After years of living in China and Cambodia; eventually, Brittany chose to continue her new work life in Jakarta.
Today, she is working as the Communication and Marketing Coordinator at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS). As an expat, particularly in Indonesia, there are so many interesting stories that she would like to tell us. Let’s get to know this remarkable woman.
Hi Brittany! We’d like to know more about you.
Hi! I’m from North Carolina, USA, and have lived in Asia – China, Cambodia, and now Indonesia – for almost 11 years. My love for travel started at an early age with many family road trips and a lot of moving to different states. In addition to travel, I love cooking, writing, all things fitness, and being social.
Fun facts about me are that I speak Mandarin Chinese fluently and I received a Master’s degree in International Relations from Shanghai International Studies University. Also, in 2012, I was featured in a “spoof” music video of Gangnam Style produced by a popular media company in Beijing.
What brought you to Jakarta? How does it feel to be here? Please tell us how long you’ve been here, too.
A job opportunity at JIS brought me to Jakarta. I heard wonderful things about the school over the years and was thrilled when a position came open. I officially became the Communication and Marketing Coordinator in July, and have lived here for four months.
It feels great to be here; Jakarta has welcomed me with open arms. The people are friendly, the food is amazing, and the culture is so vibrant. As a long-time expat, I am finally in a place where I feel like I belong.
I have the privilege of meeting people from all over the world, which is definitely a benefit of living in an international city like Jakarta. Also, I’m very close to one of my favourite places on earth – Bali!
You used to work in Shanghai and are currently working in Jakarta, what motivates you to work abroad? Has it been hard for you to do so?
Adventure and curiosity motivate me to work abroad. I’ve always been fascinated by different walks of life and living overseas allows me to learn about various cultures and societies first-hand. It’s one thing to learn about someone else’s culture in a book, however, I find it rewarding to bear witness and experience a country’s customs, traditions, and societal norms for myself. I’m fortunate to discover different facets of the human experience.
It’s also interesting to experience how an industry differs by region. For instance, marketing in Indonesia is very different from that of China and Cambodia. I believe these experiences not only help me become a more well-rounded person but also a better professional.
What are the latest updates you can share with us about JIS?
There are always great things happening at JIS! A little over a month ago, we celebrated the opening of the JIS Learning Center. This programme is dedicated to providing education to children with neuro diversities, which are moderate to significant learning needs. This is one of only a few programmes in the country and we’re happy to be an inclusive school that provides quality education to all students.
Our Bhinneka Tunggal Ika Scholarship citywide information sessions have begun and we anticipate receiving applications from hundreds of eager public school students who want to join JIS. Through the scholarship, we cover all tuition and fees for up to three students who will enter 8th or 9th grade the following school year.
We’re also happy to announce a new, innovative graduation pathway for high school students called The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Career-related Programme (CP). This track offers specialized university courses that focus on a student’s career goals while they matriculate through high school.
Between celebrations, performing arts productions, and special-guest speakers, there are still quite a few programmes and special events in the works this school year – so stay tuned.
2022 is about to end, what are you looking forward to for the year-end holiday? Are you planning to see your family?
I’m looking forward to reconnecting with long-time friends in Europe this winter. I miss the cold weather and am hoping there will be snow. Funny enough though, I plan to bring in 2023 on the beach.
Do you have any tips for fellow expats working away from their families?
Whether it’s through text message, video chat, or email, do what you can to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Also, building community and genuine connections with people in your host country is so essential.
What’s next for you, Brittany?
My next adventure will be learning Bahasa Indonesia!
How can our readers get in touch with you and JIS?