Cydney advises for the Japan, Korea, and South Africa programs
I was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Northern California. I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a minor in Economic Policy. I love to snowboard, rock climb, fly fish, backpack, go whitewater rafting and travel.
Where did you study abroad?
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
What is your favorite memory from your study abroad?
Traveling across the Gulf of Nicoya for my host family’s abuela’s wedding. I was honored to be invited to this special occasion. We traveled by ferry to my abuela’s finca (farm) where we witnessed the wedding ceremony. Afterwards there was a huge party with family and friends coming from all over the country. The wedding was less formal than a typical wedding in the U.S. with people walking around and talking while they were exchanging their vows. I was able to practice my Spanish and dance the night away! Being invited to her wedding really made me feel a part of their family and a very special experience. This is one of the reasons why I’m such a proponent of the host family experience; you get to experience things you’d normally never get to as a foreigner.
If you could go on any USAC program, which would it be and why?
This is a tough question, because I’d want to go on all of them! But I think I would want to do one of our programs in Korea to get in touch with my roots. I was born in Korea, but haven’t been back since so it’d be nice to learn more about my heritage. I also think Uruguay would be interesting because it’s so off the beaten path and I could brush up on my Spanish.
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled?
My favorite place I’ve traveled was probably my most recent trip to South Africa and Zambia. South Africa blew me away with the natural beauty of the country, especially around Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Stellenbosch is surrounded by mountains with wine farms all around the region. With Cape Town, you have the ocean right there and Table Mountain looming large over the city. We were lucky and had the opportunity to rock climb on Table Mountain (picture rappelling) which was a beautiful experience. The food scene is amazing and super affordable as well. Afterwards we traveled to Zambia and met up with some friends to go rafting on the Zambezi. This was a definite bucket list thing I’ve always wanted to do. We met up with a friend I used to guide with and we camped along the river and rafted huge class five rapids. It was great rafting with friends on an iconic river.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Basically anything outside with my husband and two dogs. My absolute favorite thing is snowboarding, whether it’s park riding or back country, it’s actually one of the reasons I moved to Reno.
If you could pick one meme to describe your life, what would it be?