Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
“I wanted to be a teacher because I had an absolutely amazing French teacher in high school who encouraged me to continue studying French in college,” says Monica Goodwin, Recruitment Coordinator in OU’s Office of Education Abroad (EA). “She was so brilliant and I enjoyed her class more than any, which made me think that I wanted to do the same thing with my future.”
Fueled by inspiration and determination, Monica ventured to Bordeaux, France, on a study abroad during her undergrad. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from OU in 2014, and shortly after she experienced a shift in her dreams – beginning to think she no longer wanted to teach. Venturing to another country made her realize the importance of study abroad, as well as how immersing oneself into another culture not only advanced language skills and knowledge, but also grew self awareness and independence. Pursuing a Master of Arts in International Security Studies, she still wanted to be involved in education, but in a way that took it beyond the classroom.
In 2016, she joined the EA team as an advisor overseeing study abroad programs that included the United Kingdom and Ireland, central and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Semester at Sea program. “I was initially interested in the advisor position because Education Abroad had such a big impact on my life and I wanted to help other students have that same experience.” Monica said.
It’s obvious Monica loves what she does. Always one with a smile on her face, she has even more reason to smile lately. She recently transitioned into a brand new EA position, that of Recruitment Coordinator. Some of her new duties include helping advise special programs such as the Global Engagement Fellows and summer Journey programs, coordinating events around campus such as EA’s annual study abroad fair, curriculum integration initiatives and also collaborating with other academic departments across campus. Dedicated to continually learning and developing in her career, Monica says she is thankful for all the mentors helping her pursue this dream, and she loves the results. “Study abroad changed my life, so it’s neat to see it happening for other students too.”
When she’s not working, you can find Monica jet-setting to some pretty cool places – France, Italy, Mexico, Scotland and Spain to name a few. She also just experienced the beauty of Iceland with her best friend in the whole world – her sister. “I think it’s important to be well traveled because it gives you the opportunity to enjoy so many different cultures and ways of life that are so different from our own.”
Monica and her sister at the Gullfoss Waterfall.
When asked what advice she would give students interested in studying abroad, she says to have as many international experiences as possible while in school and to take advantage of all the resources CIS provides. “OU offers many interactive and one-on-one experiences from which students can learn.”
To discover more about study abroad opportunities, students can attend a Study Abroad 101 session or make an appointment with Goodwin or any of the other advisors at iadvise.ou.edu/studyabroad.