Sydney advises for the China, India, and Thailand programs
I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA and I absolutely LOVE the beach, especially surfing and paddle boarding. I graduated from California State University, Chico with a double major in Anthropology and Asian Studies and a minor in Gender and Sexuality studies. I love learning about people and cultures, which lead me to study abroad for a year through USAC in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I got to travel all over South East Asia, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! This sparked my passion for international education. I love being a program advisor and helping students on their journeys to studying abroad as well.
Where did you study abroad?
Chiang Mai, Thailand
What is your funniest travel memory?
It was not funny at the time, but looking back on it it’s funny because it was such an epic fail. One of my favorite trips I took while I was abroad was to the Philippines. There was next to no planning that took place for this trip. I had booked a hostel to stay at on an island, but did not research how far the hostel was from the airport. The main part of the island I went to is nowhere near the airport, and the hostel was a solid 2 hours from the airport (talk about an expensive taxi). Then to top that off my flight times were in military time, but I did not realize this so I thought my flight was at 5pm, but in reality my flight was at 5am so I completely missed my flight. It was just a mess of a situation. After a lot of stress and just figuring thing out as I went along, it all ended up working out and was a great trip in the end!
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled?
My favorite place I have traveled to is a smaller island in Thailand called Koh Tao. It is known for its snorkeling and diving. Being there is a dream! There is one part of the island that can only be reached by boat, and then a peninsula that connects it to another island. You can hike to the top and see the connection and the view is incredible. I loved it because it was a smaller island that was fun to explore and there are amazing views on every spot of the island. The snorkeling was also amazing. I could not have been happier being in that tropical paradise!
If you could go on any USAC program, what would it be and why?
If I could go on any USAC program, I would go to Florianópolis, Brazil because it is tropical and near the beach which is where I am in my element. I am fascinated by the culture of Brazil and just South America in general. I have always wanted to go to carnival and I love how diverse Brazil is as a country. Brazil seems like the ultimate place for adventure and exploration and is next on my list of places to travel.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I like to spend time at the beach, but since I am here in Reno, Lake Tahoe is my favorite spot to soak up the sun and paddle board. I also enjoy working out, re-watching The Office, journaling, jamming out to Beyoncé, and hanging out with friends and family.
What is a weird fact about you?
A weird fact about me is that I can rap all of the lyrics to Baby got back by Sir Mix a lot.
Exploring other USAC programs? Meet our other USAC Program Advisors