In December, we learned of the tragedy involving Ibolya Ryan, an international teacher in Abu Dhabi. While at a local mall with her two children, Ibolya was killed in the bathroom by a hidden attacker. As an international teacher, Ibolya was a day-to-day example of cultural understanding and goodwill. She encouraged future teachers to “be positive, open minded, flexible, and take every challenge as a learning experience.” Her legacy will be one of promoting peace, personal growth, and tolerance.
Ibolya’s story resonates with the GoAbroad Foundation for several reasons. As a Colorado-based non-profit, we connected with Iboyla who spent time getting her teaching certification in Colorado. Not to mention, our Father company GoAbroad.com works with the organization that placed Ibolya in her teaching job abroad. And most importantly, as a globally-minded foundation that recognizes the importance of meaningful international experiences, we understand that this event could be seen by some as a reason to avoid travel and immersion when it should be exactly the opposite.
The outpouring of encouragement, both locally and abroad, is a testament to the arbitrary nature of this event and the caring and supportive community in the UAE of international teachers presence in the country. Ibolya’s time living abroad with her family and working with the local students show how much she valued cultural understanding and living a global life. Her tragic death solidifies the need for more cultural awareness in the world, which is something notoriously gained through international travel and teaching abroad.
Please consider supporting this cause and donating to the fund for Ibolya’s legacy. All proceeds will go to her children.
This post was written by Nikki Powers, VP of Communications for GoAbroad.com in the United States.