Lies Verstraete graduated as a geographer from the University of Ghent, after which she started an additional study in Conflict and Development. After a career start as a Geography teacher in various secondary schools in Belgium and later a Geography, History and Dutch teacher and a Mother Tongue coordinator at different international schools in Shanghai, Lies joined VIVES University of Applied Sciences in 2013 as a lecturer in Geography Education at the teacher training department. Since 2017, she has been working as a policy officer in the International Office, where she focuses on global engagement, global learning and global citizenship in higher education. She teaches Global Issues to both exchange and VIVES students and coaches students through their Global Engagement track. In addition, Lies also coordinates policy and partnerships in some of the focus countries of VIVES UAS, more specifically China, India and the Philippines.