Meet the Maker

Kathy Rubio, Island Immersion

Born in Belgium to American parents, I got a taste for multiculturalism at an early age. When we moved to the States, I spent hours with my globe and my encyclopedia learning about what other places were out there. A formative trip to Ecuador the summer before my first year of college opened my eyes to the cultural, linguistic, and ecological diversity in the world. I spent half of my undergraduate degree and most of my twenties overseas. From yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean to classrooms in Europe and Asia, I made my way back to the States and somehow found my Spanish better half in Mississippi.

The seed for Island Immersion was planted when I was teaching French in Charleston and created and ran a series of study abroad programs by the same name to the French Antilles. There with my students, immersing ourselves in all that these magnificent islands have to offer, I thought to myself, “I wish this could be my forever job.” Fast forward a few years and a few thousand miles west to San Diego, I have now found my way to doing what I love the most, collaborating with some incredible humans to create and run cultural, ecological, and linguistic immersion trips worldwide.

I have distilled my international educational priorities over my 10+ years of language teaching, the 30+ trips I’ve led abroad, and 80+ countries I have had the privilege of exploring. I prioritize cultural authenticity, linguistic immersion, and ecological responsibility in every trip I create. When I’m not teaching or cooking up an immersive travel experience, I can probably be found creating a messy painting, practicing Taiko or hula, or paddle boarding with my better half.

kathy kaufmann island immersion St Lucia Pitons 4