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CEA CAPA Amsterdam, Netherlands Directory

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Amsterdam, Netherlands Advisory Board

Martha McGivern, Ph.D. - Chair
Director of Study Abroad - DePaul University
Dr. Martha McGivern is the Director of Study Abroad at DePaul University and is responsible for directing the strategy and implementation of study abroad programs across DePaul’s 10 colleges and schools. She oversees crisis and emergency responses for 80 annual programs. Her current priorities are program assessment, term-long program development strategies, and team leadership.

Prior to DePaul University, Dr. McGivern managed faculty-led study abroad programs at New York University and center- and hybrid-based programs at IES Abroad. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Education from New York University, with research focusing on issues of gender and cultural learning in study abroad, particularly as it plays out in cross-national relationships among peers. She regularly teaches a course on international partnership, project management, and proposal writing in the Master’s of Global Health program at Northwestern University.

Dr. McGivern’s international experience is strongest in Latin America, including doctoral research in Mexico, volunteer teaching in Ecuador, and undergraduate study abroad in Argentina.
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Opal Leeman Bartzis, Ed.D.
Executive Director of Education Abroad; Interim Director, Global Youth Advancement Network - Michigan State University

As Executive Director of Education Abroad at Michigan State University, Opal provides leadership for the Office for Education Abroad, including the American Semester Program (ASP) for short-term inbound international students, the innovative Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN), and administrative oversight of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a consortium of Michigan’s public institutions. She chairs the university’s Advisory Council on Education Abroad and the Faculty Learning Community for International Student Success, is a member of the Risk and Security Assessment Committee and the campus COIL coordinator. Prior to MSU, she held various positions over her 20 years at the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University, most recently as Vice President for Academic Affairs and including three years as Resident Director in Ireland. She has served NAFSA in variety of capacities, including Region VI Chair, Indiana State Representative, NAFSA Academy Coach, and Co-Chair of the Peace, Justice & Citizen Diplomacy MIG, and is active in the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, and AACRAO, for which she is chair of the national Study Abroad Committee. She is a frequent presenter and workshop trainer at international education conferences, including the organizations mentioned as well as the AAC&U, SIETAR, and NSEE.

Opal earned her doctorate in adult, higher and community education at Ball State University with her dissertation on the development of culturally sensitive instructional practices through student teaching abroad. She also earned a doctoral certificate in college and university teaching and community college leadership. She holds an MA in history and an Honors BA in German from Butler University. Her research and publication areas are inclusive pedagogy, global teacher education, academic ethics across cultures, and appreciative advising. She studied abroad in Switzerland, Russia, and Lithuania, and spends as much time as possible with family in Greece.

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Patrick Morgan
Chief International Safety Officer, University of Michigan
Patrick provides guidance to all U-M units concerning travel abroad health insurance, the International Travel Policy, and unit-specific policies. As the chair of the International Travel Oversight Committee, Patrick stewards the Travel Warning and Restriction destination list and is the point-person for Safety Plan inquiries. Patrick is available to facilitate unit-specific program leader workshops; consult on health, safety, and security for individual travel and managed education abroad programs; and create common travel resources for M-Compass and Global Michigan. He serves as the primary international emergency responder for all U-M travelers overseas, actively monitors international events, and coordinates communications with U-M travelers and their U-M units in times of crisis.
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David L. Mothersbaugh, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Programs, University of Alabama
Dr. Mothersbaugh is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and International Programs at University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. Prior to that he served as the Department Chair for Marketing. In addition to these leadership roles, David co-founded the UA Sales Program, was founding director of the UA Services Marketing Program, and served as acting director of the International Business Program. In his current role, he served on the ACE Internationalization Lab Executive Committee tasked with developing and implementing a strategic plan for internationalizing the University of Alabama. David is an award-winning researcher and teacher as well as co-author of the text Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy. In 2018, he was awarded the John S. Bickley Innovation and Creativity Award for his programmatic work on student engagement.
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Miranda Roberts
Director of International Programs in Engineering

Miranda Roberts has been in the field of international education for eighteen years. As the Director of International Programs in Engineering (IPE) at the University of Michigan, she leads the study abroad initiatives and intercultural programming for the College of Engineering. The IPE team consists of eight professionals, three international program advisor/coordinators, one marketing and outreach coordinator, an administrative coordinator, an assistant director and a faculty advisor. Together, the IPE team provides intercultural education opportunities to over 900 students annually (pre-pandemic) which equates to 1 in 3 students having had an international experience at time of graduation. Ms. Roberts leads the team to provide outbound programs and advising support for students, inbound exchange student support as well as the academic and programmatic support for the international minor for engineers, a 15 credit academic minor for CoE students.  

Ms. Roberts excels in ideation, advocacy and collaboration and has expertise in STEM program development, partner collaboration, comprehensive program management, marketing and promotion, study abroad advising, and co-curricular support. Miranda believes in the transformative experience of education abroad and actively works to ensure these experiences are equitable and inclusive for all students.

Ms. Roberts received her bachelor’s degree in German and International Studies from Augustana University and her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Dakota. As a student, she studied abroad on exchange at the University of Potsdam in Germany.

 
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Amsterdam, Netherlands Leadership

Maggie Fitzgerald
Center Director
Maggie earned a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) and an MBA degree with a double specialization in Marketing and Operational Management from Universidad de Palermo (UP). She has worked for fifteen years in the hospitality industry in Argentina, Uruguay and The Netherlands, gaining extensive experience in luxury services, intercultural relations and teams management. In addition to her corporate experience, Maggie has always had a special interest for education. She has been a professor since 2007 in different Universities and Institutions for undergraduate and graduate students. In 2016, Maggie started up her own Marketing and Communication business, working with companies from diverse industries, helping them achieve their goals, grow and increase their performance.
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Chris DeRusha
Senior Vice President of Information Technology
Chris DeRusha joins CEA CAPA with over 16 years of IT management experience. His career path in IT started at a young age while helping a neighborhood computer shop build new PCs. This led to his desire to pursue his bachelor's degree in computer science. Since then, Chris has worked for manufacturing, engineering, and medical organizations. He now has extensive experience designing and leading in the implementation of robust corporate networks with the security and redundancy required to maintain business stability. Maximizing interdepartmental collaboration, efficiencies, and productivity through thoughtful and smart use of IT resources is his passion. Chris recognized early on in his career that IT was not just a service, but a provider of tools and ideas to help company departments work better, together.
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Ricardo Valencia
Chief Global Inclusion & Impact Officer

Ricardo Lopez Valencia has honed his corporate and executive acumen over twenty-five years and knows that exemplary executive teams are robust, effective social systems. He is known for developing a virtuous cycle of respect, trust, and candor to create well-functioning, successful teams who have chemistry that cannot be quantified; where one superior quality builds on another.

Ricardo is an experienced executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit whose professional success has been achieved through a commitment to people, equitable access, social betterment, and bottom-line results. He blends inspiration in teams with strategic skills rooted in the following disciplines: collaborative leadership, multiple team coordination, market insight and research, disciplined communication and public relations, cultural literacy, development of comprehensive distribution platforms, and brand development resulting in successful and executable business strategies. Following his principles, he has done well for himself and his family. As a leader, Ricardo continues to achieve for his family, the company he works for, and for those he cares about.   

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Shawn Coover
Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Shawn Coover is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, he oversees the development and implementations of policies, processes, and best practices to ensure CEA CAPA continues to be a great place to work. This includes consultation on strategic business initiatives, employee relations, staffing plans and recruitment, compensation and benefits, communications, training and development, and legal compliance. Most importantly, Shawn and his team work diligently to make sure that everything we do is true to the organization’s Core Values, Mission, and Vision.

Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA from Northern Arizona University. He joined CEA CAPA in 2018 and brought with him 19 years of international leadership experience, including eight years in Human Resources. His professional background also includes leadership experience in operations, project management, development, customer service, and purchasing with Honeywell, AT&T, and Belden Wire and Cable. 

An avid traveler, Shawn has traveled to over 30 countries.

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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Caroline Walsh
Senior Vice President of Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA CAPA’s current product portfolio and expansion into new markets. She works closely with leadership within University Relations to identify university needs and trends and collaborates with Academic Affairs and CEA CAPA staff worldwide to design and deliver new programs and academic partnerships that are best suited to meet the needs of our U.S. university partners.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Caroline worked in the Public Information Office for the Santa Clara Water District, at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, and at the Office of International Student Scholars at UW-Madison. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from UW-Madison (Wisc.), a certificate of global leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management (Ariz.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Santa Clara University (Calif.).

While living for a year in Madrid, Spain, Caroline used her school breaks and weekends to travel throughout Spain and many other countries within Europe. She also lived in Bolivia and Brazil, and traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Caroline thinks it's OK for students to be uncomfortable when traveling abroad: "It is in these moments we learn about ourselves and the new culture we are visiting. When you leave your comfort zone, you grow. You'll feel awkward and out of place many times, but that's OK. Don't shy away from difficult moments or stay where you are comfortable, you may be surprised at how strong you are."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • "Planning Quality Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," Co-Presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II and III, Bi-Regional Conference 2005, Colorado Springs
  • "Crisis Management in Study Abroad," Co-Presented at Arizona International Educators Conference 2002, Tucson

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Recipient of a University Fellowship as well as the Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship from University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Recipient of an Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship (Portuguese)
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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Maggie Banchs
Program Director, San Jose

As a program director of the CEA CAPA program in SJO, Maggie overseas all aspects of the program. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in February 2006, Maggie developed skills working in the Communications Department of the Escuela de Administración de Empresas in Spain, and as a manager at the Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Nicaragua. After studying abroad herself, she returned to San José to work with foreign students at Veritas University. Maggie holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Escuela de Administración de Empresas (EAE) in BCN, and a bachelor’s degree in photography and Artistic Direction from the Universidad Centeroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Nicaragua. She has also studied photography at Veritas University and has taught several photography courses at Universidad Creativa in Costa Rica. She believes that studying abroad can change the way to see and experience the world, it opens new opportunities in self-awareness where students learn valuable skills for life and for their career paths. She invites students to come and explore Costa Rica, which is a beautiful small country, and has a lot to offer, especially their friendly people, great sceneries, and warm weather.

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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Shawna Parker
Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement

Shawna has worked in international education and related fields for more than 20 years. As the Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement for CEA CAPA, she oversees all aspects of CEA CAPA’s communications and partner marketing. She has previously served as the Director of Marketing for World Learning, an international education and nongovernmental institution that is the umbrella organization for the School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate programs), and The Experiment in International Living. She is the co-chair of the NAFSA Rainbow SIG. She holds a degree in Political Science from Smith College. In addition to her work in international education, Shawna has experience in sales and marketing consulting and as a book editor, designer, and publisher.

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Beth Stiller
Chief Executive Officer

Beth has more than 25 years of experience in global business management. She began her career in Canada working for major retail brands and has since held leadership roles at both private and publicly held companies. Beth is known for driving innovation and helping to create positive change for organizations. Throughout her career, she has been involved in a wide range of operational strategy and organizational development, and is a driver of innovation with a proven track record of achieving results through aligning and motivating teams around bold visions.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA Education Abroad, Beth was the CEO of Massage Envy, a franchise organization that focuses on providing wellness services for more than one million members across 1,100 locations in 49 states. One of the most rewarding parts of her role was launching student scholarship and school grant programs to expand opportunities and increase access for more students. Prior to Massage Envy, Beth led the Global Sourcing team at Walgreens with offices in Hong Kong, the U.K., and the U.S. Beth is passionate about creating strong and positive work cultures and creating an inclusive and collaborative environment. She was the first female head of the company and was named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Arizona in 2023, and is proud to be the first female leader of CEA CAPA.

She holds a degree in business from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Born and raised in Canada, Beth is an avid golfer and skier. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband Daniel and their two boys.

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Ella Kefi
Program Director

Originally from Antibes, France, Ella graduated with two master's degrees in finance and management from the University of Nice. After her studies, she worked in the U.S. and in Belgium. First she spent two years in NYC working as an art advisor in an art gallery. Then she moved to Belgium and worked as an art advisor specialized in investment in contemporary art. After these two experiences, she returned to France and brought her professional expertise to students where she taught economics, laws, and management courses in business schools. That led her to pursue a career in education and she became a campus manager.

Ella finds it rewarding to help students develop self-confidence and independence while boosting their education and career goals. She firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences abroad showed her how enriching speaking and learning other languages and connecting to other cultures is. She believes she'd be a different person today if she didn't live and learn abroad.

In her spare time, Ella loves sailing on the Mediterranean Sea, visiting museums and art galleries, and attending live jazz concerts.

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Martha Johnson, PhD
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Martha Johnson, PhD, has worked in education abroad since 1991, including onsite at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and as the Study Abroad Coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several U.S.-based educational organizations and consortia including Regent’s College in London and AustraLearn previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001.

From 2009-2022, Martha served the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversaw one of the largest education abroad offices in the U.S., sending over 4000 students abroad annually. She played a key leadership role in the highly successful and internationally recognized Curriculum Integration initiative, as well as developing the Career Integration project and subsequent conferences.

Martha holds a PhD in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Martha has presented and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and NAFSA guides and resources. She previously served in leadership roles and chaired multiple committees in NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the Global Leadership League, and the Fund for Education Abroad. She is currently serving a term as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Forum.

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Peyton Rudolph
Vice President, Marketing

Based in our Phoenix office, Peyton oversees the CEA CAPA Marketing Department creating strategy behind partner and student engagement through digital and print channels. Peyton combines her passion for customer-centric marketing with her love for travel and continuing education to share compelling stories that inspire.

With 10 years of experience in the creative, digital, and sales space, Peyton specializes in digital and print strategy, campaign management, visual storytelling, and lead and revenue-generation for omnichannel marketing. Before joining CEA CAPA, Peyton led the fashion marketing team for an industry leader in the scholastic space, where she drove initiatives to elevate the student experience and grow partnerships with schools and universities around the globe.

Outside of work, Peyton enjoys filling her world map with pins, solo travel, snuggling with her maltipoo Milo, being on the water, and attempting to keep her houseplants alive.

Peyton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was a D1 cheerleader for four years.

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Daniel Cunningham
Center Director, Sydney
Since 2008, Daniel has focused his skills and expertise around student services, activity programming, accommodations, procurement and staff management, sales and marketing, client relations, and health and safety. Holding roles such as the Duty Manager and Academic Coordinator at Corrib Village, a large student accommodation facility in Galway, Ireland, and at the Griffith College housing facilities in Dublin, where he provided exceptional service to the CEA CAPA Dublin team and our students, has allowed Daniel to understand and meet the range of needs that students have to complete a successful program abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accountancy (Honors) degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Higher Diploma in Project Management from Griffith College, Dublin.
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Isabelle Kazan
Program Director

Growing up in a multicultural family in the south of France, Isabelle developed a passion for international experiences. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations & Intercultural Communication from Sciences Po Aix, and decided to pursue a career beyond French borders after completing an exchange program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Isabelle has worked in international higher education for over ten years. She has served on the admissions team for a study abroad provider based in Vermont, and on the onsite staff for the Paris campus of St John's University. She has also led multiple short-term programs to Tanzania and Morocco.

Isabelle finds it particularly rewarding to help students develop resourcefulness and confidence that accelerate their education and career. In her leadership position, she endeavors to provide students with a meaningful experience abroad by challenging them beyond what they think they can do, connecting them to the world beyond their familiar bubble, and building a community in which they care about each other and about others, fostering empathy and curiosity.

In her spare time, Isabelle can be found teaching yoga classes, training in a boxing ring, and cooking with a great deal of spices.

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Eryn Kudzinski
Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceastudyabroad.com.

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Károly Kopasz
Program Director, Budapest

Károly Kopasz is the Program Director for CEA CAPA Budapest. His mission is to provide CEA CAPA students with an opportunity to experience the real culture of Hungary and make their stay a life-changing experience. Károly is responsible for all on-site operations and services. With over 15 years of experience in international education, Károly has had a career filled with exciting challenges and diverse roles at distinguished institutions and organizations such as Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Balassi Institute, CIEE Budapest, Budapest Metropolitan University, and Budapest Business School. He holds two MSc. degrees from Pázmány Péter Catholic University in History and Communication and Media Studies. In his free time, Károly enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, reading, and gardening. He has traveled extensively both as a student and as a higher ed professional. His furthest North is Tromsø, Norway and furthest South is Queenstown, New Zealand.

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Frans van den Bliek
Program Director - Amsterdam

As the Program Director for Amsterdam, Frans van den Bliek is responsible for the day-to-day management of the onsite program experience, including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program logistics, health and safety, and program administration. Frans also advises students on issues related to academics, housing, cultural adaptation, wellness, and navigating the city, and assists with university site visitors and custom programs. 

Frans brings several years of professional experience to CEA CAPA, including a wide-ranging background in the commercial education field. He was a Graduate Recruiter at his alma mater Webster University, focusing on master's programs in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and a Country Product Manager at the company Education First, responsible for sales, marketing, strategy, and operations of EF language courses in the Dutch market.  

He holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce, with a concentration in Sports, Economics, and Communications; an MSc in Marketing Management from Tilburg University; and an MBA from Webster University.  

Born in a small Dutch town, Frans has lived in Amsterdam for ten years and loves hanging out in the city. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his son, Tom, and traveling. He’s seen 47 countries in person and plans to visit more. He also likes to hike, cycle, and run.   

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Kristin Kerr
Program Director

Kristin's role is the day-to-day management of CEA's French Riviera and Berlin programs, including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, student evaluations, health and safety, and office administration.

Kristin earned a master's degree in German language and Literature from the University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis, France, and is fluent in English, German, and French. Prior joining CEA, she worked as a Program Planner in London for a U.S. organization specializing in educational tours of Europe for high school students, as well as a Program Director for a study abroad organization in Paris, Cannes, and Krakow, Poland.

A native of Leipzig, Germany, Kristin has lived and worked in France, Germany, England, Poland, and Canada. Kristin loves the great outdoors and would love to run a marathon in Alaska one day.

The best piece of advice Kristin would give to students going overseas is, "Make the most of every minute of this experience. It will be with you for the rest of your life."

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Justine Mons
Program Director, French Alps/Grenoble

As Program Director at CEA CAPA Grenoble, Justine’s role is to oversee and coordinate all aspects of the program, including logistics and operations, crisis management, health & safety protocols, and services, student advising, cultural engagement programming, student housing, and advising on custom program development, team management. Prior to joining CEA and CAPA, Justine worked as an assistant director in a residence hall with international students and also worked in the food service industry & logistics. Justine holds a B.A. in Languages, Litterature & Foreign Civilizations from Université Grenoble Alpes University in Grenoble. She is a native speaker of French, speaks fluent English, and can hold a conversation in Spanish. She lived abroad in New Zealand and Australia which is why she strongly believes in the importance of living abroad when it comes to personal growth and how it can impact and change a life forever.

 

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Richard Stock, Ph.D.
Center Director

As Center Director, Rick oversees all CEA CAPA Prague operations and manages the CEA CAPA team in Prague. Rick leads the development of CEA Prague programs, which includes setting strategy and standards, managing change, and facilitating communication across the organization.

Originally from the Chicago area, Rick has lived in or near Prague since 1998 with his partner and three daughters. Rick has been with CEA CAPA since 2016. He’s taught in study abroad programs in Prague and served as Academic Director at CIEE Prague. He also directed the creation of a new M.A. program at CERGE-EI for European students. Rick holds a Ph.D. from Charles University in Prague, an M.A. in Literature and Theory from the University of Illinois, and an M.A. in the TEFL from the University of Reading in the UK. His teaching and research at the university level focuses on American Literature and Literary Theory. Rick is a visiting professor at the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. He also teaches a course on the Prague writer Franz Kafka aimed at American study-abroad students. Rick studied Teacher Education as an undergraduate and is deeply interested in teaching, education, and learning.

Rick enjoys spending time with his family and participates in sports as often as possible. He is passionate about literature, especially experimental literary novels.

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Jayna Winn
Director, Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Jayna Winn leads the Custom Programs team, partnering with U.S. institutional staff and faculty to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that support specific learning outcomes and student populations. She works hand-in-hand with CEA CAPA’s onsite staff and in collaboration with the academic, program development, and university relations teams.

Jayna’s passion lies in fostering transformative educational experiences through intercultural communication and education abroad. In particular, she sees custom and faculty-led programs as a valuable tool in the effort to increase access to study abroad. Often, these customized experiences offer more flexibility in timing, price, and curriculum, thus breaking down barriers for underrepresented student groups. Additionally, custom programs can be intentionally designed for particular identity groups, ensuring that the specific interests and needs of these students are championed and supported.

Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. In addition to her work at CEA CAPA, she served as an adjunct faculty member at MIIS, co-teaching a January 2022 intensive course on Education Abroad Management. She also co-authored the Facilitator’s Guide to The International Education Handbook, published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators in May 2019. Prior to working in international education, Jayna spent five years managing international teams and partnerships within digital marketing, where she developed an intercultural training program.

Jayna has spent time working and/or studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. An avid traveler, she has also had the opportunity to explore Australia and Israel, as well as several countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

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Alvaro Sánchez
Program Director

As the Program Director for Alicante, Alvaro Sánchez is responsible for day-to-day management including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, academic program development, and student evaluations. Alvaro advises students on issues related to academics, housing, cross-cultural information, health and safety; assists in management of city finances; and hires and trains other staff (and faculty).

Alvaro, a native of Alicante, has experience in both the U.S. and Spain. His experience with U.S. students includes working with a late youth program at a local TV station, travelling through Central America as a U.S. program supervisor, and coaching NCAA 1st division college tennis. He has also written two documentaries and continues to enjoy work in the field of media arts.

Alvaro earned his undergraduate degree in Media Arts from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock. He is fluent in Spanish and English.

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Silvia Martínez
Program Director, Madrid

Silvia Martínez ensures that all CEA CAPA standards are maintained in Madrid. Silvia oversees all educational programs, including short- and long-term program planning, products, and services, and maintains the financial plan for Madrid. She also manages student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program improvements, and staff.

Silvia was born in Cádiz, South of Spain, but has always had close contact with the American culture and the English language. She lived in a U.S. Naval Base for two years and has many relatives in the U.S. Silvia has studied and worked in Spain, England, and Canada in the fields of administration, tourism, and study abroad. She interned at an Irish Building Society in London and worked in a Canadian study abroad company leading groups of Spanish students in Toronto.

Before joining CEA CAPA in 2002, Silvia worked at the North American Universities and Institutions Centre at the University of Alcalá de Henares for two years.

She holds a degree in Tourism Management from the Univeristy of Alcalá. Silvia speaks Spanish and English fluently and has studied French and German for several years.

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Emily Schiavone
Center Director

With CEA CAPA since 2008, Emily Schiavone is responsible for the management and development of the Florence Study Center and all study abroad programs that it hosts. Since 2014, Emily has provided leadership and direct oversight to the Student Services team, and works closely with the Academic Director on academic matters regarding the Florence Center and partner institutions. 
 
Emily hails from northeast Ohio, and holds a BA in Art History from Carleton College and an MA in Italian Renaissance Art from Syracuse University. Two study abroad experiences in Florence prompted Emily to remain after her third stint abroad, and she has called Florence her permanent home since 2004. Before joining CEA CAPA, Emily worked at an American university in Florence, where she helped to create an archive and database of digital images for teaching purposes and travelled to towns in central Italy to teach students art and architectural history on-site.  
 
Emily’s life would not be the same had she not come to Florence as a university student.  She hopes that students embark their own journey with an open mind, preparedness for unpredictable situations, and confidence; attributes that allow students to discover new things about the world and about themselves. 

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Begoña Correa-Flores
Program Director, Granada

As the Director of CEA CAPA Granada, Begoña provides leadership to her team and is responsible for the successful day-to-day management of the Granada program, and for identifying and implementing opportunities for program development & enhancement, including internships & faculty-led programs, with a strong focus on finance & operations, academics, host institution & local vendor relations, student services, crisis management, health & safety of participants, and site visits.

Begoña holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation & Interpreting, a postgraduate certificate in Education from the University of Granada, and a specialization in Foundations of Management from the IESE Business School. She is a certificated coach, and a sworn translator authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She worked as a teacher and congress coordinator before joining CEA CAPA in 1999. Begoña also spent an academic year at Shorewood High School in Wisconsin; as an undergraduate student, she was awarded merit-based scholarships to study at Dublin City University, the University of California San Diego, and Palacky University of Olomouc (Czechia). Begoña is passionate about international education. She works enthusiastically to provide meaningful programs that allow students to experience authentic growth in their time abroad and prepare them to tackle real-world challenges and develop solutions.

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Anna Felberbaum
Senior Director of Regional Programs

Anna Felberbaum is responsible for office administration and the day-to-day management including staffing, student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, and student evaluations. Anna advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information and health and safety.

Anna was born in London, England, but has lived most of her life in Rome with brief periods in the UK and the U.S. for both study and work. Anna has over 11 years of experience in all aspects of study abroad. Before joining CEA CAPA, she worked for John Cabot University for four years as the Coordinator of Student Services. Previously, she managed Rome's main English bookshop.

Anna has a BA in English Literature from John Cabot University and is fluent in both written and spoken Italian.

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Victor Gonzalez
Center Director, Seville

As Center Director, Victor's role is to lead and oversee a team of dedicated professionals in all aspects of program planning and delivery at the CEA CAPA Seville Center. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Victor served as the Director of an Opportunity Program at a private, liberal arts college in Upstate New York (1997-2002) and later led a study abroad center in Madrid, Spain (2002-2014). He has twice served on the board of the Association of North American University Programs in Spain (APUNE). Victor is a proud member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa and holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Skidmore College; he is also a candidate for an MBA at EAE Business School in Madrid. A native of Havana, Cuba, Victor immigrated with his family to the United States of America at a young age and was the first in his family to attend and graduate university. His love of learning has and continues to guide his life. He has studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and is an avid global trotter, having journeyed through 58 countries in four different continents.

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Enric Figueras
Vice President of Regional Programs

As Vice President, Spain, Mr. Figueras establishes a country strategy to ensure consistency among all sites, and to lead and support all program development initiatives geared toward enhancing quality. Mr. Figueras also monitors the academic standards of our programs and ensures that CEA CAPA policies are in place to serve the CEA CAPA community and deliver study abroad programs of quality and rigor.

Mr. Figueras has over 10 years of experience in the field of academia. Before joining CEA CAPA, he taught at Boise State University (Idaho), where he created an online language teaching program, developed Spanish course curriculum in the fields of Spanish Linguistics and Spanish for Heritage Learners, coordinated the Spanish Language Program, and served as the Director of the Undergraduate Spanish Program. Mr. Figueras also contributed to the development of a variety of teaching tools for various U.S. publishing companies, including two published workbook manuals for U.S. college students.

Mr. Figueras sees study abroad as a magnificent opportunity for personal growth and development, alongside academic advancement. Exploring new horizons not only opens doors to new ideas and views, but also helps you calibrate your potential and abilities in a new environment. This experience supports the development of a lifelong set of skills highly transferable to the personal and professional arenas.

Mr. Figueras holds an Executive MBA from La Salle (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain), a master's in Spanish from Middlebury College (Vt.), and a bachelor's in Communications/Journalism from Boise State University (Idaho). He is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Catalan, has extensive knowledge of Portuguese, and working knowledge of French.

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Thomas Fisher
Program Director
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thomas has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2008, his passion for Irish history and culture led him to Galway, where he earned a master's degree in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland – Galway (NUIG). Since 2010, Thomas has worked with international students studying abroad in Galway on both semester and summer programs. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Irish Studies at NUIG.
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Alexandra Mitchell
Senior Director of Regional Programs - France & the Netherlands

As the Senior Director of Regional Programs, and Center Director for the CEA CAPA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA CAPA sites in France and in the Netherlands, maintaining CEA CAPA standards across all educational programs. Alexandra provides strategic leadership in areas including long and short-term Program Development, managing Finance and Human Resources, overseeing Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and working with students in and out of the classroom.

Alexandra earned a DEA after earning a Master of Arts, both in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). Before her graduate studies in France, Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). As a student, Alexandra was drawn to study abroad straight away. A high school travel program in Western Europe inspired her to complete study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Caen, France as an undergraduate.

Alexandra started her career in International Education as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris in 1999, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. She began a position as Program Director at CEA Study Abroad in 2004 before moving into her current role at CEA CAPA. Through experience and professional development, Alexandra has taken a particular interest in questions of health & safety abroad, and how meaningful integration can help students better understand their host environment and, consequently, stay safer while studying and travelling abroad.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Alexandra also lived in the U.S. for many years, as well as France, Italy, and Greece. She often tells students that, "studying abroad is not easy, but when home starts to feel foreign and your host country starts to feel like home, you know that you have been profoundly marked by your experience."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France
    • President: since 2021
    • President: 2013
    • Executive Board Member 2008-2013
  • Washington University in St. Louis APAP (Alumni organization)
  • OSAC France: Active member of OSAC Steering Committee, U.S. Embassy in Paris (Overseas Security Advisory Council)

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • “Representing the European Voice, Onsite Perspectives to Key Issues in Education Abroad”, panelist, Forum European Institute, Strasbourg, France, November 2023
  • “Facing the New Normal in Safety Abroad”, co-presenter, AACUPI Workshop, Rome, Italy, October 2019
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Education Abroad & the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Webinar, January 2016
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Working with Students Facing the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Post-Conference Workshop Athens, Greece, October 2016
  • “Post-Paris: Study Abroad in the New Normal”, co-presenter, AASAP Workshop, London, England, March 2017
  • “Status Report on Gender Studies in France : Resources for Accommodating LGBT Students in France”, APUAF Annual Meeting of US Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • “Homestay and Apartment Living Arrangements”, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • Participation at Resident Director's Fireside Dialogue, Forum European Conference – Dublin, Ireland, December 2012

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Lorenzo Ciccarelli
Program Director
Lorenzo oversees and coordinates all aspects of logistics and operations, crisis management, health & safety protocols and services, student advising, student housing, advising on custom program development and staff managing. Lorenzo acts as legal representative for CEA CAPA in Florence, is in charge of Accounting and Finance and maintains the relationships with legacy CEA CAPA providers in Florence. Lorenzo has been working for CEA CAPA for more than 20 years contributing constantly and with passion to the growth of the program in Florence. A native Florentine, Lorenzo holds a degree in Hotel Management from the SHL (Schweizerische Hotelfachschule) in Luzern (Switzerland). Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Lorenzo worked in the Hotel Business in several countries in Europe and South America. Though his mother tongue is Italian, Lorenzo is fluent in German and English and has varying levels of Spanish and French. He has travelled extensively since childhood and firmly believes in the importance of cultural exchange and as a mean to become more conscious citizens of the world.
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LeeAnn Baranski
Senior Director, Human Resources
LeeAnn Baranski is the Senior Director, Human Resources and has been with CEA CAPA since December 2019. She is an accomplished human resources professional with extensive experience in talent management, organizational development, employee relations, performance management, compensation, benefits and payroll. She focuses on developing and implementing innovative HR programs that drive employee engagement, retention, and productivity. LeeAnn brings over 15 years of Human Resource experience and an MBA from Davenport University. As the Senior HR Director, LeeAnn is committed to developing and implementing HR strategies that align with the company’s vision and goals while promoting a positive work environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the company’s success. Working as a Business Partner for CEA CAPA’s Academic, IT and Finance and Accounting teams, she strives every day to keep the “Human” in “Human Resources.” In her spare time, LeeAnn enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and attempting various Pinterest projects and other crafts.
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Kellie Sullivan
Custom Program Developer Manager

Kellie has worked in education abroad for over 25 years, successfully leading teams in Institutional Relations and Custom Learning. She is passionate about tailoring curricula and courses to meet the unique academic needs of institutions, ensuring a transformational education experience for students. She comes to CEA CAPA from the Roux Institute at Northeastern University where she and her team developed customized workforce learning experiences in essential areas like AI, data analytics, and project management. From 2006-2018 she worked at the study abroad provider CIEE, where she successfully launched and directed the Faculty-Led and Custom Programs department.

Kellie’s global perspective was shaped early in her career when she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa and an English teacher in Amakusa, Japan with the JET Program. While earning her BA in English Literature at the College of the Holy Cross, she spent her junior year abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Outside of professional pursuits, Kellie is an avid world traveler and when home in Maine she enjoys taking her dog on outdoor adventures, trying to beat her Goodreads Reading Challenge, and attending live music events. 

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Julia Miller, PhD
Academic Director, Sydney

Dr. Julia Miller is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Sydney Center. Dr. Miller leads the academic delivery of our programming and ensures the classroom experience is designed to support the health and safety of the students through the hiring of trusted faculty and supporting CEA CAPA’s strong, inclusive, academic policies.

Julia has been teaching in the Australian tertiary education sector for more than a decade. She gained her doctorate in Modern History from Macquarie University for her research in climate history. For CEA CAPA, Julia teaches Analyzing and Exploring the Global City, Australian History, and People, Place, and Culture: Environmental Debates in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. The latter course reflects Julia’s deep concern about our environmental future. At CEA CAPA, Julia has put in place the Sustainable Sydney initiative to build environmental awareness and encourage behavioral change. Julia lives in Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches—an area known for its coastline, waterways, and healthy lifestyle.

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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player. Learn more about Craig's leadership and the Global Internship Program in this overview video.
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Alicia de la Peña Portero
Academic Director, Madrid

Dr. Alicia de la Peña is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Madrid Center. She is responsible for the administration and supervision of all academic aspects of Madrid programs including curriculum development, academic policies compliance, faculty training and students’ guidance. Alicia has worked in higher education for over 25 years, both as a professor and in different managing positions such as Director of Professional and International Projection and Director of Modern Languages Institute for Nebrija Univerity (Madrid) or Resident Program Coordinator for CIEE Madrid. She gained her doctorate in Education from Autónoma de Madrid University for her research on academic literacy, collaborative writing, and formative evaluation. Alicia’s educational background also includes two M.A. from Nebrija University, one in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language and another in Applied Linguistics, and a B.A. in English Philology from Autónoma de Madrid University. She was 10 years old when she had her first life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland; then Canada and US followed. Alicia strongly believes that experiencing different places and cultures is essential to gain global perspective, improve self-knowledge and foster personal and professional development.

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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Eryn Kudzinski
Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceacapa.com.

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Alessandra Nania
Director of Program and Student Services, Dublin
Alessandra has a degree in Tourism Management from Technology University Dublin, and served as the Operations Director for Rianta. She previously worked as the Incoming Programs Coordinator for USIT Travel for eight years, organizing tailor-made academic, cultural, and educational programs in Ireland with US colleges and universities. She also teaches Italian.
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Morgan Martinez
Program Director, Paris

Morgan is a project manager specializing in international, educational, and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) project management. Her career has allowed her to gain experience in a variety of different contexts (including in multiple education institutions, a start-up in the social and solidarity economy, and a major French corporation in the video game sector), as well as to work with clients and colleagues in France, Jordan, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Spain, Belgium, and Romania. She is excited to build upon these experiences and put her acquired skills to use in her role as Program Director in Paris, France.

Originally from North Carolina, Morgan first fell in love with France during an exchange program during her first year of high school. Since then, her love affair with the country has only grown stronger. After spending a year in Montpellier during her undergraduate years, she permanently moved to France in 2016. During this time, she has been fortunate enough to expand her worldview in ways she once thought impossible and now very much considers herself a global citizen.

On a more personal level, Morgan enjoys learning new languages (including Spanish and German!), traveling to new countries, reading (historical fiction is her favorite genre), and taking long walks in the forest with her partner and dog.

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Darin Smith-Gaddis
Vice President of Academic Inclusion Strategies
Darin leads global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging policy development and implementation, ensuring that CEA CAPA delivers measurable growth in student access, and drives increased value for institutional partners across our portfolio of programs. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Darin developed study abroad programs funded by the US Department of State and built nationwide partnerships to provide scalable enrollment solutions for minority students at AFS Intercultural Programs USA. Darin holds an M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership from California State University, Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University. A Diversity Abroad Rising Star Finalist in 2019, Darin authored the NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad 5th Edition Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Education Abroad Office chapter, has served on the Global Inclusion Conference Global Student Leadership Summit planning committee, and is a frequent presenter on the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and education abroad policy. He serves as a board member for the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles California, and participated in study abroad programs to Brazil, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
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Carolyn Becker
Director of Student Affairs
Carolyn Becker joins the Health, Safety, and Student Affairs team as CEA CAPA’s Director of Student Affairs. Carolyn’s nearly 15-year career in higher education includes work in both student life and academic affairs. As an education abroad administrator, she has worked directly with unique and diverse student populations along with faculty and institutional administrators to provide advocacy and support related to global learning opportunities. Carolyn is the recipient of the 2018 NAFSA Rising Star Young Leader national award, has completed the Professional Certification in Education Abroad from The Forum on Education Abroad (FEA), and is currently a facilitator with the FEA. She has served as a reviewer for multiple national scholarships, has been appointed to several external education abroad task forces and committees, and is a regular presenter at international education conferences. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Winona State University and a Master of Science in Education in College Development and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
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Martha Johnson, PhD
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Martha Johnson, PhD, has worked in education abroad since 1991, including onsite at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and as the Study Abroad Coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several U.S.-based educational organizations and consortia including Regent’s College in London and AustraLearn previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001.

From 2009-2022, Martha served the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversaw one of the largest education abroad offices in the U.S., sending over 4000 students abroad annually. She played a key leadership role in the highly successful and internationally recognized Curriculum Integration initiative, as well as developing the Career Integration project and subsequent conferences.

Martha holds a PhD in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Martha has presented and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and NAFSA guides and resources. She previously served in leadership roles and chaired multiple committees in NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the Global Leadership League, and the Fund for Education Abroad. She is currently serving a term as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Forum.

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Alexis Trono
Director, Creative & Brand

Alexis supports CEA CAPA’s departments by overseeing marketing product launches from start to finish. This process includes determining the scope of a project, managing communication, setting timelines with stakeholders, and overseeing the completion and implementation of projects and initiatives. Using her background in graphic design, she also provides art and creative direction ensuring the project’s alignment to the organization's goals, vision, and branding.

Alexis started with CEA CAPA in 2014 as a Graphic Designer and transitioned to the Marketing Project Manager role in 2019. Alexis received her BFA in Art with an emphasis in Design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A travel enthusiast, she has visited over 20 countries and spent part of her childhood living abroad in the Philippines and Japan.

Outside of work, Alexis is a big Arizona Cardinals fan, enjoys traveling all over the globe, dabbles in crochet, and takes long walks with her Dachshund-Yorkie pup Ollie. Her goal is to visit Antarctica—the one continent she has never set foot on—which she'll check off her list in December 2023.

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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Laura Salvadó
Senior Director of Global Operations

Laura's role is to provide leadership to the Student Support team at CEA CAPA Barcelona. She is responsible for management of staffing, financial logistics, student services, students accommodation, and Health & Safety issues.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Laura coordinated European Language Exchange Programs in both Barcelona and London, working to offer accommodation and cultural activities to language students. Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Middlesex in London and has over 15 years of experience in the study abroad field, with extensive expertise in the planning, execution, and delivery of student services.

Originally from Barcelona, Laura has extensively travelled around Spain, Europe and the U.S. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English. Laura firmly believes that traveling and study abroad are the best ways to expand and invigorate one's mind. She loves the fact that her job contributes to students' personal growth and to a better global cultural understanding.

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Enric Figueras
Vice President of Regional Programs

As Vice President, Spain, Mr. Figueras establishes a country strategy to ensure consistency among all sites, and to lead and support all program development initiatives geared toward enhancing quality. Mr. Figueras also monitors the academic standards of our programs and ensures that CEA CAPA policies are in place to serve the CEA CAPA community and deliver study abroad programs of quality and rigor.

Mr. Figueras has over 10 years of experience in the field of academia. Before joining CEA CAPA, he taught at Boise State University (Idaho), where he created an online language teaching program, developed Spanish course curriculum in the fields of Spanish Linguistics and Spanish for Heritage Learners, coordinated the Spanish Language Program, and served as the Director of the Undergraduate Spanish Program. Mr. Figueras also contributed to the development of a variety of teaching tools for various U.S. publishing companies, including two published workbook manuals for U.S. college students.

Mr. Figueras sees study abroad as a magnificent opportunity for personal growth and development, alongside academic advancement. Exploring new horizons not only opens doors to new ideas and views, but also helps you calibrate your potential and abilities in a new environment. This experience supports the development of a lifelong set of skills highly transferable to the personal and professional arenas.

Mr. Figueras holds an Executive MBA from La Salle (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain), a master's in Spanish from Middlebury College (Vt.), and a bachelor's in Communications/Journalism from Boise State University (Idaho). He is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Catalan, has extensive knowledge of Portuguese, and working knowledge of French.

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Louis Berends, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic Partnerships

Dr. Louis “Lou” Berends comes to CEA CAPA from Syracuse University where he most recently held positions as Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, and Director of Academic Programs under the Provost’s Office. Under Lou's leadership, Syracuse Abroad increased study abroad participation and is ranked highly as a national leader in study abroad. Lou has worked extensively in international education at U.S. universities and providers of global education since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in cultural and educational policy studies with a concentration in comparative and international education.

Additionally, Lou studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, UK), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), as well as in Rome, Italy, and has visited and conducted research in numerous countries. Lou is a first-generation college student and also comes from a low-income background and as a result is a strong advocate for increasing access to global learning for all under-represented students. Furthermore, Lou has presented many papers in various settings including Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the Forum on Education Abroad, and NAFSA (among others).

Lou’s recent publications include being a contributing author in the book from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) entitled, Mentored Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts: Integrated High-Impact Practices for Student Success (2024), and book co-editor with Dr. Kate Patch, SIO at Grinnell College, on high-impact educational practices, Undergraduate Research Abroad: Approaches, Models and Challenges (2020). Lou serves on Wake Forest University’s Center for Research on Abroad and International Student Engagement (RAISE) and is the current Chair of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Research Advisory Group.

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Caterina Marino
Program Director, Rome

Caterina is a native of Rome. Passionate about Italian culture and the arts, she pursued her studies in classics. After university studies in law school, she completed her education by getting her license as a coach and as a counselor.

Caterina's curious mind brought her to England, where she worked as a tourist assistant. In this role, she organized and administered language courses and cultural activities all over Europe. Fond of anthropology and different cultures, she travels extensively, thus far visiting Europe, the U.S., and Africa.

Caterina has significant experience in office management and communication and media relations. She loves teamwork and contributes with enthusiasm and creativity, motivating colleagues to achieve their goals.

In her free time, Cate works as a literary consultant and freelance proof-reader, and enjoys music and swimming. She is sensitive to social cultural issues and she is an active member of voluntary groups.

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Mary Alice Soriero
Academic Director

As Academic Director of CEA CAPA Seville, Mary Alice’s role is to oversee the many facets to the smooth running of academics at the CEA CAPA in Seville – including program elaboration, syllabi development, and coordination of CEA CAPA faculty. Prior to administering CEA CAPA academics in Seville, she held a number of international work experiences. She was a USIA Fellow in Peru, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and has taught English to speakers of other languages in Japan, Taiwan, and the US. Currently she is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University – Andalucia.

Mary Alice holds a MS. Ed in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Pennsylvania State University in East Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Japan and participated in short-term educational projects in Ecuador & Morocco. Through these global experiences she discovered the importance of engaging across cultures to meaningfully connect with the human experience in a global context. These gave her insights to revel in the the unknown and uncomfortable to not only build resilience, but also advocate for justice to promote equity amongst a wide span of global neighbors.

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.
Academic Director

As CEA CAPA Prague Academic Director, Lenka provides leadership, oversight, and quality control for all academic matters and serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding academics. At the CEA CAPA Prague Study Center, Lenka is responsible for faculty management, curriculum development, student academic advising, and for safeguarding the high academic quality of the program and adherence to academic policies. She is also responsible for maintaining strong ties with our partner institution, Anglo-American University, to ensure that program content and delivery meet the needs of U.S. universities and students.

Lenka spent a significant portion of her life studying in the U.S. and has worked in study abroad for over fifteen years. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, a master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and German Studies from Lewis & Clark College. Her academic interests include democratization, Central European politics, and EU studies.

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Laura Salvadó
Senior Director of Global Operations

Laura's role is to provide leadership to the Student Support team at CEA CAPA Barcelona. She is responsible for management of staffing, financial logistics, student services, students accommodation, and Health & Safety issues.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Laura coordinated European Language Exchange Programs in both Barcelona and London, working to offer accommodation and cultural activities to language students. Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Middlesex in London and has over 15 years of experience in the study abroad field, with extensive expertise in the planning, execution, and delivery of student services.

Originally from Barcelona, Laura has extensively travelled around Spain, Europe and the U.S. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English. Laura firmly believes that traveling and study abroad are the best ways to expand and invigorate one's mind. She loves the fact that her job contributes to students' personal growth and to a better global cultural understanding.

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Emilia Keric
Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

Emilia Keric, JD, CHC, is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for CEA CAPA. In this capacity she manages all legal affairs for the organization and oversees the HR, risk management, and corporate governance functions. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Emilia was the SVP and General Counsel at MedAvail Technologies, an innovative healthcare technology company, where she led the legal, compliance, and human resources teams. In previous years, she was the Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel for CommUnityCare, a health system in Austin, Texas, that provides healthcare to underserved populations, and through key strategic academic affiliations, hosts medical school and residency programs at its sites.

Emilia is passionate about collaborating with teams, leadership development, and fostering inclusive work environments that value diversity.

She was born in the UK and lived in the former Yugoslavia prior to emigrating to the U.S. with her family. She holds a law degree from New York Law School and a BA in Spanish and Philosophy from the University of Illinois. As part of her undergraduate experience, Emilia spent a year studying abroad in Rome and Madrid. Emilia is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Whitney Sherman, EdD
Academic Affairs Manager

Dr. Whitney Sherman joins CEA CAPA after directing intercultural learning for CIEE and overseeing international programs at the University of Southern California. A scholar-practitioner of global learning and intercultural exchange, Whitney regularly engages in academic research and recently served as an intercultural development consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, specializing in cultural awareness training for its Africa Bureau. She began her education abroad career coordinating internships onsite for Boston University in Los Angeles in 2008, after managing education projects for a local NGO in Niger and teaching English in France, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Whitney earned an EdD in Educational Leadership (Educational Psychology) from USC where she completed her dissertation, The role of the fieldbook: a pedagogical tool for intercultural learning. Whitney regularly presents at global education conferences and serves as the Chair of the Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Knowledge Community for the Michigan Association of International Educators. She also holds a MEd in International Educational Development from Boston University and a BA in Theatre from The College of Wooster.

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Benjamin Scribner, PhD
Academic Director, Rome
Ben received his doctoral degree in communications in 2013 at La Sapienza University of Rome. His thesis concerned the construction of national space in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He came to Rome with an MA in Sociology from the University of Oregon (1998) where his areas of focus were Political Economy, Social Inequality and the Sociology of Gender. He lectured at John Cabot University from 2014 to 2023, teaching courses in Intercultural Communication, Gender Studies and Sociology.  He previously taught at Southwestern College in Chula Vista and San Ysidro, CA, Emerson College in Boston, and worked as a teaching assistant in Psychology and Human Sexuality at Harvard University.  Ben enjoys cycling to work and photographing Rome with 35-millimeter film cameras. 
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Darren Kelly, PhD
Academic Director, Career & Internship Programs

A Dublin native, Dr. Darren Kelly holds a BA in English and Geography and a PhD in Cultural Geography from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He developed and currently lectures on the Postgraduate Diploma in Further Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to lecturing, Darren worked in a range of community development and educational organizations in Dublin and travelled extensively. His interest in study abroad began at age 17 when he spent a high school year abroad in Oxford, Ohio. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in 2007-2008 at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years, Darren has increasingly focused his work (teaching, consulting, and publishing) in the area of linking academic theory and field studies in international education and study abroad. During his time with CEA CAPA, he has developed a research interest in the area of intercultural intelligence and self-reflection as related to students’ personal and professional development.

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Santi Alias
Program Director, Barcelona
Santi began his professional career combining his studies in Translation and Interpreting and Educational Sciences at UAB with organizing programs abroad for Spanish students. Later, he worked as director of UAB Languages Barcelona. He developed his professional career as director of these programs for over 10 years. During the many challenges faced during this stage, he learned how to recognize the relevance of the intercultural competences of students who travel to Spain to carry out study abroad programs.
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Andrea Custodi, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives

As Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives, Andrea Custodi, PhD, oversees evaluation and assessment, teaching and learning, and faculty engagement and development at CEA CAPA. She also serves as academic point on program development and direct enroll relationships with overseas institutional partners, and supports CEA CAPA's thought leadership in the field through publications, presentations, and work with our Advisory Board. Andrea comes to CEA CAPA with over 20 years of experience in senior leadership at education abroad organizations: from a small liberal arts consortium operating in South India, to Arcadia and IFSA's Alliance for Global Education, and most recently as Senior Director of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at CET Academic Programs. She also brings an extensive record of service to the field. Andrea most recently served on AIEA's Publications & Resources and Conference Committees; she has chaired The Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Committee, Standards Committee, and Outcomes Assessment Committee, and served as a member of the Forum Council, the Ethics Committee, and the Trained Facilitator Corps. Andrea holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from The George Washington University, with an academic background spanning South Asian religious studies, feminist, psychoanalytic, and critical theory, and international politics. She is fluent in French and Italian, and has lived, worked, or studied abroad in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Nepal.

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Heather Gregg Reed
Director, Student Engagement

As Director of Student Engagement, Heather oversees student engagement initiatives for all study and intern abroad alumni, including CEA CAPA’s Alumni Ambassador Program. By creating opportunities for post-study abroad reflection, professional development, and community engagement, CEA CAPA aims to help alumni continue the learning cycle long after they’ve returned home, and Heather is thrilled to have a hand in shaping these goals. Having spent more than a decade in the international education field, Heather has served in roles across institutional relations, alumni outreach, student engagement, and marketing. She has a particular passion for Digital Storytelling and has leveraged the medium to help students, educators, and everyday people build community and connection. Heather holds a BFA in Education and Theatre from Shenandoah University. She is a serial hobbyist who enjoys making films, directing theatre, renovating old houses, and visiting U.S. National Parks with her husband, children, and pups.

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Stina Dufour, Ed.D.
Dean of Global Programs and Academic Administration
Stina Dufour, Ed.D, is the Dean of Global Programs & Academic Administration for CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Dr. Dufour oversees CEA CAPA's study center-delivered academics to ensure alignment with U.S. higher education academic policies and procedures. She also manages the School of Record relationship, including quality assurance protocols, curricular approvals, and academic records fulfillment. Before joining CEA CAPA in April 2021, Stina served in increasingly responsible roles at the Office of Global Affairs at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. For more than ten years, she was the Office's lead contact with the University Registrar and worked closely with faculty from every Steinhardt department to co-create curricula at NYU's study centers and with other international partners. Stina holds an EdD in Higher Education Administration and an MA in International Education from NYU and a BA (magna cum laude) in Sociology and Scandinavian Studies from North Park University, Chicago. Stina entered the field of education abroad in 2009 and after living for several formative years in Scandinavia, and studying abroad in Jönköping, Sweden. She regularly volunteers her time with the Forum as a peer reviewer for Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad and authored a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators, 5th Edition (2022).
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Alexandra Mitchell
Senior Director of Regional Programs - France & the Netherlands

As the Senior Director of Regional Programs, and Center Director for the CEA CAPA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA CAPA sites in France and in the Netherlands, maintaining CEA CAPA standards across all educational programs. Alexandra provides strategic leadership in areas including long and short-term Program Development, managing Finance and Human Resources, overseeing Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and working with students in and out of the classroom.

Alexandra earned a DEA after earning a Master of Arts, both in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). Before her graduate studies in France, Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). As a student, Alexandra was drawn to study abroad straight away. A high school travel program in Western Europe inspired her to complete study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Caen, France as an undergraduate.

Alexandra started her career in International Education as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris in 1999, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. She began a position as Program Director at CEA Study Abroad in 2004 before moving into her current role at CEA CAPA. Through experience and professional development, Alexandra has taken a particular interest in questions of health & safety abroad, and how meaningful integration can help students better understand their host environment and, consequently, stay safer while studying and travelling abroad.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Alexandra also lived in the U.S. for many years, as well as France, Italy, and Greece. She often tells students that, "studying abroad is not easy, but when home starts to feel foreign and your host country starts to feel like home, you know that you have been profoundly marked by your experience."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France
    • President: since 2021
    • President: 2013
    • Executive Board Member 2008-2013
  • Washington University in St. Louis APAP (Alumni organization)
  • OSAC France: Active member of OSAC Steering Committee, U.S. Embassy in Paris (Overseas Security Advisory Council)

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • “Representing the European Voice, Onsite Perspectives to Key Issues in Education Abroad”, panelist, Forum European Institute, Strasbourg, France, November 2023
  • “Facing the New Normal in Safety Abroad”, co-presenter, AACUPI Workshop, Rome, Italy, October 2019
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Education Abroad & the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Webinar, January 2016
  • “After the Paris Attacks: Working with Students Facing the New Normal”, co-presenter, Forum Post-Conference Workshop Athens, Greece, October 2016
  • “Post-Paris: Study Abroad in the New Normal”, co-presenter, AASAP Workshop, London, England, March 2017
  • “Status Report on Gender Studies in France : Resources for Accommodating LGBT Students in France”, APUAF Annual Meeting of US Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • “Homestay and Apartment Living Arrangements”, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2011
  • Participation at Resident Director's Fireside Dialogue, Forum European Conference – Dublin, Ireland, December 2012
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Monica Francioso, PhD
Academic Director, Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA CAPA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath, and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

 
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Christopher Edwards
Academic Director

Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA CAPA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

* Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

* Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Talal Nizameddin, PhD
Academic Director, London
Dr. Talal Nizameddin is the Director of Academic Affairs at the CEA CAPA London Center. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, and Lebanon where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for 12 years at the acclaimed American University of Beirut. Talal has taught history and international relations courses for much of his career, with dual emphasis on Russia and the Middle East. He has a background in history and Russian foreign policy. He holds a BA from Sussex University and a PhD from the University College of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has written and published two books that are considered fundamental works on the making and transition of Russian foreign policy and its linkage with internal political dynamics in the post-Soviet era as well as peer-reviewed articles. Talal hopes to be able to utilize his long academic and administrative experience to enhance the strategic direction of the academic programs to continuously challenge and enrich the CEA CAPA student learning experience. As a global citizen, Talal’s travel interests have not waned, but he also enjoys simpler pastimes including playing tennis and good food.
 
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Michael Woolf, PhD
Deputy President for Strategic Development

Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad.

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Guido Reverdito, PhD
Director of Strategic Initiatives
After a BA in Classics and a Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Guido received his PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Padua. He worked as a visiting professor in Classics at the University of Kansas in 1989 and for 16 years, he was a Lecturer in Italian Language and Literature on behalf of the Italian Government in Istanbul, Madrid, Budapest, and Canterbury. From 2009 to present, he has worked for CEA CAPA, where he teaches courses in social history of Italy and contemporary Italian cinema. He edited and translated several classic Latin authors, and wrote a History of Latin Literature in four volumes. Since 1989, he has been a film critic. His latest work is research on early years and production of celebrated Italian crime novelist Giorgio Scerbanenco (Giorgio Scerbanenco and the heart of darkness of Italian crime novel, Aracne, 2014).
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Teresa Bellono
Senior Global Operations Manager
Teresa oversees and coordinates continuous process improvements for the global team, optimizes systems, develops training resources, and liaises between departments. Her international travels have been tied to a variety of roles throughout her life—including choral singer, WWOOFer, and heritage seeker. Her academic year in Aix-en-Provence crystalized her lifelong love of language learning and her unshakeable belief in the transformative potential of study abroad. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and international studies from Indiana University and a master’s degree in international training and education from American University. With over 14 years of international higher education experience, Teresa has held roles in institutional partnerships, alumni relations, custom programs, program development, and academic affairs. While serving as Director of Program Operations at IFSA, she developed a passion for data stewardship and collaborated with onsite staff to build impactful, behind-the-scenes efficiencies. Some of her most rewarding projects have focused on promoting non-traditional study abroad destinations and designing work-integrated global learning experiences. 
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Anna Felberbaum
Senior Director of Regional Programs

Anna Felberbaum is responsible for office administration and the day-to-day management including staffing, student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, and student evaluations. Anna advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information and health and safety.

Anna was born in London, England, but has lived most of her life in Rome with brief periods in the UK and the U.S. for both study and work. Anna has over 11 years of experience in all aspects of study abroad. Before joining CEA CAPA, she worked for John Cabot University for four years as the Coordinator of Student Services. Previously, she managed Rome's main English bookshop.

Anna has a BA in English Literature from John Cabot University and is fluent in both written and spoken Italian.

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Ana Martínez, PhD
Academic Director

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA CAPA Barcelona programs. She reviews the curriculum and coordinates the development of new courses, reviews and maintains consistency of academic policies and practices, oversees the resolution of all important student academic issues, and provides support to faculty to guarantee academic excellence.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ana worked with another study abroad organization as a resident coordinator and faculty member. She's also held several university positions: Assistant Director of the Advanced Spanish Language Program at Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), Teaching Associate at Georgetown University and Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Spain), and Teaching Assistant and Director of the Spanish House at Middlebury College (Vt.). Ana earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University, which also conferred to her a Master of Science in Linguistics. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Antonio de Nebrija and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Philology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

Ana first travelled to Dublin, Ireland in high school and subsequently studied in London for four months. She also spent her senior year of college studying in Pisa, Italy and completed her graduate studies in Washington, D.C. She loves traveling and believes that understanding the world from different perspectives is the one of the most enriching lessons that students can learn while living abroad.

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Marilena De Chiara, PhD
Director of Academic Affairs

Dr. Marilena De Chiara is the Director of Academic Affairs at CEA CAPA Barcelona. Born in Naples, Italy, she completed her BA in Communication and Performance Studies in Rome and Edinburgh, then moved to Barcelona, where she earned her Master of Research in Humanities, an MA in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in Literary Theatre and Practice, from Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Dr. De Chiara has been Visiting Scholar at Yale University, where she researched and taught for two years, and she currently lectures at the MA in Literary Creation at UPF and at the Barcelona Creative Writing School. With a strong background in Intercultural Learning and Development processes, she has been working in the field of International Education, mentoring undergraduate students, designing, and delivering Storytelling and Intercultural Communication courses, and training faculty on Teaching and Learning innovation, for the past 15 years. Dr. De Chiara is also a literary translator, her translations include the complete short stories by Nobel Prize awarded author Luigi Pirandello and works by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. Dr. De Chiara firmly believes in the transformative power of experiential learning to bridging languages and cultures, through the city of Barcelona as classroom.

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Ricardo Valencia
Chief Global Inclusion & Impact Officer

Ricardo Lopez Valencia has honed his corporate and executive acumen over twenty-five years and knows that exemplary executive teams are robust, effective social systems. He is known for developing a virtuous cycle of respect, trust, and candor to create well-functioning, successful teams who have chemistry that cannot be quantified; where one superior quality builds on another.

Ricardo is an experienced executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit whose professional success has been achieved through a commitment to people, equitable access, social betterment, and bottom-line results. He blends inspiration in teams with strategic skills rooted in the following disciplines: collaborative leadership, multiple team coordination, market insight and research, disciplined communication and public relations, cultural literacy, development of comprehensive distribution platforms, and brand development resulting in successful and executable business strategies. Following his principles, he has done well for himself and his family. As a leader, Ricardo continues to achieve for his family, the company he works for, and for those he cares about.   

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Mike Punter, PhD
Global Director of Theater Education
Mike Punter is the Director of Theater Education for CEA CAPA, based in London. He teaches a number of courses in London including Theatre in the City, Witchcraft and Magical Performance, Writing a Play, and Theatricality for BFA Actors. He has also written the courses Utopia: Extraordinary Places and Where to Find Them and Communicate. Mike is a produced and published dramatist whose work has been staged and toured by a range of theatres, including Hampstead Theatre in London, the UK's National Theatre, Paines Plough theatre company and the BBC. He’s presently developing a new project for British television. Mike has a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies, an MA in Renaissance Literature and Drama and a PhD with a focus on magic on the stage.

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Katie Lander
Director of Global Career & Internship Programs
Katie has had the pleasure of working across the higher education sector within the UK for the last 10 years, covering careers and employability for UK students and internships for international students as part of both graduate employability and study abroad. Having spent a large part of her career working with US institutions and students in London she can’t wait to join the team at this exciting time and jump fully back into international education. In her spare time you will find her reading a good (or bad!) book, going to theatre shows, hiking in the Chilterns, or surfing in North Cornwall! 
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Daniel Cunningham
Center Director, Sydney
Since 2008, Daniel has focused his skills and expertise around student services, activity programming, accommodations, procurement and staff management, sales and marketing, client relations, and health and safety. Holding roles such as the Duty Manager and Academic Coordinator at Corrib Village, a large student accommodation facility in Galway, Ireland, and at the Griffith College housing facilities in Dublin, where he provided exceptional service to the CEA CAPA Dublin team and our students, has allowed Daniel to understand and meet the range of needs that students have to complete a successful program abroad. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accountancy (Honors) degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Higher Diploma in Project Management from Griffith College, Dublin.
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Simon Finch
Executive Vice President - Global Operations

Simon Finch overseas Global Operations across CEA CAPA’s 23 locations in 12 countries. Simon leads the skilled and dedicated team that delivers our programs and ensures the health and safety of our participants. Prior to joining CEA CAPA in 2022, Simon served as Managing Director for UK Schools at Compass Group, a food, hospitality, and support services company that serves the education sector in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Simon was the CEO for Office Depot Canada, and has held several CFO and other financial leadership positions for multinational companies and financial institutions.

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Ben Werth
Executive Vice President, Institutional Partnerships and Marketing

Ben Werth brings over a decade of experience leading strategic and operational transformation for growth and spent the past six years within the private equity ecosystem. He joins CEA CAPA from LogicMonitor, where he served as Vice President of GTM Operations and Growth Strategy and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout his tenure, Ben held several senior leadership positions at LogicMonitor, across pre- and post-sales, helping scale global operations from 250 employees to 1,100-plus. Prior to LogicMonitor, Ben delivered consulting and strategy services with Vista Equity Partners in VCG, and at Deloitte Consulting.

Ben graduated from the University of Washington and earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. Instrumental as a founding team member of a Bellevue Washington area non-profit, Rainier Athletes, Ben focused on creating equitable opportunities through mentorship for youth, in and out of the classroom. For over eight years, Ben worked to grow the organization to now serve 100-plus students annually, across 12 schools, supported by a team of 70 mentors.

As a business leader and community member, Ben is passionate about personal development, and creating equitable opportunities for those around him to reach their full potential.

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Nikki Bruckmann
Director of Global Operations

Nikki Bruckmann is the Director of Global Operations, working closely with CEA CAPA’s Program Directors, Enrollment, Academic, Program Development, and Custom Teams aligning processes, enhancing systems, and the student experience.  

Nikki has over 12 years of experience in higher education. After conducting her own research abroad, Nikki taught Cultural Anthropology at the university level for many years and co-founded a local non-profit in the Indianapolis area serving after-school programming for middle and high school students around social justice issues. Thereafter, she spent over nine years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) in Enrollment, leaving her role as Director of Student Engagement overseeing admissions, pre-arrival, alumni, and specific strategic initiatives. At IFSA she developed a passion for curating the student experience. Her professional work experience focuses on building academic enrichment, intercultural learning, and inclusive excellence.  

Nikki was recently published in the Forum for Education Abroad’s new book, “A House Where All Belong: Redesigning Education Abroad for Inclusive Excellence,” a chapter focusing on inclusive advising practices.  

Nikki is an avid gardener, hiker, traveler, and social justice advocate. 

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Anthony Gristwood, PhD
Faculty Chair, London & Global Faculty Advisory Council Chair
Anthony Gristwood is the London Faculty Chair and Chair of the Global Faculty Advisory Council. He has been teaching in higher education since 1994 and has specialized in the field of education abroad for the last 20 years at CAPA, the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Connecticut in London. He holds an MA, PGCE, and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His current research and teaching interests include globalization, global cities, and modern London; politics, identity, and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; and the use of digital mapping in globally-networked teaching and learning. Publications include “Engaging with Self, Others, Space, and Place: Leveraging the Geographic Imagination in Education Abroad” (with Darren Kelly), in Brewer & Ogden, eds., Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: Critical Perspectives and Approaches to Integration with Student Learning and Development (Stylus, May 2019). Anthony is also a regular contributor to, and editor of the CEA CAPA Ocassional Publications series.

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Chris DeRusha
Senior Vice President of Information Technology
Chris DeRusha joins CEA CAPA with over 16 years of IT management experience. His career path in IT started at a young age while helping a neighborhood computer shop build new PCs. This led to his desire to pursue his bachelor's degree in computer science. Since then, Chris has worked for manufacturing, engineering, and medical organizations. He now has extensive experience designing and leading in the implementation of robust corporate networks with the security and redundancy required to maintain business stability. Maximizing interdepartmental collaboration, efficiencies, and productivity through thoughtful and smart use of IT resources is his passion. Chris recognized early on in his career that IT was not just a service, but a provider of tools and ideas to help company departments work better, together.
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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player.
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Katie Cohen
Director of Regional Programs
Katie Cohen comes to CEA CAPA with over a decade of experience in study abroad; she has worked at an international education organization, at a U.S. institution, and has served on the Board of AASAP/UK (The Association of American Study Abroad Programs, UK). Katie holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Birmingham, in which she spent a year studying in the U.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara – an experience which provides a solid frame of reference when connecting with students in London today. Katie also holds an MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London. When not at our CEA CAPA London Centre, Katie can be found serving her community in leadership roles as a school Governor and town councilor. Across all her endeavors, Katie brings a passion for widening opportunity and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education.
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Caroline Walsh
Senior Vice President of Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA CAPA’s current product portfolio and expansion into new markets. She works closely with leadership within University Relations to identify university needs and trends and collaborates with Academic Affairs and CEA CAPA staff worldwide to design and deliver new programs and academic partnerships that are best suited to meet the needs of our U.S. university partners.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Caroline worked in the Public Information Office for the Santa Clara Water District, at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, and at the Office of International Student Scholars at UW-Madison. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from UW-Madison (Wisc.), a certificate of global leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management (Ariz.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Santa Clara University (Calif.).

While living for a year in Madrid, Spain, Caroline used her school breaks and weekends to travel throughout Spain and many other countries within Europe. She also lived in Bolivia and Brazil, and traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Caroline thinks it's OK for students to be uncomfortable when traveling abroad: "It is in these moments we learn about ourselves and the new culture we are visiting. When you leave your comfort zone, you grow. You'll feel awkward and out of place many times, but that's OK. Don't shy away from difficult moments or stay where you are comfortable, you may be surprised at how strong you are."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • "Planning Quality Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," Co-Presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II and III, Bi-Regional Conference 2005, Colorado Springs
  • "Crisis Management in Study Abroad," Co-Presented at Arizona International Educators Conference 2002, Tucson

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Recipient of a University Fellowship as well as the Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship from University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Recipient of an Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship (Portuguese)
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Tim Boubek
Vice President, Institutional Relations - West

Tim Boubek is the Vice President, Institutional Relations - West. CEA CAPA established its Institutional Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA CAPA West Regional Directors to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA CAPA operations, from student recruitment, admissions, and planning through their time abroad and return to their U.S. campus.

Tim brings many years of study abroad experience to the position, having served previously in several operational capacities at CEA CAPA. A current member of NAFSA, he graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration. He earned a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
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Paul Hopkinson
Vice President, Institutional Relations - Central

A native of Massachusetts, Paul is based in Austin, Texas, having joined CEA CAPA in 2018. He oversees a talented team of Regional Directors working with institutional partners in the central US. Paul has focused his career working with students and administrators in higher education. Prior to CEA CAPA, Paul served as a Bilingual Admission Counselor and Academic Advisor at St. Edward’s University, Director of Internships and Service-Learning at International Studies Abroad, and Director of Institutional Relations with EF College Study Tours. Paul also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and has led service-learning projects to Peru. He holds a dual B.A. in Spanish and Communication from Stonehill College and earned his MA in Spanish from Texas State University. When he's not on an airplane visiting institutional partners, Paul enjoys eating brisket at barbecue spots around Texas, walking his Boxer, and rocking out at live music venues with his wife and daughter.

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Stacy McKay Benander
Vice President, Institutional Relations - East

Based in the Naples, Florida, Stacy is a veteran of the international education field. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she served for 15 years as the Founder and President of Athena Study Abroad. She received the Enlightened Employer Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin, Germany, has been named twice to the Forty Under 40 list for business professionals (in both Columbus, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania), and was named the recipient of NAFSA Region VI's esteemed Leo Dowling Award of Excellence. Stacy served as a Founding Executive Team Member of the women's leadership and advocacy group the Global Leadership League, has served on NAFSA's Trainer Corps, and was a founding member of the Global Learning Collective. She has also served as the Director of the International Office at Ohio Dominican University and was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at The Ohio State University. Stacy earned her MA degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (Social and Cultural Foundations) from The Ohio State University, and her BA degree as a double-major in Spanish and Communications/Public Relations from John Carroll University.

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Aaron Yerkes
Vice President of Partnership Development

Aaron joins the CEA CAPA team after spending 19 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). He served the organization through a variety of roles, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Engagement, where he managed their nationwide recruitment team and custom program division. Prior to serving as the AVP for Institutional Engagement, Aaron served as the Field Director, Great Lakes Region and Enrollment Manager, where he was responsible for increasing program participation, growing the number of affiliated programs, as well as expanding the base of sending institutions across a 9-state region. He also served as the Senior Program Advisor for programs in the U.K. and New Zealand, where he actively engaged with students, parents, and advisors to educate them on programs that fit students’ academic needs, as well as exploring ways to remove barriers to make students’ dreams of studying abroad a reality.

Aaron is a graduate of Butler University and holds a BS degree in Finance. During his undergraduate experience, Aaron studied abroad in London, England at Birkbeck, University of London. His time abroad was so transformative for him that he wanted to devote his professional career to promoting life changing, international experiences to other students.

When Aaron is not advocating for students to learn abroad, he can be found planning his next travel adventure and spending time with his family. He is an avid hiker, skier, and golfer, and enjoys seeing live music and collecting vinyl records. Aaron is also very active in his community, engaging and volunteering with a number of organizations throughout his community, specifically with the Indiana Humane Society, Second Helpings, and Newfields.

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Addie Rhee
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
Sports industry and its affect on European identity because I learned so much about soccer and even got to visit the Real Madrid Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I met local students at my university during speed chats! I talked to 10 local students in Spanish and English over the period of an hour and a half. It was an incredible opportunity and I learned so much!

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Alexis Pena
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
I think everyone should know how much CEA CAPA helps before you leave. All of the pre-departure meetings were very helpful and they really made the experience as smooth as possible.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could pick another CEA CAPA program, I'd love to go to London, England. I've always wanted to visit and since I have some family from there, it'd be amazing to see them and have them show me around. I didn't get the chance to visit there during my time abroad and I'd love to visit it some time.

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Ally Koeppel
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I was constantly walking around, exploring, trying new foods, and finding my favorite places to frequent! I'm a big fan of art and literature, so Florence had an excess of locales that I was interested in. I loved talking to people and hearing what they were passionate about and what they loved about Florence.

WHAT'S ONE STORY YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people how amazing it was constantly being surrounded by history and art. Coming back to the U.S., it really makes you realize just how deep the European roots go, especially in Florence! I noticed something new, yet old, every day, and there were endless stories told by everything and everyone around me.

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Alyssa Tsing
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class abroad would have to be Tropical Botany. In this course, I learned about the different plants in Costa Rica and their practical uses. We had a herbalism workshop, which aligns with my knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
While studying abroad I attended a local church that spoke Mandarin and Spanish. There I met locals that took me out to see beautiful sights around and in San José.

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Amelia Kaftan
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local community when I studied abroad in various ways. I attended many festivals and events going on throughout the city. This was a very fun way to meet local people and to be immersed more in the culture. I also struck up conversation with many different people while waiting in line places or going out to eat. I really enjoyed interacting with the local community in Barcelona.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class that I took while studying abroad was Spanish Civilization and Culture. I didn't really enjoy learning about history until I went abroad. Taking this course was really cool as everything I learned I saw first hand while walking down the street or looking at a historical monument. Ultimately, it was very interesting learning about the city and country I studied in.

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Andie Pines
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always highlight Sydney's "work to live" approach to life. I found it to be a large reason I felt so happy and free abroad, and the full-time residents seemed to feel that too. Before 9 a.m., you'll find the beaches packed with surfers, coffee shops crowded with friends, and the streets busy with morning walkers. At 5 p.m., work lets out and the pubs, beaches, and restaurants are flooded again. You work to live, rather than living to work like we often do in the U.S.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I joined a gym! This introduced me to people of different ages, backgrounds, and interests in Australia. I'm still in touch with many of my gym friends from abroad.

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Annie Davis
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
Studying abroad with CEA CAPA in Sevilla allowed me to immerse myself in the Spanish language and in Spanish culture on a daily basis. The classes I took were relevant to my everyday experience abroad, and my program put an emphasis on education through experience.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would pick Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have always wanted to visit South America, especially Argentina. I am particularly drawn to large cities, and I'm fascinated with the arts and culture in Buenos Aires!

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Anthony Rotolo
CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: Santa Monica College
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Bailey Kulesza
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite class abroad was actually the hardest class that Seville, Spain had to offer: Architecture and Painting in Sevilla. This class was needless to say, a difficult one coming from a Communication Studies major. However, this course pushed me to study and actually retain knowledge about the area that surrounded me everyday. It unfortunately ended earlier than all of my other classes but, we never stopped grinding and so there was never room to slack, or else it would catch up to you real quick.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One of the biggest things that I tell individuals looking to go study abroad is how much it builds your sense of self and independence from all of our comfortabilities. I was able to be immersed into a different country with different cultures, communication patterns, and values. This allowed me to find new communication patterns that worked better, refine my own value set, as well as gather cultural knowledge on how I want to live my life. Even if I did start to get homesick, I was always able to see a positive aspect to what seemingly was a negative emotion.

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Bronwyn Geddes
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local Sevilla community by attending flamenco dance lessons and city events such as Noche en Blanco and the Navidad season. The flamenco classes were especially engaging because I practiced my dancing while using my Spanish language and connecting with other students.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class abroad was Spanish for Business (Spanish Instruction). I loved this class because it was designed to help improve my Spanish language skills especially for business subjects. However, it ended up providing me with far more information regarding cultural phrases and customs specifically in Sevilla and Andalucia. The professor was engaging and always happy to answer student questions.

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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez
CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Seville, Spain
Home University: Humboldt State
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Caitlin Sullivan
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD AND WHY?
My favorite class from studying abroad was international marketing. I felt that this class really enhanced my knowledge in the international business world because we talked so much about marketing in Europe. My marketing classes back at home were always specific to U.S. markets, so it was very interesting for me learning about how differently other parts of the world work in a marketing sense.

WHAT'S ONE STORY YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One time when I was leaving the supermarket there was an older woman struggling to carry heavy grocery bags, so I approached her and offered her help. She accepted my help, and I carried some bags with her to her apartment a few blocks down. We spoke Spanish together and it felt like we had started a mini friendship. She was so thankful for my help, and in that moment, I felt like I really was part of the local community.

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Camila Cramer
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?

Studying abroad is a fascinating experience that'll take you out of your comfort zone. You're going to meet people from all over the world who will have a different vision of the world. This expands your horizons, positively influence your way of thinking and it'll help you grow.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
During my time in London, I interned abroad. This helped me really immerse in the culture and get to know a lot of people from London.

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Ceci Logan
Alumni Ambassador
HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?

One really easy way to feel like you're engaging with the local community abroad is to find a few establishments (cafes, restaurants, bars, etc.) that you like, and try to frequent them. The employees will get to know you if you go in at similar times or days, and you'll get to know them, too. You'll get recommendations and find out more about the area once you get to know some locals! Another great way to engage in the local community is by going to local libraries: you'll see many other students and get to fit in, studying abroad alongside the locals!

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
Make the most of your time! I think it's really important to surround yourself with people who share your goals and interests. If you want to make sure you get to see lots of sights, museums, shows, and more, find people with similar interests and you can do all you want and more! BUT-- do not be afraid to do the things you want to do alone. You'll get to push your comfort zone and have a lot of really cool experiences while seeing world-class sights!

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Claire O'Neill
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?

One thing I always mention about my time abroad is how much fun all the little things were in Madrid. Walking around beautiful parks, riding the city bikes, trying new cafes and restaurants, riding the metro with friends, discovering my favorite neighborhoods, and everything in between. The city itself is so beautiful and so I just wanted to soak up as much of it as possible, whether it was the simple or more extravagant things. Almost everyday of my semester abroad was sunny and beautiful weather, so I got really lucky in that regard as well. All of these activities I mentioned contain some of my favorite memories from my host city that I will cherish forever.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
While abroad, I made it my mission to explore as much as my home country as I could because I knew Spain had so much to offer. Of course I couldn't make it to every place, but I visited and spent time in 8 Spanish cities. While in all these places, my friends and I would always want to try the local cuisine and traditions from there, and it just helped us feel connected and understand more about the culture of the place, people, and of course their food. It created these small learning experiences that were really unique and special to help us remember the city. Everyday, I also did my best to speak Spanish with all the shop and cafe owners and all the local people I encountered on the day-to-day. It really helped me to adjust and feel more a part of the country I was studying in.

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Claudia Luco
Program Director

Claudia Luco was born and raised in Viña del Mar—in her opinion, “the most beautiful city in Chile.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and minored in English language and literature from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). After college, she traveled to the U.S. through a foreign exchange program for teachers and taught Spanish, Chilean History, and Social Sciences to students in different schools across Iowa for almost a year. 

For several years, she worked as a volunteer for Experiment Chile, another study and work abroad program. During her time volunteering there, she enrolled students in Chilean high schools and institutions in programs to study and work abroad in countries all over the world. She interviewed them to check their English language proficiency and assisted them in filling out application forms. 

 From 2007 to 2008, she worked as a Resident Director for IFSA-BUTLER in Valparaíso, where she gained experience organizing academic and social activities for American University students, finding accommodations with Chilean families, and attended international annual meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

In 2019, she joined CEA CAPA as the Interim Program Director—and returned in 2022 as the Program Director for Valparaíso.  

She loves taking dancing lessons, traveling, and learning languages. She has a certification in A2 level of Mandarin Chinese according to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). In 2014, she received a scholarship to study language and Chinese culture in a Summer camp for foreign exchange students at Anhui University in Hefei, Anhui province. 

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Danielle McIltrot
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One important aspect of my time abroad that I always talk about is my international internship. I interned abroad at a travel and business publishing company and learned so many valuable skills within my intended industry. I was in a completely new area of Sydney and loved going to work. My supervisor and my colleagues were amazing and I learned so much from them, too.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class was "Writing the Global City: Sydney." My professor was so interesting and took us to spots around Sydney I wouldn't experience otherwise. I also learned about Sydney and Australia as a whole from a different perspective.

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Eliza Jason
CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: Point Loma Nazarene University
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Elizabeth MacDougall
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One thing I always tell people about my time abroad was the cultural exposure I experienced and the ability to travel so often. Throughout my four months abroad, I was able to travel to 20 different places (12 different countries!) and it was the best experience of my life. My favorite trip, Morocco, was an incredible cultural immersion, where I learned about its rich traditions, cuisine, and history, which opened my eyes in understanding and appreciating all that abroad has to offer and the amazing places you will see and learn about.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I made a good effort in engaging with my local community while in Barcelona. Whether it was just sparking conversation with locals around me, or attending cooking classes, I found that engaging with the local community gave me a deeper connection to the place and people. I built a network of friendships, supported local businesses, and participated in local events like festivals. I'm forever grateful of the local friends I made while studying abroad and will cherish it for a lifetime!

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Elle Segrest
Alumni Ambassador
IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
This is so difficult since there are so many beautiful areas, but I'd probably say anywhere in Italy. I spent a week there with my Dad when he came to visit me and it was so beautiful! There's so much history in Rome and throughout Italy and I'd love to explore that more.

 

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
It mad such a huge difference with CEA CAPA handling room & board! I had some friends who studied through my university, and they had to find roommates and a place to live all by themselves which was very, very difficult. It was such a weight off of our shoulders by 1. giving us roommates so that we made friends a lot easier, and 2. not having to worry about rent/utilities/etc., and having our initial payment cover that.

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Emily Gates
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
The Wine in Spain class was the best experience. The professor (Jose Carlos Saquete) was extremely knowledgeable about wine and food in Spain, and gave me the best restaurant recommendations when I asked for some. He made the class so much fun and I truly enjoy wine so much more, understanding how to taste and drink it.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I say that I ate the best I've ever eaten in my life. The restaurant scene in Seville was so much fun to explore, as they hosted a variety of different cuisines. There were no shortages of wonderful traditional Spanish restaurants, the freshest seafood, but also some really fun more modern options.

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Emily Sturgeon
CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France
Home University: University of Alabama
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Eve Palmer
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite study abroad class was Media in a Democracy and Democracy in the Czech Republic.

 

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
About my experience finding a ceramic studio outside of the program and how important it was for my personal growth and how much the program helped with this process.

 

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Gabriella Gebo
CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Vanguard University
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Gracie Darland
CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid, Spain
Home University: University of Mississippi
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Hannah Alter
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite CEA CAPA study abroad class was Cinema in the City. We watched ten movies that took place in Florence, and we analyzed the ways in which the city is portrayed in and between each of the movies. Going to take class field trips where we walked in the exact places that the movie characters walked was an incredible experience and all-the-more relatable.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
One important aspect that I always share about my time abroad is how amazed I am by the friends I made. Everyone says you'll meet new people from all over the world and form forever friendships, but I didn't entirely believe that going in - how can you make such an impactful relationship with someone in just four months? However, I've already visited my friends from abroad and it's only been two months since being apart! Best friends were definitely made.

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Hannah Kersey
CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France 
Home University: Belmont University
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Hayley Camponescki
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class while I studied abroad was beginners watercolor. My enjoyment of this class surprised me because I often get frustrated with my lack of artistic ability. But my lack of talent was compensated by my desire to portray my trips through art. Our assignments that involved painting "postcards" of some of our favorite sights while abroad. A lot of my paintings (though I didn't find good at all) were great keepsakes and a wonderful way to look at my time in Florence through a different lens. My teacher for this course, Jamie, was easily one of my favorite teachers I have had in my life. My classmates and I were able to connect with her through social media and I hope to one day go back and visit her. She always encouraged me to embrace the mistakes I made in my work, and look at the piece as a whole and not for its faults.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
My apartment was located about a 20-30 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the city. Though it was incredibly easy to get to places like the Duomo by foot, being further away from all of the tourists was something I learned to love. Almost every morning my roommates and I went to Cafe Orcagna located on our street and enjoyed a cappuccino and pastry. The workers knew us so well that they had our orders memorized and one morning when I didn't have my wallet, they prepared my food while I quickly ran back to my apartment to retrieve it. It was here that we tested our knowledge of the language, work on our homework, and show our families when they came to visit.

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Iliana Gonzalez
Admissions Manager
Iliana Gonzalez is an Admissions Manager on the CEA CAPA Enrollment team. Ms. Gonzalez has been an admissions counselor for over seven years in higher education, and she has been part of the CEA CAPA team since 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Arizona State University and studied abroad at Institut Catholique de Paris. Ms. Gonzalez is strong advocate for study abroad and inclusivity for Latino students. She strongly believes the opportunity to live abroad enhances personal growth and cultural appreciation.
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Ivy Bartlett
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
My CEA CAPA Barcelona study abroad program was the right fit for me because Barcelona has so much to experience and it has a large airport so that I could get the most out of my traveling. The classroom setting was also small so I enjoyed getting to know my classmates and professors.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would pick to go to Sydney, Australia. I've never visited Australia and I think that it'd be a really interesting place to explore and expand my global perspective.

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Jailexie Pereira
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
I personally saw myself thriving in Dublin due to the amazing culture, energetic people, and accessibility of the country. Hopping around the Island was one of my favorite things to do, the country is so large and has so many different "vibes," and every place you travel to around Ireland is different. The food, music, and people in Ireland felt like home.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would've definitely leaned towards South Africa! It's such a unique and beautiful country that I think can get so overlooked but contains some of natures most beautiful sceneries!

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JJ Koumaglo
Content Creator - Blogger
Jessica Juliette (JJ) Koumaglo (she/her) is a Marketing major at the University of Colorado Boulder who is studying abroad in Florence, Italy this spring 2023. She is excited about exploring a new city and learning about its culture and history through art and food. While in Italy, JJ hopes to learn how to cook, paint, and connect with the history of Italy by going to museums. Stay tuned and discover Italy through her blogs!
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Jordan Cobb
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
Museums. I enjoyed the exposure the class gave us to London, England. Additionally, It was the class with the most field trips, and it allowed me to gain access to many museums I didn't even know existed. It was a wonderful class with many thought-provoking topics and interactive projects to keep it interesting.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always talk about how studying abroad helped me gain independence and confidence in doing things SOLO. While I loved doing activities in a group, I grew the most by doing things on my own. I challenged myself to try new things solo all the time and even solo traveled twice while I was abroad. It gave me a sense of accomplishment that I didn't know existed. I feel like people grow the most when they're put into situations where they're out of their comfort zone, and it's very rewarding when you realize the freedom and independence studying abroad can give you.

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Julia Benjamin
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I immersed myself in the Italian culture by having meals with my professors to learn their customs and traditions. I also explored art and music through museums in Florence and entered new neighborhoods to learn how communities compare with one another.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people to say yes to everything and try new things! It's important to go out of your comfort zone and explore all that your host country offers.

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Julia Dixon
CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: University of Michigan
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Kayla McGuire
Student Advising & Retention Manager

It has been years and Kayla is still just as in love with Sevilla as the day she stood across the river overlooking the city on her first day.  Her yearlong experience as a student through CEA CAPA transformed her life—now, working for the Enrollment department, she comes to work each day prepared and excited to aid her students in making their experience abroad the best it can be. 

Kayla grew up close to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned her bachelor’s degree in Languages and Cultures with a Spanish concentration from West Chester University. While in college, she got the opportunity to study at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain through CEA CAPA’s program! She was incredibly lucky to get to visit most of Spain while abroad, as well as Italy, France, Portugal, Africa, and Greece. Travel has remained a constant passion of hers—she's been back to Sevilla every year since she's left, and she hope to explore South America very soon! 

Outside of work, Kayla likes to sing and listen to live music! She reads every day, and spends time with her friends and family as much as she can.

 

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Kelsey Bardach
CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home University: Indiana University
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Kendra Roberson
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?

My favorite class was Beginning Italian. It was so helpful to learn the language of the country that I was studying abroad in so I communicated with locals, understood signs and products in the grocery stores, and learned more about the culture. Although I didn't become fluent, I gained a great foundation of basics in Italian, and held entire conversations in Italian by the end of my program.

 

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
My favorite memory from abroad that I share with people about is travelling to two countries for a week with just my backpack and one friend. We went to Spain and Portugal, stayed in hostels, hiked through the forests, went to a concert, and made new friends along the way. I always wanted to "backpack," and even though I wasn't hiking and sleeping in the forest, it felt so freeing and awarding to travel with such little items. I really experienced each country and wish I could've stayed for even longer.

 

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Kyle Spencer
CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Cedarville University
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Lillian Huckabee
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: University of Georgia
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Lily Cope
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
The CEA CAPA study abroad program was amazing. The teachers were so personable and I enjoyed how the classes were smaller because I felt like I gained a lot more knowledge from knowing the teacher better.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I loved CEA CAPA and I honestly cannot imagine myself in any other program than Florence, Italy!

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Lily Moen
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I engaged with the local community in many ways. Living with a host family gave me a great insight to what daily life can look life. I also had the opportunity to volunteer in a classroom, so I interacted with students and got to know them during my time there.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
I really enjoyed the class "Diversity of Spanish in the World." The class took a deep dive on different dialects and characteristics of the Spanish language in different regions in Spain as well as in North/South America. I thought it was very interesting to listen to Spanish speakers from different areas of the same country and see how their way of speaking slightly changed.

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Lolarose Deforges
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
My CEA CAPA program was the perfect fit for me because it offered courses for my sociology major but I also got to partake in an internship abroad as well! It was also the perfect location, I wanted to live in a city but I didn't want it to be too big since I never lived in the city, and plus I wanted to make sure I could get a lot of Spanish immersion. Sevilla was the perfect location!

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
I think everyone should know that there's a study abroad program out there for everyone, whether you're looking for the perfect place to study, intern, or even partake in service learning abroad, there are plenty of programs to choose from and the CEA CAPA advisors are amazing at helping you figure out which one is best for you.

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Mackenzie Brady
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
The study abroad experience has changed me in some of the best and most unexpected ways. I remember waiting in the Chicago airport and getting so sick because of nerves and asking my mom to come pick me up. However, what felt like days later I was calling my mom crying that my experience was ending early. The study abroad experience has shaped me into the most independent I have ever been. I learned responsibility, independence, and fearlessness through the adversity going on through the coronavirus and all the challenges with finding flights and etc. I no longer needed friends to go with me places, I began to enjoy doing things on my own. I never would have seen myself going to get coffee with someone I had spoke to for two hours a few days before and enjoying myself and feeling comfortable. I absolutely feel changed and my life has bettered from studying abroad.

2. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
My experience inside Granada was phenomenal. My host family was so warm and friendly, I spent a lot of time in the house and on the street with them, learning the cultural norms, where the best bakeries are, and the best restaurant for a tapa. At least once a week I participated in an 'intercambio' a language exchange program in which I spoke in Spanish with native speakers for an hour and then we switched and the native speaker practiced their English. I adored this experience and frequently would make friendships with locals and spend time with individuals outside of the program. Finally, I loved experiencing the culture on my own. After class I would take a long walk home, sit in the park, buy some goodies from the bakery, and interact with locals to ask for directions or recommendations. This was one of my favorite parts because I began to become like a local to some businesses and saw the same people in the park on my walks home.
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Maggie Matthews
Alumni Ambassador

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
My CEA CAPA program, the study + internship abroad in Prague, was the right fit for me as it was at the intersection of my major, my professional, and personal interests. I specialize in Post-Soviet European diplomacy and security, so being able to work and study in Prague was a dream. Plus, I have a great interest in traveling though out Eastern and Central Europe, so having a homebase in Prague was great.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could pick another program it would be the study + internship abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France program. I'd want to go to practice my French skills while also pursuing an international internship. The courses on art history, international relations, and cultural studies are also of great interest to me. Aix-en-Provence is also in a beautiful region that'd be amazing to travel in.

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Maya LePique
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I always tell people that I fell in love! During my time studying abroad, I made lots of valuable friendships, and all of my roommates were great. But what was most special to me was developing a relationship with a person, falling in love with them, and experiencing all of this wonderful city with them. We both moved back to the U.S. after our semester, and next year we're moving in together.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
A few of my classes were cultural, which enabled me to engage with the community through them. I learned about Czech authors, painters, and politicians. Many of the classes we had involved trips, during which we walked around Prague and learned about its history. CEA CAPA also provided us with a couple of excursions during which we visited nearby cities and learned about their history. On my own time, I walked around a lot, and tried to use my Czech language class to interact with shipowners. I became a local at my favorite cafe's and restaurants, and tried to be as outgoing as possible so that I could meet new people.

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Meghan Leslie
CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain
Check my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Dayton
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Michael Woolf
Content Creator - Blogger
Michael Woolf is the Deputy President for Strategic Engagement at CEA CAPA Education Abroad. He serves on a number of boards and was a member of the Board of Directors of The Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012. He was also the recipient of the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award (2020) from the Forum on Education Abroad. 'Thoughts on Education Abroad' is a monthly column of short essays sharing his thoughts and expertise on the subject. All views and opinions in his articles are his own and may not reflect the views of other staff of CEA CAPA or the organization as a whole.
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Molly Hulsey
CEA MOJO Blogger in Galway, Ireland
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Galway, Ireland
Home University: Covenant College
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Nikki Weinstein
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
The staff and professors at CEA CAPA are there to help you and support you in any way you need. I learned throughout my time there that they know you're living far away in a foreign place from your home and they want to help you with any issues that may arise. There are also a lot of amazing trips that are organized that should be utilized and many incentives for different things. For example, I entered a raffle and I got a gift card to Honest Greens, my favorite lunch place. That was a lot of fun and you'll be so happy in anything you decide to participate in.

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
I'd chose studying abroad in Barcelona 10,000 times over again. I had the most amazing months of my life there. I found so many benefits to studying there from cheap flights to travel from Barcelona compared to other destinations, to amazing food of all kinds especially obviously Tapas. I loved being in the Spanish culture and learning more about it as well. I also loved the layout of the city and the simplicity of getting on a train easily if I wanted to go to Madrid for example. I also loved the lifestyle of a more leisure life that ended and started later and was more relaxed than in the U.S.

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Olivia Stanton Moretzsohn
Alumni Ambassador

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS), WHICH WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could pick another CEA CAPA program, I'd definitely pick Seville, Spain, because when I was originally deciding between programs, I was torn between that one and Grenoble, France (which I ended up choosing and LOVED). I love the options of courses offered in the Seville program because they are very unique to the area, such as Spanish Cinema, Food and Culture in Spain, and Seville: the Expression of a City through its Art.

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
Take advantage of the activities and trips that CEA CAPA plans, because I saw so many cool places that would've never crossed my mind to visit, and I tried a lot of new food as well as new activities. CEA CAPA is there to help make everyone's study abroad experience the best that it can be, and saying yes to any opportunity to try something new always ends up paying off.

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Paul Hopkinson
Vice President, Institutional Relations - Central

A native of Massachusetts, Paul is based in Austin, Texas, having joined CEA CAPA in 2018. He oversees a talented team of Regional Directors working with institutional partners in the central US. Paul has focused his career working with students and administrators in higher education. Prior to CEA CAPA, Paul served as a Bilingual Admission Counselor and Academic Advisor at St. Edward’s University, Director of Internships and Service-Learning at International Studies Abroad, and Director of Institutional Relations with EF College Study Tours. Paul also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and has led service-learning projects to Peru. He holds a dual B.A. in Spanish and Communication from Stonehill College and earned his MA in Spanish from Texas State University. When he's not on an airplane visiting institutional partners, Paul enjoys eating brisket at barbecue spots around Texas, walking his Boxer, and rocking out at live music venues with his wife and daughter.

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Regan Amirault
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
I think everyone should know how helpful and supportive CEA CAPA is. CEA CAPA will always help you, no matter how small or big the problem is.

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
My CEA CAPA program in Seville, Spain was the right fit for me for so many reasons. With my history of taking Spanish, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Spain. Growing up in California, I love the sun and warm weather and really loved living in such a walkable city because I love being outdoors! I met some amazing locals and had some of the best memories in this beautiful city.

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Riley Doerge
CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Washington State University
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Riley Pruser
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite class while studying abroad was Luxury Strategic Service and Product Management. I really enjoyed this class and learned so much. At my home university there are no business classes like this one offered and I loved learning about business from a luxury aspect.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
I lived in old town Antibes, France when I studied abroad in the French Riviera. 'Old Town' was the part of the city where everything was walking distance and there were many restaurants, cafés, shops, and the old buildings along with cobblestone streets. There was always something to do and I often went to this one coffee shop when I needed to study for class or just to hangout and it was like I became a regular there. I also liked going for walks or runs on the promenade and and it was such an amazing place to live.

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Ritika Thope
Alumni Ambassador
WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?

CEA CAPA has incredible professors and staff that are all very engaging, supportive and knowledgeable in the field. Throughout my four months abroad, I constantly felt supported and knew that I could reach out with any concerns at any point.

WHY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
CEA CAPA allowed me to choose courses that were very well aligned with my health sciences major and gave me various different housing options to be able to find the right program for all my needs.

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Rylee Camp
Alumni Ambassador
IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CEA CAPA PROGRAM (BESIDES YOURS) WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I'd choose the CEA CAPA program in Madrid! Although Madrid is the capital of Spain, I didn't end up visiting it so I'd love to explore more of that city!

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
They have resources for LITERALLY everything! Information on the best restaurants, pharmacies, stores, gyms, dance clubs, etc.!

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Samara Rosenthal
CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: University of Arizona
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Sara Cabral-Manterola
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
My favorite study abroad class was my "Arte en el Museo del Prado" class. We were allowed to visit el Museo del Prado three times during the semester. The best was learning about Spanish culture and history through the eyes of amazing Spanish painters like El Greco, Goya, and Velazquez.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
The life-balance lifestyle Spanish live is a great experience to learn from to apply in your life. In Spanish, social interactions are as important, or maybe more important, than endless homework deadlines. It makes students see a different framework to learn about the world.

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Stacy McKay Benander
Vice President, Institutional Relations - East

Based in the Naples, Florida, Stacy is a veteran of the international education field. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she served for 15 years as the Founder and President of Athena Study Abroad. She received the Enlightened Employer Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin, Germany, has been named twice to the Forty Under 40 list for business professionals (in both Columbus, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania), and was named the recipient of NAFSA Region VI's esteemed Leo Dowling Award of Excellence. Stacy served as a Founding Executive Team Member of the women's leadership and advocacy group the Global Leadership League, has served on NAFSA's Trainer Corps, and was a founding member of the Global Learning Collective. She has also served as the Director of the International Office at Ohio Dominican University and was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at The Ohio State University. Stacy earned her MA degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (Social and Cultural Foundations) from The Ohio State University, and her BA degree as a double-major in Spanish and Communications/Public Relations from John Carroll University.

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Summer Selden
CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Home University: University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
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Teresa Bellono
Senior Global Operations Manager
Teresa oversees and coordinates continuous process improvements for the global team, optimizes systems, develops training resources, and liaises between departments. Her international travels have been tied to a variety of roles throughout her life—including choral singer, WWOOFer, and heritage seeker. Her academic year in Aix-en-Provence crystalized her lifelong love of language learning and her unshakeable belief in the transformative potential of study abroad. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French and international studies from Indiana University and a master’s degree in international training and education from American University. With over 14 years of international higher education experience, Teresa has held roles in institutional partnerships, alumni relations, custom programs, program development, and academic affairs. While serving as Director of Program Operations at IFSA, she developed a passion for data stewardship and collaborated with onsite staff to build impactful, behind-the-scenes efficiencies. Some of her most rewarding projects have focused on promoting non-traditional study abroad destinations and designing work-integrated global learning experiences. 
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Tim Boubek
Vice President, Institutional Relations - West

Tim Boubek is the Vice President, Institutional Relations - West. CEA CAPA established its Institutional Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA CAPA West Regional Directors to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA CAPA operations, from student recruitment, admissions, and planning through their time abroad and return to their U.S. campus.

Tim brings many years of study abroad experience to the position, having served previously in several operational capacities at CEA CAPA. A current member of NAFSA, he graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration. He earned a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
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Tristin Collins
Partner Student Advising and Retention Manager

Tristin's main duties include supervision of the Admissions Counselors team and internal review of all incoming applications and processes. In this role, she also has the pleasure of training new staff members, identifying any gaps in enrollment, finding new or creative solutions to challenges, and regularly working with colleagues on cross-departmental projects to get our students abroad as smoothly as possible.

Tristin obtained her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Psychology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Go Bobcats! She did not study abroad herself, which is why she strongly believes in the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity when it comes to personal growth. Traveling is slowly becoming one of her leading passions in life because of this. Fun Fact: Her first plane ride (and vacation) was to Costa Rica in 2016 to visit two friends who were on an internship abroad program!

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Valeria Cimmarotta
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
I was scared of having FOMO from not being at school with my friends, not knowing anyone in the program, and missing out on my Greek Life experiences. Being away from this though, allowed me to become a more individual person. Going out and experiencing things on my own such as going to museums, cooking myself meals, and exploring more parts of the city on my own. Studying abroad also encourages self discovery, you realize the things you enjoy more when you're not around the comfort of things at home.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
The one thing I enjoyed most about my academics abroad over my academic courses at my home university is the lecture and presentation style. Teachers are more engaging with students and make class interesting. It wasn’t test heavy nor heavy with work. I had the opportunity to research and learn new things. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t challenging, obviously teachers are still going to push you because they know your potential. Leaving France I do have to say that my two favorite classes I took were in France; Business Ethics, and Wine and Food pairing. These courses introduced me to how business works in the U.S. vs. France, and the different varieties of French wines and food.

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Vonnai Phair
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
The decision to study abroad in France comes from a combination of my family history, my love for traveling, and the time I have dedicated to taking French courses throughout my education. Having the opportunity to study in a historically rich and beautiful country culturally separate from mine is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I couldn’t pass it up!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have always thought French was a beautiful language, and I have now been studying it for more than eight years. I have also traveled to Paris twice throughout my education, and I have fallen in love with literally everything about the city. Deciding to study in Paris was a no-brainer for me, and it’s just a bonus that I get to wrap up my French language education while I’m there -- finally!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most looking forward to completely immersing myself in French culture, from mastering the language to eating my way through the culinary world and everything else in between. I also can’t wait to visit my friends who are only a short flight away in Florence and Barcelona.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I’m a Ravenclaw. And I have the biggest sweet tooth ever, so catch me chasing every meal with Parisian dessert!


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Vova Oleksovskyi
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
My biggest achievement in my opinion was the fact that I was able to make a ton of friends with a local art school community! I was lucky enough to work in the National Art School of Sydney and because of this I made friends with a lot of students from there! During creative events in the art gallery I was a part of the group which created different artworks that later were sold and the profit from it went to a local dog shelter organization! Even after finishing my study abroad I still called them and we actually planned to meet again during Summer '24! Will just need to save up some more money for the flights!

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
My friends already are TIRED of me speaking about my Australia study abroad experience, because I bring that up quite often! But the biggest aspect for me was living in the huge megapolis! I come from a tiny city where everybody knows each other and living in Sydney finally gave me an opportunity to learn how it is to live in the big city with lots of people! It really gave me the chance to look from a completely different perspective on how I want to live in the future and for now I can for sure say that my study abroad program won't be my only time that I lived in Sydney!

 

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Amsterdam, Netherlands Team

Makeda Tigabu Adane
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to meet more likeminded people who enjoyed traveling and were openminded to new places and people. Additionally, I knew that studying abroad would open me up to a lot more opportunities and connections. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
When choosing my location my main deciding factor was location, as my home university is located in a small town and so I wanted to make sure to be in a city.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm really excited for my Social Psychology class and my World Religions class.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am really passionate about swimming and excited to just be by the ocean. I definitely want to take advantage of the beach when I'm in Barcelona, especially when it gets warmer.

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Chiara Mazzarelli
Program Coordinator
Chiara is originally from Italy but grew up in the French side of Switzerland. Living in Amsterdam for over three years now, she fell in love with the Dutch capital and wishes to build her life there long term. Having always had a passion for learning about different cultures and traveling abroad, she did her first exchange year in Japan when she was 16. This was a pivotal moment in her life and made her the positive and sociable person she is today. Now, she hopes to provide the same transformative experiences to the students of CEA CAPA so that they can then return home with a broader perspective on the world and themselves. 
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Marra Finkelstein
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I choose to study abroad to explore new cultures and have new experiences.

what is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I am hoping to get better at speaking Spanish while in Seville.
                        
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My photography and film classes.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about film and photography. I am hoping to decide whether I want to continue this as a career.

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Sam Cohen
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted a change of pace; I was tired of sitting in a classroom and doing the same thing every day after school.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination? what is one new expereince you're hoping to have abroad?
I want to learn more about different cultures. I was born and raised in New York, so I don't know what outside life is like. I hope to explore Australian culture and embrace any and all cultural shocks.
                        
What CLASS ARE YOU TAKING while ABROAD?
I took two classes focusing on wellness and wellbeing. These classes have been the best classes I have ever taken in my education; our homework assignments are to explore what Australia has to offer and write about what we did.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Physical fitness and hands-on activities. I enjoy things that engage and pique my interests. I like learning about things I am not knowledgeable about and being able to truly interact with the material. Hobbies of mine are pickleball, volleyball, working out, meditation, yoga, poetry, visiting art and history museums, and - last but not least - I am kind of a foodie.

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Piper Salmon
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always known that I was going to study abroad, so the real question was really where do I want to go?

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
 I chose Sydney, Australia because it is a goal of mine to feel like I have lived in every continent. I want to really plant my feet and experience different parts of the world, and studying abroad in Sydney will help get me closer to my goal.
                       
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking an international marketing class that I am really looking forward to.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about seeing the world and meeting new people. I think traveling and doing things independently is the only way to really expand your perspective, and I am excited to learn more about myself and others.

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Jake Kalinowski
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to study abroad since I was in elementary school. Both of my parents studied abroad in Germany and have traveled the world together. Their experiences abroad have inspired me to also go abroad. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I specifically chose Australia because I have heard such wonderful things about the people and culture. It's also so far away and is probably the only opportunity I'll have to visit such a fascinating continent.
                      
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am really looking forward to my Studies in Film course because I love film and am excited to learn more about it. I am also excited for my Sport in Australian Society course since I don't know anything about it and I think it would be beneficial for me to learn more about Australian society. I am passionate about the environment and to learn more about Australian's perspective on environmental issues in the Environment and Society course.          

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am really excited to meet new people and learn more about Australian culture. I would love to learn more about all the fun activities Australians do. I can't wait to see all the beaches and animals as well.

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Marie Volkmuth
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad, to experience a new perspective, and to become more culturally diverse.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I wanted to go somewhere where I already knew the language, and visiting Australia and its wildlife has been a lifelong dream of mine.
                            
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about exercise and proper nutrition for the human body. I am excited to try new food and explore the city through running!

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Nora Ford
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always loved traveling and I've never been to Europe.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose Seville, Spain because Spanish is one of my majors so I could actually apply what I have been learning in class.
                     
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My photography class and my flamenco class.
         
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about running. I'm excited to run in new places.

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Kyle Oberreit
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I think it is a wonderful opportunity to try something new and have an incredible character-building experience. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Costa Rica to be fully immersed in somewhere brand new and to get away from the cold.
                    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Tropical Birds of Costa Rica.
        
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Taking care of the ocean and being so close to it.

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Ebony Owens-Kennedy
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I've always wanted to travel and experience different environments, scenery, and culture. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
San José was the top destination for my program and it looked very beautiful and inviting.
                    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Cultural Photography because I want to improve my creative skills behind a camera. Medical Spanish which would be very important and helpful for my career in medicine.
       
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about art (drawing, painting, clay making) and reading, listening to music, going to concerts, working out and staying active, movies, and TV shows.

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Alexa Lambert
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I believe studying abroad is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I could not pass it up!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
When I found out that the University of Miami was introducing a new program to Costa Rica, I knew I had to apply! It has been a dream destination of mine, as I love tropical environments, hence my decision to go to school in Miami.
                   
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking two Spanish classes, and I am really hoping to improve my understanding of the language. Going to school in Miami, I hear it all of the time, but I can never understand or communicate back. I hope with my classes and immersion in the culture that I can gain a better understanding of the language and use it even after my program ends.
      
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about being active and outdoors. Costa Rica is the best place for that! I am actually a certified yoga instructor, so I hope to find some cool classes in Costa Rica when I need to take a step back and relax.

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Anna Keller
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad to gain cultural experiences and travel to new and exciting places.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose to study abroad in Rome to explore Italian culture and food.
                  
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Food and Culture.
     
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I enjoy listening to music, playing soccer, baking, going for walks, watching the sunset, and going to the beach.

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Megan White
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted the opportunity to travel and explore new countries and cultures, while also receiving college credit.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Prague because it seemed like a beautiful city with rich history and culture, and also because it is well known for its film scene.
                 
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am really excited for my Documentary Film Class!
    
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am really passionate about filmmaking. I am majoring in film at U of M and I love to be behind the camera.

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Marianna Novak
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I am excited to explore a new culture and cultivate my own sense of independence and belonging.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose to study abroad in Prague because I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Italy last January and fell in love with traveling!
                
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am taking a video storytelling course, and I am very excited!
   
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love listening to music, doodling, and writing stories. I consider myself an environmentalist and am very passionate about limiting my waste consumption.

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Itati Serrano
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I choose to study and intern abroad because I am a first generation student. I've always had big dreams and this is one of them and I cannot believe it's coming true. I want to make a difference in the world and I think this will allow me to do so.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I choose Prague because of its rich history and diversity. I am certain it will allow me to gain the global competency I wish to gain.
               
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to Diversity and Ethnicity in the Czech Republic, I cannot wait!
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited about sightseeing and food, my two favorite things!

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Cameryn Conlon
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I always knew I wanted to study abroad because I love to travel and have new experiences.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I decided to study in Prague because I have heard such amazing things about the city and I also felt it aligned well with what I wanted out of study abroad.
              
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most excited for my Czech Culture, Food and Brewing Tradition course.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love going to movie theaters, its my new favorite activity. Hopefully I have the chance to go to the movies and see some cool films!

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Kristina Dillon
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to study abroad since I was a young kid because I am a huge fan of traveling and adventure! 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Since I had never been to Europe and had always dreamt of going to Paris, I thought it was the perfect selection!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I can't wait to take Travel Writing and Food and Culture in France!

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am a broadcast journalist, so I'm super passionate about getting out into the community and helping people tell their stories in a visual way.

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Ella Madrak
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Paris, France because I've been taking French since middle school and wanted the chance to explore the city, learn more about Parisian life, practice my French, and gain experience in the French workplace!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm looking forward to taking French while abroad, although I've taken many French classes, after arriving and getting acclimated I've realized that my skills could definitely use some improvement. But, I've enjoyed being able to practice with friends and professors, as well as simple things like ordering a coffee!
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm passionate about fashion and marketing, and so far being in Paris during fashion week has been amazing and I've loved the chance to observe some of the business aspects of fashion week.

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Yasmine Bari
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Spain because I've always loved Spanish art and culture, and wanted to explore more in the country!
             
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Film Narrative.
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm really passionate about telling people's stories and exploring wherever I am!

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Bianca Blanding
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to learn more about a culture that wasn't mine or one that I am not around much and know much about. I also wanted a change in my life from my everyday norms and wanted to experience something different that could help me grow as a person.
              
WHAT IS ONE NEW EXPERIENCE YOU'RE HOPING TO HAVE WHILE ABROAD?
I hope to become more comfortable with meeting new people and getting pushed out of my comfort zone. I am not used to much change so I want to become a person that can adapt to new situations.
              
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love to watch TV shows and movies a lot. I also love hanging out and doing events with my pre-law fraternity at school.

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Anand Wetzel
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I love new experiences and meeting new people, so studying abroad seemed like a no-brainer. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Madrid specifically since I want to learn more Spanish and I love the culture.
            
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm looking forward to taking a class in art while abroad to broaden my perspective.
             
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love food, so I can't wait to see how the food in different cultures and areas changes and has evolved. Food can tell you a lot, and I want to experience as much of it as possible.

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Emma Chung
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I felt it was the perfect opportunity to live in a different country, but with the structure and the help of experts.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London because I love the city, they speak English, and it is close to so many other amazing countries that I would love to explore. I am looking forward to immersing myself into the culture and city!
           
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Ethics in the Media class. This class directly correlates to my major, and I think it will be interesting to learn about different examples of when the media has been unethical.
            
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Something that I love to do is explore different coffee shops and restaurants. I am looking forward to all the new ones that I will be able to go to in London, and the other countries that I visit!

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Carleigh Smith
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Studying abroad has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I have always wanted to work and live in a big city and I knew studying abroad would give me the opportunity to try it out.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I love to travel, and London easily became my favorite city because of its various cultures and endless amount of things to do and places to see.
          
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to taking International Marketing because I think I will get a more hands-on and deeper understanding of the material.
           
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am very passionate about all things fashion and apparel related and plan to work in that industry once I graduate. I am so excited to live among locals in another country and experience how trends and everyday apparel is different.

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Sophia Kunkel
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I want to experience what life outside the United States is like. I want to immerse myself in other cultures and meet people.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London specifically because some of my literary heroes are from England, and I am interested in exploring their world.
         
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to a writing class called Writing the City. However, I am equally excited about the LGBTQ Studies in London course!
          
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited about all the bookstores in London! There are so many unique shops with different histories. I will definitely bring back a few books with me.

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Giselle Magana
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study/intern abroad because I love to travel, and I decided why not do it while going to school! I want to learn more about who I am, and go out of my comfort zone for new experiences.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose London because I love the culture, and I have been wanting to go there since I was little!
        
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my strategic communications and social media classes. I find that kind of stuff fascinating and I cannot wait to learn more about it.
         
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
My favorite thing ever is concerts! I am a huge concert person and I am hoping to go to a couple while I am abroad. I also love farmers markets and walking around the city.

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Payton Arbuthnot
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Experiencing a new culture can provide depths of knowledge that cannot otherwise be taught in a classroom. There is deep wealth in the diversity of knowledge, thought, and experience. I chose to study abroad to experience diverse perspectives in my area of study, political science. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
As a native of mountain-riddled Colorado, I am elated to encounter the beautiful mountains surrounding Grenoble, France! With French as my minor, I applied to study in Grenoble to improve my French listening, reading, and speaking skills as I submerse myself in the culture!
       
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
As a political science student, I am eager to take a class on International Policy. After reading the syllabus, I believe that the class will challenge me and enhance my political analysis skills. The class allows me to work with other students in the class, allowing me to learn international politics from new perspectives.
        
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Athletics and competition drive me. When I exercise or compete, I feel most at home. I enjoy competing in basketball but thoroughly enjoy running and weight training as stress relievers.

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Danielle Costello
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to learn more about myself and create new experiences in a different culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I am studying in Galway, Ireland for this spring semester. I have family an hour away from campus which has been making my adjustment to a new country more relaxing and welcoming.
      
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
While in Galway I am most looking forward to the course I am taking called Supporting Children with Diverse Needs. This course consists of leaning a new mindset to be able to support children and students with diverse needs. I find it interesting because there are not one-way answers to be a help towards the varieties of diverse needs. This class will test my critical thinking on how to approach children with diverse needs to support but not enable their full potentials.
       
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about all types of art and the complexity of the human mind. I learn psychology in New York so I am interested in comparing the classes from my home school to the ones I'll be taking in Ireland, while using the information in my everyday life. A goal of mine is to continue creating the habit of making art daily as in the future I am going to be an art therapist. This also will guide me to self reflect through my new experiences through the subconscious.

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Michael Cherkasky
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to delve deeper into a foreign part of the world. I heard that the study abroad experience is unlike any other and I wanted to have that experience for myself.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study in the French Riviera because it seemed like a relatively central location that also had a lot of outdoor activities which I love to partake in.
     
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited to take Civilization II: Renaissance through Modern because I want to see how the curriculum is taught compared to history courses taught in the US. I am interested if there are discrepancies in the material that is focused on and what topics are most important.
      
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate to explore the nature around me and document my experiences for others to see! I love hiking to beautiful views and recording the journey along the way so that I can show others what it is like to get outdoors. In addition, I am a big fan of sports and hope to catch a Nice football match before I leave.

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Kara Barnes
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted the educational experience and the memories that you create while abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I picked the French Riviera because it is a beautiful location and very peaceful.
    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
One class that I am looking forward to taking while abroad is International Business. I am looking forward to taking this class because it will give me such a different experience than if I were taking it in the US.
     
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Something that I am passionate about is photography, I really like photography because it provides insight into people's lives and shows a snapshot of memories and helps them last forever.

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Tyler Long
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I knew I wanted to study abroad when when I was encouraged by my school and had the opportunity to with my schedule.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Florence offers unparalleled art and history, along with such a vibrant community. Florence's central location in Europe also allows for easy exploration of neighboring countries.
    
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I look forward to learning more about wine marketing, with my CEA CAPA course "Viticulture and Wine Marketing." I feel that this experience will teach me all the basics when it comes to this field, with exciting excursions and activities along the way!
    
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am excited to witness firsthand the Italian fashion trends. This is an interest outside of my academic field and I hope to discover similarities and differences throughout my time abroad.

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Jamilette Pineda
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
My family - I'm the first to go to college right after high school and to a four year institution.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Florence because of my major and because of the classes I was willing to take, and of course because it's beautiful!
   
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
Italian Contemporary Cinema.
   
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Learning about some of the history in Italy and how it's affected the citizens here. 

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Daisy Robertson
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
College is one of the only times in your life when you have the ability to without the ties of work or another person!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I am eager to explore the culture, food, and history of Florence during my time abroad.
  
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
History of Italian Mafia.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about fitness and health. Exercise has become not just an escape or therapeutic outlet but rather a life asset: fueling me each day with love, inspiration, confidence, power, and light. I believe health and fitness are key to a happy and healthy life!

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Lydia Stueber
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always wanted to travel and have an experience like study abroad since I was a little kid!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Italy because of the art, history, and culture, especially as an art major.
 
What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Sketchbook Studies in Florence class because walking around drawing Italy for class is literally a dream.
  
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about drawing, photography, painting, thrifting, exploring, hiking, swimming, and being outside! I also love animals, history, and the environment.

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Ava Shelton
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love traveling and I want to learn more about cultures outside of my own. I am super excited to explore more of Italy, as I have already explored Rome and I loved it.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I  chose Florence because of the program that is offered, the food, the shopping, and I have heard many amazing things about the city and the opportunities that are offered there.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to my Food and Culture in Italy class as those are two things I am most passionate about.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
One of my favorite things to do is travel, and be adventurous. I am a super spontaneous person and love doing things outside of my comfort zone which is part of the reason I decided to study abroad. I also love eating good food and trying food I have never had. One of my greatest passions is being embedded into new cultures. I love learning about other people's traditions, celebrations, and everyday lives.

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Jennifer Krulisz-Hossain
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad, and why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Dublin because of the country's rich history. I am excited to learn about it while there and to be immersed in the Irish culture through my direct enrollment at University College Dublin.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited to take all my classes: Digital Marketing, Consulting with NGOs, Global Marketing, Wellbeing in the Workplace, and International Human Resources.
 
WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate/excited about videography/photography, history (visiting museums and cultural monuments), and being a foodie (trying new cultural dishes).

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Julianna Bruemmer
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I've always wanted to travel the world and explore different cultures and to do that while I'm still young seemed like a no brainer.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study in Ireland because I have always loved the culture and CEA CAPA offers a wonderful program that allows me to travel and learn in such a beautiful country.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm really looking forward to taking Performance in the Irish Context. 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love to read and do theater mostly, but I also love to play games and watch shows with my friends.

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Michael Pugliese
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I always find I learn most in uncomfortable scenarios. I wanted to study abroad to push me out of my comfort zone.  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Argentina is not the most popular place for students to travel so I wanted to be a trailblazer and make my own story.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
International Business. 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Boxing, exploring nature, literature, art.

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Argentina Mosso
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Once I got into college, one of my main goals was to take every opportunity I could. Studying abroad will be an incredible, and at the same time, challenging experience. I will discover a new part of myself and the world.

WhAT'S ONE NEW EXPERIENCE YOU'RE HOPING TO HAVE WHILE ABROAD?
I would love to have the opportunity of volunteering at the Hungarian F1 racetrack. One of my goals is to work for F1 and volunteering there will allow me to network with people.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I will be taking four classes while studying abroad: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management, and Finance.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU'RE PASSIONATE AND EXCITED ABOUT?
I have been riding horses since I was seven. I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to do it in Budapest, but is something I would be very happy to do.

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Sarah Mullah
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because it has been always been a dream of mine to live life abroad. This is my little test run to see if I would want to actually live in Europe as my future home.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Barcelona because I love Spanish culture, and it was a place where all my degree requirements could be met.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to my Writing the City class. I love reading and writing, and I am hoping this class will give me the creative outlet to express the wonderful experience that I am witnessing on paper. Additionally, I am hoping that we get to explore the city, and learn about the things that make Barcelona what it is! 

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about the art and architecture. I've loved painting and drawing since I was little, especially the works of Salvador Dali. Additionally, I can't wait to learn about the different foods, cafes, and of course shopping!

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Ella Zimmerman
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to travel and experience new cultures.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I have extended family that lives in Barcelona and I wanted to get to know them more by living in the same city for a few months.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
My Sports and Culture class. I look forward to learning about the impact sports have had on Barcelona and more about some of the famous athletes from Spain.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Reading, cooking, trying new foods, and traveling.

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Kalea McClain
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because although I haven't had many opportunities to travel outside my home country, I have always had a strong desire to experience cultures and lifestyles different from my own. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose my destination of Barcelona, Spain because I want to improve my Spanish-speaking abilities and because of how much I love the busy, yet peaceful city environment that Barcelona encapsulates.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to taking Architecture and Painting in Barcelona as it will give me the chance to better understand Barcelona's rich history and origins through art. I am also looking forward to improving my Spanish in my Conversational Spanish class.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I'm passionate about exploring the city and I love to go hiking! I am looking forward to taking advantage of Barcelona's diverse landscape - especially through hiking the mountains and walking through the streets!

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Michaela Smith
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I wanted to study abroad to have experiences that no other person in my family has had, as I am a first-generation student.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Barcelona is a culture so unique and beautiful that offered courses I was extremely passionate about, so I selected Spain as my destination.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
The Analyzing the City of Barcelona and Travel Writing courses seem very fascinating! The food studies course offered in Barcelona would also be a unique experience that I know would stick with me for life.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about the first-generation college student experience, disability rights, and my minor in Women's and Gender Studies! I love thrifting, Taylor Swift, & anything crafty! 

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Mary Thomas
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always known that I would want to study abroad in college since I was little! I believe that immersing yourself entirely in a new culture can be extremely valuable in many areas, whether that be personally, academically, or professionally - I hope that my experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands will provide all three.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
 I chose Amsterdam because I have visited before in the past, and fell in love with the history, art, and culture of the Netherlands.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
One class I am looking forward to taking while abroad is my Digital Marketing and Metrics class. As a digital marketing major, I think it will be interesting to hear the different perspectives from students all over the world on topics relating to digital marketing, and hopefully broaden my own perspective.


WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite hobbies is to travel! I'm hoping to pursue this interest and take advantage of my time in Europe by exploring as many countries and cities as possible.

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Zhwa Ellis
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
The choice to study abroad stems from my desire to learn multiple languages and immerse myself within various cultures. As an aspiring physician, I believe that appreciating another's background and experiences contribute to the bridging of health gaps existent in several communities.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Having learned the Spanish language, I knew that studying in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area would be the most beneficial. The city of Alicante is relatively small and promises and intimate glimpse of local customs and traditions.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am fortunate enough to have a semester that focuses strictly on Spanish! I look forward to improving my understanding and appreciation of the language in its entirety.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I love singing! I am very active in worship leadership at my local church and enjoy writing music with my friends during my free time.

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Siah Potts
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to familiarize myself with French culture and primarily to learn the French language.  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I specifically chose the south of France for the lovely weather and its positioning on the Mediterranean sea.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am looking forward to taking a French cooking class because I enjoy cooking but certainly have a lot to learn about it.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am so excited to swim in the beautiful waters and beaches around the Mediterranean. I love to read and hope to find some lovely series abroad and visit every library possible. I am also thrilled to explore on foot and through public transport.

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Shayna Polsky
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad as this kind of opportunity only comes once in a lifetime. I love to travel and try new things, although change can be daunting for me. I wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose Alicante, Spain due to the beautiful weather, the culture, language, and location relative to the rest of Europe.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I'm most excited to take Educational Psychology and Cellular Biology. As a Biology major and Psychology minor, these are two classes that are not offered at my home institution so I'm excited to learn new things.

WHAT IS SOMETHING you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about soccer and hope to be able to join a club/league abroad. I think this is a great way to play the sport I love, stay active, and meet new people!

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Mason Lee
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and study at a foreign university for an extended period. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Alicante has a very authentic Spanish culture and is less traveled to by tourists than other major cities in Spain, not to mention it is located in the South of Spain by the sea and mountains!

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am most looking forward to Research in Tourism. As a Hospitality and Tourism major I have already studied Charleston's tourism culture and I am excited to study and learn about Alicante's!

what's something you're passionate and excited about? 
I am passionate about learning new cultures and meeting new people. I also love fashion, thrifting, and spending quality time with the people I love!

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Brianna Diaz
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I have never had the chance to travel outside of the country and it is something I have wanted to do for years. Learning Spanish has been of high interest to me as well since I have many friends and family who speak both Spanish and English, which led me to look into studying abroad in Spain to take Spanish classes!  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Alicante was perfect for me since it is near the ocean, has lots of nature to explore, and is not one of the main tourist cities - to help have as authentic of an experience as possible.

What CLASS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING while ABROAD?
I am excited about all of my Spanish courses. Taking language classes and meeting people with similar intentions is something I have been looking forward to. It is a great way to meet people of different backgrounds and make friends!

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I am excited about getting to experience Spanish culture. My dad's side of the family is from Puerto Rico and all speak Spanish, but I was not taught it as a child, and so it is something I have always wanted to learn. I am eager to be immersed in the language. Getting to try different foods and things I would never have thought about trying before is very exciting as well!

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Maya Heredia
Content Creator - Photographer

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY OR INTERN ABROAD?
I choose to study abroad to get out of the bubble in NJ/NY because I know there is so much more to what the world has to offer, and I love to travel. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR STUDY/INTERN DESTINATION?

I chose Sevilla, Spain because I wanted to practice my Spanish more and immerse in the Spanish culture, as well as travel to other countries.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Probably my Photography class.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I am passionate about photography, videography, editing, making playlist/listening to music and cooking

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Cierra Wilson
Student Support Services Manager

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, Cierra craved a change of scenery and decided to head to the desert to attend Arizona State University. While she enjoyed every minute of life as a Sun Devil, she felt an urge to see more of the world and set her sights on studying abroad her senior year. She made her way to Galway, Ireland, and it was the best semester (and time) of her life. She was able to visit Scotland and England during this semester, but her fondest memories are certainly the time in Ireland. 

Cierra knew she would want to continue to be a part of international education in some way, and a few months after returning to the states, she had the opportunity to intern with CEA CAPA twice. A few years later, she found her way back as a full-time employee and now supports our Enrollment Department. Her work includes accepting students into CEA CAPA programs, serving on the Scholarship Committee, and assist with the student visa process.

Cierra enjoy nothing more than being a part of the process to assist students in embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. One day, she hopes to live in Europe full-time, but for now, she is enjoying Arizona’s sunshine.

In her free time, Cierra is enjoy playing Pokemon Go and disc golf, going to indie & alternative rock shows, spending time with family, and, of course, traveling!

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Craig Kench
Senior Vice President of Global Career and Internship Programs
Based in London, Craig is responsible for the strategic growth, development, implementation, and quality assurance of career and internship programs across all of CEA CAPA's global destinations. Since joining the organization in 2011, Craig has created a network of over 2,000 internship partners across the globe and created diverse experiential frameworks that have served over 500 U.S. institutions. Craig oversees the delivery of CEA CAPA services to maximize our students' personal and professional development and growth of employer related skills and competencies. Craig is an active member of the international higher education community and regularly presents at conferences and writes publications for the field. 

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Craig managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the U.S. He holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Walsh University. Craig is originally from Gibraltar, raised in England, and is a former professional football (soccer) player. Learn more about Craig's leadership and the Global Internship Program in this overview video.
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Jodi Melichar
Vice President of Enrollment & Advising

Jodi is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the Enrollment and Advising Department. She joined the CEA CAPA team in 2006, as the Manager of US Program Services.

Since joining CEA CAPA, she has held a variety of leadership roles including Director of Pre-departure Services, and Vice President of Global Program Services. Prior to joining CAPA, Jodi worked for STA Travel serving as a manager for The George Washington University and Boston University branch offices. In addition to this, she spent four years leading tours in India, Nepal, and Vietnam for Intrepid Travel, an Australian-based adventure travel company. Through her studies in India as well as her own travel, and experience as an international tour leader, she learned firsthand the importance of thorough advising and pre-departure preparation to set the framework for a culturally rich and safe time abroad.

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Sabrina Vidal
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I'm hoping to experience many different forms of music and dance in such a culturally rich city as Granada. I really want to learn to dance flamenco!!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Granada, Spain to gain professional and academic experience in the Spanish language and to immerse myself in the Andalusian culture.

hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about creative writing, language learning, vintage shopping, music, and fashion.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most excited about my Spanish and English translation class!

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Lily Gould
Content Creator - Blogger

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While living in Spain's capital city of Madrid and attending a local university, I hope to make connections with other international students who can enlighten me about interesting cultural differences and provide me with unique perspectives. I've never had a close relationship with someone originating from outside of the U.S., a fact I hope to change while studying abroad. This new experience would be quite exciting!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I couldn't stay away from Spain's relaxed attitude, beautiful winding streets, and mouth-watering tapas. As a second-timer with CEA CAPA, having previously studied in Sevilla for a semester, I'm looking to gain professional experience in the metropolis Madrid. I also chose to return to Spain to seal the deal on my Spanish fluency, as I've studied the language for years but still lack complete conversational confidence!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love to bake. In fact, this passion influenced my choice of pursuing a business major, in hopes that one day I can combine professional knowledge with my cake-making skills in the opening of a bakery. While I won't be spending much time in the kitchen while abroad, I'm certainly excited to try the local desserts, peruse windows of the pastelerías, and gain a deeper understanding of the culture's cuisine.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Art can teach us so much about the history, people, and perspectives of a city. Due to these endless insights, I'm looking forward to a course titled "The Art of the Prado," which focuses on a few prominent Spanish artists whose works are featured at the well-known Prado Museum. I'm sure to gain impactful knowledge about the artists and their city while broadening my Spanish language abilities through in-class communications.

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Stefanie Fernandes
Content Creator - Photographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I hope to learn and experience more about the culture of Barcelona while I'm studying abroad. I want to fully immerse myself!

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm passionate about many things including sports, writing, and photography! I can't wait to pursue my interest in photography in Barcelona.

Why did you choose to study abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona to gain new experiences and expand my global knowledge. Barcelona is somewhere I've been eager to travel to and I'm so happy I have the opportunity to live here! The bustling city life, amazing tapas, beaches, art and culture, and various attractions made my decision quite simple.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to taking the Catalan and Culture class to understand more about the language in the city!

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Christopher Olusayo (Sayo) Adeniji
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
While I took Spanish courses over the past few years, this is my first time studying the language in Spain. I'm taking a course called ‘’Advanced Spanish.’’ The course provides the ideal environment for language immersion and also involves excursions which I'm sure will provide enjoyable and educational experiences.

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I've always felt passionate about soccer, so I'm aiming to play with others while in Barcelona, a city that is home to one of the best clubs in the world. Recently, I signed up for the Barcelona Soccer League and am excited to play alongside other study abroad students!

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I'm hoping to engage with locals in Spanish as this will really help me hone my speaking skills. While learning in the classroom is extremely useful, I believe putting concepts into practice will help me become more comfortable with the language.

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
Cultural exchange and learning languages are extremely important to me. As a child I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a French school. I fell in love with the multicultural environment, and since then, have sought opportunities to learn about different cultures and languages. When I found out about the opportunity to study in Barcelona, I knew I had to take it. Because not only will I get the opportunity to develop my Spanish skills, but I'll also learn more about the city’s fascinating culture.

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Luke Hefner
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?  
I'm most looking forward to taking a course in International Finance or Global Business Strategy while studying abroad with CEA CAPA. It aligns with my passion for entrepreneurship and my desire to understand the intricacies of global financial markets and international business operations.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While studying abroad in Sydney, I'm particularly excited about the prospect of networking with international entrepreneurs and potentially collaborating on a startup project, as it would offer a unique and valuable experience that I might not easily find back home in Texas.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study and intern abroad in Sydney, Australia, to gain a global perspective and enhance my entrepreneurship skills while immersing myself in a vibrant and culturally diverse environment. Sydney's strong economy, top-tier universities, and quality of life were key factors in my decision.

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about outdoor adventure sports and can't wait to explore Australia's wilderness and coastline for adrenaline-pumping experiences. I'm also excited about socializing and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds to broaden my horizons and build lasting friendships during my time abroad.

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Lia Barth
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
On the fun side, I'm hoping to experience a European soccer game and a bull fight! I took a year of Spanish studying bullfighting, so I'm really looking forward to watching it in action. On the more professional side, I'm looking forward to learning the differences and benefits of European work culture.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to the people that I meet and the individual growth that'll emerge from this "lone-traveler" era. I don't know anyone going on this trip, but I'm confident that I'll leave this experience with new friends and colleagues I can stay in touch with past the program end date. At the same time, I know in my four months away from home, I'll learn a lot about myself and others considering how much alone time I'll probably have commuting to work and in between hanging out with friends.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I've always wanted to study abroad, but I took the first step of applying to CEA CAPA when I heard my friend would study abroad. This was one of the few affordable options offered by my university, but I chose this specific program because I took Spanish in high school and wanted to intern abroad. I remember being unsure if I wanted to commit to a semester abroad for a while, but when I realized I'd have more fun in Spain than my home university and I'd regret not going abroad, I knew the choice was clear!

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
Simply put, I'm passionate about helping others. I want everyone to feel like they have a seat at the table, and share the truth of Jesus Christ. I love to play music on my guitar and ukulele, and I enjoy getting competitive in sports ranging from pickleball to basketball. Also, if you love SpongeBob, The Office, or Hot Rod, we could be best friends.

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Alyssa Tsing
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm looking forward to meeting other study abroad students and natives. I love meeting new people and hanging out, so making friends in a different country excites me the most.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking Spanish classes while abroad. My Spanish is very bad, even after multiple attempts at learning. However, by being in an immersive environment abroad, I believe I'll learn Spanish in San José quickly and efficiently.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I'm eager to experience Costa Rica's food, culture, and music. I'm also intrigued by Costa Rica's "pura vida" lifestyle. Pura vida is about living a simple life, opposite of the U.S's hurried lifestyle. 

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
Costa Rica was the only option for students in my program. However, even with this limited option, this study abroad opportunity is what led me to decide on my university. I love the tropical climate and am thrilled to study in an immersive environment.

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Joseph (Joe) Bell
Content Creator - Photographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm passionate about making something out of nothing. It's in our DNA to create not only for ourselves but for others as well.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to all my courses but I'm mainly excited about my Environmental Sustainability course. I hope to learn about international ways of sustainability.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
It seems simple but grocery shopping is something that I'm looking forward to. I'm excited to shop in markets that I don't see often in the U.S. It'll not only be rare to have access to a vehicle but also not having access to a large Kroger or Walmart. 

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I wanted an experience that'd take me to a different part of the world and challenge me to adjust to a different way of life.

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Rin Tanaka
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love everything matcha. I also love baking, traveling, trying new foods, and shopping. I love to be outside whether it’s traveling, walking, or relaxing on the beach. I’m also very passionate about environmental protection and causes.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
French! And also finishing up my math class.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I’ve always wanted to go to Europe specifically Paris, and I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity and timing if I could do it while I’m in school!

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
Experiencing the culture there and exploring! Getting to know people and having fun with them. :)

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Marcela Aguirre
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I was ready to start moving further away from my comfort zone and I chose Madrid because it is the perfect city to experience new things in a safe way.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to meeting Spaniards while at school and learning their lifestyle.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very excited to walk and run everywhere in the city while also taking in all my new surroundings.

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
While studying abroad, I hope to enjoy as many cultures as possible.

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Fiorella O'Connor
Content Creator - Photographer

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm excited for any classes I'll get excursions for. My best friend is studying abroad in Granada so it'd be awesome to see her too.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I've always wanted to travel to Spain ever since I was little. My goal is to build my fluency in Spanish and that's exactly what this program will do. My mom also lived in Spain for three months and for sure pushed me to do the same one day.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm super excited to experience the arts and dance in Spain such as flamenco. I'm also super excited to go to some soccer games.

what is one experience you're hoping to have while abroad? 
I'm hoping to travel to other destinations in Europe while I'm studying abroad in Spain because it'll be my first time everywhere. I can't wait to experience a variety of cultures and lifestyles while I study abroad.

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Sophie DeWorken
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
While studying abroad is already out of my comfort zone, I hope to keep pushing myself to further explore within London, the UK, and hopefully other parts of Europe.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I felt like I couldn't pass up. As someone who has rarely traveled internationally, I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to study abroad with CEA CAPA. Once I realized that Hollins University not only gave me the option to study abroad, but would help me along the way, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I chose to study abroad in London for a couple reasons, primarily its extensive history and diverse culture. I'm excited for the challenge that studying abroad in London will present, but even more excited for how these experiences will impact my perspective afterwards.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm extremely passionate about film, as it's my major, and am so excited that the Content Creator position will allow me to further integrate this passion into my time abroad. I'm excited to document my experiences, and the experiences of others and to have a network of people to collaborate and share with.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to Contemporary British Film!

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Mercedes Wilson
Content Creator - Videographer

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, Interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about the arts, specifically writing. So I'm excited for the inspiration London will provide.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
My mom studied abroad in London when she was in college and she told me all these stories from then. So, growing up I've always wanted to study abroad in London because of her. I also think it's such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
One new experience I'm hoping to have while studying abroad with CEA CAPA is immersing myself in London's culture. Additionally, I'm hoping to take walks through the neighborhoods, with the hope of uncovering hidden gems along the way.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm excited for 'Detective Fiction' and 'Writing in the City', but all my classes seem really interesting!

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Ellie Glende
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I'm very interested in traveling and experiencing different cultures and cities. My hometown is pretty small so I'm excited to experience what a big city offers. I love challenging my comfort zone and learning new things. I chose to intern abroad because I'm intrigued in other countries healthcare systems. I specifically chose London as my destination due to their Universal Healthcare system.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about Healthcare and helping others. I'm also very passionate about volunteering and giving to others in need. I love spending time outside, hiking, biking, and running. I'm also very into art, and in my free time I draw and paint. But I also love trying and learning new things!

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
I hope I meet many new people and make new connections, along with learning more about London and the UK.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to the Writing the City course.

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Julia Caterino
Content Creator - Blogger

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm looking forward to my Feminist London Activism in the City class. I'm a Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies minor at the University of Pittsburgh, so this was one of my most anticipated classes. I was thrilled when I saw it on my schedule!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in London because I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. The London study abroad program was such a great fit for my major. All the classes that I'll take abroad will count towards my major. Beyond academics, I wanted to push myself socially. I'm a pretty big introvert, so studying abroad was always very intimidating. I'm ready to put myself out there and meet new people!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about reading, writing, and creating! I'm so excited to be a content creator for CEA CAPA. I love taking photos when I travel, so this was the perfect opportunity. Another one of my passions is food. I cannot wait to experience the food culture in such a diverse city like London.

what is one new experience you're hoping to have while abroad?
One new experience I'm hoping to have while abroad is making friends with local Londoners! Earlier this summer I studied abroad for three weeks in Florence, Italy, however I only made friends with girls from my program that also go to my school. I hope that, since I'm doing a full semester in London, I'll meet locals and become friends!

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Lucero Diaz Acevedo
Content Creator - Videographer

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad? 
My ultimate goal while studying abroad with CEA CAPA is to develop independent skills that can help me mature in my personal life and open myself up to new people to make long lasting connections as friends as well as networking. However a more fun adventure I hope to make on this journey is visit an opera house and watch the ballet or enjoy a classical music concert.

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? and why did you choose your destination?
I love learning new cultures, history, and obsess over European history especially. In high school I took French as my language because my goal is to learn as many Latin-based languages as possible. My family and I are immigrants from a small ranch in Mexico, so to be able to travel to another country, I know little me and my parents would be proud of my accomplishments. I also want to feel more independent since this'll be a big step towards my career path and personal goals.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most excited for my communications class this fall because I've always been a very quiet person but I hope this class will help me step out of my shell with public speaking. I consider myself both an extrovert and an introvert, this depends on the type of environment but I hope communications helps me feel confident in my speech and improve my English speech skills when I get nervous so I don't end up stuttering.

what is something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
My main passions are most of the arts like fashion design, painting, and music. I love to play the guitar and bass but I love concerts because being a fangirl is such a fun hobby to have no matter how expensive it gets, the long lasting memories I make when I watch artists preform their craft is amazing. I love to create and add my unique style to my clothes, for example I love painting my own designs and characters or take inspiration from anime characters and put them on things such as jackets but recently I started painting my tote bags because why leave it plain and boring.

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McKenna Yates
Content Creator - Photographer

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad? 
I'm very excited to be taking both "Contemporary Italian Cinema" and "Food, Culture, & Lifestyle Under the Tuscan Sky." Both of these classes will allow me to be immersed in Florentine culture while still getting credit for my majors back home. I look forward to all that I'll take away from these courses! Plus, I'll get to expand my palate (for both films and food!).

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad? 
I hope that I'll ride so many trains while I'm studying abroad in Florence! I'm a huge fan of them and can't wait to travel by train in Europe.

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I love taking photos, watching movies, reading thrillers and romance novels, and seeing trains/building model railroads. I'm excited to do all of things when I'm in Florence! I can't wait to seek out local theaters and watch films in new countries.

why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to Florence study abroad because I think I'll push myself to grow more, try new things, and experience the rich culture that Florence offers. Studying abroad in Italy will allow me to be very independent while getting to explore places I couldn't otherwise.

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Alexa Doyle
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Florence with CEA CAPA because I'm an Art History major and I really wanted to learn more about Art History in such an important city. In addition, I wanted to expand my knowledge and become more of a global thinker, using my time studying abroad to understand and appreciate different cultures and customs that I may never access at an American university.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I'm hoping to go hiking in the Dolomites. I love to hike but this would definitely be the most demanding and unique hike I will embark on, and I'm super excited to try and make it there this semester abroad!

What is something you're excited and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I'm very passionate about art and love exploring new artists as well as appreciating art in museums. I enjoy going to various galleries and museums along with art markets and conventions!

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking the Great Masters Class.

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Maya Nissenbaum
Content Creator - Blogger

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
I want to make good friends with some of the locals there. I've never done this while traveling internationally as it was always for such a short period and I was with either family or friends, so I never pushed myself to. Yet, I think this is the perfect opportunity to finally do so, and what better way to learn about a culture than from the locals!

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? And why did you choose your destination?
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona because I have a love for travel. In Spain there's a vast amount of things to experience. I also want to practice my Spanish speaking skills and meet new people!

What is something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)
I've always loved writing about the human experience, so the opportunity to do so throughout this study abroad program is so exciting. As far as general hobbies, I'm a dancer and have been my whole life (most of the time competitively), I love fashion and makeup and hope to work in a magazine doing something with it one day, and I'm SUCH a foodie (hence Italy).

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
Definitely my food culture and lifestyle class, it sounds like so much fun.

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Lilly McCarthy
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad? why did you choose your destination?
I chose to intern abroad because I was looking to do something totally out of my comfort zone. I want to find new experiences and do things I wouldn't usually do at home. The reason I chose Buenos Aires is because I want to improve my Spanish language skills, and Buenos Aires is a perfect place for me to really immerse myself in the Spanish language and better my language skills.

What's something you're passionate and excited about? (Hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
Something I'm passionate about is music. I love to play bass and ukulele, sing, write music, and listen to music.

What is one new experience you're hoping to have while studying abroad?
One new experience I'm looking forward to while I study abroad is being immersed in a different work culture and a new way of living while having the opportunity to learn new rituals and values.

what class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
The classes I'm most looking forward to are my internship class and gender & body politics in Latin America.

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Paige Bily
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA because I've had the desire to travel the world since a young age. I'm also deeply interested in working with a variety of cultures in my professional life post-graduation. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Alicante, Spain, because I took four years of Spanish classes in high school, so I know a little bit of the Spanish language.

What class are you most looking forward to taking while studying abroad?
I'm most looking forward to taking exercise physiology because I think it'll be different than the U.S. perspective.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm super passionate about photography. I currently run my own business and work full-time doing that during the summers and part-time while I'm going to school, so I plan continue that overseas.

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Elsa Ferguson
Content Creator - Videographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA to expand my understanding of the world and all the ways of life that exist outside of American culture. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence because of its relaxed seaside environment and I'm eager to become fluent in French.

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I can't wait to take Opera; Women and Politics. As a women gender studies major and a music lover, this course will engage the culture of European opera while examining gender dynamics of the time.

what's something you're passionate and excited about? (hobbies, interests, causes, etc.)?
I'm excited to practice yoga in a new environment and go on many picturesque walks, capturing the impeccable present moments.

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Elle Bowman, M.Ed.
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Elle uses an appreciative advising style to support students through the internship placement process and career development. Her approach to student success revolves around empowerment, resource navigation, and meaningful relationship building. Elle aims to support growth toward new perspectives, intercultural competence, and the responsibility of global citizenship. Elle is a first-generation graduate, receiving her Master’s Degree in Higher Education from Grand Valley State University. Her experience advising in the world of student affairs included career services, admissions, financial services, and housing and residence life. She received her BS degree from GVSU in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Elle’s own study abroad immersed her in 11 different countries and cultures across four continents. This experience was so impactful that it inspired her to pursue a career path in promoting equitable pathways to educational and professional abroad experiences. Elle is originally from Michigan, calling both Sturgis and Grand Rapids home, and is now based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elle is passionate about serving her communities, specifically engaging with Kids Food Basket and Dekpor School Development Organization. As an avid hiker, she can often be found on Phoenix's many mountains! She enjoys staying active through yoga, running, tennis, and exploring new fitness classes.


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Josh Coldagelli
Senior Academic Coordinator

Josh joined CEA CAPA in the summer of 2022. Coming from a background in college admissions and athletics, he was looking to expand his passion for learning. Josh's key duties are academic records management, syllabi development, and managing academic accommodation requests. Josh has a passion for seeing student growth and developing opportunities for students' academic passions to grow while they are abroad. Josh holds an M.A. in Sport Administration and Leadership from Central Michigan University and a B.A. in Communication Arts from Trinity Christian College in suburban Chicago. Although he was never able to study abroad, a formative experience that impassions Josh to the mission of CEA CAPA is a shared family meal with extended family in the village of Coldagello, Italy, where his great grandpa emigrated from. He hopes all students can "find their table" while abroad with CEA CAPA.

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Aisling Cronin
Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator in Aix-en-Provence, Aisling develops and facilitates rewarding and lifechanging study abroad experiences for students during their time in Aix-en-Provence. This includes providing services to students throughout the semester, developing a housing and volunteering network in Aix and, organizing, planning and executing cultural activities and excursions for students to enable them to get the most out of their time in Aix and the South of France. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Aisling worked in the international education sector helping French students find study and work abroad opportunities in the USA, Australia, and the UK, as well as teaching English to students of all ages in Spain. She strongly believes in the transformational power of international education and spending time living abroad and encourages students to explore their grown zone while studying abroad. Aisling holds a masters in Intercultural Management from Aix-Marseille University and a bachelors degree in applied languages from Dublin City University.

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Gina Mahfood
Senior Director of Enrollment

As Senior Director of Enrollment, Gina delivers continuous support and guidance across the entire enrollment team. Knowing that our CEA CAPA students and staff come first, Gina brings talent and drive to provide superior assistance and leadership within this organization. Gina has been working in education for over 15 years, with experience in admissions and enrollment, learning and educational development, and industrial and organizational improvements. Gina also took her passion for education a step further by co-authoring and designing a college textbook, which is used at colleges across the United States.

Gina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College in 2003 and began her admissions and enrollment career in 2006 back in Pittsburgh, PA. Since then, Gina relocated to Phoenix, AZ and earned a Master of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. She remains a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society.

Gina recognizes the value of higher education and encourages all potential students she meets to pursue their educational goals and dreams!

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Elizabeth Kather
Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs

Spending a year abroad in Australia changed forever how this introverted, first generation student saw herself and understood what she could succeed when given an opportunity. After attending college and graduate school in the Southwest, and living in several states, it is the dry climate of Phoenix that reminds her most of Australia. With 15 years of student affairs/residential life experience gained at small, mid-size, and large universities along the way, Elizabeth is dedicated to impacting the student experience "outside the classroom". Helping students and their families navigate challenges, succeed in new environments, and understand their responsibility as global citizens is her motivation.

As CEA's Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing student life issues worldwide. In this role, Elizabeth establishes policies and coordinates protocols regarding health, wellness, student emergencies and crisis response. Elizabeth serves as a point of contact for escalated parent concerns and issues; oversees all web and print materials related to health & safety; advises Center and Program Directors on student disciplinary procedures; develops training for staff around the world on student development; and leads cross-functional working groups to review trends and implement best practices that reflect the organization's values and mission.

When not actively working to enhance the quality of student life for CEA students, Elizabeth enjoys hiking with her two dogs, Marketa and Mateo, reading and travel. If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA programs and services that promote student well-being, please contact her directly: ekather@ceastudyabroad.com.

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Radka Semerakova
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Radka is responsible for the Prague Custom and Faculty-Led Programs agenda and Housing agenda.

In cooperation with the CEA CAPA Custom Programs and University Relations Teams, Radka works on developing program proposals. She is responsible for the planning, implementing, and coordinating of Prague Custom Programs. During the pre-arrival planning phase, Radka serves as a main onsite contact for universities and is responsible for aligning of the cultural activities and the student experience with the university's academic part of the program.

Radka is also responsible for Prague Housing agenda. This includes development of the Prague housing portfolio for Semester and Summer programs as well as Custom Programs and coordinating all housing details and issues with housing providers during the planning process, but also once students are onsite. Radka also serves as a main Housing contact and support for students during the whole program.

Radka likes to spend her free time with her family by travelling, hiking, cycling or at her cabin. When time allows, Radka also loves cultural events, going to cinemas, theaters, and art exhibitions.

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Arlene Hairston
Registrar

Arlene is responsible for maintaining the accuracy, integrity, privacy, and security of academic records, as well as for applying academic polices and following necessary procedures related to compliance. She manages all aspects relating to grades and transcripts and provides transcript support to CEA CAPA students and partnering study abroad administrators who send groups of students on CEA CAPA programs. Arlene works closely with CEA CAPA school of record institutions as well as program managers and academic directors who provide direct advising support to CEA CAPA students. Arlene has worked in higher education for 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management degree, and she is a member of AACRAO, American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

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Katie Lander
Director of Global Career & Internship Programs
Katie has had the pleasure of working across the higher education sector within the UK for the last 10 years, covering careers and employability for UK students and internships for international students as part of both graduate employability and study abroad. Having spent a large part of her career working with US institutions and students in London she can’t wait to join the team at this exciting time and jump fully back into international education. In her spare time you will find her reading a good (or bad!) book, going to theatre shows, hiking in the Chilterns, or surfing in North Cornwall! 
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Yazmin Cruz
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT CEA CAPA EDUCATION ABROAD?
I appreciate the onsite staff at CEA CAPA. During my semester abroad in Seville I felt safe knowing I had several supporters. There were constant check ins with our monthly blogs along with conversations at the CEA CAPA Study Center.

How has study abroad shaped you?
My study abroad experience has personally opened my perspective in the ways I view my life and opportunities. One of my professors from the University of Sevilla encouraged me to participate at a local school teaching English as a full time job while obtaining my master's degree. I plan to pursue this opportunity post graduation to continue my studies and grow professionally in a city that helped me demonstrate and discover what I am capable of. I move forward from this experience knowing the world is meant to be seen by you, as it is filled with adventures, lessons, and love.


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Victoria Sandoval
Student Services and Housing Coordinator

As the Student Services and Housing Coordinator in Alicante, Victoria supports students in every aspect of their time abroad. From arrival and orientation to housing and cultural enrichment programs, she works closely with students to help them navigate their international experience with great success.

Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Alicante team, Victoria worked in the Career Development Center at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) as the Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships and Outreach, and most recently was the Director of Parent Engagement and Philanthropy at the University of Hartford.

Victoria was raised in a bilingual and bicultural household in Maryland and spent her summers visiting extended family in Mexico. This is how her love of travel and cultures emerged. She spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Alicante while pursuing her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and later earned a master’s in management from the University of Saint Joseph. She was also a part of Stanford University’s first Life Design Studio training for design thinking. Victoria has visited 10 countries and looks forward to sharing her love of travel and cultural diversity with her two daughters.

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Yeison Carvajal
Student Services Coordinator

As a Student Life Advisor, Yeison acts as a liaison for student services in San José, providing support for planning and coordinating of housing, excursions, trips, and volunteering.

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Layla Franco
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Layla works to help students grow both professionally and personally while supporting them through the placement process. Layla’s coaching style is a combination of a holistic and “big picture” approach. She encourages her students to explore all of their past experiences with their current passions to think creatively about the possibilities of their internship abroad. This approach ensures that students feel empowered to explore different areas of interest and broaden their idea of a career post-graduation. Being a Phoenix native, Layla attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.S. in Tourism Development and Management and Event Planning. After college, she had the incredible opportunity to work with musicians and students; planning their concerts and events all over the world which sparked her love of working with students in all areas of education. When Layla is not working or traveling, she loves to explore Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes attending local Phoenix events, hiking amazing trails, and going on walks with her two dogs - Emmy and Moose.

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Hannah Sutton
Manager of Health and Safety

As Manager of Health & Safety, Hannah Sutton works across the organization to coordinate global health and safety practices, assist in emergency management, and provide pre-departure guidance and support to students preparing to participate on a CEA CAPA program. Hannah joined CEA CAPA in September 2021 and holds membership in OSAC and PULSE. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she spent seven years in the study abroad provider world in roles focused on pre-departure support and advising. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hannah holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Spanish from Butler University. As an undergrad, she spent a semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland, an experience which introduced her to the value of engaging with different cultures and the personal growth that can happen when you challenge your comfort zone. Hannah has spent time travelling in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and outside of work, she enjoys reading, baking, and collecting houseplants.

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Martin Brokeš
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Martin develops and maintains a network of host sites where CEA CAPA students can complete internships. He counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. He also provides mentoring and guidance to internship students onsite. In cooperation with CEA CAPA global staff, he contributes to the development of the CEA CAPA Internship Program.

Martin holds a master’s degree in International Human Resource Management from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. During his studies, Martin completed two internships in Russia and Taiwan, where he facilitated cross-cultural intelligence workshops. He taught himself Spanish while backpacking in South America. Martin has held various HR positions in the corporate sector. His work assignments were in the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He has been involved in various NGOs and worked as a camp counselor at summer camps in the UK and Czech Republic.

Martin is passionate about social sciences and philosophy, community development, and life-long education. He is a curious learner, reader, and swimmer.

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Christian Merino Rubio
Academic Coordinator

Born in El Salvador but raised in Maryland, identity and intercultural education have played an important role in Christian's academic and professional interests. Christian earned a B.A. in Political Science from Dickinson College in 2020, where they also studied abroad in Bologna, Italy through the European Studies program. This experience led them to seek out a career in International Education so they can support the same types of experiences for other students.  

Christian previously assisted the coffee program at a local Maryland specialty coffee chain, where they were head roaster and managed day-to-day operations of the roastery. They also have an extensive background supporting students in early-childhood Montessori settings. They are excited to begin their work as Academic Coordinator to support student success and satisfaction at CEA CAPA programs.  

In their spare time, Christian enjoys cooking, fostering a mindfulness practice and spending time with their nephew. They continue to learn about coffee trends and strives for the elusive “perfect shot” of espresso.

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Erik Fabian
Senior Program Manager

As Senior Program Manager, Erik is responsible for Student Services and Student Affairs. He not only acts as a first resource for students but also oversees pre-arrival planning phase and manages student activities and excursions. In terms of the Student Affairs Department, Erik provides support in dealing with health and emergency issues.

Erik has spent his professional life in the field of education, both private and public, and has got significant experience in working in the sector of special education. He holds a master's degree in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures from the Charles University in Prague. Erik's academic interests include wider socio-cultural issues, interculturalism, postmodernism and theory of art.

In his free time, Erik enjoys walking around the city and discovering its charms, admiring modern and postmodern architecture, and watching interesting movies. He is passionate about learning foreign languages, meeting interesting people and finding ways how to enjoy life.  

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Libby Lauze
Director of Partner Services

Libby has over 20 years of experience in international education. She has held a variety of positions with with a focus on admissions, enrollment and predeparture services, including Director of Enrollment, at CIEE. Most recently she managed an organization that recruited and placed young, foreign professionals in U.S. internships to build practical career skills. Libby is a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Russian. She did her own study abroad in Moscow, Russia. In her free time she enjoys relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with her family.

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Caleb Mosty
Alumni Ambassador

What's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
I wish to share with others the compassion and joy of the onsite staff. The staff members themselves have studied abroad and understand the emotions, excitement, fears, and questions you'll have in a new country. The staff is an excellent resource that fosters an incredible experience while studying abroad!

Why was your cea capa program the right fit for you?
As a Spanish minor, I've studied the culture and language of Spain throughout my time in college. Accordingly, Madrid offered an unsurpassed opportunity to continue my studies in a cosmopolitan hub of the world.

 


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Keona Gardner
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Keona works towards ensuring that students are heard, supported by meeting them where they are, and empowered as they work on their career readiness journey. Keona is originally from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a first-generation college student, she had the pleasure of leading service learning experiences in various states and was granted the opportunity to study abroad in South Africa. That experience is what changed Keona’s trajectory — passion-wise — to make it a point to continue to immerse herself in various cultures respectfully and serve historically marginalized communities — connecting them to more significant opportunities. Shortly after receiving her undergraduate degree, Keona served as a Community and Youth Development Specialist in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She has also worked in the mental health field, educational non-profits, and workforce development to help strengthen partnerships for overall sustainable programming. Keona enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, cooking, learning, picking up various creative projects, practicing and teaching yoga as a Registered Yoga Teacher, watching psychological thrillers, and overall being in intentional community.

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Megan Randall
Director of US Career Development and Internship Programs

As the Director of US Career Development and Internship Programs, Megan manages and supports the team of US-based Career Coaches and leads the pre-departure career coaching and placement processes for students participating in any Global Internship, Business Consulting, Community-Based Global Learning, or Research Placement program. Additionally, Megan draws on her extensive career coaching background to design and integrate innovative career readiness programming and curricula into all stages of a student’s program (before, during, and after) across all CEA CAPA program types. Megan applies a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) lens and employs career development trends and best practices to inform her work, with the goal of making CEA CAPA the preferred provider for the career development of students within the field of education abroad. Megan has studied, interned, researched, and volunteered abroad in Africa and Central America, and has 12+ years’ experience advising and coaching students on their personal, professional, academic, intercultural, and career development. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Skidmore College. She is a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, and is in the process of becoming an ICF-accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC).


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Iva Frištiková
Junior Program Coordinator

Iva works with custom programs, housing, and facilities department. Her daily duties usually revolve around planning and organizing events for our custom program students as well as taking care of overall logistics with a goal of ensuring our students will have unforgettable, smooth, and enriching experience in Prague with CEA CAPA. Iva graduated from the University of Swansea last year with a BA in Modern Languages and she is eager to contribute to the CEA CAPA team with her past experience as an international and exchange student in the UK, Belgium, and Italy. Outside of her never-ending passion for travel, in her free time she learns French, draws, paints, and leads an active life. 

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Abbie Pierce
Alumni Ambassador

What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
I got to meet Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) during my time abroad. He was so nice and meeting him was the highlight of that week! I also love talking about my visit to the Warner Brothers Studio where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.


What was your favorite study abroad class and why?
I loved both classes I took, but my favorite was the Jack the Ripper course. I learned about London history and how the legend of Jack the Ripper started. One day we took a walking tour around the city and visited iconic spots in London history that had correlations to Jack the Ripper too!

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José Balza
Internship Operations Manager

José Balza is responsible for providing oversight of the operational and delivery components of CEA CAPA internships globally, with a focus on constant process improvements and optimizations. He plays a vital role in continuously improving the quality of the student experience, as well as identifying gaps and efficiencies in each component of the CEA CAPA internship program experience: application process, career coaching and placement process, internship delivery, and assessment and reporting. José has a BA in Communication from Arturo Michelena University in his home country Venezuela and is a TEFL certified instructor from the Hunter College of the City University of New York. Before joining CEA CAPA, José held different manager and coordinator positions in the Communications and Live Theater industries. José has worked in education for 10+ years, as Adjunct Professor for Broadcast Production & Operations at his alma mater, and as an EFL teacher for varying institutions. For 4 years, he lived in Argentina and was part of the in-country CEA CAPA Buenos Aires team, where he developed a substantial network of internship partners, coached students through their study & internship abroad journey, and coordinated experiential learning activities integral to the academic curricula of the Study Center. He also supported course development initiatives and program operations. José is an avid concertgoer and coffee drinker; he enjoys traveling and connecting with people from different backgrounds.

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Catherine Powers
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in France because I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone in order to experience a new culture. I love traveling and studying abroad aligns well with that passion. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to do so.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose to study abroad in the French Riviera because of its picturesque proximity to both the beach and mountains. I also love how the location is close to many other big European cities and small villages that I can explore while I am there. 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am most looking forward to spending my weekends traveling to other European countries and French cities. I want to see and experience as much as I can while also taking in the French culture and meeting new people!

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a barista and am a big coffee lover! I spend a lot of time trying as many coffee shops as I can.

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Marilena De Chiara, PhD
Director of Academic Affairs

Dr. Marilena De Chiara is the Director of Academic Affairs at CEA CAPA Barcelona. Born in Naples, Italy, she completed her BA in Communication and Performance Studies in Rome and Edinburgh, then moved to Barcelona, where she earned her Master of Research in Humanities, an MA in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. in Humanities, with a concentration in Literary Theatre and Practice, from Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Dr. De Chiara has been Visiting Scholar at Yale University, where she researched and taught for two years, and she currently lectures at the MA in Literary Creation at UPF and at the Barcelona Creative Writing School. With a strong background in Intercultural Learning and Development processes, she has been working in the field of International Education, mentoring undergraduate students, designing, and delivering Storytelling and Intercultural Communication courses, and training faculty on Teaching and Learning innovation, for the past 15 years. Dr. De Chiara is also a literary translator, her translations include the complete short stories by Nobel Prize awarded author Luigi Pirandello and works by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. Dr. De Chiara firmly believes in the transformative power of experiential learning to bridging languages and cultures, through the city of Barcelona as classroom.

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Donyale Young
Alumni Ambassador

tell us about your internship experience abroad.
I interned abroad and my company focused on helping people with disabilities live the life that they want to live. My co-workers and supervisor were very nice and easy to talk to, plus they're really big on work-life balance.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community by doing different activities and excursions with them. We went to different Irish cities nearby and learned about the culture there. We also had conversations with different locals when going out to eat.

 


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Matthew Sinanis
Alumni Ambassador

why was your CEA CAPA program the right fit for you?
My study abroad program in Paris was the right fit for me because I'm studying the French language and could practice my skills and learn more about the culture. Paris was an amazing city to explore the different regions and serve as a good central location to travel to different countries.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community by going to different cafés, restaurants, shops, and street sellers and did my best to communicate with them in French. Furthermore, I traveled as much as possible while abroad and interacted with different people from each location to learn about them and the location itself. I also went into these interactions with an open mind and tried many new foods that were regional delicacies even if I was unsure if I'd like them. An example of this was in Marseille, France where my friends and I tried raw sardines which were a local delicacy that were recommended to us.

 


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Adrien Allen
Alumni Ambassador

if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?
I'd pick an internship abroad program, as I heard from internship students that it was a wonderful experience and a different way to connect with the local culture.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
Aside from spending time with my host family, I got involved with events in my neighborhood and met local students. I formed a friend group that was a perfect mix of CEA CAPA students, other international people, and locals. We got many opportunities to share and compare each others cultures.

 


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Jakub Svec
Junior Program Coordinator

As Junior Program Coordinator, Jakub Svec helps the onsite Prague team with various tasks in the Housing Department. Apart from helping to secure safe and pleasant housing experiences for students, he also helps with CEA CAPA Center agendas. 

Jakub is a lifelong student. He plans on teaching philosophy courses in the future. Apart from studying he also enjoys helping others discover their true passions and talents in the academic field. He has additional experience with hosting academic conferences at the Charles University, organizing various workshops and creating a welcoming environment for students.

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Emiliano Silveira
Student Services Advisor

As the student services advisor in the Rome student services office, Emiliano works with students, providing the best possible experience when it comes to their housing assignments. As a part of the Rome team, he also participates in orientation activities, collaborates with students upon their arrival, joins CEA-organized student events, and helps them with anything and everything else they might need during their study abroad program.  

Born in Uruguay, Emiliano holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master’s degree in human rights, peace, and sustainable development from the University of Valencia. Emiliano’s previous experience is varied, as he has worked in different areas such as finance, tourism, NGOs, and more.  

During his time studying abroad, he enjoyed interacting with people from many countries and cultures, which grew his interest in traveling and meeting people with different backgrounds and stories. So far, he has visited several European countries and his next travel goal is to explore some African countries and to visit every country in South America. 

Emiliano is a big fan of sports, mainly football, and he is a great supporter of the Uruguay national team. He also enjoys long walks with the typical Uruguayan “mate” and bike rides in different Roman parks like Villa Pamphili, Villa Borghese, and the Appia Antica.

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Shawn Coover
Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Shawn Coover is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, he oversees the development and implementations of policies, processes, and best practices to ensure CEA CAPA continues to be a great place to work. This includes consultation on strategic business initiatives, employee relations, staffing plans and recruitment, compensation and benefits, communications, training and development, and legal compliance. Most importantly, Shawn and his team work diligently to make sure that everything we do is true to the organization’s Core Values, Mission, and Vision.

Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA from Northern Arizona University. He joined CEA CAPA in 2018 and brought with him 19 years of international leadership experience, including eight years in Human Resources. His professional background also includes leadership experience in operations, project management, development, customer service, and purchasing with Honeywell, AT&T, and Belden Wire and Cable. 

An avid traveler, Shawn has traveled to over 30 countries.

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Karolína Havlíková
Junior Program Coordinator
Growing up, Karolína was interested in language studies and different cultures, which led her to Korean Studies at Charles University, where she's currently finishing her master's degree. During her studies, she had an opportunity to study in Seoul, South Korea, where she experienced how enriching studying abroad can be. Her experience sparked a desire to help foreign students study abroad – in her hometown of Prague. As a Junior Program Coordinator, Karolína works mainly in the Academics Department, where she assists with academic administrative tasks and is responsible for ensuring that students have the best academic experience possible.
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Ana Martínez, PhD
Academic Director, Barcelona

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA CAPA Barcelona programs. She reviews the curriculum and coordinates the development of new courses, reviews and maintains consistency of academic policies and practices, oversees the resolution of all important student academic issues, and provides support to faculty to guarantee academic excellence.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ana worked with another study abroad organization as a resident coordinator and faculty member. She's also held several university positions: Assistant Director of the Advanced Spanish Language Program at Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), Teaching Associate at Georgetown University and Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Spain), and Teaching Assistant and Director of the Spanish House at Middlebury College (Vt.). Ana earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University, which also conferred to her a Master of Science in Linguistics. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Antonio de Nebrija and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Philology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

Ana first travelled to Dublin, Ireland in high school and subsequently studied in London for four months. She also spent her senior year of college studying in Pisa, Italy and completed her graduate studies in Washington, D.C. She loves traveling and believes that understanding the world from different perspectives is the one of the most enriching lessons that students can learn while living abroad.

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Marek Neuman
Junior Program Coordinator

Marek helps with the organization of activities and trips to provide authentic local experiences for students. He also helps with tasks related to custom programs and housing. Marek holds a master’s degree in regional and political geography with a specialization in tourism from Charles University, and is interested in the effects of (over)tourism on cities and their inhabitants and proper management. He previously studied and interned in France, Spain, and Sweden. To gain knowledge of tourism in Prague he also works as a tour guide. Marek’s biggest passion is music. He plays the guitar and sings, and sometimes goes busking in the streets of Prague. Another big passion is working out and learning foreign languages (currently Spanish). Lastly, he loves reading and learning new (sometimes strange) skills (like juggling). 

 

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Sarah Everett
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
Studying abroad in Spain during my time in college is a bucket list experience for me. With my interest in sociology, I am consistently curious as to why people are the way they are, while considering the influence external factors may have upon someone's identity and livelihood. I hope to become more aware of different perspectives and approaches to life while immersing myself in Spanish culture!

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I selected CEA CAPA's Communication, Media Studies, and Tourism study abroad program in Seville, Spain because of the specific course offerings and my desire to develop more confidence in my daily Spanish communication. It was crucial for me to pick a program that allows me to earn upper division credit that transfers back to my degree. Further, after reviewing course syllabi, I was intrigued by courses such as, "Seville: Culture, Identity & Citizenship in the City" or hands-on volunteer work in, "international Service Learning: Society, Inequality & Social Exclusion," where I hope to become more connected to the community by learning through engagement. 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am eager to establish a new routine during my study abroad experience and encourage myself to strike a balance between planning and spontaneity. More specifically, the food, culture, and tapas scene in Seville excites me! I am also looking forward to participating in the various activities and holidays that are so important to the history and culture of Seville.

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love writing palindrome poems. Trying to make them coherent regardless of if you read the piece from beginning to end or end to beginning is a fun and challenging game for me!

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Darren Kelly, PhD
Academic Director, Career & Internship Programs

A Dublin native, Dr. Darren Kelly holds a BA in English and Geography and a PhD in Cultural Geography from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He developed and currently lectures on the Postgraduate Diploma in Further Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to lecturing, Darren worked in a range of community development and educational organizations in Dublin and travelled extensively. His interest in study abroad began at age 17 when he spent a high school year abroad in Oxford, Ohio. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in 2007-2008 at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Over the past 10 years, Darren has increasingly focused his work (teaching, consulting, and publishing) in the area of linking academic theory and field studies in international education and study abroad. During his time with CEA CAPA, he has developed a research interest in the area of intercultural intelligence and self-reflection as related to students’ personal and professional development.

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Alexa Porter
Alumni Ambassador

What was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class was my Spanish language intensive course. It gave me in-depth insight into vocabulary and grammar, and introduced several cultural concepts. I feel like I learned extremely applicable content that allowed to participate in day-to-day life around the city.

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
One story that I always tell people is about the time that our entire CEA CAPA group went with some of the local Spanish students to play soccer. I had so much fun spending quality time with people that I only recently met, and we all quickly became close friends. Seeing people outside of the classroom and finding activities that were enjoyable for all of us was so crucial to my overall study abroad experience.

 


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Nina Anđelković
Junior Program Coordinator

Nina is a Junior Program Coordinator. She helps in the Academics Department, and is part of the Health, Safety, & Student Affairs Department, ensuring the students' well-being and helping them have the best experience they can while studying in Prague.

Nina is from Serbia, but she grew up in Prague. She's currently working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts and humanities at Charles University and she spent a semester in Norway, at University of Oslo, where she gained first-hand experience with study abroad. She speaks Czech, English, and Serbian. In her spare time, she loves to explore new countries, watch movies and TV shows, and learn about animals and their biology.

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Xi McWilliams
Alumni Ambassador

What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
As a person of color, we are constantly discouraged to virtue out to seek higher learning opportunities. Going abroad changed the narrative that people like me cannot afford these things or that we should not seek out these opportunities. CEA truly helped me realize that there are multiple ways I could afford to study abroad.

What was your favorite study abroad class and why?

My favorite study abroad class was Medical Health Spanish. My professor was highly hands-on and always had some type of fun activity waiting for us every morning. The class was engaging and I was encouraged to consistently try my best.


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Monica Francioso, PhD
Academic Director, Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA CAPA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA CAPA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath, and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

 
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Pavla Hora
Junior Program Coordinator

Pavla (she/her) is a learning and development professional with additional experience in international relocation and customer service. She has collected many positive experiences during years of studying, living, and working in the USA, the Czech Republic, and Germany, and uses them to inform her everyday encounters as well as her worldview. Pavla believes that we all write our own story and hers has been pretty eventful and colorful so far. She enjoys sharing and listening and believes that meaningful communication is key to both professional and personal relationships. 

 

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Lauren Thorburn
Content Creator - Blogger

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
One of my favorite things is traveling the world and exploring unfamiliar places. I grew up in Africa and spent much of my childhood discovering Southern African countries, so I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before. I believe that traveling and going outside of your comfort zone is the best way to learn and grow. This is why I knew before even starting college that studying abroad was something that I wanted to do. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I  chose to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, because I wanted to experience a country hugely different from any other place I've visited before. Additionally, I knew I wanted to be in Europe as it offers the opportunity to explore surrounding countries easily, thus allowing me to gain an even richer cultural experience. The Anglo-American University in Prague also offers diverse courses that align with my studies, so it really ended up being an extremely easy decision to choose Prague!

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I think I'm most looking forward to two of my classes: "Prague Art and Architecture" and "Documentary Photography." I think my Art and Architecture class will really help me learn about the history of the city and give me the opportunity to explore different buildings around Prague with my professor and peers. My Documentary Photography class will help me engage with the world around me, not only in the Czech Republic but also in other cities I'll visit around Europe.

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I spent a week and a half traveling alone in Scotland last year! It was such a rewarding experience, especially because it was my first adventure as a solo traveler (something I plan to continue doing throughout the rest of my life).

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Guido Reverdito, PhD
Director of Strategic Initiatives
After a BA in Classics and a Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Guido received his PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Padua. He worked as a visiting professor in Classics at the University of Kansas in 1989 and for 16 years, he was a Lecturer in Italian Language and Literature on behalf of the Italian Government in Istanbul, Madrid, Budapest, and Canterbury. From 2009 to present, he has worked at CEA CAPA, where he teaches courses in social history of Italy and contemporary Italian cinema. He edited and translated several classic Latin authors, and wrote a History of Latin Literature in four volumes. Since 1989, he has been a film critic. His latest work is research on early years and production of celebrated Italian crime novelist Giorgio Scerbanenco (Giorgio Scerbanenco and the heart of darkness of Italian crime novel, Aracne, 2014).
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Mary Hines
Alumni Ambassador

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
Living right in the city was a great way to live like a local to me! We formed relationships with the shop owners and businesses around us and ended up hanging out with some of the locals. They told us about Czech traditions and made sure we always went to the fun cultural events around the city.

what's one story or important aspect you always tell people about your time abroad?
One aspect about my time abroad is that I went to a city I didn’t know not knowing a soul! I ended up however meeting some of the best friends of my life and we still talk daily. Don’t be scared to go study abroad without your friends! They may be waiting there!

 


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Petra Zavadilova
Junior Program Coordinator

Petra assists with maintaining and expanding the network of host sites where students conduct their internships. She guides students prior to their internships and ensures placements align with students’ academic and professional aspirations, while also serving as primary liaison between students and host organizations throughout the internship process. Petra has worked in operational and administrative functions with an emphasis on employee management for international companies in the Czech Republic and abroad. Recently, she handled immigration-related tasks for expatriates living or planning to relocate into the Czech Republic. Petra holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and, while there, earned All-American swimming awards. She is passionate about Spanish culture and language and spent time living and working in Colombia.

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Michael Woolf, PhD
Deputy President for Strategic Development

Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad.

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Dylan Richburg
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
They’re the Beyoncé of study abroad programs. The services they provide are absolutely unmatched and there’s no way you won’t love it!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE STUDY ABROAD CLASS AND WHY?
My favorite class while studying abroad was definitely the one on physical therapy. What made it stand out was the unique perspective it offered on therapy methods not commonly taught in the U.S. Exploring innovative Spanish therapeutic approaches and their developed technology was fascinating and provided valuable insights. Additionally, the hands-on experience of learning water therapy at the beach was an unforgettable bonus, making the class both educational and enjoyable.


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Talal Nizameddin, PhD
Academic Director, London
Dr. Talal Nizameddin is the Director of Academic Affairs at the CEA CAPA London Center. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, and Lebanon where he served as Dean of Student Affairs for 12 years at the acclaimed American University of Beirut. Talal has taught history and international relations courses for much of his career, with dual emphasis on Russia and the Middle East. He has a background in history and Russian foreign policy. He holds a BA from Sussex University and a PhD from the University College of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has written and published two books that are considered fundamental works on the making and transition of Russian foreign policy and its linkage with internal political dynamics in the post-Soviet era as well as peer-reviewed articles. Talal hopes to be able to utilize his long academic and administrative experience to enhance the strategic direction of the academic programs to continuously challenge and enrich the CEA CAPA student learning experience. As a global citizen, Talal’s travel interests have not waned, but he also enjoys simpler pastimes including playing tennis and good food.

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Louis Berends, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic Partnerships

Dr. Louis “Lou” Berends comes to CEA CAPA from Syracuse University where he most recently held positions as Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, and Director of Academic Programs under the Provost’s Office. Under Lou's leadership, Syracuse Abroad increased study abroad participation and is ranked highly as a national leader in study abroad. Lou has worked extensively in international education at U.S. universities and providers of global education since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in cultural and educational policy studies with a concentration in comparative and international education.

Additionally, Lou studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, UK), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), as well as in Rome, Italy, and has visited and conducted research in numerous countries. Lou is a first-generation college student and also comes from a low-income background and as a result is a strong advocate for increasing access to global learning for all under-represented students. Furthermore, Lou has presented many papers in various settings including Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the Forum on Education Abroad, and NAFSA (among others).

Lou’s recent publications include being a contributing author in the book from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) entitled, Mentored Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts: Integrated High-Impact Practices for Student Success (2024), and book co-editor with Dr. Kate Patch, SIO at Grinnell College, on high-impact educational practices, Undergraduate Research Abroad: Approaches, Models and Challenges (2020). Lou serves on Wake Forest University’s Center for Research on Abroad and International Student Engagement (RAISE) and is the current Chair of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Research Advisory Group.

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Tereza Štěpařová
Junior Program Coordinator

As a Junior Program Coordinator, Tereza focuses mainly on planning activities and excursions for students, ensuring they have an enriching study abroad experience. She also helps with the HR agenda and facilities management. Tereza received a bachelor´s degree in journalism and a master´s degree in North American studies at Charles University. During her studies, she spent a semester in Athens, Greece, and enjoyed the adventure of the international student environment which inspired her enthusiasm to help other students have the best experience possible during their time studying abroad. In her free time, Tereza is a passionate dancer and cat lover. She also enjoys traveling and hiking. 

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Avery Simpson
Alumni Ambassador

What is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
One story I always share about my time abroad is when my program took a weekend trip to Valencia. We explored a lesser-known part of Spain and connected with other students in the program!


How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I loved going to local cafes and getting to know people there!

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Maggie Fitzgerald
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Center Director

Maggie earned a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) and an MBA degree with a double specialization in Marketing and Operational Management from Universidad de Palermo (UP). She has worked for fifteen years in the hospitality industry in Argentina, Uruguay and The Netherlands, gaining extensive experience in luxury services, intercultural relations and teams management. In addition to her corporate experience, Maggie has always had a special interest for education. She has been a professor since 2007 in different Universities and Institutions for undergraduate and graduate students. In 2016, Maggie started up her own Marketing and Communication business, working with companies from diverse industries, helping them achieve their goals, grow and increase their performance.

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Cole Untiedt
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in Italy to meet new friends and see the world. I have always wanted to live in Europe, and I felt now was the best time to do so.

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose a Rome study abroad program due to CEA CAPA's Business and Psychology program. I also decided to study abroad in Rome due to the rich culture and history here, not to mention the iconic pasta!

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am most looking forward to traveling around Italy and seeing the rest of what Europe has to offer. I am also excited to explore my local neighborhood of Prati.

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I started my own photography company at age 16. Since then, I capture weddings and corporate events!

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Mike Punter, PhD
Global Director of Theater Education
Mike Punter is the Director of Theater Education for CEA CAPA, based in London. He teaches a number of courses in London including Theatre in the City, Witchcraft and Magical Performance, Writing a Play, and Theatricality for BFA Actors. He has also written the courses Utopia: Extraordinary Places and Where to Find Them and Communicate. Mike is a produced and published dramatist whose work has been staged and toured by a range of theatres, including Hampstead Theatre in London, the UK's National Theatre, Paines Plough theatre company and the BBC. He’s presently developing a new project for British television. Mike has a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies, an MA in Renaissance Literature and Drama and a PhD with a focus on magic on the stage.

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Brie Anne Dombrowski
Program Coordinator

Brie, originally from Maine in the US, has been living abroad since 2011. After obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Sociology she moved to Tokyo, where she taught English for 8 years and was very active in the international theater scene. In 2019 she moved to France, where she studied theater at the prestigious Cours Florent and intensively learned French. Brie has always been interested in creating connections and deeper understanding with and between the other members of our global community. In her free time she enjoys roller skating, creating art in various mediums, and spending time with her two cats.


 
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Andrea Custodi, PhD
Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives

As Dean & Vice President of Academic and Strategic Initiatives, Andrea Custodi, PhD, oversees evaluation and assessment, teaching and learning, and faculty engagement and development at CEA CAPA. She also serves as academic point on program development and direct enroll relationships with overseas institutional partners, and supports CEA CAPA's thought leadership in the field through publications, presentations, and work with our Advisory Board. Andrea comes to CEA CAPA with over 20 years of experience in senior leadership at education abroad organizations: from a small liberal arts consortium operating in South India, to Arcadia and IFSA's Alliance for Global Education, and most recently as Senior Director of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at CET Academic Programs. She also brings an extensive record of service to the field. Andrea most recently served on AIEA's Publications & Resources and Conference Committees; she has chaired The Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Committee, Standards Committee, and Outcomes Assessment Committee, and served as a member of the Forum Council, the Ethics Committee, and the Trained Facilitator Corps. Andrea holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from The George Washington University, with an academic background spanning South Asian religious studies, feminist, psychoanalytic, and critical theory, and international politics. She is fluent in French and Italian, and has lived, worked, or studied abroad in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Nepal.

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Anthony Gristwood, PhD
Faculty Chair, London & Global Faculty Advisory Council Chair
Anthony Gristwood is the London Faculty Chair and Chair of the Global Faculty Advisory Council. He has been teaching in higher education since 1994 and has specialized in the field of education abroad for the last 20 years at CAPA, the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Connecticut in London. He holds an MA, PGCE, and PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His current research and teaching interests include globalization, global cities, and modern London; politics, identity, and culture in modern Europe, particularly Spain; and the use of digital mapping in globally-networked teaching and learning. Publications include “Engaging with Self, Others, Space, and Place: Leveraging the Geographic Imagination in Education Abroad” (with Darren Kelly), in Brewer & Ogden, eds., Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: Critical Perspectives and Approaches to Integration with Student Learning and Development (Stylus, May 2019). Anthony is also a regular contributor to, and editor of the CEA CAPA Ocassional Publications series.

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Stina Dufour, Ed.D.
Dean of Global Programs and Academic Administration
Stina Dufour, Ed.D, is the Dean of Global Programs & Academic Administration for CEA CAPA Education Abroad. Dr. Dufour oversees CEA CAPA's study center-delivered academics to ensure alignment with U.S. higher education academic policies and procedures. She also manages the School of Record relationship, including quality assurance protocols, curricular approvals, and academic records fulfillment. Before joining CEA CAPA in April 2021, Stina served in increasingly responsible roles at the Office of Global Affairs at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. For more than ten years, she was the Office's lead contact with the University Registrar and worked closely with faculty from every Steinhardt department to co-create curricula at NYU's study centers and with other international partners. Stina holds an EdD in Higher Education Administration and an MA in International Education from NYU and a BA (magna cum laude) in Sociology and Scandinavian Studies from North Park University, Chicago. Stina entered the field of education abroad in 2009 and after living for several formative years in Scandinavia, and studying abroad in Jönköping, Sweden. She regularly volunteers her time with the Forum as a peer reviewer for Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad and authored a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators, 5th Edition (2022).
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Emma Hahn
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in Spain for several reasons! First, I had recently changed majors and felt like I had lost my drive to pursue a new career. I couldn't think of a better way to gain back my purpose in college than by exploring an entirely new atmosphere. Another reason was that I have a love for travel and the opportunity to travel and complete credits for my major was an offer I could not pass up. 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I’ve been studying Spanish and love learning about Spanish culture, so immersing myself in the heart of Spanish society and values would be a wonderful experience. Madrid study abroad programs checked all my boxes when exploring my destination options including fashion! 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am most excited to experience the famous Spanish food. In Spain, so many dishes are unfamiliar to me, and all the meals have a rich and flavorful story to go along with them. 

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to lift weights, practice yoga, dance, and raise awareness for mental health and wellness. 

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Lucey Savino
Content Creator - Blogger

Lucey Savino, a Marketing major at Sacred Heart University, is excited to immerse herself in Italian culture and expand her global awareness during a summer in Florence! She loves Italy and hopes to travel to Lake Como, Puglia, and the country’s beautiful beaches during her time abroad. Outside of her time in the classroom and at her internship abroad, she hopes to spend time adventuring around the city, sharpening her photography skills, enjoying traditional Florentine cuisine, and connecting with other students and locals. Check out Lucey’s posts to learn more about her Italian summer! 

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Veronica Gawin
Content Creator - Blogger

Veronica Gawin (she/her), a Strategic Communication major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, chose to spend a summer studying and interning in London to expand her cultural competence and life experience. She is excited to intern with The Manual London, an event production agency, and, as a self-proclaimed history buff, is looking forward to learning more about the U.K.’s history through her CEA CAPA coursework. While abroad, Veronica plans to explore London’s music scene, immerse herself in the local culture, find the city’s hidden gems, and keep a journal (in addition to her blog posts) to document all her experiences. Stay tuned as she shares about her time in London!  

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Jason Bliss
Content Creator - Blogger

Jason Bliss is a Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at the University of Pittsburgh. He decided to study and intern abroad with CEA CAPA in Sydney for a summer to experience different cultures and gain professional experience abroad to broaden his options and explore his interests for future job opportunities. Jason looks forward to his Sports Marketing class and, through his internship, learning more about working in the sports industry abroad. Over the summer, he looks forward to visiting as much of Australia as he can, making new friends, exploring the food of the many different cultures throughout the country, and seeing a few kangaroos! Join him as he shares his thoughts on his summer in Sydney!  

 

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Mariam Hassan
Content Creator - Blogger

Mariam Hassan (she/her) studies Biology, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and is studying abroad in London during Summer '23. She knew she wanted to study abroad before she even arrived at college and is excited to immerse herself in the culture of a new country during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Mariam is looking forward to her Comparative Health Care Systems class and learning about the differences between healthcare systems in the U.S. and the U.K., while also gaining an understanding of the U.K.’s workplace culture during her internship. While abroad with CEA CAPA, she also plans to tour the Harry Potter studios, travel solo, gain confidence, and explore the differences between London and Minneapolis. Stay tuned as she shares her journey! 

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Abby Spangenberg
Content Creator - Blogger
Abby Spangenberg (she/her) is a Chemical Engineering major at The Ohio State University. She knew she wanted to study abroad and immerse herself in Spanish culture ever since she began studying Spanish in eighth grade. She's interning in Barcelona this summer, and is so excited to see where her first experience abroad takes her! While in Barcelona, she hopes to make friends from around the world, travel to other European cities, explore outside her comfort zone, and find success and learn new skills through her internship abroad. Be sure to check out her posts to learn more about what she’s been up to! 
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Martin Brokeš
Prague, Czech Republic

Internship Program Manager

As Internship Program Manager, Martin maintains a network of host sites where CEA students can complete internships. He counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. He also provides support and guidance to internship students on-site.

He holds a master’s degree in International Human Resource Management from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. During his studies, Martin completed two internships in Russia and Taiwan, where he was facilitating cross-cultural intelligence workshops. He taught himself Spanish while backpacking in South America. Martin has held various HR positions in the corporate sector. His work assignments were in the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He has been involved in various NGOs and worked as a camp counselor at summer camps in the UK and Czech Republic.

Martin is passionate about psychology and philosophy, community development, education and facilitation, languages, and foreign cultures. He is a curious learner, explorer, swimmer, hiker, and meditator. Martin is not an artistic soul but likes to sometimes play ukulele.


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Christopher Edwards, M.A.
Academic Director - Paris

Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

* Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

* Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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Justine Mons
Grenoble, France

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Justine comes to CEA having worked at a student accommodation in the center of Grenoble. Through this work, with French and foreign students, she discovered her desire and passion for education. Prior to CEA, Justine studied English and foreign civilizations and cultures. She has previously worked as a buyer, a role requiring her to remotely coordinate with 50 other colleagues. These roles bring Justine into the Director position with prior experience in working with students, local stakeholders in Grenoble, and working remotely with teams to accomplish tasks.  

Justine has lived abroad in Australia but was born in Grenoble, and is excited about our CEA commitment to deepening student learning and engagement in the local community.

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D
Academic Director - Prague

As CEA CAPA Prague Academic Director, Lenka provides leadership, oversight, and quality control for all academic matters and serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding academics. At the CEA CAPA Prague Study Center, Lenka is responsible for faculty management, curriculum development, student academic advising, and for safeguarding the high academic quality of the program and adherence to academic policies. She is also responsible for maintaining strong ties with our partner institution, Anglo-American University, to ensure that program content and delivery meet the needs of U.S. universities and students.

Lenka spent a significant portion of her life studying in the U.S. and has worked in study abroad for over fifteen years. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, a master’s degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and German Studies from Lewis & Clark College. Her academic interests include democratization, Central European politics, and EU studies.

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Sophie Moore
Content Creator - Photographer

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in Spain because of the opportunity to be fully immersed in another culture. I always had the travel bug and studying abroad in Granada has given me the chance to travel and learn as much as I can in depth for a longer time. Understanding various places around the world and how people live is a life changing possibility that I couldn't pass up and I am so glad that I didn't! 

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
I chose a Granada study abroad program because I wanted a smaller, coastal city vibe compared to popular Spanish places like Madrid and Barcelona. Granada offers great, grand things like free tapas and the breathtaking historic Alhambra and a close-knit city feeling with the beautiful Sierra Nevada range in the background. Every time I come back from a weekend trip, I am happy to return to my home place of Granada! 

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
I am most looking forward to traveling on the weekends and longer breaks. I see how easy it is to travel between European countries and how effortless it is to navigate the train and bus systems. Experiencing different cultures in Europe is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so glad that I have the privilege of doing this! 

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I joined the Granada Ultimate Frisbee team! We meet on Mondays and Thursdays and have beach tournaments throughout the semester. Everyone on the team was super welcoming and it feels good to play frisbee with locals! 

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Eryn Kudzinski
Vice President of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

As Vice President, Eryn oversees and provides strategic leadership to the organization’s health, safety, security and risk management practices. Eryn works closely with CEA CAPA team members across the U.S. and internationally, as well as directly with our U.S. partner institutions, to ensure that our coordination of emergency response protocols is seamless and that our CEA CAPA staff is abreast of the most current health and safety issues in the field.

Eryn joined the CEA CAPA team in May 2021 after gaining 15 years of experience in international education at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), with eight years serving in a full-time health and safety role. Eryn also lived abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica, to gain hands-on experience with study abroad students in an international setting. She has also held roles in academic affairs and program advising in education abroad and has a well-rounded view of the many facets of our field.

Eryn is well connected in the field of education abroad and risk management and has collaborated on several presentations at the Forum on Education Abroad conference, holds memberships in OSAC, Pulse, and the Forum, and has co-authored several health and safety publications in the field.

If you have any questions about the development and coordination of CEA CAPA programs and services that promote student well-being, or questions about safety, security and risk management, please contact her directly: ekudzinski@ceacapa.com.

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Christopher Edwards, M.A.
Paris, France

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

Christopher oversees academic programs offered through CEA Paris. His responsibilities range from curriculum development to faculty training, as well as student advising and partner program oversight. He has developed an extensive working knowledge of academic approaches to topics ranging from world health care systems to global management information systems.

Christopher holds a Masters of Arts in French from New York University (N.Y.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Auburn University (Ala.). Prior to joining CEA, Christopher was an Instructor of French at Clemson University (S.C.). In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he facilitated study abroad programs for Clemson's College of Art, Architecture and Humanities, and directed a summer language program in Paris.

As a long-time U.S. citizen living overseas, Christopher thinks that "students should be increasingly aware of the monumental competition they will face in an increasingly globalized job market. Learning languages and developing an ethical and responsible contact with non-U.S. cultures through structured study abroad programming is one way in which to do so."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Facebook training for study abroad professionals, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2010

* Student travel abroad: ensuring your student's safety, APUAF Annual Meeting of U.S. Program Directors in France, March 2013

* Digital Video Conference (DVC) Presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Cotonou, Benin). Activism and the LGBT Community. June 2013.

Digital Video Conference (DVC) presentation, U.S. Department of State, Africa Regional Services, Paris, France (with US Embassy in Brazzaville, Congo). Study in the US. November 2013.

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Jodi Melichar
Vice President of Enrollment & Advising

Jodi is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the Enrollment and Advising Department. She joined the CEA CAPA team in 2006, as the Manager of US Program Services.

Since joining CEA CAPA, she has held a variety of leadership roles including Director of Pre-departure Services, and Vice President of Global Program Services. Prior to joining CAPA, Jodi worked for STA Travel serving as a manager for The George Washington University and Boston University branch offices. In addition to this, she spent four years leading tours in India, Nepal, and Vietnam for Intrepid Travel, an Australian-based adventure travel company. Through her studies in India as well as her own travel, and experience as an international tour leader, she learned firsthand the importance of thorough advising and pre-departure preparation to set the framework for a culturally rich and safe time abroad.

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Mary Alice Soriero, M.S.Ed.
Academic Director, Seville

As Academic Director of CEA CAPA Seville, Mary Alice’s role is to oversee the many facets to the smooth running of academics at the CEA CAPA in Seville – including program elaboration, syllabi development, and coordination of CEA CAPA faculty. Prior to administering CEA CAPA academics in Seville, she held a number of international work experiences. She was a USIA Fellow in Peru, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, and has taught English to speakers of other languages in Japan, Taiwan, and the US. Currently she is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University – Andalucia.

Mary Alice holds a MS. Ed in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Pennsylvania State University in East Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Japan and participated in short-term educational projects in Ecuador & Morocco. Through these global experiences she discovered the importance of engaging across cultures to meaningfully connect with the human experience in a global context. These gave her insights to revel in the the unknown and uncomfortable to not only build resilience, but also advocate for justice to promote equity amongst a wide span of global neighbors.

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Julia Miller, PhD
Academic Director, Sydney

Dr. Julia Miller is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Sydney Center. Dr. Miller leads the academic delivery of our programming and ensures the classroom experience is designed to support the health and safety of the students through the hiring of trusted faculty and supporting CEA CAPA’s strong, inclusive, academic policies.

Julia has been teaching in the Australian tertiary education sector for more than a decade. She gained her doctorate in Modern History from Macquarie University for her research in climate history. For CEA CAPA, Julia teaches Analyzing and Exploring the Global City, Australian History, and People, Place, and Culture: Environmental Debates in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. The latter course reflects Julia’s deep concern about our environmental future. At CEA CAPA, Julia has put in place the Sustainable Sydney initiative to build environmental awareness and encourage behavioral change. Julia lives in Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches—an area known for its coastline, waterways, and healthy lifestyle.

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Shawna Parker
Vice President of Communications & Strategic Engagement

Shawna has worked in international education and related fields for more than 20 years. As the Vice President of Communications and Strategic Engagement for CEA CAPA, she oversees all aspects of CEA CAPA’s communications and partner marketing. She has previously served as the Director of Marketing for World Learning, an international education and nongovernmental institution that is the umbrella organization for the School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate programs), and The Experiment in International Living. She is the co-chair of the NAFSA Rainbow SIG. She holds a degree in Political Science from Smith College. In addition to her work in international education, Shawna has experience in sales and marketing consulting and as a book editor, designer, and publisher.

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Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira, PhD
Academic Coordinator

Dr. Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira is the Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA Sydney. Previously, she worked as Lecturer of Portuguese and Portuguese Undergraduate Coordinator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) from 2016-2022. She served as Affiliate Faculty at the UF Center for Latin American Studies from 2017-2022, and as Director and Lead Instructor of the University of Florida Summer Study Abroad Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 2015-2021. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Florida in 2022, after earning her M.A. in Brazilian Studies in 2009.

Andréa has taught courses on Brazilian culture and literature, mega-events, contemporary Latin American history, race and national identity, Portuguese language, and Portuguese translation/interpretation. She designed and supervised student internship programs in the US and Brazil. For CEA CAPA, Andréa coordinates courses, supports students in academic matters, serves on scholarship committees, and manages Canvas shells. She also teaches Global Internships courses, preparing students for a global career.

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Peyton Rudolph
Vice President, Marketing

Based in our Phoenix office, Peyton oversees the CEA CAPA Marketing Department creating strategy behind partner and student engagement through digital and print channels. Peyton combines her passion for customer-centric marketing with her love for travel and continuing education to share compelling stories that inspire.

With 10 years of experience in the creative, digital, and sales space, Peyton specializes in digital and print strategy, campaign management, visual storytelling, and lead and revenue-generation for omnichannel marketing. Before joining CEA CAPA, Peyton led the fashion marketing team for an industry leader in the scholastic space, where she drove initiatives to elevate the student experience and grow partnerships with schools and universities around the globe.

Outside of work, Peyton enjoys filling her world map with pins, solo travel, snuggling with her maltipoo Milo, being on the water, and attempting to keep her houseplants alive.

Peyton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was a D1 cheerleader for four years.

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Karolína Havlíková
Academic Coordinator
Karolína is an Academic Coordinator at the CEA CAPA Prague Study Center, where she ensures students have the best possible academic experience. Her passion for language and culture led her to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Korean Studies at Charles University, where she is currently completing her Master's degree. During her studies, Karolína had the opportunity to study in Seoul, South Korea, which ignited her desire to help foreign students study abroad in Prague. As an Academic Coordinator, Karolína works closely with the Academic Director to provide faculty and students with the information they need to succeed in teaching and learning at the Prague Study Center. Her tasks include auditing and updating course information, maintaining the syllabus library, assisting with academic administrative tasks, monitoring course registrations and academic progress, and managing practical student services tasks connected to partner universities. Karolína's personal interests include exploring different cultures and languages, trying new foods, and reading.
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Darin Smith-Gaddis
Vice President of Academic Inclusion Strategies
Darin leads global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging policy development and implementation, ensuring that CEA CAPA delivers measurable growth in student access, and drives increased value for institutional partners across our portfolio of programs. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Darin developed study abroad programs funded by the US Department of State and built nationwide partnerships to provide scalable enrollment solutions for minority students at AFS Intercultural Programs USA. Darin holds an M.P.A. in Public Sector Management and Leadership from California State University, Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University. A Diversity Abroad Rising Star Finalist in 2019, Darin authored the NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad 5th Edition Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Education Abroad Office chapter, has served on the Global Inclusion Conference Global Student Leadership Summit planning committee, and is a frequent presenter on the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and education abroad policy. He serves as a board member for the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles California, and participated in study abroad programs to Brazil, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
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Aaron Yerkes
Vice President of Partnership Development

Aaron joins the CEA CAPA team after spending 19 years at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). He served the organization through a variety of roles, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Engagement, where he managed their nationwide recruitment team and custom program division. Prior to serving as the AVP for Institutional Engagement, Aaron served as the Field Director, Great Lakes Region and Enrollment Manager, where he was responsible for increasing program participation, growing the number of affiliated programs, as well as expanding the base of sending institutions across a 9-state region. He also served as the Senior Program Advisor for programs in the U.K. and New Zealand, where he actively engaged with students, parents, and advisors to educate them on programs that fit students’ academic needs, as well as exploring ways to remove barriers to make students’ dreams of studying abroad a reality.

Aaron is a graduate of Butler University and holds a BS degree in Finance. During his undergraduate experience, Aaron studied abroad in London, England at Birkbeck, University of London. His time abroad was so transformative for him that he wanted to devote his professional career to promoting life changing, international experiences to other students.

When Aaron is not advocating for students to learn abroad, he can be found planning his next travel adventure and spending time with his family. He is an avid hiker, skier, and golfer, and enjoys seeing live music and collecting vinyl records. Aaron is also very active in his community, engaging and volunteering with a number of organizations throughout his community, specifically with the Indiana Humane Society, Second Helpings, and Newfields.

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Debora Enyeart
Executive Assistant
Debora Enyeart is the Executive Assistant at CEA CAPA Education Abroad.
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Abby Kidder
Director of Internal Operations
Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Abby was the President and Executive Director for the World Ocean School, an organization she founded in 2001. After building the company to a sustainable level, she handed it over to a new management team and moved into private philanthropic consulting for a couple of years. While she still does consulting for nonprofits and individuals in her spare time, she took on a full-time role in the Office of the President for CEA CAPA in 2018. As the Director of Internal Operations, Abby works across departments and sites to support and guide the structure and function of daily operations. Identifying gaps, finding solutions to challenges, and actively managing change, she engages with all staff to maintain a strong foundation from which the company’s mission can be accomplished. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a master’s in Environmental Ethics and is still active on nonprofit Boards and within the Philanthropy community.
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Abigail Haley
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
For as long as I can remember, studying abroad has been a dream of mine. I have always been very independent and eager to learn, so leaving home in pursuit of a more worldly education was a no-brainer.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
As an art history minor, my study abroad city chose me. Paris, France is a global center for art and fashion, and I wanted to experience that both in the classroom and in person.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to quiet nights by the Seine with a baguette and a book! While I am excited to travel and study, my favorite part about going to new places is taking a step back and admiring the things that are easily missed by hurried tourists or distracted locals.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I was only 3 years old the first time I travelled out of the country! It took me another 12 years to go abroad again, but since then, I haven't looked back. Before studying in Paris I will have visited 5 countries around the world -- I hope to hit double digits by the time I come home!


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Abigail Heisler
Alumni Ambassador

What was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class abroad was Sports Psychology with Jose Carlos. Jose Carlos was the best professor I've ever had, and he truly cared about us. The content of the course was extremely interesting, and I can definitely apply it to my future career!

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
While I was abroad, I engaged with the local community through many different ways. I frequented the local cafes and markets, which allowed me to interact with people in a genuine way. Also, I attended sports games within the area, which allowed me to experience the true magic of a community coming together to root for a specific team! These experiences were amazing, and I am so glad that I was able to connect with the locals in Sevilla.

 


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Adele Bey-Smith
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE STUDY ABROAD CLASS, AND WHY?
One I loved negotiations. The professor was great and enthusiastic. I also loved how interactive it was and it was a class I was excited to go to.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?

I tried my best to eat at local restaurants and go to local shops.


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Aditi Sridhar
Content Creator - Blogger
Aditi Sridhar studies Film Production at the University of Pittsburgh and will be studying abroad in the CAPA London Film Program this semester. Aside from studying British cinema & film production as well as documenting the London landscape, she’ll be trying out food at as many restaurants as possible and finding places to shop. She’s excited to be more than a tourist in London and show you the wonderful opportunities and adventures that London has to offer!
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Adriana Kelley
Alumni Ambassador

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
I'll always tell people about the weekend trip to Loire Valley and all of the beautiful castles that we toured.

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I went to many museums to learn the history of the city and I enjoyed spending time outside walking the streets and seeing how people went about their days.

 


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Adriana Santos
CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've always loved to travel and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad gives me the opportunity to do both of those things while also taking classes and gaining a more global education.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Spain, because being from Puerto Rico, I knew I would still get to experience a totally new culture but I wouldn't have a huge language barrier. Barcelona seemed like the most interesting city because of its art, architecture, beaches, and overall lifestyle.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm looking forward to learning more about the culture in Spain and seeing all that Barcelona has to offer. Along with that, I'm excited about meeting new people and other study abroad students.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Other than photography, I love painting. I actually got more into photography when I decided I wanted to start painting my own pictures.


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Agustina Balacco
Assistant Program Administrator
Agustina Balacco serves as the Assistant Program Administrator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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Aija Bruvere
Internship Coordinator
Aija is a Careers, Coaching, and Positive Psychology specialist, and has worked in the student careers and internships space on two different continents. Aija comes from Latvia but has been calling Australia her home for 11 years. She has a master’s degree in social sciences and a graduate diploma in coaching psychology from the University of Sydney. Aija is passionate about travel and speaks five languages, including Italian and French. 
 
 
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Aileen Curley
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alba Segovia
Career & Internship Coordinator

Alba Segovia is a Career & Internship Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.

 
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Albert Martí
Infrastructure Manager

Albert Martí is the Infrastructure Manager.

 
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Alessia Robucci
Student Services Coordinator
Alessia is from Florence, Italy, and obtained her degree in foreign languages and intercultural studies. She has prior experience is in both tourism and education. Alessia is passionate about studying languages and communicating through languages of the world. She enjoys accompanying students to discover the most authentic aspects of Florence's region and culture.
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Alexa Van Os
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to meet new people and explore Europe while also building my resume! I thought the abroad internship was the perfect opportunity for me to grow personally and professionally.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Prague is full of history and is a centrally located in Europe to make travel easy. It is beautiful, and also a relative small area that I will be able to fully explore as a local in just two short months!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most excited to learn about the culture in Prague! I have never been in another country for more than a week so I am excited to live there!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I'm vegan!

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Alexandra Harbour
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexandra Isabell
Alumni Ambassador

How has study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has personally and professionally enriched me because it changed the way I interact with others and even the manner of my self talk. Going abroad allows one connect with themselves closer by observing their identity in a new environment. I learned how to engage with people different from myself, sometimes without sharing a common language! I learned how to respect others' space even when the definition of respect changes between cultures. There is so much I learned abroad that I carry with me each day. Most importantly, it is curiosity, compassion, and a love for people and art that reminds me of my time abroad.

 

Why Alumni Ambassador?

Honestly, because I can't stop thinking of Paris. I traveled from CEA in the Marais to Paris and home to the U.S. on May 11th, 2018. Years later and I still cannot be more grateful for my experience with CEA. I miss my professors and the material they taught with intention and passion. I miss doing something new every single day. Since my time abroad, I find myself speaking about the experiences and the cultural value I pull from them constantly.

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Alexi Ringler
Alumni Ambassador

What's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
Your host family really becomes your family. My host mom (and her two cats) made me feel completely comfortable and at home in Buenos Aires. She suggested what I could do after school to explore the city and ways to adventure both within and outside of Argentina. She helped me hone my Spanish tremendously and was so patient with me. I'm thankful for her beyond words. We're still in contact to this day and often exchanges messages of well wishes and share study abroad stories!

if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?I'd love to study abroad in Costa Rica with CEA CAPA! I'm eager to become fluent in Spanish and Costa Rica would allow me to connect deeper with the language and broaden my knowledge of different Spanish accents and dialects.

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Alexis Andreopoulos
Marketing Automation & Engagement Specialist

As the Automation & Engagement Specialist at CEA CAPA Education Abroad, Alexis is responsible for developing and executing B2C external messaging. In her role, she manages the scope of B2C external automated email and SMS efforts, spearheading promotional campaigns and facilitating student outreach. 

Alexis works collaboratively and cross-functionally with Marketing, Institutional Relations, Enrollment, Career and Internship Programs, and Program Development. By aligning external messaging with the overall marketing strategy and organizational goals, she ensures a cohesive and impactful brand presence in CEA CAPA’s external messaging. Her foundation in journalism, complemented by her experience at Times Media Group, where she reported on business and local culture and devised digital content strategies for College Times Magazine, brings a unique perspective to her work. 

Although Alexis didn't have the opportunity to study abroad, her strong connection to her Greek heritage through her father has instilled in her the importance of being a global citizen. She firmly believes in the transformative power of cross-cultural experiences and leverages that insight to create meaningful connections for students. 

Alexis holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, specializing in digital strategy and strategic communication, from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.  

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Alexis Di Stefano
Alumni Ambassador

if you could pick another cea capa program (besides yours) which one would it be and why?
I'd choose Cape Town, South Africa. I traveled to 12 European countries in the semester I studied abroad in Spain, and I'd love to explore the African continent, experiencing the different cultures that encompass it.

what's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
CEA CAPA bridges the outside world to traditional learning environments, recognizing that learning is best done both inside and outside of the classroom. They give us as students many opportunities to go on study abroad excursions and travel on the weekends with less coursework than most people expect. Their courses exemplify the learning goals by doing strategy, ideal for Cal Poly students.

 


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Alexis Jones
Director of Program Development Initiatives

As Director of Program Development Initiatives, Alexis helps to support CEA CAPA’s university partners’ internationalization efforts through the identification of program and course needs and the implementation of new program opportunities both by academic discipline and geographic location.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, she was with the University of Kansas for nearly fifteen years, where she served as the Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Retention for the KU School of Engineering and Associate Director for the KU Office of Study Abroad. As Associate Director, she led a campus-wide study abroad curriculum integration initiative where she worked closely with deans, faculty, and academic advisors in over 40 academic units. The initiative identified major-specific study abroad opportunities, produced advising materials and resources, and developed targeted strategies promoting study abroad engagement.

Through her own experiences as a study abroad student in Florence, Italy, and as an English teacher in Monterrey, Mexico, she has seen firsthand the value of international engagement and the positive impact it can have on an individual. As a result, she has worked throughout her career to educate students and faculty about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that can enhance their academic and professional growth.

EDUCATION:

  • MA, Teaching and Leadership – English as a Second Language (Univ. of Kansas)
  • BA, Psychology (University of Kansas)
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Alexis Miller
Content Creator -Blogger
Alexis Miller is a marketing major from Ursinus College and will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy this fall. She is ready to explore the culture and history that Italy has to offer. Alexis is most excited to see all the different parts of Italy and find some hidden gems! Join Alexis on her journey as she travels through Italy to find the best food and travel spots!
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Alexis Thomas
Content Creator - Blogger
Alexis Thomas is a Neuroscience and English Writing double major from the University of Pittsburgh. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to study abroad in London, England and is ready to learn more about what everyday life is like in this global city. Look forward to her blogs about the highlights of her adventures, classes, and more!
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Alexis Yvonne Prather
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
To improve my language skills and to see another part of the world.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am in the process of learning French, and I love the city of Paris.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Getting better at speaking French!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to read, travel, eat, and meet new people.


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Alice Corcoran
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alice Premeau
Graphic Designer
Alice is a graphic designer and illustrator. She was born and raised in Arizona, moved to California for school, then moved back because she missed her dog too much. In addition to her experience as a designer, she also worked as a cake decorator at Whole Foods for almost two years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and laughing at inappropriate moments in horror movies. She is passionate about dogs, Halloween, and classic rock. 
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Alicia de la Peña Portero
Academic Director, Madrid

Dr. Alicia de la Peña is the Director of Academic Affairs in the CEA CAPA Madrid Center. She is responsible for the administration and supervision of all academic aspects of Madrid programs including curriculum development, academic policies compliance, faculty training and students’ guidance. Alicia has worked in higher education for over 25 years, both as a professor and in different managing positions such as Director of Professional and International Projection and Director of Modern Languages Institute for Nebrija Univerity (Madrid) or Resident Program Coordinator for CIEE Madrid. She gained her doctorate in Education from Autónoma de Madrid University for her research on academic literacy, collaborative writing, and formative evaluation. Alicia’s educational background also includes two M.A. from Nebrija University, one in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language and another in Applied Linguistics, and a B.A. in English Philology from Autónoma de Madrid University. She was 10 years old when she had her first life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland; then Canada and US followed. Alicia strongly believes that experiencing different places and cultures is essential to gain global perspective, improve self-knowledge and foster personal and professional development.

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Alison Haskell
Alumni Ambassador

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
One important aspect of my time abroad was embracing the newness of everything and approaching every day as a new adventure. Whether it was going to a different location for class, visiting a new museum, or finding a new cafè to study in, each day holds a new adventure. Although it can be a lot of transition at once, accepting the newness and even seeking further to find new opportunities fueled the excitement throughout my time abroad.

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
One of my favorite ways to engage with local community while abroad was going to a local cafe around the corner from my apartment. The cafe owner became a good friend to my roommates and I, and he helped us to discover many things that Rome had to offer that we never would've known without the help of a local! Going to the cafè for coffee in the morning, or for an aperitif in the evening was the best way to meet Roman locals, engage in Italian culture, try new foods, and make friends!

 


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Alison Heywood
CEA Content Creator
Read my Blog!
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Allison Capasso
Student Advisor
Allie (she/her) was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, New York and graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication. While in college, she studied abroad in Oviedo, Spain on a Spanish language immersion program. Allie fell in love with Spain and travel and spent her senior year working as a Peer Advisor at Temple’s Education Abroad Office. She worked as a community organizer on political campaigns upon graduating, but moved back to Spain in 2021, where she taught English to preschoolers in Madrid and received her Master of Arts in Global Higher Education from the Franklin Institute at Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Allie wants to dedicate her career to helping students form life-changing international experiences. In her free time, she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, traveling, learning languages, and going to concerts. 
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Allison Woodhouse
Program & Student Services Coordinator
Allison is from Maryland. After finishing a degree in education, she moved to Berlin for two years, first as an au pair, and then as an English teacher. She studied abroad in London in 2014 and has always hoped to find her way back, and in 2018 she returned to complete a Master's in linguistics and education. After a brief stint as a primary school teacher in London, she joined the CEA CAPA team and enjoys helping students make the most of their study abroad experience.  
 
 
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Allyson Barnes
Content Creator - Blogger
Content Creator for CEA CAPA Education Abroad
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Álvaro J. Sanjuán
Internship & Student Services Coordinator

Álvaro J. Sanjuán studied English Literature, History and Linguistics at University of Oviedo (Spain) and continued his studies on Applied Languages at Dublin City University (Ireland). After being an Art History professor in UNIPEC in Burgos (Spain) he worked as Web Manager and Community Manager until he began to collaborate for several years as a tour guide with CEA CAPA Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Advisor in 2016 and Internships Coordinator in 2022. Alongside his work, he has conducted research on the history of the LGTBQ+ community and authored a book titled "Grandes Maricas de la Historia," which was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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Alyse Applegate
Alumni Ambassador

Why was your cea capa program the right fit for you?
My Prague study abroad program was the right fit for me because it was in central Europe, allowing me to travel to many different countries! It was also affordable allowing me to fund my explorations. It was a beautiful city with so much to do.

What was your favorite class while Abroad, and why? 
My favorite class abroad was The Golden City of Prague: Past & Present. This class took us all around Prague to explore all the museums. I learned so much by seeing everything in person, and I walked away knowing more about Prague than I ever imagined. Also, my teacher was so kind and took us out to lunch on the last day of class!

 


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Alyson Rutherford
Program and Student Services Assistant

Alyson Rutherford is a Program and Student Services Assistant at CEA CAPA London.

 
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Alyssa Pascoe
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
I took a class called "The Golden City of Prague," which was essentially an art history class. This was my favorite class because not only was the content interesting, but we also went out to visit sites we learned about in lecture. We went on field trips to museums, churches, synagogues, and other architecturally important buildings. I learned a lot and had a blast at the same time.

HOW did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I went to local restaurants away from touristy areas as well as a couple national events. One of those was Jan Hus Day, where everyone went to the Old Town Square and left a wreath on the statue of Jan Hus. I also went on some of the excursions offered by CEA CAPA to other small towns in the Czech Republic.

 


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Amalia Nichols
Alumni Ambassador

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community through my internship abroad. I really got to know my coworkers and got to see Madrid through their eyes and experience. Additionally, I tried to engage with the people I encountered during my day-to-day. I'd try to make small-talk at shops, just to immerse myself in the community.


what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
I loved Sports and Culture in Contemporary Spain. I've always loved soccer, and played it growing up, so it was interesting to see how sports, especially soccer for Spain, could shape politics and culture. The field trips to Civitas Metropolitano, Santiago Bernabeu, and Plaza del Toro were so cool, and I probably wouldn't experience them otherwise. I'd love to take it again now with how the Spanish women's team is doing in the World Cup.

 


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Amanda Chadwick
HR Coordinator
Amanda is an HR Coordinator at CEA CAPA based remotely in Miami, Florida. Amanda graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Spanish. Upon graduating high school, Amanda's father advised her to take a gap year and travel before resuming her academic studies. She decided to accept a communications internship position at The American University of Armenia in Yerevan, which was a life-altering experience that motivated her to pursue a career path in international education. Amanda subsequently pursued a year of study abroad in Madrid, Spain, during her sophomore year of college, where she interned at a small consulting firm, and developed a strong interest in learning about other cultures and their impact on businesses. Amanda enjoys going to the beach, traveling, spending time with her dog Stella, and watching Harry Potter movies. Amanda is enthusiastic about her career with CEA CAPA and eager to help bring communities together while making a positive impact.
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Amanda Platt
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Amanda Vecchio
CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San José 
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Amber Kettmann
Regional Director - Rocky Mountains

Amber has spent the last 15+ years in various roles within education abroad and was thrilled to join the team at CEA CAPA in 2021 in her role now as Regional Director, primarily in the Rocky Mountain states. Prior roles have ranged from student advising at two different institutions, as well as recruitment, faculty-led program development, institutional relations, and business development at international education organizations as well as student travel companies. She has been actively involved in NAFSA mentor programs, conference committees and presentations, and is a huge supporter of NAFSA’s annual Advocacy Day. Amber holds a BA in Clinical Counseling in Addictions from Keene State College in NH and a Masters of Leadership in Higher Education from North Central College in IL, where she was fortunate enough to spend some time in Brazil for work on her thesis on Cultural Immersion and Learning Outcomes in Short-Term Faculty-Led Programs. Originally from New England and a former part-time Alaskan, Amber now calls Colorado home with her husband and two fur babies and very much enjoys any opportunity to travel, specifically when it can involve a new brewery, the next culinary adventure, or any rooftop or mountain top anywhere at all.

 
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Amy O'Rourke
Program and Student Services Coordinator
Amy is from Ireland and graduated from the University of Galway with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2018. Since then, she has worked in several different sectors, from working with the elderly as an activity coordinator during the COVID-19 pandemic, to more recently working in business administration. Amy is a keen traveler and has been fortunate enough to travel and work abroad in Canada, Finland, and now Australia, gaining valuable cultural experiences and meeting people from all over the world. In Canada, she worked as a program and activity coordinator at a children's camp, and in Finland she worked in tourism. Amy is so excited to be a part of the CEA CAPA team and looks forward to the adventures ahead and welcoming lots of new students to Sydney. 
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Anastasia Hernandez
Alumni Ambassador

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class was Differential Equations, I liked this class because the local culture and history was taught during this class.

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
Go abroad with no expectations!! By going in with an open mind, you can find new experiences and enjoy your time abroad.

 


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Anastasia Kingsley
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Andrea Arias
Content Creator - Blogger
Andrea (Andy) Arias is a theatre major with concentrations in theatre education as well as performance. She will be interning at Synergy in London this fall. She is excited to immerse herself into the beauty of London’s culture and make long-lasting connections that manifest into friendships. While finding the balance between studying, interning, and writing CAPA blogs, she hopes to explore and familiarize herself with the city. Keep an eye out for her posts, and she'll give you a close look of what London has to offer!
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Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira, PhD
Academic Coordinator

Dr. Andréa Cabral Leal Ferreira is the Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA Sydney. Previously, she worked as Lecturer of Portuguese and Portuguese Undergraduate Coordinator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) from 2016-2022. She served as Affiliate Faculty at the UF Center for Latin American Studies from 2017-2022, and as Director and Lead Instructor of the University of Florida Summer Study Abroad Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 2015-2021. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Florida in 2022, after earning her M.A. in Brazilian Studies in 2009.

Andréa has taught courses on Brazilian culture and literature, mega-events, contemporary Latin American history, race and national identity, Portuguese language, and Portuguese translation/interpretation. She designed and supervised student internship programs in the US and Brazil. For CEA CAPA, Andréa coordinates courses, supports students in academic matters, serves on scholarship committees, and manages Canvas shells. She also teaches Global Internships courses, preparing students for a global career.

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Andrea Masini
Academic Affairs Manager

Andrea graduated from the Department of Literature and Philosophy at the Università di Pisa with a degree in the History of the Church. He subsequently earned a master's degree in Human Resources. Soon after graduation, Andrea worked as a social worker, focusing his attention on adolescents and the needy. He then moved on to the field of Human Resources in managerial development and hiring for a multinational company.

His many cultural interests (cinema, theater, art, music, and travel) and his varied work experiences have enabled Andrea to develop unique dexterity in communication, a strong sense of responsibility, and strong organizational skills. These qualities allow Andrea to cultivate and maintain strong social, working, and personal rapports.

In 2009, Andrea conceded himself a important "life experience": he left his native Italy to spend 18 months in Australia, where he traveled, worked in the hospitality sector, and took an intensive course in English. His experience abroad strengthened his mastery of the English language and offered him the opportunity to work in a multicultural and dynamic environment. Upon his return to Italy, Andrea found a place for himself in Rome.

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Andrea Vazquez
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have spent my life living between two countries. I loved being able to travel within and across each country, Mexico and the U.S., because I was able to visit new places, experience different cultures, and develop a special bond with each country. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to continue exploring and learning from everyone I meet wherever I go. I will have the amazing opportunity of immersing myself in another beautiful country with new sounds, smells, and sights to fall in love with.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Aix-en-Provence because it’s a city full of history and rich in culture. It is full of museums, festivals, and theaters. I am very excited about my days after school at the City du Livre.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I look forward to getting lost in new places and through this process, discovering new things and meeting new people. I look forward to immersing myself in French culture and language and making new friends. I also look forward to writing about my experiences!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have danced folklorico, traditional Mexican folk dancing, for ten years. I am also currently part of my university’s salsa group. I love writing, creating new playlists on Spotify (I can make you a playlist for any genre or mood!), and as can probably be noted, I love dancing.


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Andrew Mantone
CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San Jose
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Andrew McKenzie
Content Creator - Blogger
Andrew McKenzie is a Marketing major from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to study and intern abroad in Barcelona, Spain. When he’s not studying, he hopes to be exploring the city, absorbing the local culture, and enjoying all that Spain has to offer.
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Andrew Solem
Manager, Custom Partner Services
Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building & Construction Technology degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Arts in International Higher Ed. & Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Andrew has led students on education, service, and leadership programs to Fiji, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. He takes pride in knowing that regardless of the length of the program, students traveling with CEA CAPA will have impactful and transformative experiences. Andrew has years of experience teaching and performing rudimental marching percussion, traveling and performing across the country in front of thousands of people.
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Angel Valdes
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
An international internship typically challenges you with new material as well as a new environment. Despite it being a remote position, as I'll be interning during the pandemic, I'll still be afforded the opportunity to explore my career interests through a unique lens by learning from professionals operating globally.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
While I was open to placement anywhere that matched my career interests, I definitely had an interest in interning with Latin American companies. As a first generation Mexican American, I appreciate any opportunity to make connections with those cultures and make it necessary to deepen/expand my awareness of them. It would also be beneficial for me to become familiar with the workplace dynamics there. Having a genuine interest in the interpersonal culture of the country I'd be interning in is an important criteria for me to diversify the takeaways from my experience.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
The experience will be my first internship in a position entirely new to me... I'm excited to learn from the professionals! I'm in the explorative phase of my career development and am really looking forward to gaining insight that will build my confidence with the decisions I'll make moving forward after graduation.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
When I'm not blogging or doing the life and work things, I'm reading, drinking tea, and lazily moving a laser pointer around for my cats. Fun Fact: I love karaoke but sweat at the idea of public speaking, go figure!


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Angela Passalacqua
Alumni Ambassador

what was your favorite class while abroad and why?
International Criminal Justice. Since I studied abroad in Amsterdam, I visited The International Criminal Court which is impossible to do if I was anywhere else.


what's one story or important aspect you always tell people from your time abroad?
I truly met my best friends when I studied abroad with CEA CAPA. We still talk all the time and I'm so thankful that my study abroad program led me to them. We're all from different states and have different backgrounds but I truly felt like I met my soulmates in best friend form!

 


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Angela Richard
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My abroad experiences have shaped me into the college student and young professional I am today in more ways than one. My study abroad experience in Granada was the best time of my life. For seven weeks, I was able to step way outside of my comfort zone in an environment that, although new, was one of the most inviting places I've ever been to. I felt at home in Granada, and this feeling I experienced from the beginning enabled me to have an immersive, enjoyable study abroad adventure. I was able to gain experience working abroad in the field I am passionate about, and I was also able to make lifelong connections that have blossomed into enriching friendships. When I virtually interned abroad with an organization in Seville, I not only adopted a global mindset and realized the inherent differences between the American workplace and the Spanish one, but I also realized exactly what I wanted out of a position centered around business practices. I gained valuable experience and developed my skills in intercultural communication, professionalism, time management, and leadership. My study abroad and intern abroad experiences were both wholly unique and different, but they have both shaped me into the person and professional I am today.

2. Why should a student go abroad?
Going to Granada presented itself with a bunch of opportunities, all thanks to CEA. At home in Vermont, I'm used to taking six classes and working three jobs on the side. I'm also used to intramural basketball games and field hockey games, as well as being a club leader and participating in group activities that I love. I was worried about not feeling busy while I was abroad, which may sound a bit odd. But, being busy is what I'm used to and what keeps me motivated, so I knew I had to find ways to feel fulfilled while in Granada. CEA met all of my expectations and more when I discovered all of the opportunities I could undertake while studying abroad. On top of my five classes, I volunteered at two elementary schools. At these schools, I helped the students foster their English language speaking, reading, and writing skills through a plethora of activities, such as creating games to remember vocabulary and practicing speaking in a comfortable setting. I also volunteered for an organization called T-Oigo, which helps young children with cochlear implants and hearing loss learn English. I was fortunate enough to work with a wonderful, bright 7-year-old girl, and her family treated me like one of their own after just one meeting. These volunteer opportunities wouldn't have been available to me had it not been for CEA's commitment to providing students with enriching, fulfilling experiences in their host city. I'm so glad I decided to take part in them!
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Angela Richard
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study and to (virtually) intern abroad because I knew I would receive an incredible opportunity that would be unmatchable to anything else close to my home university and traditional work experiences. Studying abroad was something I always dreamed of being able to do, and interning abroad fell into place afterward. CEA's Granada program seemed to have chosen me after some searching for the perfect location to buckle down on improving my Spanish skills, and it only felt right to stay in Spain (Seville) for my virtual internship.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Granada because it's a small city in the beautiful region of Andalucía, Spain, a region that's often not as recognized as other areas of the country. Granada is absolutely charming and surprisingly affordable, and it offers great opportunities for authentic Spanish immersion, making it the perfect city for me to study abroad in. I chose Seville, Spain, for my virtual internship because I wanted to continue my abroad experience in Spain, especially in the southern region, which I found to be the area of Spain where I felt especially comfortable, confident, and eager to step out of my comfort zone.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to making lifelong connections, immersing myself in the Spanish language and culture, and partaking in things I've never done before. As a first-generation college student, study abroad seemed a distant, unachievable dream as I was making my way through the first two years of my university education. However, once study abroad became an option for me during the spring of my third year of college, I couldn't wait to go to Spain by myself and truly test the person I had become in a country I had never been to before.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I'm a vegan, basketball-playing, field hockey-mastering, hiking-aficionado who loves to read, cook, and learn about anything and everything. The semester before I went abroad, I started to learn French, and I'll let you imagine how that helped me once I arrived in Spain... I'm also the first student from Champlain College, my home institution, to study abroad in Granada!


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Angi Díaz Pérez
Senior Housing Assistant

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Angi worked in the tourism sector in different cities and countries, where she gained experience in the fields of housing and customer service. Angi holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism from the Universidad de Cádiz (Spain). She spent the last year of the degree studying in Portugal with the Erasmus Program. She also lived in Scotland for four years, where she learned English and had the chance to discover and learn from people from all over the world. She is a kind, friendly, and responsible person that loves travelling, nature, and outdoor sports.

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Anna Aman
Alumni Ambassador

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS WHILE ABROAD, AND WHY?
Most of our classes were based on experiences like climbing over 300 stairs in the Duomo or going to Pisa and Lucca to explore the cities. One class I took that was super fun was the wine class. We learned about all types of wine and where they are from. We also learned how to pair food with different wines and how to properly taste wine like an Italian.

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?
While abroad we immersed ourselves into the Tuscan culture by going to wineries, olive groves, restaurants, and tourist attractions. We spent most of our days out and about and speaking to the people of Florence. Some of my favorite parts were going to a gelateria and learning how they make their delicious gelato and making a traditional Italian dish in a cooking class.

 


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Anna Featherston
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Inspired by the ladies of The Cheetah Girls 2 in Barcelona, I have wanted to study abroad in Spain for as long as I can remember. It was always something I wanted to do but was a little scared to actually sign up for. As a senior, I finally decided to go for it, and I can’t wait to see how it goes!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I picked Granada, Spain for study abroad because it is unlike anywhere I have ever been before. I found the mountains and Arabic culture very intriguing, and I am very excited to see what it’s really like in person!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
During my abroad experience I am very excited to see and learn new things. I plan to do some weekend traveling when I don’t have class and hope to explore the surrounding areas of Spain!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Fun fact: I’ve been taking Spanish classes since 7th grade, but my time in Granada will be my first time actually pursuing it!

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Anna Galindo
Alumni Ambassador
1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

While I was studying in Dublin I had several opportunities to experience and dive into the local culture. One of my favorite things to do during my time in Ireland was to go to all the small local pubs and hear all the live music and in some cases even go out on the floor and learn some of the Irish dancing. Through this experience I got to connect with a lot of locals and really learn about the importance of their music and coming together as a community. Another way I got to experience the culture was whenever I would talk to locals I would always ask them what they recommended seeing or doing around Ireland which lead me to some of my favorite times abroad. There was one weekend my friends and I took a trip to the very south of Ireland to a little village called Kinsale and we hiked up to an old 1600's fort that was right on the water and were able to learn the history behind it and the significance of it to the village of Kinsale. Another conversation with a local in Galway ended with me learning the story and importance of the Claddagh ring and how huge the tradition is to the Irish people.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

Overall I would say that my study abroad experience has made me more confident in myself and my abilities. Before going abroad I tended to be more shy and hesitant in participating in different activities around campus. But since being back I have spoken on several study abroad panels to try and encourage others to go abroad, before going abroad I would have never thought about doing any public speaking voluntarily. I also have been able to make more international friends because I am more confident in my communication skills with international students because of all the practice I got while studying abroad.

Studying abroad also opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available abroad and how much there is to see in the world. Without going abroad I would not be looking into Master programs over seas and would not be as interested in International Business and Marketing as I am today.



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Anna Labay
Housing Advisor

Anna assists in all aspects of students’ lodging: housing search, maintenance issues, custom service and student support. She also leads and accompanies students during Academic and Cultural Activities and excursions.

Anna was born in Barcelona, earned a degree in tourism through the University of Girona, and speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Anna was the operations manager in a company that manages different lines of business as touristic apartments, a hotel boutique and residences for students and digital nomads located in Barcelona and Pamplona, on some occasions, Anna stayed in the residence of Pamplona working from there and sharing time with students from around the world and the study abroad experience with them.

She has also worked as a group leader for language students in Ireland and England and it was there where she discovered her passion for study abroad.

Anna enjoys surfing and trekking and has traveled around Europe and the United States.

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Anna Wojciechowski
Partner Student Advisor

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, my first taste of the world was through cruises with my family! My brother has played travel hockey for 13+ years so I also had plenty of long car rides across the country in my childhood. I knew I wanted to go to France in the fourth grade, started studying French in high school, and went to Paris for a semester with CEA CAPA in Fall 2019!

I stayed close to home, attending Northern Illinois University (NIU), where I obtained my Bachelor’s in World Languages & Cultures with an Emphasis in French and Francophone Studies. During my time at NIU, I also spent a month in Aix-en-Provence living with a host family.

When I am not traveling or working, I enjoy listening to podcasts and trying new restaurants!

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Anna Wojciechowski
Alumni Ambassador
1.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Studying abroad has reaffirmed my desire to move to Europe; however, at the same time, it has made me realize that there's a future for me in more than one place. I genuinely feel as if I left a piece of my heart in each place I visited and I would consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work in any of those places one day. CEA and my experience abroad has also opened me up to connections in multiple different countries. I feel confident that I will be able to make me goals a reality after I graduate thanks to my experience with CEA.

2. What do you wish you had known before going?

I wish I would have done more research about local places to go to. Coming to the end of the semester abroad and then finding all these places at once I wanted to try, I was not able to get to them all. I would say, if anything, it is important to be open to all opportunities and to constantly seek out new places to try.
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Annalise Pownall
CEA Content Creator
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Annelise Silkaitis
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love to travel and want the experience of living in a different country!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose to study in Paris because I have been studying the French language for the past few years and have fallen in love with the culture. I have previously visited Paris twice and love the history and vividness of the city!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
While abroad, I am most looking forward to improving my French, experiencing a completely different culture, and meeting new people!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Fun Fact: The Chainsmokers crashed my prom senior year of high school!


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Anne-Marie Howlett
Program and Student Services Coordinator, Internship Lead

Anne-Marie Howlett serves as the Program and Student Services Coordinator, Internship Lead for CEA CAPA Dublin.

 
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Annie Myers
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Annie Robey
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to be able to fully immerse myself in the Spanish language and culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I had always wanted to study in Spain, but I felt I should take the opportunity to explore a city I knew nothing absolutely about. While Madrid and Barcelona are equally beautiful and vibrant cities, I was most captivated by Alicante's seaside and Mediterranean architecture.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Being in a smaller city, I know that I will be given a greater chance to really dive into speaking the Spanish language in Alicante. I am also looking forward to the chance to expand my cultural awareness and to get more familiar with the history and life of the country.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love nature and traveling... hiking, biking, camping, etc. I love exploring the outdoors and finding hidden gems everywhere I go!


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Annika Sutter
Alumni Ambassador

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
My favorite way of engaging with the community abroad was going to various restaurants recommended to me by my host family. It really helped me feel like a local and get off the beaten path, while also helping me engage in the local food culture! I discovered so many awesome dishes this way!


What was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My study abroad experience was a little different than the traditional. I only had one class and I was abroad for a month, so I guess my favorite class was my conversations and culture class! We did so much, in and out of the classroom. Part of the class was going on day trip or cultural visits, and I learned a lot about French history and culture over the course of the month, while also improving my French language skills on the daily.

 


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Aoife Higgins
Program Advisor
Aoife ("E-fa") is from the south of Ireland, has been living in Spain for over eight years, and  now calls beautiful, sunny Seville her home. Her passion for international education began in 2014 when she studied abroad in Alicante. As a former psychology undergraduate, she has a keen interest in mental health and student wellbeing. Aoife hopes to combine her personal firsthand experience with her studies to best help and serve students during their time in Seville. She truly values witnessing the transformative impact studying abroad has on each student and feels very lucky to be able to work in this sector.
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Aranoa Roldan
Student Services Coordinator

As Student Services Coordinator, Aranoa is responsible for the organization of students’ arrival, orientation, immersion activities, and excursions, along with every aspect of daily life in Seville that helps students immerse in Spanish culture. She also coordinates the communication processes, resources, and health and safety services that CEA CAPA Seville provides for students.

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Aranoa worked for the Convention Center in Seville, as well as creating traveling initiatives and leading groups for different companies in the tourism industry. Aranoa obtained a degree in Tourism at EUSA and completed her education with a postgraduate course in Entrepreneur Initiatives from the Confederación de Empresarios Andaluces.

Aranoa has also studied abroad in England and lived in the US. For this reason, she is grateful to have the opportunity to help students grow when they are challenged by cultural differences during their study abroad experience. It is always rewarding for her to lead students into a better global citizen version of themselves.

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Ariana Britto
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
For me, it was never a matter of choosing if I wanted to study abroad, it was deciding where I would go. My mom has instilled in me a love for travel since I was little, and through the years I have found how much it has shaped me into who I am today. I chose to study abroad for everything it would teach me, and allow me to grow. I am excited about the coming adventures and memories throughout my time abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose to study abroad in Paris for various reasons. I never had a specific place I wanted to go but I knew I wanted to be in a larger city, and also be in a place where travel was easy. Due to Covid, I considered that I may need to stay within the country for some of my travels. France offers a variety of landscapes within its borders: city, countryside, mountains, beaches, fields, and more. Furthermore, France's central location makes it easy to travel to other countries when I have the chance. I also chose Paris because I was looking to improve my French. I took french for 7 years through middle and high school, but nothing will compare to learning it abroad while living in a country that speaks it as its primary language. Lastly, I chose Paris because I felt it aligned with my interests and career goals in advertising and fashion.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to the personal growth I will see within myself through this new experience and independence, as well as the people I will meet and the memories I will make in the coming months.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a Junior studying Advertising from the University of Florida. Besides my passion for travel, I really love trying new things, listening to music, and thrifting.

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Arianna Marchisio
Student Services Advisor
Arianna is originally from the North of Italy and moved to Rome in 2017. She has a background in education, especially with preschool-age children. She lived for a year in Chicago as an au pair and had the chance to travel a lot, both in the US and all over the world. After working for six years for an international au pair agency both in sales and customer care, she joined the CEA CAPA team in Rome. Arianna love cats, chocolate, and any kind of outdoor activity, and has a passion for photography. 
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Arianna Sanker
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to expand my knowledge and immerse myself in the British culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I wanted to expand my knowledge on the British culture. This is because I have heard many good things from my family and reading about it online. My nana on my dad's side is from England and says it is very beautiful.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to seeing the London eye, learning about all of the history that is in London including the art museums, the famous murders including the jack the ripper, and the train rides one of which is the Harry Potter London Tour.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a photographer I have been since high school. I also like to paint. I have multiple jobs that are fun including axe throwing, paintball, and an actor during haunt season. I am athletic, I play soccer on my college team and track and field. I love Disney movies, some of my favorites include Mulan and Lilo and Stitch. I have an interest in tattoos, I have a couple, hiking, the stars at night, fun adventures and just having a good time.

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Aron Finholt
CEA Content Creator
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Asha Swann
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
It has always been a dream of mine to travel the world, but I never had any chances. But finally, I realized that if I wanted to make my travel dreams come true, I would have to stop waiting and start acting. Studying abroad is the perfect way to gain incredible travel experience while also prioritizing education.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Paris because I have come to love the French language. Also, I want to learn as much as I can about this city and its incredible architecture, culture, and history.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
During my study abroad, I am most looking forward to seeing the historic sites around France. I want to see the catacombs, Notre Dame, Normandy, the palace of Versailles, and so much more!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
In my spare time I practice digital and film photography. I have a passion for media and I write for my school newspaper. Last year, I won my school’s Journalism Department’s Best Photographer Award!


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Ashleigh Litcofsky
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love experiencing other cultures. Also, I'm studying International Relations, so going to a different country allows exposure that will apply what I'm learning.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Aix-en-Provence is the city I chose to study in because of its culture, charm, and history. For an artist, the ability to see where Cezanne lived and worked is an amazing opportunity. Additionally, Aix itself is so charming with its cobblestone streets and old architecture. It's also exciting to be so close to the Mediterreanean Sea, as I have never been to the south of France.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm most looking forward to daily life in France as well as the weekends. I'm hoping to adapt to french life through things like the markets and language. On the weekends, I'm excited to be able to visit the surrounding areas of France as well as the countries that border it.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Some passions of mine are painting and poetry. I love to recreate landscapes and subjects on a canvas with just a paintbrush and some paint. Similarly, I love being able to use a pencil and paper to write my thoughts in an artistic way.


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Ashley Cialone
Alumni Ambassador
1. What are your tips for learning the language?

This is what I would tell prospective students: “I’m going to be honest. Studying in a new country where they do not speak your first language is terrifying at first. However, do not get discouraged. By far, the best thing you can do is stay with a host family. They will take such good care of you and teach you all of the colloquialisms of the language without even knowing it. You will be forced to practice the language every day, and it may be exhausting at first, but after a few weeks, it feels so normal. I would recommend going to the country with an intermediate level of the language already. That way, you have foundational knowledge and do not become overwhelmed. Taking language classes while you are abroad is also key because the native professors offer new insights that you would likely never come across in the United States. Intercambios are also very helpful because you get to meet locals and practice the language in a relaxed environment. The amount of conversational improvement you can make in one month is incredible. Imagine two or more months. Being able to finally say you’re bilingual is such a huge accomplishment.”

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Experiencing the local culture of Granada, Spain was one of my favorite aspects about studying abroad. I stayed with a host family, so I got to see first-hand the values and traditions of families in Spain. I also had to be very conservative of water and electricity use, and I even continued to be more conservative after returning to the United States. I would go out with friends or locals often because nightlife is very important to the culture of the people of Granada. We would go out for tapas, gelato, or go to a mirador of the Alhambra to enjoy the beautiful views and each other’s company. My friends and I also went to intercambio(exchange) events every Monday to speak with locals in Spanish and in English. It was also amazing to have professors who only spoke Spanish. They each shared unique insights and demonstrated their national pride. Speaking the language every day with professors, my host family, and my friends really helped me to immerse myself in the language and the beautiful culture. We also visited historical sites, like the Alhambra, to see the incredible architecture that was only a 20-minute walk from where we lived.
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Ashley Cooper
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Ashley Feiler
Content Creator - Blogger
Ashley Feiler (she/her) is studying English Writing and Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh and is incredibly delighted to be studying abroad for six weeks this summer in Florence, Italy. She can’t wait to work on her Italian language skills while getting a taste of the history and culture so deeply woven into the city of Florence, sharing her experiences along the way. Check out her blog posts to learn more about this amazing city as well as some of Ashley’s study abroad tips!
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Ashley Hiers Ganes
Regional Director - Southeast

Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ashley worked for the Consortium for Global Education, a faith-based, international education organization based in Atlanta. From 2013-2015, she lived in Nigeria doing logistics work for a missions organization, an experience that greatly contributes to her passion for international education. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Ashley has had the joy of working with institutions in the Southeast United States as Regional Director with CEA CAPA since 2017. Ashley holds a degree in Business Management from Southeastern University and an MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University. In her non-working time, she can often be found road-tripping to visit family or friends, hiking, or eating the world’s most delicious food, pizza.

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Ashton Troxel
Custom Program Developer

As a member of the Custom Programs Team, Ashton Troxel, works closely with Institutional Relations and CEA CAPA’s International Teams to develop custom programming that meets the needs of partners and students. Ashton earned an MA in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. During her undergraduate years, Ashton studied abroad in Orléans, France and double majored in International Studies and French. Prior to joining CEA CAPA, Ashton spent four years in an education abroad office at the University of Michigan where she collaborated with faculty on international programs and advised students. Ashton is committed to making international education a more diverse and accessible space. As such, she challenges practitioners to think critically about program models, application procedures, and intent when developing programs. In 2020, Ashton joined the NAFSA Region V team as the conference planner and is currently the Chair of Region V. On the weekend, you’ll find Ashton walking her dogs, reading, and trying new recipes. Outside of Europe, Ashton has spent time traveling in India.

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Aubrey Covino
CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've always loved traveling and interacting with people from different cultures. In 2017 I went backpacking across nine different countries in Europe with my older sister. I absolutely fell in love with the rich history, architecture, and scenery of each city. Venice, Copenhagen, and the countrysides of Ireland and Portugal were definitely my favorite destinations. Ever since that trip, I made it my mission to study abroad because traveling is the one thing that truly excites me. I am nervous but enthusiastic about sharpening my language skills in Spain! It's definitely the experience of a lifetime!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I've been to Barcelona twice and visited a small Spanish beach town on the Costa Brava called Blanes. I highly recommend visiting as there are private coves and crystal clear water! As wonderful as those places were, I didn't truly feel like I experienced Spain because of their Catalan influences. I knew that Madrid would be a superior choice for my study abroad because I could better utilize my Spanish-speaking skills. Believe it or not, the Netflix shows "La Casa de Papel" and "Élite" also influenced my decision! I was absolutely drawn to Madrid.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
As mentioned, I've always loved different cultures. I am looking forward to making friends from all over! When my mom was in high school, an exchange student from Italy stayed with her, and to this day, they are still best friends. I will be seeking friendships like that. Additionally, I am also looking forward to taking weekend trips to Rome and Zurich. They've been on my bucket list for years and I have to go while I'm only a two-hour flight away... gotta love those cheap RyanAir flights! I've always said that if the US had a similar airline I'd be gone every weekend exploring new places :-)

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
In high school, I participated in a photography club and some of my photos went on to win state. Throughout college though, my passion has declined. I love street style and landscape photography the most, and my inspiration often fails when it feels that I've seen all of my city already, hah. While in Madrid, I know that the city will reignite the creative spark in me. I'm excited to discover some new muses. Also during the peak of the pandemic in summer 2020, I lost my job as many others did too. To earn some extra cash, I started a neighborhood business selling charcuterie boards. They are a huge success! People can definitely tell that making boards isn't just a job for me; it's a creative outlet. I love taking inspiration from Spanish and Italian dishes and creating charcuterie boards with unique designs and holiday themes.

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Austin Maeby
Alumni Ambassador

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
I loved my photography class even though I still will never understand why art professors are so picky I loved the class. We would go out on field trips to different markets and got to see so much more of Costa Rica. Taking photography gave me a deeper dive into the culture. I feel like I got a better experience then everyone else because of it.

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
Don't be scared to travel alone. I knew no one leaving my airport and came back with eight more friends. Don't be scared to travel because you'll find your people.

 


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Ava Manelis
Alumni Ambassador

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
The months that I studied abroad and traveled the world, I visited 11 countries in four months, with my best friends!

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I got coffee or meals with Spanish locals throughout my time abroad and interacted with and learned from my teachers, who all lived in Spain and other places in Europe throughout their lives.

 


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Avalon Aloia
Content Creator - Blogger
Avalon Aloia studies Strategic Communication and Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder in hopes of becoming a fashion journalist one day. She is thrilled to have the opportunity of a lifetime to live in Florence, Italy and plans to explore outside of her comfort zone by trying new foods, seeing new places, and meeting tons of new people. Besides focusing on studying, Avalon also wishes to expand her dream of fashion writing by learning and embracing how fashion is expressed abroad. Follow along to see her tips and tricks as she studies and travels throughout Italy!
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Avery Thompson
Alumni Ambassador

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class was International Finance. As a finance major with a passion for intercultural communication, I feel as if this was the perfect combination of my passions and interests. I learned so much about international economies, and I'm thrilled that I did this while in an international setting.

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
While studying abroad in Barcelona, I engaged with the community through doing more local-based activities to meet as many locals people as possible. This ranged from Sunday farmers markets, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or even doing an all-Spanish yoga lesson in Park Ciutadella. These experiences all contributed to learning and speaking to the community of Barcelona, and it was the most rewarding experience.

 


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Bárbara Rubio
Senior Career & Internship Coordinator

Bárbara Rubio is the Senior Career & Internship Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.

 
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Beatriz Rovira
Housing Advisor

Bea is responsible for creating the best experience for CEA CAPA students while in Barcelona. As part of the Student Support Team, she focuses on student accommodation, ensuring the commitment and enthusiasm of our host families as well as the quality and suitability of our apartments and residencias. Bea provides students with the assistance and guidance they need to become familiar with their new surroundings and adapt to life within a new community.

Bea earned a degree in tourism through the University of Barcelona. She has worked in a holiday apartment company and participated in internships in the hotel industry in Barcelona and in the Costa Brava in Girona, and as the coordinator for summer programs for international students in Barcelona. She has also organized academic year programs and summer camps abroad for Catalan students, mainly in the U.S., England, and Ireland.

After her positive experience abroad in a boarding school in Ireland, Bea recommends students be open to a different culture and gain the most of the each unique moment.

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Belén Gómez
On-Call Assistant
Belén Gómez serves as an On-Call Assistant at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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Benjamin Schaffer
Alumni Ambassador

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I attended events run and largely consumed my Madrileños. For example, on Sundays, I went to Madrid's biggest thrift market, El Rastro, and interacted with the vendors and tried to speak with them and ask them questions about what they sold. Also, I interacted with my taxi drivers, waiters, etc. and asked for recommendations on their favorite parts of Madrid.

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class abroad was my modern art and architecture in Spain class. It is great to learn about a cultural aspect of the city that you are studying in. We also got to have some hands-on learning and go to famous museums in Madrid to study the art in person which was an amazing experience.

 


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Benjamin Scribner, PhD
Academic Director, Rome
Ben received his doctoral degree in communications in 2013 at La Sapienza University of Rome. His thesis concerned the construction of national space in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He came to Rome with an MA in Sociology from the University of Oregon (1998) where his areas of focus were Political Economy, Social Inequality and the Sociology of Gender. He lectured at John Cabot University from 2014 to 2023, teaching courses in Intercultural Communication, Gender Studies and Sociology.  He previously taught at Southwestern College in Chula Vista and San Ysidro, CA, Emerson College in Boston, and worked as a teaching assistant in Psychology and Human Sexuality at Harvard University.  Ben enjoys cycling to work and photographing Rome with 35-millimeter film cameras. 
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Benjamin Sidney
Career & Internship Programs Coordinator
Ben was born and raised in Florence, Italy. He comes from a family of musicians, and in addition to playing guitar and other musical instruments, he is a professional photographer and filmmaker. Filmmaking led Ben to discover teaching and he finds great satisfaction in working with students. He also has an interest in history, which he studied at university. Ben enjoys traveling and getting to know other cultures.
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Betsy Kaplan
CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Arizona
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Blanca Alvarez
Senior Academic Advisor

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Blanca works across different fields at CEA CAPA, including academic administration, teaching Spanish, and coordinating cultural activities. The combination of these three things allows Blanca to explore and develop her main passions: culture, arts, and languages.

Blanca was born in Salamanca, Spain, where she graduated from the University of Salamanca in English Philology and Art History. After finishing her degrees, she decided to pursue her education in Barcelona, where she earned a master’s degree in Art and New Media Curatorship at ESDI (Barcelona), qualification issued by Ramon Llull University.

Before Blanca joined CEA CAPA, she worked freelance in the cultural world for institutions such as Arts Santa Monica (Barcelona) and in the studio of the international artist Antoni Muntadas. She also taught Spanish to foreigners and designed cultural activities to connect them to the Spanish culture.

Her main interests lie in all the expressions of the artistic and cultural world, reading, cinema, and travelling around the world, when she has the chance. She also likes to design and curate art exhibitions, a hobby she combines with her present job.

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Bonnie Cash
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Bonnie Tarrant
Partner Program Manager

 

Bonnie is a Partner Program Manager at CEA CAPA. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Richmond The American University in London and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Endicott College where studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and London, United Kingdom. She has spent her intervening years between school and coming to CEA CAPA traveling and working in the public health sector. Bonnie’s favorite part of being a Partner Program Manager is helping students experience a life-changing semester abroad just like she did.

 

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Brendan Casavant
Student Advisor

Brendan is originally from Maine but joined CEA CAPA after working several years of customer service remotely and teaching abroad in Spain. He has a strong passion for education and international travel.

Brendan is an avid sports fan, stays active hiking and golfing, and enjoys seeing live music.

 

 
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Brendan Mariles
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course abroad?

My favorite course abroad was the History of Architecture because each week was a new experience and understanding of the city. My instructor was extremely helpful and always energetic which added to the learning experience. Each class really felt like a field trip and was always a way of getting us to go to a new part of the city we might never had come across. Having the opportunity to walk through history learning about the importance and impact French architecture had on the world was special. The best part of the course was all the bits and pieces books, or tours don’t tell you about, small secrets hidden within the architecture. The out of classroom interaction definitely helped with my overall approach on taking field notes and analyzing my surroundings too. If I ever have the opportunity to take a course like that again I would in a heartbeat.

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?
I’ve wanted to become an alumni ambassador because of the tremendous impact my experience gave me, and I’ve wanted my own friends to have that same experience. Since my time abroad I can say that I've grown as a person and experienced so many unique situations which will stay with me for the rest of my life. Additionally, the relationships and friendships that I made while abroad have lasted to this day and I'm so grateful we can meet up and check in on each other to see how we're doing. After my semester abroad in France, I thought about how I could give back to my school and influence the students there to reach out and take initiative on learning new cultures. I started out by volunteering at my schools abroad fair, talking with students about my own experience and sharing my stories in Europe which could fill an entire book. I love talking with students about the opportunities and programs CEA offers because it truly is a life changing experience.

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Brendan Walsh
IT Systems Administrator

Brendan Walsh is an IT Systems Administrator at CEA CAPA London.

 
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Brianna Bentler
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to intern abroad because I want to challenge myself to collaborate and learn from different cultures. One day I want to work within the business world on an international level. I knew taking on an international internship this summer would be a fantastic opportunity to prepare myself to work in business at the international level.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose to intern in Dublin because I have always been fascinated by Dublin’s history. In addition, it has been my dream to visit Dublin. Although my internship this summer is virtual, my goal is to travel there to see the people I have met in the CEA program and worked for after completing my internship.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to improving the workforce’s essential skills, leaving the internship experience with a broader perspective of working internationally and creating long-lasting relationships. I want to apply what I have learned from this unique experience when I go back to school, wherever I’m employed, and beyond.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have always had an enormous love for watching and playing sports. In particular, my favorite sports to watch are football, baseball, basketball, and golf. I am a very passionate St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Iowa Hawkeyes fan. I also love to play any sport that’s out there.

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Brianna Boynton
CEA MOJO Blogger

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY/INTERN ABROAD?
I chose to study abroad because I love to learn about anything. One of my favorite things learn about is other people and cultures, so studying abroad was the obvious choice for me. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR STUDY/INTERN CITY?
The short answer is because everyone from my school goes to Spain. The long answer is because I think Latin America is underrepresented in education, and I really wanted to become more informed about the culture and the history of the area. I know that Argentina and South America as a whole has a rich history, and I wanted to learn more about it and its people. 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO DURING YOUR ABROAD EXPERIENCE?

I'm looking forward to travel around South America. The classes are going to give me a good understanding of the history and politics, but traveling like that will give me an entirely different perspective. 

FUN FACT (HOBBIES, INTERESTS, ACCOMPLISHMENT, ETC.)?

When I'm not writing, I run my school's local roller derby team and I play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends on weekends. 

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Bridget Murphy
Alumni Ambassador

whY WAS YOUR CEA CAPA PROGRAM THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?
Buenos Aires was a great fit for me because I love the culture of Latin America and Buenos Aires is such a unique, beautiful city. I wanted to improve my Spanish, and I definitely did by going to an Argentine institution, taking classes in Spanish, and living with a host mom. I loved my host mom and met so many cool people and I also got to travel around Argentina, which has incredibly diverse landscapes.


What's one THING ABOUT CEA CAPA YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW?
The staff are so helpful and it's nice to connect to such an involved program when you study abroad. It helps you feel more comfortable from the start knowing you have a center with staff to welcome you and support you through any cultural shock, homesickness, or language challenges you might experience.

 


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Bridgette Larsen
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've always wanted to study abroad. Beginning from the time I was little, seeing college students embark on a crazy journey to a foreign country seemed like an adventure you can only watch in a movie or read in a really good book. Now, it's really happening! Studying abroad is like writing, acting, and producing an action-thriller movie of my very own!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
You would typically think that anybody who is studying abroad in France would be studying in the country's capital. Well, I've never been somebody who follows the normal methods of living. I chose to study in Antibes, France, at the Skema Business School because of the amazing culture in the south of France. Here, I am able to venture out of my comfort zone and witness the amazing opportunities that France has to offer!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am mostly looking forward to the adventure aspect of studying abroad. More specifically, I look forward to making lifelong friends as well as exploring Europe, and most importantly, I'll have stories to bring back home with me when I return to the States!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I absolutely LOVE to thrift. Finding old things in a store like artwork, clothing, and even books is so interesting. It's like diving into history without paying museum entry fees!


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Brittany Licitra
CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I think it is very important to get a global perspective and push yourself out of your comfort zone, which is why I choose to study abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I choose to study abroad in Prague in the Czech Republic because of how beautiful it is. I have wanted to go to Prague since my freshmen year of college because I was inspired by friends of mine that went to Prague. It also is a more unique place to study abroad which means that you get a different experience from others.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to exploring Prague and all the wonders that it has to offer. I also am really excited to get to travel around Europe and see lots of different places.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have an identical twin sister who goes to Chapman University and plays lacrosse. Another fun fact is that both my sister and I can juggle.


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Brooke Begich
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Brynn Trevizo
Student Support Specialist
Brynn Trevizo is the Student Support Specialist located at CEA CAPA's headquarters in Phoenix, AZ. She supports the Enrollment team by owning and managing specific projects such as visa processing, document collection, and the acceptance and confirmation process. Before joining CEA CAPA Brynn was living in New Zealand for 3 years and worked at the New Zealand Tertiary College as a Student Support Coordinator. Brynn holds a B.S. in Psychology from Salisbury University located in Maryland. She studied abroad in London and Paris during her junior year of college. She also lived in Northern Italy the summer before her senior year of college working as an English language tutor. From these experiences she grew a passion for supporting other young adults in going abroad to gain their own valuable life experiences, unique memories, and personal growth.
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Caelin Seng
Partner Student Advisor

Caelin is a Partner Student Advisor for the CEA CAPA study center programs. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of New Hampshire. She studied abroad in Granada, Spain and participated in an internship in Sydney, Australia through CEA CAPA. She started her career as a Spanish teacher in southern New Hampshire where she enjoyed sharing her knowledge of Spanish language and culture with her students. In her current role, she loves knowing that she is preparing her students to have an enriching experience abroad.

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Caitlyn Wilde
Content Creator - Blogger
Caitlyn Wilde is a Digital Media Communications major at Anderson University, in Anderson, SC. She is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland this spring 2023. She is most excited about creating lifelong connections and diving headfirst into the rich Irish culture of Dublin. When she is not studying or attending classes, Caitlyn wants to tour as many wedding venues as possible, try all of the different cuisines, and visit all the museums the city has to offer. Check out her posts to follow along with her journey and learn more about Dublin!
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Caley Griebenow
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I knew I wanted to study abroad during my time in college. I'm so excited to see another part of the world and really expand my worldview. Living far from home is equally scary and exhilarating!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Prague checked all the boxes for me: major European city (hello travel-filled weekends), the program had offered the classes I still need, and it's stunning all year round.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Meeting new people and making unforgettable memories as I explore new places.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I write for my school's fine arts magazine, I have a dog with one eye and I'm related to Jimmy Fallon.


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Cam Andreae
Content Creator - Blogger
Cam Andreae is a Marketing major at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, who is studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. He will be taking you along his experience through his TikToks this spring 2023. He is excited to immerse himself in Australian culture and is looking forward to experiencing all that the country has to offer. Aside from studying, Cam hopes to spend a lot of time exploring Sydney, hanging at the beach, and getting involved in the local community. Be sure to check out his content to learn more about his experiences in Sydney!
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Cameron ten Napel
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've lived in the same suburb of Texas my entire life and have always had a desire to immerse myself in a completely different culture from mine. Studying abroad was an opportunity to do that while also getting my education, and the benefits of going abroad in your early twenties are unmatched.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I wanted a place where I could find it all - beach, city, mountains, etc. The French Riviera is the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and the culture of the South of France is so dreamy. Antibes has the small-town, laid-back energy that I love, while also being centrally located near all the other European locations I hope to visit in my time abroad.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
During my abroad experience, I'm most looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone in many different ways. Through a new language, a new city, a new school and new systems, I'm certain there will be countless uncomfortable moments, and that excites me. I can't wait to look back on my growth throughout this semester. Nothing grows in comfort zones!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love all things aesthetically pleasing. Coffee shops, charcuterie boards, neutral colors, stationery, etc. The little things are the most important to me and spark unnecessary amounts of joy.


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Camille Thompson
Alumni Ambassador

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
While abroad I engaged with the local community everyday whether it was stopping for coffee or just an interaction on a street in Seville. By being fully emerged in the local community I experienced first hand what it meant to live abroad.

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
When talking about my study abroad experience, I always talk about how it was one of the most scariest decisions I've ever made. Hopping on a plane to another country, not knowing anyone going can't get more scary than that. However when I arrived to Spain, I immediately knew I made the right decision because just about everyone was in the same boat as me. The friends I made throughout my time abroad was one of the best things that ever happen to me and I'm lucky I got to experience so many things with them.

 


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Cammi Paladino
Alumni Insider
1. Why should a student go abroad?
Although my time was cut short, I loved the culture, people and atmosphere within Barcelona. I loved traveling each weekend and I loved the vibrancy of the city and area, especially the night life and sites. I loved how comfortable and at home I felt, as I was able to really navigate and explore all the wonderful things that Barcelona as to offer. The food was definitely a highlight as well and something that I loved documenting throughout my study abroad experience! Above all, I loved all my teachers at CEA and I really grateful for their kindness, dedication and support throughout my time abroad; it really made my experience a whole lot better!

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was Photo Journalism, with Professor Fred Anderson. I enjoyed this course the most because it was the most unique and valuable class I have ever taken. It pushed me outside of comfort zone, especially because I am a psychology major, and it educated me so much more than I could have ever hoped to learn about photo journalism. Every class was meaningful, challenging, exciting and memorable! I would definitely recommend this class to anyone in the future!
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Cara Pizzorusso
Content Creator - Blogger
Cara is the Marketing Coordinator at CAPA, as well as an alum of the CAPA Sydney Global Cities program.
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Cara Stevens
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Carla Sevilla
Senior Experiential Learning Advisor

Carla Sevilla is the Senior Experiential Learning Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.

 
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Carlos Yeung
Senior Program and Student Services Coordinator

Carlos Yeung is a Senior Program and Student Services Coordinator at CEA CAPA London.

 
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Carlota Anglada
Housing Advisor
Carlota Anglada serves as a Housing Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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Caroline Barto
Alumni Ambassador

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY ABROAD?
I took the tram to class every day, so I watched how locals communicated with one another and acted in public. Additionally, I interacted with locals through shopping at the grocery stores, restaurants, shops, and bars.

WHAT'S ONE STORY OR IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU ALWAYS SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME ABROAD?
Going alone to study abroad, or with a small group, was the best decision I ever made for myself! I wanted an experience that was mine and not with a large group of friends. If you're striving for a personal experience, do the same!

 


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Caroline Briscoe
Content Creator - Blogger
Caroline Briscoe (she/her) is a Strategic Communications major with a minor in Business at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is studying abroad in London, United Kingdom this spring 2023. Along with studying and taking classes, Caroline will be interning at Nemi Teas. She is excited about growing both personally and professionally by experiencing a new culture and learning about the incredible history of the United Kingdom. Outside of attending classes, Caroline hopes to spend her time taking long walks around the lively city, getting to know the local people, and checking off bucket-list activities such as visiting Buckingham Palace and kayaking in the Lake District. Check out her posts to learn more about her time in this global city.
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Caroline Rucker
Alumni Ambassador

How did you engage with the local community while abroad?
While in Granada, I lived in a residencia (dormitory). We lived alongside local students, and they were so welcoming! They taught us the ins and outs of the city's unique culture. During one of the weeks there, Corpus Christi was celebrated throughout Granada, which is the biggest festival of the year. We learned about and participated in many of the traditions, which really made me feel like part of the community.

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class while abroad was my intensive Spanish language class. We were in the classroom for over 2 hours every weekday, which really helped me improve my skills. It had a large focus on conversation, and many of the grammar topics we learned were things that only native speakers typically know. This helped me feel so much more confident speaking in public while out and about in Granada!

 


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Caroline Skinner
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've known I wanted to study abroad since the first time I visited Europe when I was 15. Each of my older brothers spent a summer in college traveling Europe, and had nothing but great things to say. The only regret they expressed was not committing to a full semester. I also really want to become fluent in Spanish.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Spain because of my Spanish minor. I then narrowed my choices to Alicante after deciding I wanted a smaller, costal city that speaks little English. I live on the coast of Florida and I felt the beach would help me feel less homesick.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to everything about the spring semester, but especially getting out of my bubble and experiencing new cultures. I have yet to experience anything more exciting than visiting a new country for the first time.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
My major is Retailing, in hopes of being a buyer in the future, but after finishing my career in fashion I hope to teach English as a Second Language to spanish-speaking children! Also, I'm writing this in the airport on the way to San Diego!! #travels


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Cassie Limberakis
Alumni Ambassador

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community abroad by actively speaking to locals (and sometimes making friends)! I was lucky enough to have a friend in London already, and I spent a lot of time with her friends, which was super cool. I feel super fortunate knowing that I have a community in London that I can go back to when I'm there next. One of my favorite memories with my friend Giulia was going out to dinner in Richmond on my second-to-last night in London.

what's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
The onsite CEA CAPA staff are such lovely people! Don’t be a stranger to them!

 


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Catherine Fiore
CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I am constantly in search of my next adventure and studying abroad offers the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and expand my worldview. I have had very few opportunities for international travel and am now hungry to soak in an entire semester worth.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
My family roots tie back to Ireland, so I fell in love with the idea of going back and getting a chance to truly live there, not just visit. In addition, the opportunity to take classes as an international student at the National University of Ireland - Galway (NUI Galway) was an incredibly attractive factor, as it offered the opportunity to fully immerse myself as a student.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting people from a wide variety of backgrounds and picking up on small cultural habits that only make themselves evident when you live there.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Any time of the year you can find me searching high and low for the best ice cream shops and bakeries in town. If I cannot find the dessert I'm craving, I try to make it. 17% chance of it going horribly wrong but a 100% chance of funky playlists playing in the background. I love to stay active by playing soccer, going for hikes, swimming or kayaking (I have to offset the desserts somehow). Overall, you can find me just hoping to make the most out of every day!


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Catherine Hernandez
Partner Student Advisor

Catherine was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She eventually moved to California where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with an academic focus on subcultures and subcommunities. As an undergraduate student, she also studied abroad for a semester in Thailand, where she developed a passion for international travel and intercultural immersion.  

After graduation, she decided to teach English abroad in Taiwan for a year, which quickly turned into five years of living abroad in Asia. During this time, she also received her Master’s degree in International Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University. In her past work as an Admissions Manager for a global internship provider, Catherine supported students in reaching their global citizenship and professional development goals. She is passionate about encouraging students to immerse themselves in new cultures and get out of their comfort zones. 

In her personal time, she enjoys traveling and has visited many different countries including Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Portugal, and more! She also enjoys reading, hiking and camping, live music events, plant-based food, and spending quality time with her husband and their pet cat. 

 

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Catherine Pierce
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to study/intern abroad to improve my Spanish language skills, cultural competency, and acquire meaningful work experience.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am obsessed with every aspect of southern Spain. The Moorish architecture, food, flamenco, and people.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm looking forward to learning Spanish fluently and becoming a real Andalusian!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love going dancing with friends, playing volleyball and solo traveling. My biggest accomplishment travel-wise is definitely finding my way off of Ibiza after getting my documents stolen.


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Cecilia Benedetti
Student Services Advisor

As Student Services Advisor, Cecilia is the first point of contact for all students when entering the center. She supports them in their everyday requests, helping them make the most of their time abroad by assisting them on everyday questions and travel plans and even giving them tips on the Roman culture. She considers this job very important and values the interaction with students as a great opportunity for cultural and personal enrichment.

Cecilia worked at CEA CAPA Rome as a University intern while getting her Master’s degree in Linguistics and American literature. Before that, she travelled extensively throughout Brazil, where she taught English and Italian to local students. She is passionate about foreign cultures and arts, and in her free time, she enjoys writing and talking about music and movies.

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Cecily Widmann
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course abroad and why? 

My favorite study abroad course was Communication and Global Competency. The course makes students analyze their culture while learning another. In this class, I interacted with french students in their English class at University of Paris-Diderot. It was a unique experience. I got to learn a lot about French culture and society that I would never have known just studying at CEA.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience changed the way I see the world. I have been considering going into diplomacy, working with the state department in foreign affairs. Studying in another country with a lot of foreign professors gives me alternate view of the United States I would not have seen on my own. The United States always seems to be the center of everything but, many countries around the world a distancing themselves. I want to help rebuild the US’ relationship with the world. But, I have been thinking about the concept of global competency. I have been in international based classes for a few years now and have never learned of this concept. Maybe I will try and introduce this to the American university system more widely.

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Celia Skvaril
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Celine Fawaz
CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to become more competent in my target language as well as immerse myself in the culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I heard it was a beautiful, small yet vibrant city, something out of a postcard. All descriptions were accurate!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Meeting new people and mastering my language.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I'm an Amateur Bodybuilder and know the name of almost every Pokémon Speed reader!

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Chance Wesner
Alumni Ambassador

why was your CEA CAPA program the right fit for you?
It was a smaller, non touristy area of France which forced me to learn and use my French.


how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I went to events on campus and around the community, chatted with locals every opportunity, and made friends from going to museums, restaurants, bars, etc.

 


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Chandler Stroh
CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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Charissa Winston
Financial Services Specialist

Charissa Winston has been in the education arena for 20 years. As a financial aid advisor, her passion is for helping people and finding solutions with paying for school.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, singing with her sisters, and tending to her extensive garden. Charissa also enjoys teaching gardening principles, helping the homeless, and working in Women's Ministry with her church.

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Charlotte Mabry
CEA MOJO Blogger
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Chi Vu
Content Creator - Blogger
Chi is a business administration (marketing) and communication studies major at Augustana College in Illinois. She will be interning at Bulbshare in London this fall. She's excited to see what living in Europe is like and to grow from lessons she will learn in London. Along with studying and interning, she’s looking forward to trying great food and learning about cultural differences as well as Londoners’ living styles. See the best of studying abroad in London through her blogs and vlogs!
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Chiara Ortolani
Internship Programs Manager

A native of Rome, Chiara has many years of experience working for American multinational companies such as Microsoft, Hertz, and Merck Sharp & Dohme. She earned her MA in Marketing and Product Management from Il Sole 24 Ore Business School in Rome, and holds a BA in Business Studies from Staffordshire University (UK). In addition to her native Italian, she also speaks English, Spanish and French.

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Chloe Kern
CEA Content Creator

Why did you choose to study or intern abroad?
I have always had strong connections to European cultures and travel because of my heritage so I wanted to be able to immerse myself in a completely different culture to expand my knowledge and gain a different perspective.  

Why did you choose your study/intern destination?
Because I am a photographer, I wanted to choose a big city with lots of scenery and beauty so that I could expand my portfolio while working on my studies.   

What are you most looking forward to during your study/intern experience?
Meeting new people, living the Parisian lifestyle, and working on my photography!    

what's a Fun Fact about you (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I played soccer for 8 years! 

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Chloe Main
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT is one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
One thing I always talk about during my time abroad is my friends I met. I still text them almost daily. We got so close and I was glad to share this experience with them. I talked about our Thanksgiving and how we shared our culture with other international students. We did a taco night within the first week of being there and movie nights weekly. There are so many stories and adventures I can't just pick one!

HOW DID YOU ENGAGE WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WHILE ABROAD?

I lived in apartments with other international students so I got the chance to speak with quite a few of them. In classes I also spoke with many locals and we'd get breakfast together too!

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Chloe Phan
Alumni Ambassador

WhAT was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
I took International Marketing and it was such a cool learning experience to learn and go on local field trips. The classroom culture was so fun and supporting and made me want to learn and be involved in discussions. The people in the classroom really is what made coming to school fun because I experienced Barcelona with them within and outside of the classroom, so our relationships were stronger.

HOW did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I loved going to the local shops and restaurants to really immerse myself in the community. My friends and I actually got really close with a restaurant owner and got to be added to his "wall of fame"!

 


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Chloe Yates
CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I studied abroad in Costa Rica and it was such a fantastic way to immerse myself in the Spanish language and a culture completely different from my own. Spending an entire semester in Madrid, Spain, studying and discovering new things sounded like a dream!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have studied Spanish for a long time, but I rarely ever get the opportunity to use what I've learned. I've never been to Europe and Spanish culture has always been an interest of mine.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm most excited to connect with new people and discover a new way of living. The ""college experience"" will be so much different than the last year that I spent at home!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
My favorite down-time activities are reading, running, playing guitar, and recording music! I've had more time to develop these hobbies over the past few years.


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Chris Reidy
Content Creator - Blogger
Chris Reidy is a junior at the University of Miami studying Economics. He is ecstatic to be studying in Florence for the semester and cannot wait to experience the historic culture in the Cradle of the Renaissance. Although there is so much to look forward to, Chris is most excited for the food and history he will experience throughout his time in the CAPA program. He looks forward to sharing some of those experiences with you all!
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Christopher Young
CEA MOJO Photographer
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Cierra Wilson
Student Support Services Manager

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, Cierra craved a change of scenery and decided to head to the desert to attend Arizona State University. While she enjoyed every minute of life as a Sun Devil, she felt an urge to see more of the world and set her sights on studying abroad her senior year. She made her way to Galway, Ireland, and it was the best semester (and time) of her life. She was able to visit Scotland and England during this semester, but her fondest memories are certainly the time in Ireland. 

Cierra knew she would want to continue to be a part of international education in some way, and a few months after returning to the states, she had the opportunity to intern with CEA CAPA twice. A few years later, she found her way back as a full-time employee and now supports our Enrollment Department. Her work includes accepting students into CEA CAPA programs, serving on the Scholarship Committee, and assist with the student visa process.

Cierra enjoy nothing more than being a part of the process to assist students in embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. One day, she hopes to live in Europe full-time, but for now, she is enjoying Arizona’s sunshine.

In her free time, Cierra is enjoy playing Pokemon Go and disc golf, going to indie & alternative rock shows, spending time with family, and, of course, traveling!

 

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Claire Watkins
Alumni Ambassador

what was your favorite class while abroad, and why?
My favorite class abroad was Witchcraft and Magical Performance with Mike Punter. He's such a knowledgeable, kind, and enthusiastic professor. All the material fascinated me and the class went on a number of field studies, including a trip to Highgate Cemetery, which is the oldest Victorian Valhalla, and a reconstruction of a Mithraeum. We learned about the history of witchcraft, cults, and a number of other thrilling yet sinister subjects in an upbeat, fun environment.

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I engaged with the local community by eating mostly at independent and family owned restaurants, or eating street food, when I went out to eat. I also went on lots of walks to familiarize myself with the borough I lived in. Most Fridays, my friends and I went to a museum or local gallery to engage with the art in London.

 


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Claudia Favila
Alumni Ambassador

what's one thing about cea capa you think everyone should know?
CEA CAPA will make sure you enjoy your time studying abroad wherever you go. They made my experience so easy throughout the whole process of applying, caring for our well-being, safety, and academics during the program, in addition to keeping up with us as alumni.

why was your cea capa program the right fit for you?
The CEA CAPA program in Alicante, Spain was the best choice I could've made. It was a bit out of my comfort zone since I'm more interested in metropolitan cities rather than living near water and beaches. But I was completely wrong, I can say that Alicante was my favorite place in Spain, mainly because its hidden beauty, weather, and not too much tourism. I felt like my lifestyle and day to day life became very similar to a local's. I loved my professors, classmates, and the University of Alicante. My program directors were the best and created a special bond with all of us in the study abroad program, it felt like a big family.

 


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Colin Steele
CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I knew it would be an amazing opportunity to learn about new cultures and make new connections along the way. The CEA study abroad program had a lot to offer so I knew I couldn't let this opportunity go to waste.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose to study in Paris because this specific program had the most courses for my major and minor. It also happens that Paris is a wonderful city filled with amazing views and people.


What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
When it comes to my study abroad semester in Paris, I am most looking forward to learning French and meeting new people from the city.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Some of my hobbies are traveling, playing soccer, and skateboarding. I love going to concerts and hanging out with friends.

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Corrine Hofmann
Alumni Ambassador

why was your CEA CAPA program the right fit for you?
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and I don't believe I could've chose a better study abroad location! I loved the walkability of Florence and the ability to explore a smaller city. I lived in a 400 year old apartment and resided in a local area. By the time my four months were up in Italy, I truly felt like a local and spotted the best places for a meal and saw all that Florence offered!


what's one thing about CEA CAPA you think everyone should know?
I believe if there is one thing everyone should know about CEA CAPA is the ability to volunteer while abroad! I served as an English student teacher for second grade students for about four weeks! I loved my experience and truly believed it made my study abroad worthwhile and fulfilling for myself.

 


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Courtney Cornelius
Manager, Digital Marketing
Courtney is responsible for developing and executing social media campaigns, managing the CEA CAPA influencer program, and analyzing performance metrics to optimize campaigns for maximum ROI. Courtney manages the entire scope of B2C and B2B social media efforts, including paid and organic promotion, across Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. In her role, Courtney collaborates closely with cross-functional teams; Marketing, Institutional Relations, Enrollment, and Internships; to ensure social media initiatives align with overall marketing strategies and organizational goals. Courtney studied abroad in Stirling, Scotland where she first developed a passion for education abroad. She believes that overcoming challenges, exploring new cultures, and pursuing a new lens on academics is powerful for personal and professional growth. She is passionate about leveraging social media to create meaningful connections between CEA CAPA and students, families, partners, and beyond.
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Courtney King
CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to experience a new culture. I am also excited to meet new people and learn new things. Because I go to school in Alabama, I am ready to be in a new city with lots of stuff to do!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Barcelona not only because of the amazing weather and beaches, but because I want to expand my Spanish language skills.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to meeting new people and traveling to different countries around Europe. The culture and architecture in Barcelona are also supposed to be beautiful, so I am excited to take it all in. The food is also something I look forward to trying because I am a huge foodie!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Hanging out with friends, writing, shopping, going to the gym, eating.


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Courtney Risner
Content Creator - Blogger
Courtney Risner is a Journalism and Political Science major from the University of Missouri and will be interning at Westminster Digital in London, England this summer. She’s excited to see what living in Europe is like and to become a member of the London community. Along with studying and interning, she’s looking forward to learning about different cultures and experiencing a new way of life in both social and work environments. See the best of becoming a Londoner through her blog posts!
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Cristina González
Student Affairs Advisor

Cristina González serves as a Student Affairs Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.

 

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Cristina Serrano-Baixauli
Student Life Advisor

Cristina provides support in the planning and coordination of housing, activities, and trips, including the coordination of volunteering & internship placements, and she acts as a liaison regarding other aspects of student services onsite. Cristina is from Val