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I moved to AUS with my family nine years ago from Wellington, New Zealand. Although I initially started at AUS as a faculty member in the School of Business Administration—teaching and researching in the fields of operations management, project management, and team work—six and a half years ago I landed my dream job as founding Director for International Exchange Programs at AUS. In this position, I feel so fortunate to be able to participate in the transformative study abroad experiences of so many international and AUS students!
I am very interested in cultural exchange and meeting people from all over the world. I love to travel and I love to live abroad—in fact, I have been living abroad most of my adult life! Although I’m originally from the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area in the USA, my career has spanned periods as both an academic and an administrator across the UAE, New Zealand, Germany, the UK and the USA in the academic world, as well as in the government and the private sector.
My international career started when I was a graduate student at Babson College, working toward my MBA, and I had an opportunity to do an international internship at Horwath and Horwath Ltd in London, England. I remember my first few days there feeling like a “fish out of water.” I couldn’t understand what kind of strange language people were speaking when they used words such as brolly, lorry, lift, etc.; I tried to weigh myself and had no idea what a “stone” was; I held out my collection of pounds and pence at shops and let the clerks root around to find the coins I owed; and I didn’t know how to turn on the TV! I was completely unprepared for life in another country—somehow I expected that another English-speaking country would require little from me in the way of adaptation! But I also got the “travel bug” that year after following up my internship with a month traveling on a Eurail Pass all around Europe.
When I was a doctoral student at Boston University, I got an 18-month Fulbright Research Grant to conduct my dissertation research at the University of Muenster in Germany—and came away from that experience with my oldest daughter, Mintaka! After starting my career on the tenure track at Penn State University’s main campus, where I had my younger daughter, Ankara, I found myself wanting to go overseas again, and soon found myself transferring to the Victoria University in Wellington. During my seven years in New Zealand I became a citizen, and left academia to work for the government at both Industrial Research and then the Ministry of Social Development.
As much as we loved our lives in New Zealand, my whole family jumped at the opportunity to move to the UAE when we learned about AUS. And, we have never looked back since!
Dr. Linda Angell is the Director for International Exchange Programs at AUS.