
TN: The most interesting thing that I have on my desk is a World Atlas that was given to me by my boss, Anne. This book is a constant reminder of all the places/hidden gems of the world that I still want to see along with motivating me to get to as many of them as I possibly can. Also, it shows the great encouragement that we all have at CAPA to experience the world. I wish I had plane tickets on my desk right now or some Italian gelato.

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CW: Favorite travel quote?
TN: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" -Helen Keller

CW: Where are the top 3 places on your current wanderlist and why?
TN: 1. Patagonia for the hiking views.

2. Greece for the islands, water, and food.

3. Australia, because I would love to learn to surf there and also hug a koala.

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CW: What’s the one subject you are always excited to talk about with students who are thinking about study abroad?
TN: I think a topic I am always excited to talk about is Italy. That’s where I studied abroad so I have a major soft spot for it. I also think it eases students to hear about other people's experiences because it gets them excited when they hear about my adventures.

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CW: Is there anything you wish you would have done while you were studying abroad that you didn't manage to fit in?
TN: I would never trade my study abroad experience. One regret that I did have was the mindset I was in where I had to do it all and see it all. This attitude took me all over Europe, which was amazing, but I do regret not spending more time in Italy and getting to know the place and its people deeply.

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CW: Why is studying abroad important?
TN: I think many students think of studying abroad as an "easy" semester. While classes might not be as demanding as your home institution, there are other factors that are harder and require more personal growth. You are adjusting to a new international city, immersing yourself in a new culture, managing your time, making new friends, taking classes, and maybe interning. But the skills that you gain after this experience are going to be the things you have forever.

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CW: Can you share a memorable study abroad moment/encounter you had with a student?
TN: I have had a lot of great encounters. I think one of my favorites was getting two friends to go on a Sydney program together. They both had different majors and interests, but they really wanted to experience their abroad time together and we made it work for them! I cannot wait to hear about all of their travels and time together on the program. 🙂

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Thanks, Taylor!

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Topics: Interviews, CAPA Staff