- What is your name and job title?
Michelle Powell, Residential Manager for Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida
- When did you start working at gphomestay?
- Where have you traveled to outside of the United States?
I backpacked Europe for three months after I graduated college. I have been to Scotland/England, Ireland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and several of the Caribbean Islands.
- What other languages do you speak?
I speak some Spanish, but it’s not great!
- What’s something about American culture that you have found others outside of America find weird?
I am not sure if it has anything to do with American culture, but every time I travel abroad I’m always picked on by the amount of water I drink. I drink between 8-12 large glasses a day and even more when I’m hiking. When I was in Italy I spent a small fortune on water!
- If you could travel back in time to any point in history, when and where would it be?
My nickname is treehugger, so I would probably do best in the 60’s and 70’s.
- What was your favorite food that you tried in another country?
As a vegetarian, it was difficult for me to find dishes without meat. In Germany I had Spatzle, very similar to macaroni and cheese! I also ate a lot of noodles, pizza, and dessert!
- If you could physically transport yourself to any place in the world at this moment, where would you go?
I would like to go back to England or Scotland to see Ben Howard play live or to Bali where there is endless surf and beauty.
- If you could be instantly fluent in one language that you currently do not speak, which would it be?
I would choose to be fluent in Spanish. It makes the most sense in Florida.
- 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?
Triple fudge brownies
- Why do you like working in international education?
I was a teacher for 6 years before working with gphomestay. I enjoyed working with students and meeting new people, but I did not enjoy the politics of the school system. Working with international education allows me to still make a difference in student’s lives without being directly connected to them as their teacher.
- What do you think is the greatest benefit of hosting a student?
I have seen wonderful and lasting relationships develop between host and student and it is truly beautiful. It allows both to experience parts of a new culture in a warm and caring environment.