Employee Spotlight: Michelle Powell

  1. What is your name and job title?

Michelle Powell, Residential Manager for Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida


  1. When did you start working at gphomestay?

June 2012


  1. 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.


  1. What other languages do you speak? 

I speak some Spanish, but it’s not great!


  1. 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!


  1. 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.


  1. 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!


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.