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Meet Anna Bryan’10, a great resource in international education

August 27, 2012

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Name: Anna Bryan’10
Occupation: Office of International Education intern.
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia.
You may have seen me: on the OIE website or wandering around campus checking out everything that’s changed over the last two years. What I've been up to since my graduation from Beloit: interning for the Europe, Russia & Eurasia programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and teaching English in Russia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.
Favorite class at Beloit: all of my Russian classes, because Olga and my classmates were awesome! Besides that, probably HIST 150 Calendars and Almanacs with Rob LaFleur. It was a lot of work and the topic didn’t really tie in with my other studies (at least on the surface), but it was a fascinating course and really helped to improve my writing and boost my confidence at the start of my college career.
What are a few of your favorite things? TRAVELING, going for walks, taking pictures of clouds, trees, architecture, graffiti, and basically anything besides people, sleeping in, spending a rainy day curled up on the couch with my cat and a book, watching movies, eating good food, enjoying baseball, peanut butter, Reese’s, root beer floats, smoothies, bagels, s’mores, and other American things I’ve been deprived of for the last two years…the list goes on and on.
Any do-over requests to lodge with the universe? Explain. Not really. I try not to dwell on mistakes and misfortunes of the past, and I’m a fan of the Russian expression “всё, что не делается – к лучшему” – everything that happens is for the best – even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Favorite meal? Fried bean curd and pad thai at Crystal Thai restaurant in my old neighborhood in Arlington. I’ve been getting the same order for years and Crystal Thai was my first stop after flying in on Aug. 6.
What can’t you live without? It sounds bad, but probably my computer. It’s been my lifeline for two years, helping me to connect with home, teach classes, store memories, and keep myself entertained on those long, cold, winter nights in Russia.

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Any advice? Think positive, and always take time to notice and enjoy the little things in life. Check out Neil Pasricha’s blog (and now books, calendar, journal, empire) 1000 Awesome Things ( – it’s full of many truly awesome things, and always brightens my day.
What gets you up in the morning? Multiple alarms.
Who are your heroes? My oldest brother Mark is a huge inspiration to me. He’s only 43, but he’s already been to over 30 countries! Mark is a genius at networking and finding grants and programs that pay for him to work and study overseas, and he’s been a great mentor and cheerleader for me as I try to find my own way in life.
Which talent would you most like to have? I would love to be able to understand and speak any language so that I could travel anywhere in the world and communicate with everyone I meet.
Beatles or Stones? Beatles
Proudest moment? That’s really hard to say, but one highlight was spring of senior year, when I had a phone interview to intern at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), a think- tank in Washington, D.C. I had applied for an internship there junior year, but never heard back from them. This time around, I worked really hard on my application and found ways to tie in my study abroad and honors thesis work with their current research projects. I had found out that I got the Fulbright ETA grant just a week before my CSIS interview, and that gave me the confidence boost I needed to nail it. The feeling of peace, confidence, and pride I had as I hung up the phone was amazing.
What are you most looking forward to? Being back at Beloit!

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