CEA CAPA Barcelona, Spain Directory
Barcelona, Spain Leadership
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.
Marilena De Chiara, PhD
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.
Ana Martínez, PhD
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.
As Program Director, 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.
Barcelona, Spain Team
Gemma Aguilà is the Program and Student Services Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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.
Elisa (Eli) Figuerola joined the CEA CAPA Barcelona Academic team in the role of Academic Advisor & Internship Coordinator in December 2021. Eli ensures the good process of the daily operations related to the internship program, and supports faculty and students in academic and administrative matters. She started working for CEA CAPA in 2016 as Student Services Advisor and focused on the organization of the Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities Program (AICAP) until 2021.
Eli majored in History from the University of Barcelona and was lucky enough to study abroad in Lyons, France as an undergraduate student. After college, she lived in Santa Cruz, CA for a few months before pursuing her Master's in International Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Fundació CIDOB). Eli started working in the International Higher Education field in 2013 working for a study abroad organization that gave her the opportunity to move to Colorado where she stayed for over 2 years teaching Spanish as a second language. Eli is fluent in four languages and in her free time, enjoys running in Collserola and watching movies with her friends at home.
Cristina González Aquino
Cristina González Aquino serves as a Student Affairs Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Iban Grimal is the Academic Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Marlene Kohl is an On-Call Assistant at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
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.
Guillermo López serves as the Global Operations Housing Administrator.
Ingrid Mobley is the Global Operations Administrator.
As a Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor, Sonia manages the Spanish language courses to ensure high academic standards and course quality, as well as students’ registration in Spanish courses at CEA CAPA and our partner institutions. She also manages the tutoring program, and organizes and supervises cultural activities designed to enhance language acquisition. In addition, Sonia teaches several Spanish language courses.
Sonia was born and raised in Alcoy, Alicante, and graduated from the University of Alicante with a degree in Hispanic Philology. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and some French. After graduation, Sonia accepted a job teaching Spanish at a small high school in Massachusetts, an unforgettable experience for her. After two years in the U.S., Sonia returned to Spain in 2002 to begin an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as Second Language at the University of Barcelona, which is how she ended up in Barcelona. She has taught Spanish for various study abroad programs in Barcelona, as well as at ESADE Business School. In her free time, Sonia enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and traveling.
Sonia became involved in study abroad because her two years abroad showed her what an incredible experience it is to live in a different country. The time she spent in the U.S. helped her to understand the world—and herself—a bit better, and this is why she encourages her students to make the most of the wonderful opportunity they have to live and study abroad.
Estibaliz Rodriguez serves as a Program Services Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
As part of the Student Support Team, Mónica's role is to oversee and coordinate all logistics related to Student Services. She focuses on health and safety issues, acts as procedures and Health Services liaison, contributes to the organization and operation of student arrival and orientation, and to the execution and continuous improvement of the Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program. By creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Mónica works to ensure CEA CAPA students receive the quality assistance and guidance they need to make the most of their experience abroad.
Born in Barcelona, Mónica has spent time in England, France, and Morocco. While still in school, Mónica spent some months as a hotel trainee in Paris and rural England. It was here she discovered her love of travel and meeting people from different places. After finishing her studies, she worked in London's hotel industry. As a result of her interest in other cultures, she lived for a while in Fès (Morocco) doing volunteer work and learning about the Moroccan culture, language, and way of life. When she came back to Barcelona, Mónica worked as a group organizer and tour leader for incoming travel agencies.
Mónica earned a Tourism Degree at the University of Girona. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and French.
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.
Bárbara Rubio is the Senior Internship Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Alba Segovia is the Internship Program Coordinator at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Carla Sevilla is the Senior Experiential Learning Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Marc Arnas is a Senior Academic Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Lauren Spalding is a Student Affairs Advisor at CEA CAPA Barcelona.
Sandra is the primary contact for students in all issues related to student services. She keeps the Director informed and responds to student concerns in a timely manner. Sandra provides support to housing and academic coordinators and is responsible for assisting in planning and implementation. She also provides students with weekly email bulletins and supports students in their transition into the local environment.
Sandra was born in Brussels to Spanish parents. Thanks to her origins, she has always experienced the Spanish culture. After finishing her studies in 2001, she moved to the Catalan capital where she started her career in the tourism industry, working mainly for incoming travel agencies. She was also involved in projects for a European business women's association, financed by the European Commission.
Sandra earned a degree in Tourism at the Superior University School ISALT in Brussels and did a four-month internship in Barcelona during her last academic year. Sandra speaks Spanish, French, English, and Catalan.
Vanesa Toquero joined the CEA CAPA Barcelona Academic team as Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor in January 2022. Vanesa oversees day-to-day academic matters and monitors performance in the Spanish Language area. She also coordinates large university cohorts by providing them with academic advising and general assistance.
Vanesa majored in English Studies from the University of Valladolid and had the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland, as an undergraduate student. After graduating, she lived in West Virginia for two years, studying a Master’s Degree in TESOL / Latin American Literature while working as a teaching assistant at West Virginia University. After completing her master’s degree, she moved to Lafayette, Indiana, where she worked as a Spanish Teacher at Purdue University. Vanesa came to Barcelona in 2006 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics at Pompeu Fabra University and has worked as a language teacher and teacher trainer for several higher education institutions since then. On a more personal note, some of her hobbies include travelling, going camping, swimming and hanging out with her loved ones. She also loves music and languages.
Albert Vives Marti
Albert Vives Marti is the Infrastructure Manager.