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Abbiola Ballah

Founder & Coach

My credentials would say that I’m an international education professional, teacher, and coach. But really, I’m a global traveler who is passionate about education and connection to the international community.

I’ve been living a nomadic lifestyle for the last 20 years. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I knew I wanted to travel the world but I never thought I would call other countries home. I grew up believing that “success” meant settling down, getting married, and having children. I couldn’t reconcile that belief with my desire to travel, and certainly not with my desire to live a nomadic lifestyle. To me, “making something of myself” meant settling down at home or becoming a citizen of another country and settling down there.


But when I began traveling, I learned things about myself and about the world that allowed me to rewrite my definition of success.

What makes me feel fulfilled and whole is connecting with others and working to find my purpose. True connection comes when we show the world who we really are and allow people to see themselves in our experiences. That is how I learned that there were so many people out there just like me and that I didn’t have to settle down to be part of a community.


When I first began traveling, I felt pulled between who I was and the culture that was surrounding me. At times, I tried to fit into the culture. Other times, I tightly held on to who I was. But eventually, I realized the sense of belonging that comes when you learn to live somewhere in the middle. We are a culmination of all of our experiences and all of the places we’ve been - and when we show that to the world, that is when we find true acceptance and are able to find belonging wherever we are.

Phern Education Studios was born out of my desire to pay it forward. I want to empower others to get out into the world and be whoever they want to be, wherever they want to be. I want to tell you that you do not need to be in your home country to be home.

A coach with over 15 years of experience working in international education, and 10 years in college counseling, my goal is to help other nomads and global travelers navigate their own unique cultural transitions through one-on-one coaching and community connection. 

For those of us who travel the world, teaching or learning a language is often tightly woven into our experiences of cultural transition. I believe that there is an opportunity to enhance the support that education whether traditional or online can provide to both teachers and students. 


I want teachers to love their work. And I want everyone to know that they belong.

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