Elizabeth Lange '17

  • Elizabeth Lange in MoroccoBachelor of Arts in Marketing

  • Certified Tour Director

  • Studied abroad in Berlin, Germany

  • Participated in two mission trips to Cambodia

At an early age, Elizabeth Lange ’17 discovered what it really means to be a global citizen. While still in high school, she and her family moved to Cambodia to work with the poor and bring educational opportunities to the country’s most destitute populations. That life-changing event kicked off a series of international trips and service projects, launching Elizabeth into her dream career of bringing those experiences to others.


When did you first experience life on a global scale?


When I was 16, my family decided to take a sabbatical and work with Youth With A Mission. We lived in Hawaii, where we learned everything we needed to go out and help others. Then we were sent to Siem Reap, Cambodia. While there, I taught English in a local village and fell in love with the people and culture. I’ve been traveling since and am pursuing a full-time career in travel.


What was it like to study abroad in Berlin, Germany?


Berlin was AMAZING! I was able to meet so many wonderful people and learn about an amazing country. During Spring Break, I went with a few friends to Barcelona, Spain, and then Morocco! After the semester was over, I was able to spend six weeks backpacking through Europe, which was the highlight of my trip. I think I prefer living out of a backpack now.


What motivated you to return to Cambodia while you were a McKendree student?


I went back because I loved it and the people so much, and I wanted to do more to help. The history of Cambodia is brutal and sad, but it’s amazing to see how resilient the people are and how joyful they are. Before I went, I thought everyone lived pretty similarly. I knew there were poor people, but until you see, smell, and experience the slums, you have no idea what poverty is.

I also thought everyone thought and acted similarly to us as well, but that is completely wrong. Every culture has its own unique worldview, values, and personalities. They are each so beautiful, and these are the little things you can only pick up on when you experience it firsthand.


How do you plan to incorporate your love for travel and helping others into your career?


Since graduating in December, I went on to become a certified tour guide/director. I’ll take groups of people on trips of a lifetime and be able to show them the cultural differences and local beauties firsthand. After about three years, I hope to continue guiding for half the year, and then the other half, be in Cambodia where I will help to create new businesses to help individuals and boost the Cambodian economy.


 


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