Study abroad nurtured international career  

Chile, Ecuador, Japan, and now Mexico: One semester launched an international career  

For Melissa Ferrin, her experience studying abroad with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) in Santiago, Chile, was a springboard into a lifetime of international experience. Her semester in Santiago, where she witnessed historic presidential elections taking place after a period of transitional government leadership, heavily influenced her career in international education around the world. 

During her semester in Chile, she focused on her Spanish language development. The immersive Spanish language courses offered, alongside Latin American history courses that featured guest speakers from varied backgrounds, enabled her to understand the political events happening around her in Chile as they occurred. 

After studying abroad in Chile and then graduating from the University of Iowa (UI), she decided to further her Spanish language skills through a teaching program in Ecuador. She followed that experience with a certification in teaching English as a Foreign Language, and then spent 18 months teaching English in Japan. After that, she crossed the globe once more to Mexico, where she taught English and completed her master’s degree in applied linguistics. 

Today, she lives and teaches in Mexico at an engineering college, Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca (UTM). Read UI’s article to learn more about Ferrin’s experience with USAC’s Santiago program.