If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Tyler, we’d like to introduce you! While he has only been a member of the FTI team since 2017, he’s quickly learned the ropes and earned himself a spot as a Tour Coordinator. His experience working in international education, as well as his passion for travel, are just a couple of reasons we’re thrilled to have him on our team.

Tyler enjoying FTI’s backyard BBQ

How has your role evolved since you started working at FTI? (Promotions, new responsibilities)

When I moved back to Richmond from Cincinnati, I wanted to get involved with travel, specifically study abroad, because it had a big impact on me when I was in college. So, in November 2017 I started as a group sales agent.

Within a few months, I was promoted to Tours. I really enjoy seeing the entire scope of things – especially when it comes to educational opportunities. It’s really fun to work with study abroad groups because every single one is different. Its like a big puzzle you get to piece together. There are so many options, and no program is the same.

Tell us about your personal experience with study abroad.

As a junior at Xavier University, I studied in Sweden. After returning, I wanted others to have that experience, so I got a job at my university’s international study abroad office. I temporarily satisfied my wanderlust by working with students as a peer adviser. My role was to help them understand the requirements, options available to them, etc.

Why are you passionate about international education?

I think it’s critical because of the global world we live in – everyone is so interconnected. With the internet, we can interact with people all across the world. However, it’s really hard to have a true understanding of who they are unless you experience where they’re from. It’s important to travel and interact with local people live to gain a better understanding of their culture.

Tell us about a particularly memorable travel experience.

I definitely enjoyed my entire study abroad experience – the small towns I lived in, getting to interact with the locals, and all the culture that comes with that – being able to connect with people on an interpersonal level. The most memorable part is joining a soccer team in Sweden. Being a foreigner on a local team with Swedes was really cool.

Where do you wish more people traveled to and why?

Big surprise – but Scandinavia for sure; I think its really underrated. Denmark is the happiest country in the world for a reason. People who live there are really cool, and there’s a lot to see, especially in the world of study abroad. There are plenty of options for studying climate change and sustainability because people there try to live their lives in more sustainable ways. I wish it got more attention.

Where was the last place you traveled to (internationally)?

I went to Iceland in February for the Icelandair Mid-Atlantic Tradeshow to expand relations with vendors in the Nordic region. While there, I visited Akureyri, Iceland to explore programs to beyond Reykavik.

In July, I went to Uppsala, Sweden to visit a good friend of mine who I met while I was studying abroad. I also visited Stockholm, Oregrund, and Graso before travelling to Crete and sailing to Santorini. I was able to spend a day in Athens before flying to Denmark to visit a high school friend who lives in Aarhus.

Tyler learning to use stilts at Den Gamle (Old Town), open-air museum in Aarhus, Denmark.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I think it was one of my professors who said that it is “…. really difficult to fully understand other people (their experiences/struggles/achievements) until you put yourself in their own environment.”

What’s your favorite thing about working at FTI?

Definitely the people. Everyone is so welcoming, it’s a great environment to work in. We really work as a team.

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