Counseling alumna goes from Morton to Milan

Kouri and her husband, Derrek, on the Mediterranean island of Comino.

April 18, 2011

Counseling alumna Molly Kouri loved working with students but wanted a change of scenery from her lifelong home of Illinois, so she took her passion overseas and landed a unique position as college counselor at the American School of Milan in Italy.

Kouri earned her master’s degree in human development counseling – school counseling from Bradley in 2008 after earning a degree in psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University. At Bradley, she was a graduate assistant in the Smith Career Center and helped with events such as the Majors and Minors Fair and career fairs.

A yearlong internship as a school counselor for middle and high school students solidified her love of working with students, and a study abroad trip to Ireland as an undergraduate made her want to live in Europe. She found the perfect opportunity at a job fair in early 2008, and traveled to Italy to work at ASM that August.

ASM is a private, English-speaking school with students from 35 countries around the world. The school teaches elementary through high school and sends its students to universities all over the globe.

As a college counselor at ASM, Kouri informs students about college admission requirements, guides their courses of study and assists with college applications. She meets with parents to discuss their children’s futures, and she organizes college visits, college fairs and career days.

The international setting comes with some challenges for Kouri and her students. Because universities in other countries have varied admissions requirements and courses of study, educating students about the vast number of choices can be difficult.

For Kouri, helping her students navigate those choices and succeed all over the world makes the job well worth her while.

“I love getting to know the students and see them develop throughout the entire college process,” she said. “I witness their growth beginning at the start of high school and follow them all the way through graduation.”

Living in Italy offers plenty of perks, as well.

“I am a car ride away from the beach, the mountains, and great wine regions,” she said. “I love the Italian culture, the relaxed lifestyle and the food.”

Although she misses her friends and family in the United States, modern technology has made it easy for her to keep in touch. She uses Skype and email daily, and visitors from the U.S. come frequently.

After the end of this school year, Kouri will leave ASM for a school in the Caribbean. Although excited by the new opportunities and challenges she will face there, she says the strong bonds formed at ASM make it difficult to leave.

“We, the faculty, have the opportunity to form close relationships with our students,” she said.