Nearly 6 years ago, Jennifer Stevens created and began teaching the Journalism program at AISB, with The Bite as the visible product. She created a real-world, engaging learning environment which is a student favourite course and unique in the world of international schools.
At the end of the last school year, in June 2022, she left AISB to pursue other passions with her husband, Luke Scholtes. It’s safe to say that our community misses Ms Stevens!
Where is Ms Stevens?
Soon after her departure from Romania, Stevens found herself in Italy. She recounts that “it’s a very special place for us [Scholtes and I].” They recently decided to buy a house in Italy and have spent most of their time there. Although she mentioned it was kind-of a random decision, she says, “I’ve always dreamed about having a place in Italy, and although we’re taking things a month at a time, it was a great place and a great deal – so we couldn’t say no.” They have been visiting Abruzzo over the past few months, where their apartment is located.
Before purchasing the home, Stevens and Scholtes had been living in a small town on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, which she says was very different. While she had a lot of time to explore a lot of local areas such as farms, getting into cooking and generally being able to slow down and enjoy the quiet, she missed having the community. “We’ve seen some friends along the way, but it’s not like being at a school where you have students, other teachers, friends, and always having something to do in the city.”
What is Stevens doing now?
Since moving, Stevens has refocused on her personal blog, Adventurous Appetite, which she started when she moved to South Korea in 2009. She mentions how she never really took it seriously because she spent so much time teaching and taking care of The Bite, but she’s now getting more traffic and it’s something she definitely wants to continue doing.
Additionally, she’s recently revamped her personal website and officially started her freelance writing business. A lot of her time has also been spent writing a book. Her main goal is to write a book consisting of short stories or personal essays about her time abroad.
Stevens remarks, “I’ve already gotten some work, so I’ll definitely be busy in the new year. I’ve also started writing for a food website, and on top of that helping Luke with his marketing for The Science Lens, his YouTube channel.” While she admits it’s been taking up quite a bit of time, she enjoys helping him film, make scripts, and the editing process.
What are her plans?
“I think I’d like to continue writing coaching, like maybe doing one-on-one tutoring or helping people find a passion for writing.”
When asked if she preferred teaching or freelancing, she responded with, “I’m not sure. In terms of being in an actual classroom, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. I miss the students and having that interaction, but teaching is the hardest job I’ve ever had, and I spend all of my creative energy in the classroom.” She continued, “I’m feeling happy seeing that return of energy for myself.”
Stevens will be moving to Costa Rica in June. Scholtes will be working at an international school there and she is starting her own business, where she plans to help international schools start journalism programs and also help with communications.
What is some advice for students and writers of The Bite?
Stevens confidently talked about how happy she is that The Bite is continuing.
“I think The Bite is so important to keep the AISB community together, it’s truly changed the school in the last few years.”
Finally, when asked what advice she has for journalism students, she said, “Don’t take the easy assignments. Always ask yourself: Why am I in journalism and what do I want to get out of the class?” Most importantly, tell stories.
Human interest stories are slowly dying – you get the opportunity to bring that back – so take those on and get to know the community and really push yourself to tell those hard stories.Jennifer Stevens
Leave a Reply