Home Customized Faculty-Led Meet the Team: Gina Baxter, Head of Student Services, Florence

Meet the Team: Gina Baxter, Head of Student Services, Florence

by Susanna Shigo
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 meet Gina Baxter, Head of Student Services in our Florence Study Center, Italy.

Enjoying the Tuscan countryside with Zola

Hi Gina! What do you do for AIFS?  

I work together with a team of Student Advisors to manage the day to day aspects of your study abroad program. We organize student accommodation, social & cultural events, give travel advice, arrange doctor’s appointments, answer questions and provide support for students during their time abroad.

How long have you worked for AIFS? 

I joined AIFS in 2013.

What do you love most about your job? 

That no two days are the same!

On a weekend trip to Sicily

What do you love most about working for AIFS? 

The staff! Everyone is very supportive of each other and we are a great team.

What do you like most about working with faculty and students? 

I like being able to help them make the most of their time abroad by giving advice and recommendations on what to do/see and where to go.

Gina and the AIFS Florence team, Spring 2020

Where and when did you study or work abroad? 

I studied abroad in Florence in 2008 and 2009.

Any advice for faculty thinking of leading a CFL program abroad? 

Don’t be intimidated, you’re not alone! We are here to help; it’s our job and we love to do it.

Any advice for students thinking of studying abroad? 

It will be the best experience of your life, you’ll learn so much about yourself and might never have another opportunity like this again so why not?

Tell us something about yourself: 

I like traveling, taking walks with my dogs, watching terrible reality TV shows on Netflix, and eating Italian food.

Where do you plan to travel to next? 

Portugal so I can enjoy the beautiful beaches and relax!

Tell us a favorite travel story: 

In January 2020 I went to Morocco for 6 days with a group of friends, we rented a Riad with beautiful mosaics everywhere and a roof terrace which was amazing but I think the best part of the trip was the day we went into the Atlas mountains and visited a traditional Berber village home, I rode a camel called Maria which was both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

On a bike ride with NCSAC students, Spring 2016

A favorite book/movie/restaurant or experience that inspired you to travel? 

The film Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen is one of my favorite movies, and definitely makes me want to jump on a plane to France every time I watch it!

Tell us your dream trip with an unlimited budget: 

I’d love to rent a sailboat and go visit some of the islands in Indonesia & the Phillipines, or spend some time traveling around South America and Patagonia.

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