Growing up in an industrial town in Germany, I decided at age 13 that I wanted to study foreign languages and travel the world. I asked my parents to enroll me in a foreign language academy for adults. I learned Spanish business language to become a foreign language correspondent (a secretary who could translate German business lingo into Spanish and vice versa). I attended the night school for about 18 months until I was the only student left out of 20, and the private institution asked my parents to pay for one-on-one tuition. My parents could not afford that, so I quit the program, however, I resumed a similar education later.
When I was 16, I become a foreign exchange student with American Field Service (AFS), which took me to a small town in Ohio. I lived with a wonderful family, skipped 11th grade and graduated with my American high school diploma. That in itself would allow me to follow and accomplish my dream - to go to an American university and earn a bachelor's degree.
But upon my return to Germany at age 17, all that seemed an unreachable dream. How would my parents or I ever afford to pay international tuition? I returned to another language school and earned a degree as a foreign language correspondent in English and French. But secretarial work bored me immensely.
Therefore, I decided to follow my other childhood dream and become a flight attendant for a German airline. At age 20, I traveled the world for 3 years, and was lucky to meet my husband on one of those flights. After two years of long distance romance, I decided to follow my dream to get an American college degree. Together with my then boyfriend, and about $10,000 in savings, I took the foreign language test (TOEFL), applied to Orange Coast College. I quit my airline job and moved to the United States in 1988. Three weeks later, I wore sneakers, and carried a backpack filled with history, geography and English books.
Four years later, I graduated with honors from California State University, Fullerton, with a B.A. in Communications and emphasis in PR. My dream had finally come true!
In 2000, a few years after our son was born, I decided to get a graduate degree and earned a master's degree in cultural anthropology from Cal State Fullerton. I've realized that I love learning, and that there are so many different ways to get an education.
Not everyone's academic journey is straight, directly from high school to college and then to a job. Just like an airplane that flies from point A to B, it never flies the same altitude or in a straight line....it always makes course corrections, but it usually gets there, and that's how I look at my academic journey.
I've helped students find alternative educational programs, including our son who played competitive ice hockey. He was able to attend Orange Lutheran High School but also took one-on-one classes at Halstrom Academy to provide him with the flexibility to play travel hockey and still take AP classes.
Another recent high school graduate with excellent grades and strong ACT scores was denied acceptance at 5 UC schools. Her parents came to me in late April looking for an alternative, because they never believed their daughter would be denied acceptance to the UCs. I was able to help her get accepted to an American university in Switzerland and receive $22,000 in merit aid for her excellent grades. She decided to attend and never looked back. After her first year, she returned to the US and is now attending her dream school-the University of San Diego.
If you are looking for an educational consultant who has "been there" and understands that there's no one direct path to your child's educational journey, talk to me. I seek out alternative educational tools, universities, study-abroad opportunities, and I am genuinely passionate to serve the families I work with.
Ready to take your academic journey with me? Call 714.299.2016 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to creating a unique path with your student.
Kirsten was fantastic to work with through every step of the daunting task of searching for a college for our son. Her combination of expertise, positivity, and integrity was exactly what was needed. My son felt very comfortable working with her, and he believed that she genuinely cared about what he wanted in a college and what his goals were for the future. She seemed to work tirelessly to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information necessary to navigate the labyrinth of the college application process. Even after applications were finished and acceptances and decision were made, she continued to provide useful information and insight. This has been especially valuable while dealing with the uncertainty during the Coronavirus pandemic. We wouldn't hesitate to work with her again, and we would whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone looking for a thorough, honest, and supportive college specialist. We can't imagine having done this without her!