It was so much fun interviewing Dr. Agnes Chan about international education! She has had such a glorious career and I think she will surprise us with even more amazing projects in the future. I cannot think of a better example of someone for whom study abroad, including Agnes' study at Stanford University, was an experience that shaped and enriched her life. She has done so much to date -- from being an Asian singing sensation, to UNICEF Ambassador, best-selling author, businesswoman, policy advocate, and so much more. I hope you will watch the interview. I was particularly moved by how a mentor at Stanford gave her encouragement that still inspires her today. It was also fun to hear how she adjusted to the different social culture -- in this case Toronto. What really impressed me was how she had a child while a student at Stanford and chose to continue her studies with only one day of classes missed, thanks in part to the support provided to her by the college. Her experience shows that it’s possible to study abroad at any stage of life and no matter how difficult you think it might be, there is always a way to make it happen.
I really admired how down-to-earth Agnes is. Since she is a pro with the media I expected that she would show up with a whole team of media experts. Instead, there she was at my door in her red Stanford t-shirt with a smile on her face and totally relaxed.
Studying Japanese changed my life, and that first experience living in a foreign country, Japan, was magical and set the stage for what came after. It made me want to see the whole world. In my case I have focused a lot on Japan while also having the privilege as a Foreign Service Officer of serving in Ukraine, Guatemala, Australia, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Djibouti. But regardless of your specialty, studying abroad will almost certainly be a positive for you in your career -- in science, business, history, or any other field you might pursue.
And a word about Stanford and Berkeley. Yes, we are rivals, friendly rivals, about an hour's drive from each other's campuses; both founded in the late nineteenth century in Northern California, not that long after the famous California Gold Rush. Stanford is private and Berkeley is a California state school. We have both grown to be global universities, each with our own unique culture. Agnes’ advice for students thinking of study abroad is “Go!” Mine is: There are so many outstanding and different colleges and universities in the States, I am sure you will find the right fit for you. The perfect place is waiting for you! And please come to our EXPO2016 event on September 10, where there will be lots of American colleges and universities represented, and lots of fun!
If you have any questions or comments about studying abroad, please share them with me in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!