Lauren Mock


M.A., Counseling and Higher Education
B.A., English

Why did you get into this field?

I participated in the NIU at Oxford program when I was an undergraduate. This experience was a defining moment in my life and fundamentally changed how I view the world. I realized that I wanted to support and assist students while they discover and take part in such an exciting and impactful opportunity. From personal experience, I know that study abroad offers many enduring academic, career and personal benefits.

Amy Pitts

Study Abroad Registrar

I joined the Study Abroad Office in 2003. My primary role is to register students for their study abroad programs, update classes and process grades upon the completion of study abroad programs. I also help students with course questions and act as a department liaison if credit issues arise.

The best advice I can give to students is to do your research and have a backup plan. Make sure you have alternative classes picked out and pre-approved. Sometimes classes are full, and you need to use one of your alternative classes. This is much less stressful if you have extra classes already approved. I would also advise you to be flexible and to do your very best.

Jill Vodden

Study Abroad Advisor, NIU Co-sponsored Study Abroad Programs

B.A., Business and Systems Management

I started working in the Study Abroad Office in 2008. As an advisor, I discuss program options with students and guide them through the study abroad process.

What is the best part of studying abroad?

To learn the similarities and differences of other cultures and to learn how people in other countries live their day-to-day lives. The breathtaking views of cities, mountains, oceans, deserts, jungles, etc., that a person doesn’t see in the Midwest. Shopping in grocery stores!

Why did you get into this field?

After working in the travel industry for 15 years, I applied for a temporary extra-help position in the Study Abroad Office. Since I have a passion for travel, I thought it would be fun to assist students in obtaining their study abroad goals and dreams. I have been here ever since, now working full time in the office.

Rita Veron

Study Abroad Advisor, NIU Administered Study Abroad Programs

M.S., Journalism
B.A., Romance Languages and Literatures

I began working with the Study Abroad Office in 2017. I assist and advise students interested in studying abroad on faculty directed (NIU led) programs.

What is the best part of studying abroad?

The best part of studying abroad is the immersion in a culture other than your own. Everything is new and different, whether you’re attending classes, exploring your host country or just going about your routine in your new surroundings. Even the most mundane activities, such as doing laundry or going to the grocery store, can become a lifelong memory when you’re in a new environment.

Why did you get into this field?

Studying abroad was a transformative experience for me, and I think most study abroad alumni would say the same. It’s fun and fulfilling to help students pursue this life-altering opportunity.

What is one piece of advice you give to students?

I recommend that students take advantage of as much as they can while abroad. Who knows if or when they will have those opportunities again, so it’s best to make the most of the time that they have there.

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