MY STORY

Learn more about the Founder

The Savvy International Founder, Cortney

I help international students prepare now, save money later, and thrive in America. 

 

The reason? Oh so many…

 

I grew up in a small mid-western town in America, and I never felt like I understood any of the world around me. I dreamed about going to university, traveling, and making all my dreams come true. 

 

I wanted so much more than where I came from. I wanted the world.

The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, sitting on a cliff in Capetown, South Africa

With the help of the most supportive parents, I went to a small private university for my undergraduate degree. Despite my parents working overtime, trying to help me pay my rent month-to-month, and sending me money for groceries when they could, I ended with about $60,000 USD in student debt. My Master’s degree added another $15,000 USD in debt. 

 

It’s true that the opportunity for education is America is available to all. Unfortunately, it IS NOT always available fairly to all. I stand strong on the premise of advising students with the truth, not a fantasy and not with empty promises. 


Do I regret my education? Not. For. A. Single. Second. 

I have a 150 hour TESOL certification, a BA English, and a MA International Relations with specializations in Spanish and Communications. I am grateful for every single course that got me to where I am today. 

 

But do I regret the lack of information and resources I had when making the university decision? YES

I wish someone had told me about financial aid, out of pocket costs, searching for the right school not just the most highly ranked school, or just navigating the whole college experience.

The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, at her undergraduate university graduation.
The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, posing on her university campus after graduation from undergraduate studies.

It all began with a few international studies classes in university. I became obsessed with learning about the way the world works. In my last year of undergrad studies, I lived in Costa Rica for half of the year taking intensive language courses. Leaving the country blasted my eyes open to everything I had been so removed from up until that point.

 

Over the next eight years, I studied in Costa Rica, backpacked my way through South America solo, taught English as a Second language classes, and dove headfirst into international education. 

 

I’ve counseled tens of thousands of international students their parents about the processes to study in the USA. I’ve signed thousands of acceptance letters. I’ve issued hundreds of international student visa documents. I’ve run an international student support department for a large state university, managed international admissions for a small, private university in America, and directly collaborated with students, parents, educational consultants, high school counselors, university representatives, and international schools around the world. 

 

I’ve traveled to nearly 50 countries learning about secondary and higher education. 

The Savvy International Founder visiting Bangkok, Thailand and standing in front a temple.
The Savvy International Founder visiting an elephant sanctuary called Elephant World.
The Savvy International Founder visiting temples in Seoul, Korea.
The Savvy International Founder visiting temples in Bangkok Thailand.
The Savvy International Founder visiting Hague Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
The Savvy International Founder visiting Bridgetown, Barbados
The Savvy International Founder visiting Zurich, Switzerland
The Savvy International Founder visiting Rome, Italy.
The Savvy International Founder visiting Trang Anh, Vietnam
The Savvy International Founder visiting Rome, Italy to learn about international students.
The Savvy International Founder visits Vienna, Austria

"I’ve had my mind blown at the kindness of strangers  + the beauty of the world   + the mind shattering cultural differences + the global perspectives we all have the ability to develop and the way those

change our world. "

And after eight years, I couldn’t believe how often I still found myself explaining the most general processes to study in America as an international student. 

 

I found the biggest gap in the process to get to

America wasn’t the distance, but the sheer lack

of easily accessible information for parents. 

 

Why was financial information so hard to find? Why was the online space so full of promises for full rides and easy access to Ivy League universities, and just so much bad information? 

Picture of The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with international students in Vietnam.
Picture of The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with international students in Vietnam.

Helping international students learn about studying in the USA in Vietnam.

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The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with former international students who successfully studie
The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with former international students who successfully studie

Getting to see past international students and catch up and learn about their successes!

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Students studying in the USA posing in front of a beautiful university campus in America.
Students studying in the USA posing in front of a beautiful university campus in America.

Having fun with some of my past students!

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Picture of The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with international students in Vietnam.
Picture of The Savvy International Founder, Cortney, with international students in Vietnam.

Helping international students learn about studying in the USA in Vietnam.

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Eight years - What did I become an expert on in eight years? 

 

  • English language learning

  • Student advising

  • International admissions

  • F1 visa processes 

  • International health insurance

  • Secondary school counseling

  • Secondary school coursework

  • Transcript evaluations

  • School selection processes

  • Financial aid

  • Scholarships

  • Post study work experiences 

  • Programming

  • On campus employment 

I can offer the best preparation for parents and students to navigate this process on their own.

 

I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to study in the United States of America. To earn not just an undergraduate degree, but to study abroad, have internship experiences, lead on campus organizations, and build a successful career within a field I am so unabashedly passionate about - international education. 

 

Education + travel + culture change the world. Every time. Without effort and without hesitation.

 

Helping families navigate study abroad processes is my expertise. It’s my passion. And I’m lucky enough that I get to help students avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way, avoid online promises and scams, and become the next generation of successful international students in America. 

"I can’t wait to impact as many students around the world as possible." 

 

Will yours

be one of them?