Name: Kelsey Noris
Major: Information Systems
Year in school: Graduated in December 2016
Hometown: Lakeland, FL
Who says you can only go where your career takes you? Not Kelsey Noris! Kelsey Noris is a traveling Gator grad. This Polk County native has decided to expand her horizons and take her passions not just out of state but out of country! To pursue her interests in the international world and its culture, Kelsey Noris decided to take a job as an au pair (a person who assists with house and child care in a foreign country in exchange for a place to live) in Italy for the semester. Not only did she travel on a whim, but she decided to document her experiences with a blog. Because her job seems very far from her major, which is information systems, Her Campus UFL decided to ask Kelsey some questions about her new life.
HerCampus (HC): What made you want to start a blog for this huge trip?
Kelsey Noris (KN): I have never been a writer, but I wanted somewhere to keep all my thoughts and to share them with others. I am hoping that by blogging instead of just journaling, someone else will be inspired to step outside his or her comfort zone and take a trip of their own. The blog also keeps my family and friends in the loop with all of my experience when time difference and communication is hard sometimes.
HC: Do you think you’ll continue blogging once you return home?
KN: That is a great question. I would imagine not because I don’t think I am a very good writer, but you can never say never.
HC: What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
KN: My ultimate goal was to see and experience another culture first hand. I am an au pair and English tutor for a family, which means I get to live with them and have a normal family routine. Living in Italy has subtle differences from living in America, like their emphasis on eating fresh, healthy food or the importance of mealtime with family and friends. I want to learn the language and live the lifestyle. I also wanted to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone, try new things, meet new people and find peace with being uncomfortable sometimes.
HC: Do you have any plans or ideas for trips in the future?
KN: A ton! I have a list of must-do, want-to-do and might-do for my time in Europe. With six months abroad, I have a lot of time to take trips around Europe, but I also don’t have time for everything. In the long term, I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I am 30. Right now, I have been to 20, so I am off to a great start. I want to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, see some national parks and visit the coast in the Northeast.
HC: How did you come across this position in Italy and what made you decide to apply?
KN: Long story short, while at a conference for a business organization, someone from a different country inspired me to think about the world today and how impactful an international experience would be for me. I wanted more than a study abroad experience; I wanted to live and have the opportunity to feel like a citizen of another country. I searched for a lot of different opportunities to live abroad. Once I had decided on being an au pair, a Heavener School of Business study abroad advisor helped me find a placement company to use. The placement company helped me decide where and how long to be abroad.
HC: Have you always thought about being an au pair or working with children?
KN: I love working with kids! I did not think about being an au pair until August, but once I found the opportunity, I thought it would be perfect for me.
HC: Do you see yourself living overseas permanently in the future?
KN: I don’t. When I return to the United States, I have a job waiting for me in Atlanta that I am very excited about. I also am very close with my family and unless all of them wanted to move with me, I am not sure I could live so far away permanently. However, if a global opportunity presents itself in my future career, I could definitely see myself moving abroad for a period of time again.
HC: Has earning this position altered the way you think about your future and/or career goals in anyway?
KN: Absolutely. In a short amount of time, I feel as though I have learned so much about myself and learned from my host family. They have been so open and welcoming to me and have made me consider hosting an au pair in my own family one day. The experience hasn’t altered my career goals, other than keeping an open mind to globalization, especially in business.