American Culture, Life at FIU

Meet the Global First Year Staff: Lauren Van Sant


 Meet Lauren Van Sant! She is the Student Services Director here at Global FIU.

Lauren Van Sant, Student Services Director

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Education: M.S.E. in Higher Education Administration at University of Kansas

B.A. in English at University of Iowa

B.A. in History at University of Iowa

Favorite Food: “I really love a good curry over rice dish. A friend from Senegal once made me the most amazing chicken curry type dish and ever since then I have been addicted to finding awesome curry dishes. But I prefer flavorful over spicy. I still want to be able to taste my food!”

Countries lived in: United Kingdom, United States

Favorite part of the job: “My favorite part of the job is when students come back after trying something new and scary to thank me for supporting them and to tell me how much more confident they feel. It’s great to watch students grow. Sometimes all they need from us is a few kind words to remind them that they are valued or a push to get them out of their comfort zone. When they have that, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. I’m in a job that gives me a front row seat to watch the development of the world’s next leaders and I wouldn’t give up my seat for anything.”

What Lauren loves about Global First Year: “I love the diversity! We have students in this program from so many different countries and when they are together here this magical thing happens where they become like a family. It’s wonderful and heartwarming.”

Favorite Miami spot: “Still exploring! Although coming from the Midwest, I think any spot with an ocean is going to rank highly on my list by default!”

Place in the world Lauren would most like to visit: “Slovenia and Croatia are high on my list since my ancestors are from there.”

Fun Fact about Lauren: “My dream is actually to be a writer of fiction. But I realized that the best writers have a lot of experience to draw from so I started to travel and traveling led me to international education. I still want to write, but I’m finding that both passions feed into each other and a lot of my current writing draws from the experiences that I have travelling and working with students.”



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