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Ian Sutherland '09

Touring the World

Albert Einstein once said “the only source of knowledge is experience.” For senior Ian Sutherland, those are words to live by. This Madison, New Jersey native defines success in terms of experiencing as much as possible: He learns more about himself, his surroundings, and his future with each new endeavor.

“My interests have gotten me this far," he says. "If I follow my interests, then I’m sure my experiences will lead me to where I need to be.” Ian has already traveled to China, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Singapore, France, and England through his father's job as an editor, trips that afforded Ian valuable experience adapting to different cultures.

“When my father was working, I’d sort of wander around… so I’m kind of used to being in a country on my own,” Ian says of his childhood.

Ian has also visited the Netherlands several times throughout his life - in fact he was born there. Even so, he thirsts for more opportunities to experience the world. He is especially interested in immersing himself in different cultures, and as a business major with minors in anthropology and sociology, he views culture through a unique lens.

“Sometimes it is difficult,” Ian admits, “but there are ways to adapt. If you don’t know the language, you’ll use something like hand gestures to indicate what kind of food you want, and maybe you’ll get what you meant…and if not, at least you get to try something new. Either way, you learn to take what happens as it comes.”

Ian’s ability to adapt to different environments became especially important last semester when he represented Green Mountain College in an exchange program at South Korea’s Hannam University. While there, Ian took two courses in business and four courses in the Korean language. Because he found the culture, food, and language interesting, he’d like to eventually return. “I almost felt that by the time I finally got really settled in, I had to leave. So I need to return there some day.”

Ian continues to maintain a strong connection with several people he met in Korea. If he doesn’t find a promising business internship in another country, he plans to spend some time teaching English in Korea. He feels that the skills he gained as an undergraduate teaching assistant for GMC last year will help him in this role. After saving up some money, he’d like to continue his travels from there and return to school for his master’s degree.

By Nicole Ainsworth '09

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