Director of Off Campus Study Elected to Three-Year Term on IES Abroad Academic Council

Kristen Mallory, director of CMC’s Office of Off Campus Study, has been elected to a three-year term on the Academic Council of IES Abroad, one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most reputable study abroad providers. Her term is effective January 2010 through December 2012.

The not-for-profit enrolls more than 5,000 students annually in more than 90 programs around the world. The Academic Council advises the president of IES Abroad on all academic matters related to the organization’s study abroad programs. IES Abroad is dedicated to broadening America’s global reach and offering students outstanding academic options for study abroad.

A returned Peace Corps volunteer (Chad, 1988-1990), Mallory says serving on the Academic Council will afford the opportunity to stay abreast of the latest in the study-abroad field, and will also be a great way to continue building international networks for CMC. “Nothing in our world today can be done in isolation,” Mallory says. “Because of this, I believe every college student should have the chance to study or intern abroad prior to graduating from college. Having lived, worked, and studied abroad myself, I am delighted to assist CMC students in their quest to understand our increasingly global interconnectedness.”

Since joining CMC in 2004, Mallory’s found that sharing stories about her “worst days,” as well as her most favorite memories as a study-abroad student in Paris (or as a Peace Corps volunteer) helps prepare CMCers for living in a foreign place.

“Those anecdotes enable the students to have a realistic view that their time abroad isn’t a semester-length vacation with family and friends taking care of their every need. Instead,” Mallory says, “just as they have experienced at CMC, there will be good days, difficult days, and everything in between. I encourage the students to not only use my examples, but to solicit stories and experiences from other CMC study-abroad alumnito think about and strategize how he or she might respond to the same experience.

“I believe it is important for the students to be excited about their semester abroad as well as to have an awareness that every day cannot be perfect,” Mallory says.

While many students know the “destination” they prefer, she says few students understand the myriad of options and requirements for each destination. “Thus, the overwhelming majority of them need our assistance.” Additionally, she says, many students have stringent academic requirements that must be met while abroad in order to graduate on time. Finally, once a student is accepted to study abroad, they still need pre-departure meetings on such topics as safety, CMC-specific academic policies, student visas, and international health insurance.

Even after they’ve gone abroad, the students’ connection to CMC continues, as Mallory and colleagues respond to their e-mails on any number of topicsfrom lost luggage, to add/drop procedures at the host institution, homesickness, and financial issues.

“We truly are an office that does everything for students before, during, and after their semester off-campus,” she notes.

Mallory became director of the Off Campus Study Office in 2008, after serving as assistant director since 2004. She earned her master’s in international education at the School for International Training, and her bachelor’s in English literature from Linfield College.

Mallory also serves on the National Advisory Board for Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies, and is a nationally certified trainer on the topics of health and safety for Study Abroad and Cross-Cultural Communication. She has presented at numerous national and regional conferences, and will present on a panel at the CIEE International Conference in Istanbul in November 2009.