PhD Student in Educational Foundations (Global & International Education)

Manca Sustarsic

As much as I have been challenged and motivated academically, I have also felt the warmth and support of the faculty and staff, which has made my PhD journey enjoyable.


Slovenia, Southeastern Europe


Educational Foundations

Related Degrees

  • PhD, Education: Global & International Education

Where do you work?
I work as a graduate assistant in the International Student Services at UHM where I assist international students with immigration and Visa-related issues.

Briefly describe your road to college.
My curiosity about international education arose when I first came to Hawai‘i as an exchange student in 2008. I continued to pursue my MA in Asian Studies at UHM. During that time, I also studied Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

How did you become interested in the field of educational foundations
After having the privilege of being an exchange and international student myself, I came to realize that I want to pursue a career in International and Global Education to help and assist other foreign students, particularly those from less privileged groups. After my MA, I worked as a program assistant at a non-profit organization committed to international exchange where I provided cross-cultural, educational, and professional training to international participants from all over the world who were recipients of U.S. Department of State merit-based scholarships to study in the U.S. I learned about the significance of intercultural exchange as it occurs in people-to-people diplomacy. I became interested in the Educational Foundations program mainly to deepen my understanding of what education should stand for and how to apply it to international student mobility.

Why did you select the UHM COE?
Since the COE is famed for reputable faculty members who possess extensive knowledge of social, cultural, and philosophical aspects of education, I thought that the EDEF program would provide me with excellent resources and most relevant courses to meet my academic interests and goals.

Would you recommend this program?  What would you say about it?
I would definitely recommend the EDEF program for its excellent academics and supportive staff. I have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere that the EDEF ohana has created for all of us. As much as I have been challenged and motivated academically, I have also felt the warmth and support of the faculty and staff, which has made my PhD journey enjoyable.

Is there anyone in particular who inspired/inspires you to pursue a career in this field?
My former boss is one of the most amazing mentors who is leading by example. Her selfless dedication to international programming and exchange has inspired me to do research in this field. She always reminds me to pursue a career in something that is meaningful; not only to myself but to the society.

What are your future plans?
I see myself working in academia as a professor of International or Global Education, or managing an exchange office. I truly enjoy working with international students who never fail to enrich my life with their perspectives and experiences.

I'm interested in learning more about a degree or certificate in Educational Foundations.

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