October 14, 2015
Syntia Santos’s journey to become a counselor educator began in her native country, Honduras. Attending the only teaching training institution in the country at the higher education level, she completed her undergraduate degree in School Counseling at the National Pegagogic University. Looking for her next challenge, she decided to learn English through an exchange program where she spent 6 months in Cardiff, Wales and 6 months in Edinburgh, Scotland. This experience gave her an opportunity to see the world and make new friends. Her advice to counseling students who want to study abroad is
“Enjoy the entire process with an open mind. Remember that you are there to learn, to grow, and to meet other wonderful people. The success and richness of the experience will depend on your efforts to remain genuine, to listen to others’ points of view respectfully, and to recognize who you are.”
With English fluency and a year abroad behind her, Syntia went on to complete her Master’s at the State University of New York at Buffalo through a Fulbright scholarship. She was eager to return to Honduras to work as a counselor educator and share what she learned in the U.S.
“Helping students see a larger world waiting for them, full of possibilities. Being honored with the opportunity to teach and learn from Honduran students eager to learn, grow, and do amazing things with very little will inspire me forever.”
After 4 years of working in Honduras, Syntia decided to pursue her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. During her doctorate, she not only served on the editorial board for The Professional Counselor Journal for the National Board for Certified Counselors but was appointed to be a member on IRCEP’s Steering Committee.
“The most important thing for me has been meeting the wonderful people leading international efforts in the United States – great hearts and great minds that believe in the possibility of learning together and enhancing the profession around the world.”
Currently working as a faculty member at East Carolina University, Syntia continues to be a leader in the globalization of the counseling profession. She believes that building professional networks and promoting initiatives to enhance the quality of training programs will support the counseling profession around the world.
“IRCEP will serve as a connecting bridge among nations and be a representative for the counseling profession. By promoting quality standards and supporting professional identity IRCEP can provide recognition to the profession.”