Deborah Friedman helps students discover themselves, the world, and their place in the world. As a gap year, summer and semester program consultant, she guides students and parents through the often-daunting process of creating transformational educational and life experiences. As a life coach, Deborah works one-on-one with students to make sure they are living up to their fullest potential.
Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Friedman attended the Horace Mann School. In her junior year, she participated in The March of the Living, an international youth program to Poland and Israel. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Communication Arts and a minor in Business. During that time, she studied abroad through Boston University’s Internship Program in Sydney, Australia. Deborah received her Master’s degree in International Education from the School for International Training (SIT). Her thesis, The American Gap Year, examined the Gap Year trend in America from the college admissions advisor perspective. She presented her research at the Federation EIL Poland General Assembly and as a guest lecturer at SIT.
Deborah is certified as a Personal and Professional (aka Life) Coach from the Coaches Training Institute and is a member of the International Coach Federation.
Bringing a unique set of past experiences to her work, Deborah has designed, developed, and led international and domestic high school and college programs with The Experiment in International Living, Semester at Sea, The Dwight School, World Leadership School, Institute for Civic Leadership, Free the Children, Me to We, and CIEE. Her experience as a coach started in 2006 when she managed UNICEF’s P²D (Personal x Professional Development) program, a non-traditional career development program for staff members and their families.
Most recently, Deborah was the Director of Programs for Global Learning Across Borders where she managed all aspects of the organization’s international immersion gap year and school partnership programs. She also co-founded the International Leadership Program, providing low-income NYC public school students with the college-readiness and leadership skills they need to change the world.
Deborah coaches students and parents through a comprehensive process before, during, and after a student’s learning experience:
- Before: Discovering strengths, passions, values, and short- and long-term goals; Exploring gap year, summer and semester opportunities; Choosing programs to create a meaningful experience; Preparing for the upcoming journey.
- During: Ground support includes transition and culture shock coaching, logistical (program, itinerary, and travel) support, and health and safety consultations.
- After: “Re-entry” Coaching on topics such as dealing with reverse culture shock, identifying key learning and growth, and incorporating new changes into the next stage of life.
- Additional services available include life coaching, program application writing, and customized pre-departure materials and support.
Deborah has traveled to over 30 countries (about half with students) and enjoys her daily meditation practice.