The road to Kalamazoo for Study Abroad Coordinator Anastasia Kaml began in her birthplace, Kishinev, capital city of Moldova in the former Soviet Republic, and led her to a career well-known to her relatives and ancestors.
at left: Kaml in Moscow, St. Basil Cathedral, Red Square
Kaml holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in foreign languages and literature from the Pedagogical Institute, Saratov State University, Russia. Following graduation, she was employed at her alma mater for seven years by the Office of International Relations. She worked her way up the ladder to chief coordinator for international programs, interfacing with faculty, staff and students from various countries, including England, the United States, France, China, Canada and Turkey.
“My family has been involved in education for generations and I was taught how important learning is for personal growth and career,” said Kaml, who joined the Haenicke Institute's study abroad office in September 2006. “Spending my school and college years traveling made me realize how beneficial it is to merge other cultures. It gives us a broad global perspective and shapes our lives in interesting ways. I wanted to be part of this exciting process and open doors for those who are willing to join our international community.”
A large part of Kaml’s responsibilities at Saratov State University was facilitating and coordinating international partnership projects. As part of a “Russian-American Partnership in Education” project, she traveled to the United States in 2001 to work and study at East Carolina University in North Carolina.“The necessity of a global education is a reality now,” she said. “Studying abroad is so enriching academically and gives people a competitive advantage when seeking employment. More and more companies nowadays are looking to hire people with international educational experience. The key for success is to understand world processes and to learn as much as possible from other cultures. Our study abroad office plays a very important role of educating, guiding and helping students to gain a global perspective.”
Of all the places she’s visited, including Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada, Kaml claims Austria and her birthplace as her favorites.
“Austria impressed me with its historical and cultural heritage, she said. “I love the snow-covered mountains of Salzburg and seeing all the gorgeous old castles are the icing on the cake. Moldova is a small but beautiful country with a great spirit, sunny meadows and picturesque vineyards, home to wonderfully hospitable people.
Anastassia resides in Mattawan, a bit west of Kalamazoo, with her husband, Craig Kaml, associate dean of WMU’s Exstended University Programs, and a son. As often as possible, her Russian grandmother, “Granny,” comes for extended visits and sends Kaml to work with mouth-watering Russian dishes to share with her co-workers. In her spare time, she enjoys downhill skiing, golf, reading and riding her motorcycle.
“Most of all I like spending time with my family, traveling, cooking Russian and Moldavian food, or playing board games,” she said.
Kaml primarily advises students planning study abroad trips to Russia, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. She can be reached in the study abroad office at (269) 387-5890, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org