Employee Spotlight: Kirby Hunter
October 17, 2014
1) What is your name and title?
Kirby Rose Hunter and I am a Host Processing Coordinator
2) Where have you traveled outside of the United States?
Spain, Peru, the Netherlands, Portugal, The Canary Islands, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, San Tomas and Canada
3) If you had to live the rest of your life in a place that you have never been before, where would that be?
Greece, preferably near the beaches or on the island of Mykonos.
4) What other languages do you speak?
Spanish, well, at least I try. It was my secondary major in college.
5) Please describe a time when you experienced culture shock.
My very first experience with culture shock had to be when I was in Peru. We had just landed in Cusco after a short stay in Lima and we were walking around the city and there were so many children out trying to make money. They were selling photographs with them posing with their alpacas dressed in traditional wear, selling postcards, etc. When I asked one little boy what his name was he said “George Clooney”. The postcards he was selling cost 1 sol, three of which equate $1. When I told him I didn’t have any soles, he told me he’d take a dollar. Very crafty.
6) What is something about American culture that you have found others outside of America find strange?
In my experience, when I was living with my Spanish family the host mom would always say I would apologize too much. I also noted that my sarcastic humor often did not translate well. Spaniards are much more direct.
7) If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
I would want to be able to read people’s minds.
8) If you could travel back in time to any point in history, when and where would it be?
I’ve always been enchanted by ancient Egypt, and think that it would be amazing to see what life was like
9) What is your heritage?
Czech, English and German.
10) What is your favorite food you tried in another country?
My favorite food I tried abroad was a dessert called turrón, which is like a brick of almond butter. As for a meal, there was this really simple quick meal my host mom would make in Spain that was rice, tomato sauce, and an over-easy egg on top. Yum.
11) If you could physically transport yourself to any place in the world at this moment, where would you go?
I’d be on a beach in Thailand, reading a book in a hammock and drinking from a coconut. You know, nothing too specific.
12) If you could be instantly fluent in one language that you currently do not speak, which would it be?
I’ve always wanted to learn Russian, but given its rising population and importance in international relations, Chinese would also be ideal to learn.
13) If you could easily visit one known planet, which one would you choose?
Jupiter, I’ve always been impressed by its ring.
14) If you could eat one food in any quantity for the rest of your life with no ill effects whatsoever, what food would you choose?
Hands down, my grandmother’s cooking. She makes this stuffed artichoke that’s stuffed with bread crumbs and cheese, and boiled with oil.
15) If you had to spend all of your vacations for the rest of your life in the same place, where would you go?
Costa Rica for the beaches
16) Why do you like working in international education?
I enjoy working in international education because I truly believe that is such an important experience for people to get a chance to live in another country and learn about another culture. There are so many walks of life on this planet that we all share, and it is important to take the time to get to be open to and learn about them. The Earth keeps getting smaller and smaller with the constant improvements in technology and travel methods, so it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities we have.
17) What do you think is the biggest benefit of hosting an international student?
Hosting an international student provides the opportunity to learn about another culture without even having to leave your home. You get the chance to really make a difference in somebody’s life, and help shape their experience abroad, all the while you are expanding your own horizons and learning about another culture you may have otherwise never known anything about.
Having stayed with a host family abroad myself, I know that it was the family I lived with that really made my experience as amazing as it was.
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