Her experience as a volunteer has expanded Kissel’s network. “Through the home hospitality opportunities and my own experiences hosting folks through Couchsurfing, I now have friends in Egypt, Niger and Nigeria, all of which I would like to visit,” Kissel said.
Kissel makes it a goal to travel internationally once a year. Her future destinations include Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland; however, her favorite location is Spain.
“From San Sabastian with the best tapas crawl in the world and horseshoe beach that I thought only existed in storybooks, to Madrid with the stunning all-glass Mercado de San Miguel, to Barcelona with Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia where the edifice itself feels like you are in a forest where the air is made up of rainbows from the unusual stained glass, Spain has surprised me time and time again,” she said. Kissel compared the agricultural aspects of Spain to growing up in the rural countryside of Indiana, furthering her international parallels.
“Being a host has been one of the most enriching Indianapolis experiences for me as someone who aims to be globally connected professionally and personally,” Kissel said. “I hold The International Center in the highest regard for their work and recommend this experience to everyone in the city who also has a passion for extending a welcoming hand and homemade meal to some of the best experts on a variety of topics to our beloved Indy.”
Kissel, currently The Center’s youngest home hospitality host, encourages recent college grads and millennials to engage with the international community. “Know that your experience and voice matters. This is a way to not only be heard but also to listen and grow as a citizen of the world.”
Learn more about international visitor programs and how to get involved!
By: Jenna Williams, IVLP Intern