Meet Lidija!

Introducing Lidija Smirnov!

IMG_6999Lidija has extensive experience in the field of international education.  She was a foreign student in the US, both on the Bachelor’s and Master’s level. During her undergraduate studies she completed a study abroad program to Limoges, France.  Later on she worked in secondary school exchange students coming to the US on State Department scholarships. Additionally, she worked for an organization that secured internship for both US students abroad and foreign students coming to the US.

Her Master’s degree is in International Education with specialization in higher education. Although most of her job experiences are related to education, exchange and non-profit sector, her very first job was in the corporate world. There she coordinated medical evacuation and repatriations of travelers all over world. So, she hopes not, but in case you do have an emergency, she knows exactly what to do.

Lidija is currently residing in Turkey, but at the end of the summer is moving to Hungary. She speaks fluent Serbian, Hungarian, Italian, and French, and is proficient in Russian. As a native of Serbia, she knows the Balkans and Central Europe very well. In her spare time (which is rare for a mother of seven-year old), Lidija likes to play tennis, swim and take beautiful pictures of nature. She completed a course in photography and hopes to use the skills to keep the memories of your trip alive.

What’s an OPC? 

As part of your customized faculty-led program abroad, you will be led and supported by a CISabroad On-Site Program Coordinator (OPC). OPCs are experienced and well trained staff members, there to ensure the schedule goes according to plan. Each OPC attends an extensive training program that involves a range of modules – risk management, emergency response, safety, logistics’, cultural awareness, communication, culture shock, budgeting, social media, La Vida Local and customer service.

The primary role of the OPC is to facilitate the in-country implementation of the assigned customized program, by providing safety / emergency response and logistical support. During the program, the OPC is responsible for managing the day-to-day logistics of the assigned customized program and providing in-country support to both the faculty and students. Using personal travel experience, professional work experience (and where possible language knowledge), the OPC will help create a program environment that is safe and culturally engaging. The CISabroad OPC may or may not be an in country local. The majority of CISabroad OPCs are expats from the US, who have travelled, lived, volunteered, or worked abroad in the program destination.

The OPC is not a registered tour guide nor expected to provide tours of sites visited during the program. If the program is one that requires specific guided tours of various sites, these will be provided separately. The OPC provides a general neighborhood walking tour to help the group identify the nearest bank/ATM, pharmacy, laundry-mat, grocery store and other similar conveniences.

The OPC’s role allows Faculty to focus on the academic objectives and the students to make the most of their time overseas!