Meet the Author: Patricia Beavan

I began learning geography in elementary school and I bombarded my parents with questions about other countries, other cultures, and other languages. When I learned there was an entire world beyond my hometown of Eldersburg, Maryland, I was fascinated. Enter Rick Steves. If you're not familiar with Rick, he hosted a cheesy travel television show in the 1990s. As a kid, I maxed out my library rental limit every weekend to bring home his VHS tapes and guidebooks. I became obsessed with the world.

When I enrolled in Spanish I in eighth grade, it was the single best day of my life up until that point. I expected I would be fluent in weeks and then jet off into the world, but I nearly failed the class. I was so bad at Spanish. The good news is, I scraped by for 4 more years because, even though I struggled, I absolutely loved it studying the language and its cultures. Eventually, all the vocabulary and grammar started to click when I reached college. I declared a Spanish major, spent time abroad, and finally brought my Spanish to a level that my eighth-grade self would be proud of.

I taught high school Spanish for a year, which helped me realize I love building relationships with young people and pushed me to pursue a career in higher education. My master's in higher education showed me the possibilities of working with international students, which finally placed me in the world of international admissions. I love working in admissions because I understand the potential that beginning a new program holds. I am proof that it takes just one class or one subject to change your life.

I am so grateful to do what I do and to do it in Philadelphia. When I'm not working or traveling, you can probably find me at any of the free yoga in the city or sitting in a park with my dog and a good book. I love being outside, so I probably haven't seen anyone's favorite movie or TV show, but I think I'm getting close to running or biking every street in the city.