After studying at the Umbra Institute in spring 2010, Stephanie Ostroff decided to pursue a career in international education. Today concludes her second week as a study abroad coordinator at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn.
“In my new job, I’ll be assisting students as they prepare to go overseas,” Ostroff explained. “I think studying abroad is such a formative experience — it has the power to completely change your perspective on the world around you and how you fit into it. … I’m really thrilled to be able to help make these kinds of experiences a reality for students.”
Ostroff said her experience abroad at the Umbra Institute affected her own perspective and “absolutely influenced my career path.
“The time I spent in Perugia was really transformative for me,” she said. “My Italian language abilities increased drastically, while I also learned to be self-reliant and to truly feel at home in a foreign country. Because Perugia was smaller than other Italian study abroad destinations, I was able to really immerse myself in the language and culture.”
Ostroff graduated from University of Maryland, College Park, in May 2011 with a degree in journalism. After a summer internship at a media company in Washington, D.C., Ostroff moved to Montova, a town in northern Italy, where she taught English at an Italian high school with a science and technology focus. Ostroff found the position through SITE, a program that sends recent college graduates to schools in Lombardy.
Paired with her semester at Umbra, Ostroff’s experience in Mantova strengthened her desire to work in the study abroad industry.
“Studying at Umbra was a building block that led me to return for a second experience in Italy,” Ostroff said, “and ultimately steered me towards working in the field of international education.”