Alexandra Athena (“Alexii”) Lardis was, “born a buckeye, raised a tar-heel” after moving from Ohio to North Carolina at a young age. With a love for writing early on, she started penning articles in high school for teen publications regarding human rights issues. She was first published in 2008 through the publication Teen Ink and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursuing her dream to “save the world” while majoring in Political Science and Global Studies.
While at UNC, Alexii was lucky for several opportunities to study abroad. A Foreign Language and Area Studies recipient for Greek, she was eligible to live in Athens for four months in 2010 as she became familiar with her father’s native language. This experience led her to blogging for Let’s Go student travel agency. During this time, she developed an incessant love for travel, and couldn’t help but surrender to her insatiable wanderlust. In 2012, she was eligible for a 10 month exchange at the University of Edinburgh and then later that summer in Siena, Italy with a culinary program. She was able to submit her pieces beyond Let’s Go as she was offered more freelance opportunities to share “how to travel the world on a college budget”. She is grateful for the opportunities and funding which UNC provided her. Go Heels!
During this ten-month exchange, she was able to volunteer at an orphanage run by the Orthodox Church in Romania. This spurred interest in her research for her senior year as she developed a particular interest in the orphan and vulnerable children crisis. She was accepted to an opportunity post-graduation in 2013 to Palampur, India to conduct research regarding the orphan crisis and its correlation to the UN Millenium Development Goals on education. She volunteered to teach an English class while she was there. She found herself returning home and no longer applying to Master’s programs in International Relations. She became fascinated with the nuances in language learning and found herself looking into programs in education.
She was lucky to publish her first book, a series of essays from college titled 21 & COUNTING, prior to beginning graduate school.
A graduate with two masters degrees from Teachers College Columbia University (MA TESOL ’18, Ed.M Applied Linguistics ’20) Alexii currently teaches incredible, resilient, immigrant High Schoolers in the Bronx, New York (English as a Second Language). She has spoken at conferences (TESOL International ‘18) regarding her research around integrative motivation in second language learning. She loves the opportunities to help her students learn English through her love of language and writing.
She’s an advocate for storytelling, personal narratives, travel on a budget, and modern love stories.
Hobbies include coffee, wine, cooking, kickboxing, playing with her niece and nephew, travel (country count: 44, states: 25!) and long walks through Central Park with her husky, Mythos. She shamelessly identifies as a “hopeless romantic”.
With that, she is currently working on several projects surrounding modern love. She divides her time between New York, Wilmington NC, and everywhere else.