GoAbroad Interview

Hanna Friess - Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Hanna Friess

Before BUNAC, Hanna attended Ohio University and studied abroad in London while completing an internship with E! Entertainment. After graduation she worked for a PR company, and then fled the “real world” for a gap year (with BUNAC) in Australia. It was the best year of her life and she spent time working in the Sydney Harbor and in Cairns alongside the Great Barrier Reef. Upon her return, she secured a role with the company that provided her with a life changing adventure, and now gets to talk about her favorite topic every day!

How did you become involved with BUNAC?

I participated in the BUNAC Work Australia program in 2012 and LOVED living abroad. I had heard about BUNAC through a friend, and the program included everything I needed for a successful year abroad. After moving to Arizona in 2014, I found out BUNAC USA was headquartered here and was able to secure a sales and marketing role.

Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia

Harbor Bridge

What made your international experience with BUNAC extraordinary?

What I love most about our work abroad packages is the level of support. If you need a bit of hand holding and assistance, there are more than enough resources to help. If you are an independent, self-motivated traveller, you can use the support package for the basics, and figure the rest out on your own. I was somewhere in the middle during my travels and utilized the support services quite a bit.

How does BUNAC prepare participants before they arrive?

We help with the visa and work authorization process, send a pre-departure package (include a Lonely Planet book that I read cover-to-cover), host webinars, advice on life in country, and are a call or click away for any other questions!

Big Ben, London, England

Big Ben

How do you help participants immerse with the local culture?

Once participants are in-country they are invited to attend a variety of social events, city tours, day trips, nights out, etc. Some of the best friends I made while in Australia were from attending the social events put on by the resource center; my favorite being the Bondi-Coogee coastal beach walk during the yearly “Sculptures by the Sea” art exhibit.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

I am the sales and marketing coordinator, so I handle advertising campaigns, social media, inbound enquiries, website development, webinars, promotional emails and brochures, to name a few. I love this role because this industry is so interesting and every day is different. 

Coastal view of Melbourne, Australia


How do you use your own travel experiences in your work?

When I participated in the BUNAC Work Australia program, it was the best year of my life. I had two great jobs, amazing friends and co-workers, was able to see some amazing things (Great Barrier Reef and Uluru were two highlights), and had many visitors that I was able to share this experience with. Before I worked at BUNAC I would talk about my Australia trip almost every day and now it is a huge part of my job; I get paid to talk about my favorite subject! I love being able to give first-hand knowledge on my experience with the program, and I think people that are interested in the program really love hearing from someone who has been there.

I also studied abroad in high school and college, and have had many international trips with family and friends, so I can rely on those experiences when talking to participants and interested students.

What is the best advice you can give to anyone interested in applying to a BUNAC program? 

Follow instructions and if you have questions contact us! We give participants step-by-step instructions on visa and applications, but the most common mistakes are because people don’t read them! If anything is confusing, we’re here to help!

View of the Sydney Opera House in Australia

Sydney Opera House

What makes BUNAC's programs one of a kind?

BUNAC’s support services are what make our programs so unique. From the moment you book until you return home you’ll have our full range of resources, assistance and support. Before you go, we’ll help with pre-departure prep, visas, insurance, flights, required materials, and any general questions.

Upon arrival the bulk of the support takes place. Arrival orientation will help you get prepared and ready for a successful adventure abroad, then throughout your time in country you’ll have a range of support services available including social events, job support, emergency contacts, accommodation assistance, help with taxes and banking, and much more!

Boating in Whitsunday, Australia


What is the most rewarding part about your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is counselling and advising interested students to find the right program, and then seeing and hearing about what an amazing experience they have. BUNAC has such a great range of programs, whether you want to work, volunteer, or intern abroad. It is extremely enjoyable and rewarding to work with students and discuss their personal and professional goals and experience, and then figure out which program is the right fit. We keep in touch with participants through blog posts and social media, so it is always fun to see the progression and development of their experience and themselves.

In one sentence, why is international education valuable?

International Education provides a meaningful experience that allows you to expand your horizons, internationalize your resume, open your mind, and position you for a successful career in a global market.