Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Larisa Konovchenko: Connecting the World through English and Tourism


December 2, 2011

As a student at Far Eastern State Transport University studying Social and Cultural Services and Tourism, I always knew that I needed to know English as my second language. Working in tourism, one not only communicates with Russian customers but also with people from around the world. Plus, you never know which part of the world you will be in and which culture you will meet. To learn every language is impossible, so we have a common global language – English.

For me, studying in a native speaker country is the best way to learn. I heard about a lot of schools in the USA that teach English for foreign students, but I chose the Monterey Institute of International Studies because my professors recommended it to me.

For a long time I debated whether to go or not to go. The fear and the suspense held me back. But, on June 15, 2011 I found myself onboard a plane and looking forward to whatever was awaiting me.

Luckily, wonderful Monterey was awaiting me. It reminded me of my hometown because of the beautiful nature and ocean. This was a time of great emotions for me.

The MIIS campus became dear to me after just a few days. I met awesome friends from all over the world. Thanks to them I learned a lot about different cultures and traditions. A team of professional teachers helped me to improve my reading and writing skills and overcome my oral communication challenges. Since I left the program, I’ve realized that it was a huge step up in my life. My worldview has changed. I’ve become more resolute.

In October, I worked at an international forum as a travel manager in Khabarosk. And, of course, my English helped me there. After that I got a job in a travel agency. So, now I study and work at the same time. I’m not going to stop here, because the world is huge, and somewhere my future tourists wait for me. And, when I get there, English will connect me with them.