Go and experience the world beyond the U.S.!

Janeen Mills
Study Abroad Advisor

  • Staff
International Programs
Contact Janeen
Office
Ferguson Social Sciences 225
Related Department
International Programs
Hometown
Campbell, TX

Janeen is a travel enthusiast and a study abroad advisor at A&M-Commerce who has explored many countries, including Japan and New Zealand. She loved New Zealand so much that she became a citizen and now holds two passports. In her free time, Janeen enjoys connecting with her international family, leading small-group Bible studies, and cooking. Her zest for life is truly inspiring!

A Conversation with Janeen

What sets A&M-Commerce apart from other universities?

The A&M-Commerce experience is so much more than academics. It is a place where students can engage in the community, establish life-long connections, and learn about themselves in relation to the world. It is a state-of-the-art place of learning, designed to inspire and help each student realize their potential and purpose.

What interests you the most about your current role as a study abroad advisor?

My brothers and I were the first generation in our family to attend university. I was a small-town kid, and I ended up studying at the university in my hometown. My biggest regret was not taking advantage of our study-abroad opportunities. There was no one to inspire me to even get a passport. I was a late bloomer to the incredible world of immersing in another culture and experiencing life as a foreigner. I received my first passport 20 years after graduating from college in order to move to New Zealand and serve in an international student ministry. I even became a resident and a citizen of New Zealand and now hold two passports! I traveled to many nations with our students, eventually moving to Japan in 2018 for 18 months. In my current role, I am passionate about inspiring students to GO and experience the world outside of this nation. I encourage them not to wait, as I did, but to be transformed, to become a global citizen as a part of their A&M-Commerce journey.

How do you help students as a study abroad advisor?

I seek to inspire students to “GO and grow” through the study abroad experience. The first step is the most intimidating and requires courage and a sense of adventure. I believe that immersing in a culture different from one’s own for any amount of time is life-transforming and cannot be learned in a classroom.

How did you become a study abroad advisor?

My experience in international education led me to this role. Year after year, I helped short-term mission teams and study-abroad students become oriented to study, service and life in New Zealand. Studying abroad begins at home, in the preparations before you go. I love to design pre-departure intercultural training that prepares students and faculty to hit the ground running in whatever nation they are going to experience. By thinking ahead, you can navigate life in a foreign country from the moment you arrive, which enhances your ability to learn and grow with much less stress.

What is an important life lesson you have learned?

I have learned that “it's a small world after all” is not just a lyric on a Disney ride. My journey as an international citizen began before I ever left the U.S. by engaging with the world at my doorstep. I began building friendships with migrants and international students when I was in high school and lived in the international student dorm at the university. Wherever I travel in the world, the networks grow, and soon, there are only two degrees of separation between friends and family abroad.

Who has been a role model for you?

My role model was my dad, who modeled commitment and love through action. He was a hard-working carpenter and became a master in his skill, yet he was always humble. He was compassionate to the hurting, even taking in a homeless person for over a year who struggled with mental health issues. The result was that his example empowered that person to heal, learn how to manage self-care, and eventually live independently in their own apartment. My dad led and loved by serving others.

Education

  • M.A., Christian Studies-Intercultural Leadership, Denver Seminary, 2023
  • B.A., Creative Writing and Communications, University of the Redlands, 1983
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