We’re continuing the series introducing the team behind AIFS Customized, who create faculty-led study abroad programs for hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the US.
This week, we spend a few minutes chatting with Pollyana Latto, Executive Assistant & Compliance Officer, based in our London, UK office.
What do you do for AIFS?
I am an Executive Assistant to our Senior Vice President, this is a varied role including research, finance, data analysis etc. I am also a compliance officer; in this role I need to ensure all our students entering the UK have the correct visa information.
How long have you worked for AIFS?
I have worked with AIFS since November 2015. I also worked a couple of months in the summer of 2015 on an amazing CFL Harry Potter tour.
What do you love most about your job?
My job is very varied which is interesting plus, as we work above some of our classrooms, we get to see students enjoying their experience and can see how our hard work has paid off.
What do you love most about working for AIFS?
AIFS is a lovely company to work for everyone is very friendly and hardworking which creates a great working environment.
What do you like most about working with faculty and students?
I have been lucky enough to be a Tour Manager whilst working for AIFS and have seen the experiences we create come to life firsthand. It’s so rewarding to see students enjoying their time in the UK, they always have so many questions and it makes me proud as they’re immersed and embraced by our British culture. I am always conscious that because of our work this is happening all over the world with students experiencing new cultures and broadening their world view.
Where and when did you study or work abroad?
I traveled around the world for 4 months at the beginning of 2015 including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA. Strictly speaking this was not study or work abroad but it was all part of my life- long learning which is something I feel strongly about. Learning is not a chore, it’s a privilege!
Any advice for faculty thinking of leading a CFL program abroad?
It’s a great way to get the personalized experience you need. It brings real world understanding to your academic studies.
Any advice for students thinking of studying abroad?
Walk anywhere you can when safe, you see so much more!
Tell us something about yourself:
My favorite hobby is to go on long hikes, I also love to read on my commute and socialize with my family and friends.
Where do you plan to travel to next? Why?
I would love to see more of Europe, maybe somewhere in Scandinavia!
Tell us a favorite travel story:
On a family holiday in Antigua we were on an amazing day trip kayaking through mangroves. At the end of the trip my older sister and I kayaked back to base with the rest of the group however our parents and younger sister were no where to be seen… It turned out they had kayaked headfirst into the mangroves and capsized their kayak into the water full of upside-down jellyfish!! After much shouting and rescuing of sinking snorkels and flippers they all made it back on board safe and sound. However, whose fault it was remains a hotly debated topic..!
A favorite book/movie/restaurant or experience that inspired you to travel?
From the countless movies and series set in New York it was always a of goal of mine to see this famous city! I was lucky enough to go to New York on my travels in 2015 and then again with work en route to some training at our head office. The city did not disappoint and I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in no time!
Tell us your dream trip with an unlimited budget
I would love to experience more of a cultural shock and visit Asia. Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia would all be on my list! Also, with an unlimited budget I would like to live the life of luxury in a 5-star hotel in the Maldives!