Meet Kimber, the USAC Program Advisor for Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Portugal. Learn more about her, below!
In the Summer of 2011, I spent one month in Ecuador and one month in Québec City, Canada, on two separate programs. Then, I did a semester exchange in Maynooth, Ireland, in 2012. I also participated as a Fulbright ETA and taught English at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi, Romania, from 2018 – 2019.
While living in Romania, my boyfriend in Kentucky gifted me a flight to London and a ticket to the Harry Potter Studio Tour to celebrate our two-year anniversary. While I was nerding out and about to begin the tour, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see him standing behind there with a big smile. He sneakily flew to London to surprise me. Not only that, but he proposed to me in front of the Hogwarts Express. It was magical. He gets mad props for pulling off the best proposal ever.
New Zealand is amazing. I am obsessed with Lord of the Rings books and films, so traveling to the country was a dream come true. It has so much to offer culturally and topographically. I hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 12-mile trek that winds through volcanic craters and stunning, bright green lakes. This landscape served as the backdrop for Mordor in the movies, and I obviously geeked out. Yes, I did pretend to climb up Mount Doom with the One Ring.
While passing through the middle of nowhere in Jordan, I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom. The facilities were free to use, but I felt obligated to buy something small for the service. I proceed to request a coffee in a terrible attempt at speaking Arabic. The two men behind the counter were beyond excited to see me and determined to make “the best coffee I’ll ever have.” They opened an instant coffee package, added hot water, and dumped at least four sugar packets into the cup. We chatted as they mixed the concoction and both insisted on taking a selfie with me. “I’m a police officer! You’re safe,” one proclaimed as he pulled out his badge. I shrugged and agreed. We snapped a photo on a cell phone, then I grabbed my coffee, said goodbye, and hit the road again. What’s funny to me is that somewhere out there is a random selfie of me cheesing it up while holding awful coffee with two men in a Jordanian gas station.
Chiang Mai, Thailand, without a doubt. Thailand has fascinated me for years and I’d love to explore the cultural and religious significance of the region.
I spend much of my free time sewing. I also enjoy Southern cooking, reading paranormal fiction, and binging trashy reality Netflix shows with my husband.
I’m terrified of fluttery insects — mainly moths and butterflies. I hate not knowing where they’re going to land, their tiny legs freak me out, and I want nothing to do with them.
A cruise to Antarctica is at the tippy top of my bucket list.
Programs: Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Portugal