UMSL Global Student Assistant Spotlight: Nina Villano

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My UMSL experience has and still is extraordinary. Never in a million years I guessed that attending this University would change my life. Becoming a student here has opened my eyes into a new world. I am fifty-eight years old and my attendance at UMSL has fulfilled several of my dreams. Imagine that? There have been many highlights in my life since becoming an UMSL Triton. My life has changed entirely.


This university has opened doors and windows for me that I thought were closed forever. A life changing highlight that I will never forget is having the opportunity to study abroad. I thought I was too old, But I can now add on my resume that I have studied and lived in London. This was a bucket list dream. This trip has altered my entire life. It has given me new goals and dreams to reach for. 


My UMSL experience continues to motivate me into becoming my best. This experience has given me that “living my best life” feeling. I now believe that I too can be a productive member of society again. – Nina Villano


I came home wanting more with a thought of having my live radio show, “NinaV.DoinMe” on KCFV 89.5 The Wave was my dream job,  until I studied abroad. I came home full of questions on how I could get back out of the country. I did my study abroad at Roehampton University, London UK, Where I was asked to do a promotional video for them, which I accepted with honor. It was something about doing that video that sent the wheels in my brain to be turning. I wasn’t sure of what I wanted, But I only knew I wanted it to include international traveling. 


 I was having a conversation with Cassidy Thompson from the Study Abroad office and she mentioned a job title I had never heard of, Global Ambassador for Studying Abroad. What was that? I wasn’t sure what it was, but it sounded good to me, and did some research, and this was it, Global Ambassador for Studying Abroad. I was made aware of a program called “Next Step Internship.”


This internship allowed me to choose the department I wanted to work in. I wanted a department that would teach me more about international studies and programs.  The UMSL Global Department was perfect. I applied and was blessed to get hired. Being a Global Ambassador was what I wanted but having the opportunity to work in this office has shown me that there are many occupations to choose from.  I have met people with job titles that I have never heard of. Now,  I am in awe every day that I work. 


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