International Schools and Organizations are Investing in Experiential and Intercultural Education.
Lena Papadopoulos has traveled. An American of Greek origin and one who is proud of inheriting both of these cultures, Lena has made more than just a physical journey, but one of self-discovery. Lena grew up learning, experiencing, and appreciating both her American and Greek cultures. The vast differences between the two countries and cultures helped spark her desire to learn more about people and cultures in other countries, and the beginning of a life filled with travel.
Lena’s first stint abroad was as a volunteer ESL teacher in Tanzania, during a gap year between her undergraduate and graduate studies. Later, she went on to teach English in China, and while she never had plans to be a long-term ESL teacher, it was this experience that was the catalyst for her to explore new opportunities in education. When applying to a job with an international school in China, she was introduced to JUMP! Foundation, a social enterprise that designs and delivers experiential learning programs for youth on a global scale. Lena worked with JUMP! and was instrumental in the organization’s growth. But JUMP! also gave her a pathway to a new career. The network Lena had begun to develop during her years with JUMP! inspired her to continue in the field of experiential education.
Lena eventually returned to the U.S. to work at Florida State University, where she held the position of Intercultural Programs Coordinator, and won awards for her dedication and exceptional service to the university, students, and the campus community.
Today, Lena is a self-employed consultant in the field of intercultural exchange and experiential education. She has tapped into her network of international schools around the globe, for whom she designs workshops and intensive programs in intercultural learning. She also offers private coaching to individuals seeking advice in a range of life skills, drawing from her own personal transformation and growth.
Learn more about Lena in this video interview, where she talks about her journey from ESL teacher to Intercultural Exchange Educator. Discover more about Lena at her website: www.lenapapadopoulos.com.