CEA Directory

Justine Mons

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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Justin Schaefer

Director – University Relations

Justin Schaefer is CEA’s National Director of University Relations. He coordinates and oversees the University Relations Regional Directors as they work with colleges and universities to provide study abroad and international internship opportunities to students.

During Justin’s 20+ years in higher education, he has had the privilege of experiencing the industry from a variety of perspectives. He worked for a number of educational content providers helping professors, chairs, deans and curriculum specialists implement the highest quality educational content into their courses. Prior to joining CEA, Justin represented a Bay Area startup during a period of rapid growth and development in the higher education enrollment management space.

Justin firmly believes that study abroad and international internships can shape the lives of students and interns, broadening their global understanding and communication skills. He has visited 23 countries so far, bicycled across the US, and backpacked in Alaska. He is always planning his next international adventure.

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Lilian Trigo

Program Director
Lilian attends to student issues including academics, housing, excursions, and social activities with our partner universities. Before joining CEA, Lilian taught for more than 20 years at various levels of elementary school, high school, and higher education. She has also participated in international programs for students from Germany and the U.S., including student exchange programs and volunteer work in Chile.

Lilian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in ESOL from Pontifical Catholic University – Valparaiso. She is a Teacher of English as a Second Language and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Lilian has traveled to the U.S. and across England as a group leader of a Teen Summer Program, aimed to provide insight into British culture. During the exchange program, the group took part in cultural visits, spent time at Woking & Brooklands College, and stayed with host families in Addlestone, Southport, and Worcester.

Lilian would love to visit Italy’s historic and artistic monuments and views. But she would love to travel with all of her family, because any place is much better when traveling with the people you love the most. Her best advice for study abroad students is to take full advantage of the program, to immerse in the culture as quickly as possible, to get in touch with a lot of local people, to “forget” about home for a while, and to participate in all the activities available.
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Elizabeth Kather

Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs

Elizabeth grew up in the Midwest and traveled to Australia on a one-year study exchange in high school, an experience that changed her perspective on what she could accomplish. Elizabeth attended college and graduate school in the Southwest, gaining 12 years of student affairs/residential life professional experience at small, mid-size, and large universities along the way. She's passionate about impacting the student experience "outside the classroom" and helping students realize their role as responsible global citizens.

As CEA's Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing student life issues worldwide and acts as the lead Student Affairs professional in the home office. In this role, Elizabeth establishes and coordinates protocols regarding CEA responses to student emergencies; 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; reviews student medical information and provides pre-departure assistance to students with health concerns; leads the Health & Safety Team; stays abreast of industry research and organizes training opportunities for staff around the world; and leads cross-functional working groups to review policies and best practices.

Overall, Elizabeth is responsible for enhancing the quality of student life through the development and coordination of programs and services that promote student well-being and reflect the organization's values and mission.

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Richard Stock, Ph.D.

Center Director
Rick manages the entire Prague staff, represents the CEA Prague Center, and ensures and continually increases the quality of our programs and partnerships.

Originally from the Chicago area, Rick has lived in or near Prague since 1998 with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys sports, researching American literature and literary theory, teaching, and spending time with his family.

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 Teaching of English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in the UK. He has served as Academic Director at CIEE in Prague and Program Director of the MAE program as well as Academic Director at CERGE-EI in Prague. He has also been Assistant Professor at the University of South Bohemia.
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Sara Troy

Director of Program Development

Sara Troy leads and manages the program development team. Her primary focus lies in creating programs that facilitate students’ ability to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Sara holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Miami University (Ohio) and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to joining CEA, Sara worked with another study abroad organization with a focus in student recruitment and university relations. She's also been a Scholastic Standards Advisor at the University of Northern Colorado, Program Coordinator for the Border Studies Program at Earlham College, and Residence Hall Director at the University of North Carolina.

Sara serves in NAFSA's Trainer Corps, which delivers NAFSA Core Education Program Workshops throughout the year. She has delivered the CEP workshops for Campus and Community Programming and the Expanded Roles of the Education Abroad Advisor. Additionally, she has presented at many state and regional conferences for NAFSA and NACADA.

Sara first travelled to Paris after high school and subsequently spent her junior year of college studying in Rennes, France. Other travels have led her to Dublin; Belfast; Cuidad Juarez, Mexico; Rome; Florence; San Jose, Costa Rica; and all over France, from Normandy to the Loire Valley to the gorgeous Cote d'Azur. Sara would love for her next personal adventure to take her to Scotland where she’ll explore the Moors, the Highlands, and the castles while wearing warm, Scottish sweaters.

Sara believes students shouldn't let fear guide their lives: "Try to look at each new possibility, regardless of how scary it might be as an opportunity to learn, grow, and do something different. Be open to new experiences. Cast judgment aside and be willing to learn about a new culture, different ways of life and living."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA)
  • National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
  • Forum on Education Abroad
PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS
  • Best Practices in Faculty-Led Programming, NAFSA, May 2014
  • Connecting Study Abroad Students to the Local Community, Arizona International Educators Conference, March, 2013
  • Creating Meaningful Online Communities for Study Abroad Students, Poster Session, NAFSA, May 2012
  • Becoming Mainstream: Using Technology from Pre-Departure to Re-Entry, Region VI NAFSA, November 2009
  • Retention and Outreach: The Fartlek's of Advising, CO/WY NACADA, March 2008
  • Current Issues in Study Abroad, Indiana State NAFSA, April 2007
  • Experiential Education in Study Abroad, Region VI NAFSA, November 2006
  • Quarterlife Crisis, Senior Disorientation, Earlham College, January 2005
  • Setting the Lines: Transition from Graduate Student to New Professional, SEAHO, February 2004
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Jacqueline Martinez, Ed.D.

Director of Academic Affairs

Dr. Martinez manages CEA’s day-to-day Academic Operations based at CEA’s Headquarters in Phoenix. Jacqueline works closely with all CEA departments to ensure CEA remains compliant with the University of New Haven (UNH), CEA’s School of Record for all faculty approvals, curriculum design, academic facility approvals, and course credit assignment. She also manages CEA’s annual Academic Performance Review (APR) process coordinating logistics between CEA & UNH, writing the self-study, and ensuring CEA remains compliant with recommendations made by the APR peer-review panel to enhance Study Center operations. In addition, she also oversees efforts for continuous improvement with enhancing student learning outcomes, student pre-departure, teaching methodology, student satisfaction, academic integrity, assessment initiatives and the overall student experience.


As CEA’s Director of Academic Affairs, Jacqueline Martinez has over 19 years of experience in higher education. Her unique background is an asset to CEA, as she has experience with university operations in the areas of admissions, student services, student affairs, financial aid, student government, judicial affairs, academic affairs, operational strategic planning & assessment, self-studies & site visits, preparing for accreditation approvals (initial and renewals), international operations (including F-1 & J-1 student status), and managing campus operations.


Jacqueline is also a university lecturer; she teaches first-year experience courses and master’s-level courses in the field of Industrial Organizational Psychology. She is passionate about student retention, the student experience, assessment, academic operations, and understanding generational behaviors in higher education. Jacqueline holds an M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership—Higher and Postsecondary Education. Her dissertation was titled, “Creating the DNA for Organizational Longevity: Understanding generational Behaviors in Higher Education.” Dr. Martinez specializes in assessing student learning outcomes and development. Throughout her tenure as an academic administrator, she has focused her research on understanding generational behaviors and the support structure students need for student development and retention.

Presentations:

  • Partnerships and the “Franchise Model” of Study Abroad Capacity Building. 2018 Institute of International Education, Generation Study Abroad Symposium

  • Exploring the Value and Impact of an Integrated Reflective Learning Component in Internships Abroad. 2018 Global Internship Conferenc

  • Enhancing Student Outcomes Through Reflective Learning. 2018 Faculty Development Series, Clemson University

  • Not All School of Record(s) are Created Equal. 2018 Regional NAFSA Conference, Region VII
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Brian J. Boubek

CEO & Chairman

Brian is an entrepreneur and leader in global education who has built his career helping today's student become globally competitive. In 1997, Brian founded CEA Study Abroad after a life-changing study abroad experience in Dijon, France. Brian felt that his time in France was so empowering and insightful that he wanted to provide the same opportunity to everyone.

"CEA's success is built on our ability to design and implement innovative, high-quality academic programs that meet the needs of today's university student. In the current higher education environment, global competency is no longer a luxury. CEA is meeting that challenge by providing the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the global economy."

Since its beginning as a study abroad provider, Brian has led CEA as the company grew to become one of the largest for-profit international education companies in the U.S with operations throughout the world and more-than 170 employees worldwide. CEA enrolls more than 4,000 U.S. university students annually in over 100 academic programs.

Brian earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Commerce (BSC) degree in both Marketing and Finance from DePaul University (Ill.). He studied French language at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France and the Alliance Française in Paris. In addition, he is also a graduate of the "Birthing of Giants" Executive Education program hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum and Inc. Magazine.

A resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Brian is married with two children. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, worldwide travel, new business start-ups, and anything related to food and wine.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Young President's Organization (YPO)

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Excellence in International Business Award, Arizona District Export Council in cooperation with the Phoenix Council on Foreign Relations
  • Spirit of Enterprise Center, W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Global Impact Symposium Award Finalist, Eller College of Management
  • Two years on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation's fastest growing private companies
  • Arizona Corporate Excellence Award as the 13th fastest growing organization in Arizona
  • BizAZ Hot Growth Award as the Top 10 fastest growing company in Arizona
  • Small Business Association Exporter of the Year
  • Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Arizona Republic, BizAZ, Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Business Gazette, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education
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April Arrowood

Senior Admissions Counselor and Enrollment Team Lead
What’s my favorite travel memory? That’s easy – the first time I saw Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Having learned about it in high school, I remember marveling at the architecture first-hand and thinking that its first impression did not disappoint!

When I was a student at the University of Arizona (go Wildcats!), I studied abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain near Madrid. I’ve also visited Portugal, Italy, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. While it’s hard to choose a favorite location, I consider Spain my second home.

As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I help students choose the study abroad program that is the best fit for them, and use my own passion for study abroad to assist them throughout the entire enrollment process. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends, hiking, backpacking, playing tennis, reading, baking, and when given the chance, traveling!

Did you know? I was a colorguard member on the Pride of Arizona Marching Band for three years in college and performed at pre-game and half-time shows in front of thousands of football fans!
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Jayna Winn

Manager - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
As Custom & Faculty-Led Program Coordinator, Jayna Winn works closely with university staff and faculty to develop and coordinate custom programs that meet their specific needs. Drawing upon her experience in intercultural education, she helps ensure that each program provides students with exceptional academic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities.

Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. Before joining CEA, she served as Program Coordinator for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Additionally, she managed international teams and partnerships for a digital marketing company and coordinated custom vacation packages for a travel agency. Jayna is a member of NAFSA and has presented and facilitated at regional conferences.

Jayna spent time working and studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. She has found the following to be key to her success internationally: “Find the wonder and humor in every intercultural interaction. If you begin to feel frustration creeping up, try to simply embrace the differences instead. Only then can you begin to learn from them. And when in doubt, find a way to laugh together!”
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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

Silvia Martínez ensures that all CEA 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 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 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, 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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Lilian Trigo

Program Director
Lilian attends to student issues including academics, housing, excursions, and social activities with our partner universities. Before joining CEA, Lilian taught for more than 20 years at various levels of elementary school, high school, and higher education. She has also participated in international programs for students from Germany and the U.S., including student exchange programs and volunteer work in Chile.

Lilian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in ESOL from Pontifical Catholic University – Valparaiso. She is a Teacher of English as a Second Language and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Lilian has traveled to the U.S. and across England as a group leader of a Teen Summer Program, aimed to provide insight into British culture. During the exchange program, the group took part in cultural visits, spent time at Woking & Brooklands College, and stayed with host families in Addlestone, Southport, and Worcester.

Lilian would love to visit Italy’s historic and artistic monuments and views. But she would love to travel with all of her family, because any place is much better when traveling with the people you love the most. Her best advice for study abroad students is to take full advantage of the program, to immerse in the culture as quickly as possible, to get in touch with a lot of local people, to “forget” about home for a while, and to participate in all the activities available.
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Begoña Correa-Flores

Program Director
As the Director of CEA Granada, Begoña is responsible for the successful day-to-day management of the Granada program, including on-site student services, host institution and local vendor relations, program academics, participant health and safety, and student evaluations. She also identifies and implements opportunities for program improvements, makes development recommendations, and designs faculty-led and custom programs. She provides leadership to her team, as they support her in creating a superior student experience.

Begoña pioneered CEA's internship program in Granada, as well as the Arabic Cultural Studies program at our partner institution in Granada.

Begoña holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Granada. She has completed an online Specialization in Foundations of Management at the IESE Business School. Begoña is also a certified coach with the International School of Coaching, and a sworn translator authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Begoña worked as a teacher and congress coordinator before joining CEA in 1999.

Begoña first studied abroad in high school, when she spent an academic year at Wisconsin’s Shorewood High School. As an undergraduate student, she was awarded scholarships to study at Dublin City University (Ireland), the University of California San Diego (U.S.), and Palacky University of Olomouc (Czechia).

Begoña is passionate about international education. She works enthusiastically to provide meaningful study abroad programs that allow students to experience authentic growth and prepare them to tackle real-world challenges by developing solutions.
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Anna Felberbaum

Center Director

As Center Director for Rome, 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, 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

A native of Havana, Cuba, Victor holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and History from Skidmore College, where he graduated Cum Laude and was elected to the prestigious national honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Victor is currently completing his MBA at Escuela de Administracion de Empresas (EAE).

Victor brings more than 15 years of experience in undergraduate education to his position at CEA, first as Director of a College Access and Opportunity Program in Saratoga Springs, New York, and recently as Director of a study abroad center in Madrid, Spain, a position he held for more than a decade. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Association of North American Programs in Spain.

An avid global traveler, Victor has traveled across Asia, North Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. Victor’s other passion is tennis; he holds several titles in both singles and doubles in amateur international tournaments and competitions. Victor’s advice to incoming study abroad students is to embrace each day with a heightened sense of adventure and to focus on the journey, with the certainty that an open mind and the courage to face unpredictable situations will offer life-long skills and transform life in unimaginable ways.

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Maggie Banchs

Program Director

Maggie's role is to oversee all student services and housing including orientation, excursions, and cultural activities. She advises students on issues related to cross-cultural information, health, and safety, and is responsible for responding to student inquiries and concerns. Maggie serves as a resource to students as they transition into Costa Rican culture, and functions as their primary point of contact.

Maggie holds a master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Escuela de Administración de Empresas (EAE) in Barcelona, and a bachelor's degree in Photography and Artistic Direction from the Universidad Centeroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Managua, Nicaragua. She also studied photography at Veritas University in San José, Costa Rica, and taught several photography courses at Universidad Creativa in San Pedro, Costa Rica.

Prior to joining CEA, Maggie developed skills working in the Communications Department of the Escuela de Administración de Empresas in Barcelona, and as a manager at the Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales in Managua, Nicaragua. After studying abroad, she returned to San José to work with foreign students at Veritas University.

Maggie truly believes that studying abroad changes your life in many different ways, so she encourages the students to set their fear of new experiences and cultures to the side, and to come to a new country with an open mind and positive attitude. Maggie invites students to come and explore Costa Rica's beautiful scenery, friendly people, and warm weather.

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Enric Figueras

Vice President, Spain

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 policies are in place to serve the CEA 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, 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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Yan Liang

Program Director
As Program Director for Shanghai, Yan oversees all student services including orientation, excursions, and cultural activities. She advises students on issues related to cross-cultural information, health, and safety, and is responsible for responding to student inquiries and concerns. Yan serves as a resource to students as they transition into Chinese culture, and functions as their primary point of contact.

Originally from Shanghai, Yan lived and worked in the U.S. for seven years, where she ran a travel company specializing in business travel from China to the U.S. Yan also worked as a Senior Consultant in a leading Chinese trading company where she helped hundreds of organizations build successful teams and train powerful leaders, and as an Area Manager at a multinational fast food company.

Yan holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of International Business and Economics in China, and a bachelor's degree in International Economics and Trade from Shanghai University.
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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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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

Director of International Programs – France

As the Director of International Programs for France and Director for the CEA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA sites in France, maintaining CEA standards across all educational programs. There's a lot to keep her busy on-site, 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 Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) and completed a DEA after earning a Master of Arts in Art History at the Université de Paris-IV Sorbonne (France). 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.

Before joining CEA, Alexandra started her career as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. 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, 2013 and 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

  • “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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Vivienne Hamill

Program Director

As the Program Director for Aix-en-Provence, Vivienne Hamill is responsible for day-to-day management including student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, and student evaluations. Vivienne also advises students on issues related to academics, cross-cultural information, and health and wellness, assists in management of city finances, and hires and trains staff.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Vivienne has dual British/French nationality and has lived and worked in Aix-en-Provence for over 35 years. She’s worked in a variety of fields: accountancy, the documentary film world, organization of jazz concerts with international artists throughout France, and real estate in Ibiza, Spain to mention a few. She also ran her own international mail order company from Aix-en-Provence selling Provençal products. Vivienne specializes in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and taught in various institutions in Aix before discovering the world of study abroad. She has been running the Aix-en-Provence program with CEA since 2001 and thoroughly enjoys interacting with students and helping them through this life-changing experience.

Vivienne received a BA Hons in French Studies specializing in Translation and Marketing from the University of Portsmouth in England, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Ulster at Coleraine. Vivienne speaks French fluently and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

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Francis Kelly

Center Director

Francis's role is to manage the CEA Dublin Center including facilities, staff, activities, housing, excursions, and pastoral support. Francis is also the Founder and Director of the International School of Business, Dublin, CEA's partner institution in Dublin.

Francis has worked in international education for the past 25 years in both the private and public sectors. He has lectured in both France and Ireland and created two business schools. Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Irish and French Language and Literature from University College Cork, a Master of Arts in Irish Studies from the Université de Lille III, France, a Master's in Business Studies in International Marketing from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business (University College Dublin). He speaks Irish and French fluently and has a good working knowledge of Spanish and Italian.

Francis has traveled widely across five continents, including a volunteer placement in Ghana, West Africa, eight years living and working in France, multiple trips to the U.S., Canada, and across Europe. He is passionate about cultures and believes that the real richness of study abroad comes from experiencing cultural differences first-hand.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* European Association of Institutes of Education (EAIE)

* BUSINET

* ASAPI (American Study Abroad Providers Ireland)

* QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)

* The Marketing Institute of Ireland

Irish Council for Overseas Students

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Meliné Koruk

Center Director
Buenos Aires Center Director Meliné Koruk received her bachelor’s degree in Public and Institutional Relations from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), a master's degree in Sociology and Cultural Analysis from Universidad Nacional de San Martín, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Policy and Management of Higher Education at Universidad Tres de Febrero.

Before joining CEA, Meliné lived in Turkey for more than seven years, where she was the International Relations Manager at Koç University in Istanbul and the Deputy Director of the International Office at Yasar University in Izmir. Prior to moving to Turkey, Meliné worked at UADE as an Incoming Student Advisor.

After gaining extensive experience in supporting international students, and building sustainable relations with university partners and institutions from all over the world, Meliné decided to come back to her hometown of Buenos Aires, bringing with her the global experience gained over her 12 years of professional life. Witnessing different cultures while traveling and working in Latin America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia allows Meliné to provide an amazing experience for CEA students in Buenos Aires.
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Natalia Cascante

Student Life Advisor

As a Student Life Advisor, Natalia acts as a liaison for student services onsite. She provides support for the planning and coordinating of housing, excursions, trips, and volunteering.

Born in Costa Rica, Natalia studied abroad as a 16-year-old for a full semester in West Palm Beach, Florida. Currently, she is completing a Product Design degree from Veritas University, where she has also studied Photography. In addition, she is certified in Hatha Yoga.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys spending time with her daughter, Luciana; they both enjoy playing at the park, doing yoga together, listening to music, and traveling around Costa Rica. She describes herself as someone who really enjoys learning from new cultures and meeting new people.

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Álvaro J. Sanjuán

Student Services Advisor 

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 Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Coordinator. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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Gina Mahfood

Assistant Director of Enrollment
As the Assistant Director of Enrollment, Gina delivers continuous support and guidance across the entire enrollment team. Knowing that our CEA students and staff come first, Gina brings a talent and drive to provide superior assistance and leadership within this organization. Gina has been working in education and leadership for 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, earned a Master of Science degree in Psychology with an Industrial and Organizational Psychology emphasis from Grand Canyon University, and 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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Cynthia Engel, MA

Director of Internships Abroad

Cynthia Engel oversees and manages CEA’s internship abroad programs. Her primary focus is ensuring that students are able to engage in an academically rigorous and quality pre-professional experience that will inform their professional pathways upon graduation. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s academic team and CEA Study Center staff to cultivate internship placements and academic programming that support students’ integration in their field-based experiences abroad. She also works closely with CEA’s enrollment, university relations, and marketing teams to build awareness of CEA’s internship programs, obtain university approvals, and align CEA’s internship model with student and university needs.

Cynthia comes to CEA with 18+ years in international education, including eight years directly related to internship program management and development in Europe, Central Asia, and Oceania. After completing a master’s degree in Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) from the University of Minnesota in 2000, Cynthia was fortunate to be a part of a team tasked with building the student development and international programs components of a new branch campus of a major research university. From there, she turned her focus to developing academically rigorous international internships as part of a university consortium in the Western U.S. After 16 years in the field, she chose to take a break from higher education to gain some experience in the dynamic and fast-paced world of start-ups as a strategic communication and program development consultant. Cynthia’s passion for the remarkable learning and growth that can come from well-facilitated international experiences brought her back to international education and to CEA.

Cynthia worked and studied for several years in France and worked for a year in Japan, as well as throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has travelled extensively throughout SE Asia, West Africa, Western Europe, and South America, and she speaks French at a non-native level of fluency. Cynthia’s passion for travel and the field of international education is born from a belief that if we continually seek to understand and honor others, we are better able to understand ourselves and then recognize the interconnectedness of each of us in the process. She believes creating opportunities to experience the world in new ways is one of the best pathways to truly internalizing a respect for the diversity of lenses through which we all perceive and interact with each other.

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C. Thomas Whitehouse

International Director of Risk Management

As International Director of Risk Management, C. Thomas Whitehouse serves as a resource in the handling of routine incidents and case management involving student health and safety issues. He works with CEA staff as well as Resident Directors, students, parents, CEA's emergency assistance company, medical providers, legal advisors and others to monitor important developments and acts as an advisor to the CEA Leadership Team.

Mr. Whitehouse brings more than 40 years of overall business experience to CEA, with 15 years as a senior executive and risk manager for the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), a large educational/cultural travel company. In 1992, he established Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), one of the largest and most respected student/cultural travel insurers. He gained his extensive casualty/property insurance knowledge in a series of positions with increasing responsibility at CIGNA Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company. In 2005, Mr. Whitehouse established RLC Advisors, a risk management and insurance consulting firm that primarily focused on international travel programs.

Mr. Whitehouse holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a MBA. He is actively involved in community service as Vice President on the Board of Directors of Kiwanis Club of Stamford, Conn. He is an active member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

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Matthew Janus

Regional Director - West

Matt Janus' role at CEA is to oversee CEA's institutional relationships with schools in the Western United States. Matt and his team work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes, as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining CEA, Matt worked as a Mortgage Consultant at Countrywide Loans and as a National Accounts Manager at Alansis Corporation. Matt obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz (Calif.). While there, he studied abroad in Morelia, Mexico and Barcelona, Spain. His next anticipated adventure will be a tour through Southeast Asia, with extended stays at each notable surf spot.

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Alex Henderson, M.Ed.

Associate Academic Coordinator

Alex Henderson is CEA’s Associate Academic Coordinator. In addition to supporting the Academic Team in day-to-day operations, Alex is responsible for Curriculum Integrations and Educational Technology projects. Before moving to the Academic Team, Alex previously worked as a CEA Admissions Counselor.


Alex is an alumnus of the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he earned a B.A. in History. He is also an alumnus of Northern Arizona University where he earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership. 


Alex also lived in Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. For future travel destinations, Morocco and Argentina top of his list!

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Deborah Keeley

Senior Vice President - Finance & Operations
Deborah Keeley joins CEA most recently as the Chief Accounting Officer for Mobile Mini Inc., a container leasing company with significant operations in the U.S. and United Kingdom. She spent 18 years at Mobile Mini, and in her time saw the company grow financially 20-fold. She completed 50 acquisitions for Mobile Mini, expanded from eight to 130 locations, and took the company international during her tenure. Deborah is a hands-on leader who seeks to make a difference.
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Camille Ivery

Enrollment Operations Manager
I was born and raised in Chicago, and moved to Arizona in 2007 to finish high school and attend Arizona State University. During my time as a Sun Devil, I participated in a study abroad program in Florence, Italy. Florence will always have my heart; it's an incredibly beautiful city and became a second home for me.

Cinque Terre would be next on my list. It's actually five small villages on the coast of the Italian Riviera, all linked together by the “walk of love,” an incredible day hike through all five villages, even for those (like me) who would rather avoid exercise. During my time in Florence, I was able to explore Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Verona, Capri, Milan, and many other small towns across Tuscany.

I have fond memories of my time in Florence, and I love to share my passion for exploring the world with my students. One of my favorite memories is of one of my last nights in Florence when all six of my roommates and I hiked to Piazza Michelangelo, a famous viewpoint of the city. We spent the night listening to a street musician and reminiscing over our semester together, before watching the sun come up over the city. My next big travel adventure is Prague—I am drawn to the historic art and architecture the city is famous for.

As a CEA Enrollment Operations Manager, my job is to coordinate the CEA scholarship program while working closely with the Academic Affairs and Enrollment Teams. Outside of work I like to spend time with friends, volunteer at an art studio, and watch way too much Netflix.

Did you know? Penguins were my favorite animal as a kid, and I would beg my parents to get me one as a pet. One Christmas I got my wish; my parents adopted/sponsored a penguin family for me!
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Marquisa Regnier

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
Custom and Faculty-Led Program Coordinator Marquisa Regnier works with our University Relations team, faculty and staff at U.S. universities, and with our overseas Program Directors to develop and coordinate custom programs for students studying in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, England and Ireland.

Marquisa brings years of international education experience to her role at CEA. Prior to joining the CEA team, Marquisa worked with another study abroad organization where she helped students travel to Spain, Thailand, and the Czech Republic. After studying abroad and taking classes strictly in Spanish during semesters in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain, Marquisa graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a dual degree in International Studies and Spanish Language.

Marquisa has visited Mexico, Spain, Italy, Morocco, and France in her journeys, and would like to visit Brazil and Thailand. Her advice to students going abroad is this: “Leap outside of your comfort zone! You’ll find that when you’re abroad, that zone is very small in comparison to the giant world we have to explore, so go where the locals go, eat WHEN and where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop, and adapt to their way of life as much as you can! You’ll have ups and downs, but when looking back on it later, you’ll realize these were some of the most amazing and important times of your life. Enjoy!”
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Monica Francioso

Academic Director

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA 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, which she is currently editing for publication, 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 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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Cassandra Peacock

Program Director

Cassandra Peacock's role as Program Director at CEA encompasses both administrative and operational duties. She helps students understand that their experience is not only about attending school, but about how much potential they have in their particular circumstances. Cassandra ensures students experience smooth arrivals, a ride from the airport, proper housing, and advice on what to eat, where to go, and things to see around London.

Prior to working for CEA, Cassandra was an English teacher and worked for Royal Caribbean International as a 2nd Guest Relations Purser, traveling all around the world. Cassandra graduated with honors in both her bachelor's degree in Tourism Administration, and master's degree in International Business from Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (Mexico).

Cassandra has lived and travelled around the globe, including the U.S., Germany, Finland, Panama, the Caribbean, Russia, Egypt, Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, and the U.K. She hopes her travels will soon take her to South Africa or Kenya. She enjoys reassuring students they've made a wonderful decision by choosing to leave the U.S. and embark on a study abroad adventure. "It's like seeing a small seed grow, becoming independent and secure."

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Jorge Garay

Student Life Advisor

As Student Life Advisor, Jorge serves as the primary contact for students in Granada. He coordinates the student registration process and monitors students’ academic progress, helping them achieve higher language attainment through courses and internship placements. Jorge also executes students´ arrival and excursions, and addresses student questions or concerns.

Before joining CEA, Jorge worked as an administrator, quality manager, and study abroad program coordinator at the Universidad de Granada for 3.5 years. He was appointed as a French-Spanish sworn translator by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, worked as a freelance sworn translator and interpreter for some translation agencies in Andalucía, and volunteered for the Immigrants Bureau at the Red Cross in Granada. Jorge holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting and Immigration Laws from the University of Granada and a master’s degree in Foreign Trade and Quality Management from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Jorge’s travels have taken him around the world to the U.S., France, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, England, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Monaco, Malta, and Austria; he’ll soon travel to Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore. Jorge advises study abroad students to: “Make every effort to get immersed into the Spanish

culture and way of life. Meet locals and talk to them as much as you can. You will learn from them much more than from any book.”

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Mary Alice Soriero

Academic Director

As Academic Director, Mary Alice ensures that CEA Sevilla’s academic operations seamlessly develop and implement programs of academic excellence; reviews and maintains academic policies and practices; oversees the coordination and resolution of student academic issues; and supports faculty to ensure academic quality.

Originally from the U.S., Mary Alice brings over 25 years of international work and volunteer experience to her position at CEA. She’s lived in various cultures all over the world and uses her acquired knowledge to both inform her thinking and enable others to understand culture.

Mary Alice earned a Master's of Science in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

Upon arriving in Spain in 1998, she worked as a cultural advisor for newly arrived U.S. military personnel and U.S. university students and spent more than 10 years with TCU coordinating their Sevilla program. These experiences allow Mary Alice to help students arriving in Sevilla quickly transform from excited traveler to awed and informed long-term visitor.

Mary Alice's love of foreign cultures and her knowledge of English, Spanish, Japanese, and Thai have taken her all over the world, including Peru, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Spain, and the U.S. Her work as a Peace Corp volunteer, a language teacher, and a public speaker on cultural values, combined with her travel and language experiences, have provided Mary Alice with a knowledge of extreme cultural differences and supplied her with a series of personal anecdotes that help her empower students to analyze and investigate cultural values and differences.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Teaching English of Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.

Academic Director
Lenka serves as the primary contact for students and staff regarding all academic issues, including academic process management and student academic advising. She is also charged with strengthening and developing the unique relationship we have with Anglo-American University, our partner institution in Prague.

A native of Slovakia, Lenka spent a significant portion of her life living and studying in the U.S. Other travels have led her to explore much of Central and Western Europe, and she would love for her next personal adventure to take her to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Lenka 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. Lenka has worked as an assistant director and academic coordinator for a U.S. study abroad program in Munich, and as an academic director for international students in Prague.
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Ana Martínez

Academic Director

Ana's role is to ensure the academic quality of all CEA 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, 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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Christopher Edwards

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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Nancy Walden Lemaire

Program Advisor

Nancy organizes immersion activities for students—including language exchange meetings, volunteering placements, and sports activities—addresses student questions, coordinates medical appointments, and helps processes health insurance claim forms. Nancy serves as students’ primary contact for housing; she identifies housing providers, carries out student placements, and follows up on housing issues. She also provides program support for arrival, orientation, and excursions.

Originally from England, Nancy first moved to France in 1995 where, as part of her university degree, she worked as an English Language Assistant in a French high school in the Pyrenees, before working in Paris for six years. She moved to Aix-en-Provence in 2003. Nancy has experience working in areas including tailor-made luxury travel, organizing British ministerial visits to France, PR, communications, and teaching English as a foreign language. Prior to joining CEA in 2014, Nancy provided concierge services to U.S. and British visitors throughout Provence.

Nancy received a B.A. Hons in Modern European Studies from Nottingham Trent University and speaks French fluently.

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Darragh O Briain

Academic Director

As Academic Director for CEA Dublin Center, Mr. Darragh O Briain manages faculty relationships and appointments, schedules courses, manages student and faculty grievances, assists in recommending curriculum updates, provides academic advising, and oversees the day-to-day academic activities of the CEA Dublin Center.

Mr. O Briain has vast lecturing experience in Market Research, Event Management, Marketing Communications, Sales Management and Entrepreneurship with the American College Dublin, Griffith College and the European Business School. In 2005, he was elevated to the position of Academic Director of the European Business School, where he was responsible for overseeing faculty and academia for visiting U.S. and European semester students. Mr. O Briain is the Academic Dean of The International School of Business, where is responsible for faculty, students, curriculum development, assessments and course validation. Mr. O Briain has also sat on the Academic Executive Board of Dublin Business School and been involved with an expert panel for degree course validation on behalf of HETAC (Irish State Higher Education Accreditation Committee).

Mr. O Briain holds an MA from Trinity College, where he focused his thesis studies on advertising, communication and media. He also has an Advanced Diploma in Marketing techniques and a BS in Marketing, jointly awarded by Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* HETAC (Irish Government Accreditation Agency) Expert Panel for Programme Validation

* Sat on Dublin Business School's Executive Committee

HONORS/AWARDS

* Diploma in Advanced Marketing Techniques - Dublin Institute of Technology

* Certificate in Applied Merchandising and Display - Dublin Institute of Technology

* London Chamber of Commerce Certificate in Advanced Business German

* 2007 Acknowledged for "Outstanding Contribution to Youth Work" by Dublin City Vocational Education Committee

* 2008 Honoured by the President for 10 years of quality adult service to Gaisce/The President's Award (The Presidents Citizenship scheme for young people)

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Alexandra Massini

Academic Director
Alexandra supports educational development and has taught History of Art at the CEA Rome Center since 2008. She holds her Ph.D. from the University of Warwick, a Diploma with Distinction from the Study Centre for the History of the Fine and Decorative Arts at Victoria & Albert Museum, and an MA with Double Distinction from London’s Courtauld Institute. Dr. Massini is an accomplished art history speaker and consultant, art collection collaborator, and Rome guidebook author.
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Jami Jaimes

Health and Wellness Advisor

Born in Texas. Jami Jaimes moved to the great state of Arizona when she was a child. She loves calling Arizona home and being a desert dweller in the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

A licensed clinician with the state of Arizona who works with individuals, families, and companies to aid in their areas of need, Jami has vast experience providing clinical assessments, brief interventions, crisis interventions, program development, and management. She has worked for many years evaluating the adult and children’s behavioral health systems in Arizona. She provides consultation, coaching, and training to corporations wanting to improve and enhance their work. Jamie is also a private counselor for individuals, all of which she finds exciting and rewarding.

She finds all of her different work exciting and rewarding. Jami believes the best way to help people on any level is to listen to their needs and understand what is important to them, either on an individual or professional level. For her, engagement is key in getting to the root of problems and that starts with listening and getting to know people. As a sign of her commitment giving back to the community Jamie sits on a Maricopa County Foster Care Review Board, serving children and families in the child welfare system.

Jami is a Masters-level clinician with the state of Arizona. She received her Bachelors’ degree from Arizona State University, her Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate for the Doctorate of Behavioral Health program at Arizona State University.

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Damien Kelly

Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Damien manages various American and European student programs, organizes cultural visits such as trips to Galway, Belfast, and Glendalough, is responsible for the management and promotion of the social media platforms and is responsible for day-to-day duties such as scheduling, student well-being and academic activities.

Damien took on the role of Digital Marketing Manager for The Irish Teaching and Learning Festival in 2010 before leaving Ireland to travel for two years. Damien travelled across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He worked as Sales Team Leader for Appco Australia in Perth for a year and came back to Ireland in 2013 to work in Finance as a Relationship Manager. He spent 3 years working in Ireland’s premier bank, Allied Irish Bank, where he managed relationships with some of Ireland’s most successful corporations and SMEs. Damien took on the role of Head of Communications & Development at CEA Dublin Center in January 2016. Having enjoyed several summers teaching Gaelic in Connemara, Damien now lectures in International Marketing, Marketing Communications and Digital Media for ISB and CEA programs.

Damien holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Irish from Maynooth University and a Masters in Business Management from Dublin City University. Damien’s passion in life is discovering and exploring new cultures and experiences abroad and as a member of the CEA Dublin Centre team he yearns to promote the same passion amongst the students each semester.

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Jose Balza

Student and Academic Advisor

Jose 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 relocating to Buenos Aires, Jose spent eight years working as an English professor for private institutes and universities, gaining experience in teaching and supporting students from all ages and with different language needs. He also has a professional background as a cultural events producer, handling logistics and social media presence and in management assistance for a health-related organization.

Having travelled through the USA and visited different Latin American countries, Jose is passionate about working in an international environment and using his communication, teaching oriented and social skills to bring cultures together and provide a great academic experience and support for CEA students in Buenos Aires.

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Margit Pugh

Senior Program Coordinator

As Senior Program Coordinator, Margit manages CEA’s internal systems and program data updates, and maintains critical program information such as dates, prices, and course offerings on the website and student web portal. In addition, she provides specialized administrative and logistical support for program development and global operation initiatives, develops training modules, and assists in the documentation of program policies and procedures. In this role, Margit interacts heavily with CEA international staff and consistently works to enhance connectivity with our international colleagues. 

Margit is originally from Slovenia and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Margit started traveling abroad at an early age and has since checked 20 different countries off her (long) ‘must visit’ list. During her studies, she participated in two study abroad exchanges—at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, and at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona—which gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in the American education system, culture, and customs. Prior to joining CEA, she worked for the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington D.C. as a Consular Advisor. Margit speaks 3 languages: English, Slovenian and Italian.

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Rebecca James

Regional Director - East

Rebecca's role at CEA is to cultivate and maintain relationships with study abroad offices, faculty and staff at U.S. colleges and universities to help support their education abroad goals. Based in New York City, she works primarily with schools in NAFSA Regions X and XI.

Rebecca serves as NAFSA’s France Country Coordinator through service on NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee (CAL). She has been on the CAL Subcommittee since 2010, and enjoys helping study abroad advisors and students navigate the French visa process.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in French, History and International Studies from University of Chapel Hill at North Carolina (UNC) and a Master of Arts from NYU in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for adult learners. Before joining CEA, Rebecca developed a study abroad program for Dublin Business School. She established partner institution and third party provider relationships that doubled the program's annual revenue and was solely responsible for admissions and overall program management and administration.

Rebecca first traveled abroad at 14, to England, and was keen to learn French from an early age. She participated in a French immersion program in Chicoutimi, Quebec and spent a year in Paris as an au pair after graduating from UNC.

Rebecca traveled to Hong Kong in May 2016, took a cruise up the Norwegian coast in 2017, and she is currently looking forward to (another) trip to France in 2018. Future travel suggestions are welcome, she says.

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Alyssa Wolk

Assistant Academic Coordinator

Alyssa Wolk, as an Assistant Academic Coordinator, supports the Academic Affairs team with day-to-day operations. She plays a crucial role to the coordination of CEA’s Student Success model as well as serves as a point person for Academic Affairs projects and process improvements. Before moving to the Academic Affairs team, Alyssa was both an intern to the CEA Enrollment department and a CEA Admissions Counselor.


Alyssa has always been inspired by culture, food, and traditions. This encouraged her to study Anthropology and Earth Science at University of California, Irvine (UCI). While at UCI, she studied abroad in two magnificent and very different destinations: Be'er Sheva, Israel and the Waikato region of Aotearoa New Zealand for a total of 15 months. While immersed in these two amazing and diverse cultural environments, she met many inspiring people from around the world that continue to teach and humble her to this day.


Alyssa is also grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, France, Germany, England, and Jordan, as well as many wonderful places in the States. However, her list of where she’d like to travel is much longer (isn’t everyone’s?!). Outside of CEA, Alyssa enjoys hiking, reading, painting, do-it-yourself (DIY) crafting, baking, playing with animals (especially cats), watching Netflix, going to museums, and, of course, travelling!


Did you know? Alyssa met her husband studying abroad!
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José B. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President - Academic Affairs & Initiatives

José B. Alvarez, Ph.D., serves as CEA’s senior academic leader and member of the CEA Executive Team. José sets CEA’s academic vision, ensuring the alignment of all academic offering and projects with CEA's School of Record and university partners. In addition, he is responsible for establishing and managing CEA’s external Advisory Board, in order to further innovate our curriculum and increase the diversity of our academic offerings. José also plays a strong collaborative role in CEA's U.S. university engagement initiatives to support the alignment of our messaging and training regarding CEA’s academic programs and expertise.

José holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to working with CEA, José was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia for 12 years, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. His research emphasis focused on the analysis of the cultural production of Latin America, more specifically the study of films and literary texts produced in Cuba from the inception of the Revolution until the early 1990's. He directed more than 25 master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.

While at UGA, he created and directed UGA en España, a comprehensive set of study abroad programs with four sites in Spain, which was later expanded to Cuba, Venezuela and Peru. Prior to his time teaching, José was an Academic Dean for Latin American, Caribbean, and Europe programs for SIT Study Abroad, where he was responsible for more than 30 programs in multiple locations on two continents.

José has lived in Switzerland, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain, and Italy, and has traveled extensively across the globe. He wants to tell students to explore, live, struggle, and ultimately conquer foreign culture to the point of making it their own: "Embracing differences will only make them stronger. It is not an easy task, as being in someone's comfort zone is the easiest path, however going beyond it will enrich the experience, promote growth, and equip them with language skills and intercultural understanding that will last a lifetime and influence their perspective forever."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Forum on Education Abroad (elected to the council 2012-2015)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Southeastern Council on Latin American Studies (SECOLAS)
  • Phi Lambda Beta Portuguese and Luso Brazilian Honor Society
  • Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

— Books

  • Contestatory Cuban Short Story of the Revolution. New York: University Press of America, 2002.

— Articles

  • A Revision of Censorship and Resistance in Cuban Arts" International Education and Global Justice: Rethinking the Politics of Sustainability. Eds. Said Graiouid and Taieb Belghazi. Rabat: University Mohammed V (forthcoming). 117-124.
  • "Cuba, Filmaking, Literatura, Havana." Routledge Internacional Enciclopedia of Queer Culture Ed. David Gerstner. New York: Routledge, 2006. 163- 165, 262.
  • "El cuento cubano de 1959 a 1990: un movimiento pendular." South Eastern Latin Americanist XLIII.3 (2000): 21-36.
  • "The Dialectics of Cuban Homoeroticism in Cuban Narrative." Chicano/Latino Homo-erotic Identities. Ed. David William Foster. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999 241-271.
  • "Nation, Cinema, and Women: Discourses, Realities, and Cuban Utopia." Global Development Studies 1.3-4 (1998-99): 91-99. Reprinted in: Cuban Transitions at the Millenium. Eds. Eloise Linger and John Cotman. Largo, Maryland: International Devel-opment Options, 2000. 115-122.
  • "Discursos de resistencia y contestatarios en los Novísimos." Romance Languages Annual 10 Tome 2 (1999): 426-431.
  • "El homoerotismo en la narrativa cubana del siglo XX." Antípodas: Journal of Hispanic Studies of Australia and New Zealand 11-12 (1999-2000): 25-48.
  • "(Re)escritura de la violencia: el individuo frente a la historia en la cuentística Novísima cubana." Chasqui 26.2 (1997): 84-93.
  • "La generación literaria sin trauma: mirada socio-histórica a los Novísimos narradores cubanos." La Chispa 97: Selected Proceedings. Ed. Claire J. Paolini. New Orleans: Tulane University, 1997. 17-27.
  • "Mujer transparente (1990): contrapunteo entre el viejo y el nuevo orden social cubano." Romance Languages Annual 8 (1996): 368-71.
  • "Miguel Otero Silva." Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Ed. Verity Smith. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. 608-09.
  • "José Kozer." Latin American Jewish Writers: A Critical Dictionary. Ed. Darrell B. Lockhart. New York: Garland Press, 1997. 321-25.
  • "La narrativa cubana de la revolución: el Quinque¬nio Gris y sus con¬secuencias." Mester 23.2 (1994): 129-56. [issue published in March, 1996].
  • "Un texto a favor de la libertad marxista: lec¬turas contestatarias de Retrato de Teresa y Plaff." Confluencia 10.2 (1995): 111-23.
  • "Ruptura en la narrativa social cubana: Novísimos y Novísimas." Torre de papel 4.4 (1995): 61-75.
  • "Literatura cubana de los 80: una visión sin censura." Torre de papel 3.3 (1993): 85-98.
  • * (et al)"Un motivo etnoliterario andino: la deslealtad." Escritos 8 (1992): 85-101.

PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED

  • 2012:"Standards for Programs Serving Pre-Health Students Experiences." Forum on Education Abroad. Denver, Colorado. March 20-23.
  • 2012:"Cinema, Memory and Human Rights in Argentina." Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging Past, Present, and Future. SIT and the Center for Conflict Management. Kigali, Rwanda. January 10-13.
  • 2011:"Cuba Study Abroad: New Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Challenges." Council on International Education Exchange. New Orleans, Louisiana. November 16-18.
  • 2009:"Utopia and Dystopia: Lunes and P.M. in the Outskirts of Revolutionary Culture." Invited Lecture at Occidental College, California. February 26.
  • 2008:"Comentario de investigación: Una mirada a la situación de la diversidad sexual en Managua." Primer seminario centroamericano: una mirada a la diversidad sexual. Centro de Estudios Internacionales. Managua, Nicaragua. December 9-11.
  • 2008:"Revolution, Images, Jean Paul Sartre and Cuban Identity." Identity, Multiculturalism and the Arts. University of Ghana-Legon. Institute of African Studies. August 7-10.
  • 2008:"To Fight and to Play: Music and Destiny in Venezuela." Invited Lecture at Phoenix College Latino Film Festival. March 29.
  • 2006:"Reel Cuba: Documenting the Island." Shoemaker Lecture. Westtown School. September 24.
  • 2006:"Storied Havana: from Euphoria to ‘Reel' Blues." Invited Lecture at University of North Carolina, Asheville. October 12.
  • 2006:"Havana Blues in Context." Invited Lecture at Furman University. May 9.
  • 2006:"PM, Lunes de revolución, and the ICAIC: The Revolution and its Conflicting Cultural Policies (1959-1961)." Cuba Politics and Culture. Cuban Research Institute, FIU. February 6-7.
  • 2005:"Cuba en 1960 en la mirada de Jean-Paul Sartre y Simone the Beauvoir." Evento internacional Sartre visita a Cuba: Huracán, surco, semillas. Casa de Altos Estudios Don Fernando Ortiz. Havana. November 22-26.
  • 2005:"‘Reel' Cuba: Dispelling the Utopia through Film." Spring 2005 Center for Humanities/Georgia Museum of Art Lecture. UGA. April 20.
  • 2005:"Reel Cuba: Castro, Utopia, Film and Censorship". Invited Lectured at Temple University's Dissent in America Teach in Lecture Series. September 23.
  • 2003:"Fidel Castro is Dead." Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. UGA. Oct. 8.
  • 2003:"Memorias del subdesarrollo: Paradise in 68?" Key Note Lecture at Georgia Southern University. Fourth International Film Festival. March 4-6.
  • 2003:"Cuban Film and Teaching Film." Invited Lecture. Georgia Southern University. March 6.
  • 2002:"Cuban Post-Revolutionary Culture: True or False" Honors Program Invited Lecture. Oct. 2002
  • 2001:"CHA Provocative Conversation: Promotion Standards in Literary Studies." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, September 26.
  • 2001:"Testimony in Documentary: The Case of 90 Miles." Invited panel participation on the film 90 Miles. Center for Latin American Studies. Arizona State University, September 10.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Revolutionary History Through Film." Invited Lecture for the Spring Focus Lecture Series. Valdosta State University. Valdosta, April 9.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Gender (Re)Presentation in Film." Lunch in Theory Series. UGA. February 14.
  • 2000:"Virtual Literature: Removing the Panic out of HisPanic Literature." American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Boston, November 16-19.
  • 2000:"Beyond Hollywood: The Beauty and Power of International Cinema." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, October 20.
  • 2000:"His-panic? U-SA Panic? Who is Moving to your Neighborhood?" Key Note Lecture at University of North Carolina at Asheville. Hispanic Heritage Month. October 9.
  • 2000:"Bitter Sugar: Reel Cuba from the Other Shore." Invited lecture at Berry College. April 17.
  • 2000:"Reel Cinema: Cuban Political and Social Crises through Film." Invited Lecture at Furman University. April 10.
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Jason Schultz

Student Accounts Advisor
A few years ago, I was on the same flight across the country as Flavor Flav (a famous TV personality for those who are not familiar). Sometime during the course of our flight, Flavor Flav decided to become a flight attendant for the day and started to hand out pretzels, drinks, and even spoke on the intercom! Random and unique events like these definitely intensify my passion for travel.

Besides Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and several cities in Canada, I’d have to say the picturesque beaches of Hawaii rank at the top of my favorite places to travel list. But that’s only until I make my way to England next—I’ve never been, but the country’s culture and personality really interests me.

As a CEA Student Accounts Advisor, I try to tie in my love of travelling into day-to-day tasks and interactions with students. I’m responsible for assisting students through the funding process of their study abroad, including aspects such as scholarships and financial aid. When I’m not working, I enjoy swimming, playing tennis, and watching movies.

Did you know? I was a professional on-air radio personality for 13 years before starting a new career in 2010!
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Brittni Weimer

Site Specialist Manager
I have always loved to travel. Growing up, I moved around a few times, and I believe that’s what opened my eyes to the possibility of exploring and traveling abroad. I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in International Affairs and Political Science; while in college, I studied abroad three times.

My junior year, I studied abroad for a semester in Alicante, Spain, and my love for Spain grew unconditionally. I still stay in touch with my host family from Alicante! My second study abroad experience was in London, and my third took me to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. While studying abroad, I had the chance to explore 11 different countries: my favorites include Iceland, Turkey, and Morocco. In my next travel opportunity, I would like to explore Asia.

I now live in Phoenix, AZ, and I love it! My entire family lives here, and it’s great to be around them all the time. When I’m not working with study abroad students at CEA, I have a huge passion for cooking and discovering hidden gem restaurants around town. I also like to go hiking with my friends and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the summer heat takes over.

As a Site Specialist Manager, I want to help answer any questions you have and give you all the knowledge I can about living abroad. I also want to get you very excited for your upcoming semester abroad! My biggest advice for future students is to not forget about exploring your host city. Many students go abroad and plan a trip every weekend to another country and forget to enjoy what is around them.
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Michelle Esche

Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
Custom Program Advisor Michelle Esche helps faculty and students prepare for their overseas experience. She provides support and advice on topics including housing, flights, medical insurance, visas, cell phone, and packing—all with the goal of ensuring that students and faculty have the information they need for a successful experience abroad.

Michelle brings a background in international education to her role at CEA. A graduate of DePaul University, Michelle earned her degree in Communication Studies with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. Before joining the Custom Programs Team, Michelle was a CEA Site Specialist; in this role, she advised hundreds of students through the pre-departure process on topics such as course registration, visas, and housing selection, and collaborated with international team members to align student messaging.

As an undergraduate, Michelle studied abroad through the DePaul University’s Madrid custom program; she attended La Universidad Complutense de Madrid to complete her Spanish minor. While studying abroad, Michelle took the opportunity to travel throughout Spain and Europe, where she visited destinations including Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Lisbon. When she’s working with study abroad students, Michelle often offers the following advice: “If you have the opportunity to study abroad, don’t think twice—just go! Studying abroad requires a lot of planning and preparation, but in the end it is more than worth it. Learning about a new culture and studying in a different country involves navigating new and unfamiliar situations, but that’s the beauty of studying abroad! Keep an open mind and you will be surprised with how much you learn about your host country and yourself.”
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Letizia Ialini

Student Affairs Advisor

With CEA since 2009, Letizia Ialini liaises with local housing providers to ensure quality accommodation and services to all CEA Florence students.  She also collaborates to design and implement Custom and Faculty-Led programs. As well as working frequently with colleagues on various aspects of programs and to help resolve student issues. Her wide-ranging experience in administration makes Letizia a strong asset to the Florence team. 

Letizia studied Economics at the University of Florence. As a student, she moved to Bournemouth, England where she worked as a trainee in the financial department of an industrial company. This first experience abroad sparked her interest in traveling and learning, inspiring her to study for a year in Melbourne, Australia. There she perfected her English, travelled often and made friends from all around the world.  Prior to joining CEA, Letizia managed the technical office of Prato Trade, a branch of the Industrial Union of Prato, where she organized expositions for national and international trade fairs. She also worked for a Florentine cooking school.  

In her spare time, Letizia enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She loves to help students connect with Italian culture, and believes that overcoming the challenge of culture shock results in growth and flexibility that can help students in their professional and personal lives.

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Chiara Ortolani

Academic and Internship Coordinator

As Academic Advisor for the CEA Rome Center, Chiara Ortolani serves as the primary contact for students and faculty regarding everyday academic issues. In addition, Chiara works with the Italy Assistant Academic Dean in all aspects of course registration, the coordination of class schedules, classroom use, and academic facilities management.

Chiara is responsible for keeping the Italy Assistant Academic Dean informed on a regular basis of the progress of the academic program and any issues that need her attention. A native of Rome, Chiara has many years 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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Jessica Hankiewicz

Associate Director of Student Affairs
Jessica is primarily responsible for health, safety, and wellness—three responsibilities that CEA purposefully interconnects. She also oversees disciplinary procedures and communications.

Originally from Virginia, Jessica has spent much of her life in Europe since studying abroad as a teenager. She has lived in England, Germany, Peru, and the Czech Republic. Jessica is fluent in Czech; she enjoys learning new languages, creative writing, and exploring the Czech Republic’s amazing forests.

Jessica earned her B.A. degree from Nottingham Trent University in England. In the past, Jessica worked as a Program Manager for a study abroad program in Prague. Before that, she held a position as a Media Relations assistant for a large firm in the U.S. In Prague, she became a TEFL-qualified English teacher and taught for a large language school before becoming their TEFL Course Coordinator.
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Carolina Cisneros

Academic Advisor

As Academic Advisor, Carolina serves as liaison between students and faculty. She performs academic administrative tasks, works to improves curriculum development, and provides support to faculty in order to bring academic credit.

A native of Sevilla, Spain, Caro earned her BA in English from Universidad de Sevilla; she also holds a BA in Teaching Spanish and other Modern Languages as a Second Language. Prior to joining CEA, Caro worked with another study abroad organization as a Resident Director and faculty member. She has participated in several professional development exchanges with Pennsylvania State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Caro loves spending time with her friends and family, as well as sports and outdoor activities. She has traveled several times to the U.S. and United Kingdom, among other places, but her dream is to travel around the world. She empathizes with and understands study abroad students’ feelings, and is excited to help them during their cultural experience in Seville.

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Laura Salvadó

Program Director

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

Prior to joining CEA, 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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Devon Derousseau

Director of Student Affairs

Devon oversees the Student Life department at CEA Paris, working closely with the Student Life Advisor and Student Housing Advisor. She is responsible for program logistics, including orientation, excursions, social activities, student well-being, housing, and program budgeting. Devon also manages social media at the CEA Paris Center.

Devon holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Geopolitics from l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Toulouse, a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining CEA, Devon taught English at Lycée Saint-Sernin (Toulouse, France), while assisting the Education Abroad Program through the Toulouse-based University of California study center. A position in event management then brought her to the French Riviera in 2007.

A big part of Devon's experience abroad has been what she calls "life learning." Managing the day-to-day ups and downs that come with life in a foreign country, like figuring out the French grocery store, getting the broken sink fixed by the Toulousain plumber, mastering the red tape at the Préfecture, and trying to find humor along the way. Devon believes that "if you can find the funny, you can get through any situation, wherever your adventures may take you. You may even find inspiration for a great blog post while you're at it!"

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* APUAF: Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

Presentation: "L'Animation culturelle et sa promotion", APUAF workshop, November 2013

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Lauren Bates

Assistant Academic Coordinator

In her role as a CEA Assistant Academic Coordinator, Lauren Bates assists the Academic Affairs Team by organizing all CEA transcripts and supporting day-to-day operations. 

Lauren completed a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in History at Arizona State University. While earning her degree, she was fortunate enough to study abroad in the British Isles - traveling to London, Dublin, and Edinburgh during six amazing weeks. She also traveled to Japan with her high school language class. 

Lauren enjoys reading, ice skating, and learning languages in her free time, as well as traveling whenever possible. Her top three wish-list destinations are England (again!), Hokkaido (in Japan), and France.
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Colin Hogan

Assistant Director

Colin’s role is to assist with managing the CEA Dublin center. His responsibilities include overseeing various custom programs for CEA and the International School of Business, as well as managing CEA’s international internship program. Colin also provides support in the areas of student welfare, accommodation, events and excursions, and immigration.

Colin began working in international education in 2009, when he came to Dublin as a postgraduate student and coordinated custom programs on a part-time basis. Having also worked for FIE, IES Abroad and Groupe IGS, Colin has extensive experience in study abroad for both North American and European students. As well as working for CEA Dublin, he also looks after a few Dublin-based programs for Groupe IGS, a consortium of private business schools in France. Colin lectures at both institutions, teaching courses in marketing and communications. Prior to relocating to Dublin, he was based in Chicago, Illinois and worked in sales and marketing.

Colin has a master’s in Marketing from Dublin Business School and a bachelor’s in Communication Studies and Business Administration from The University of Iowa.

Studying abroad is something Colin experienced later than most but he’s very grateful he didn’t miss out on the opportunity altogether. It opened doors for him on both personal and professional levels and allowed him to discover his greatest passion – traveling. His wanderlust has taken him to more than 45 countries across 6 continents.
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Jon Jorgenson

Regional Director - Midwest

Based out of Wisconsin, Jon Jorgenson works with our university advisors, faculty and staff to support student exploration, advising, and registration processes, in addition to identifying ways CEA can help its university partners be more successful in internationalizing its curriculum.

Prior to joining CEA, Jon worked Expeditors International, PMT Corporation, RAM Center, and Red Wing Shoe Co. Jon's travels have taken him to 24 different countries, and he is most looking forward to visiting the Czech Republic next. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Spanish from Minnesota State University – Moorhead.

Jon advises first time international travelers that: "Studying abroad is magical. Make the most of your time while abroad plus stay true to yourself and your goals. Your time abroad will fly by quickly and if you experience it to the fullest it will be most rewarding, challenging, exciting and fulfilling time of your life."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators
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Caroline Walsh

Senior Vice President - Program Development

Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA’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 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, 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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Kristyn Orgill

Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs
I grew up in Utah and started traveling internationally at age 18. My first experience outside of the U.S. was in Madrid, Spain, and I will never forget arriving there and realizing what a different world I had entered. I loved every minute of that travel experience and I haven’t stopped since!

I studied International Studies and German at the University of Utah and studied abroad for a year at the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany. One of my favorite memories of my study abroad experience was attending Volksfest—a local version of Oktoberfest in Stuttgart—and participating in an event that’s saturated in German music, food, and tradition.

One of my favorite benefits of my study abroad experience was the additional travel I was able to fit in; along with travelling all over Germany during my year abroad, I also visited Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and Sweden. Studying in Germany was a life-changing experience that has inspired me to help others to study abroad themselves. After graduating with my bachelor's degree, I moved to Mexico for almost two years, where I learned a new language and experienced a fascinating new culture. I travelled extensively in Mexico, and now consider it a second home.

As a Site Specialist with CEA, I get to tell students about one of the most rewarding things that they will ever do and to help them find the right program and destination. Outside of work, I love to study languages, hang out with friends and family, and to travel every chance that I get.

Did you know? I played the viola with my university’s orchestra while studying abroad and loved every minute of it!
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Olivia Del Viscio

Program Development Coordinator
Throughout my childhood, I always loved traveling with my family. However, it was not until I studied abroad in Rome, Italy that I was bitten by the “travel bug.” My time abroad changed my perspective on so many aspects of life–culture, history, humanity–and I found myself feeling incredibly humbled to walk the same streets the ancient Romans trekked so very long ago. As an English major and Film and Media Studies minor at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small liberal arts college in southern Minnesota, I was obsessed with the stories my beautiful Italian home held.

My current “been to” list includes Spain, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, and many cities across Italy. Before studying abroad, I believed the world was far too large to ever visit the same place twice. However, I found that there is so much richness and joy in travel and cannot imagine never exploring my Italian home again.

Outside of CEA, I love traveling whenever possible, trying new restaurants, enjoying good books and television, and going on “adventures” to new and exciting places with friends.
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Caterina Marino

Student Services Coordinator

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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Esther Morante

Housing Advisor

As CEA Seville’s Housing Advisor, Esther advises students on issues related to housing, the adaptation process, and making the most out of their study abroad experience. She also joins students and staff at social events, immersion activities, and daytrips.

Born and raised in Seville, Esther holds a bachelor's degree in English Language and a postgraduate certificate in education from the Universidad de Sevilla. As an undergraduate student, Esther had the opportunity to study abroad in France. After graduation, Esther moved to the Canary Islands where she worked in the tourism sector and learned German. She also had the opportunity to spend a year in Ireland, a life-changing experience that increased Esther's interest in other cultures.

Prior to joining CEA, Esther worked in the education field with international students. Esther loves traveling and being in touch with other cultures. She has travelled to several European countries, including Portugal, Italy, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Esther feels that studying abroad influences students' career path, world-view, and self-confidence, all while helping them better understand their own cultural values and biases.

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Sonia Priego

Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor

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 and our partner universities. 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.

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Julieta Matilde Cecere

Program Advisor

Julieta earned a degree in Journalism from Salvador University and studied abroad in Bethesda, Maryland, where she completed an Advanced Intensive English Program.

Before joining CEA, Julieta spent six years in the IT, non-profit, and events industries, developing her communications and presentation skills. As CEA Buenos Aires' Program Advisor, she is responsible for planning, budgeting, and executing trips, excursions, and social events, as well as supporting students with their needs on-site.

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Sarah Becker

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Sarah Becker, in her role as the Custom & Faculty-Led Program Coordinator, works closely with professors and administrators at colleges and universities to create and execute short-term custom or faculty-led study abroad programs in Argentina, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, and Spain. With extensive experience in the field of international education, Sarah works to develop motivating programs that challenge students to learn through experience.

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Global Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish, and has participated and administered various study, teach, and service learning programs in Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Thailand, and the United States. Immediately prior to joining CEA, Sarah worked as the on-site Program Director of an English teaching program in Colombia, and uses her field experience directly to the development of her programs.

Sarah’s advice to students who want to live abroad is to “forget any expectations you may have going into your experience. Don’t compare this experience to others you may have had elsewhere, and keep your mind open to trying new things!”

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Veronika Gregorová

Senior Housing Advisor
Veronika manages the Housing Department and is responsible for leading staff in responding to concerns about apartments and in preparing apartments before arrival and after departure. Veronika handles the network of relationships with local landlords to get the best housing available along with the best service. She is therefore also responsible for financial issues as well as placing students in apartments.

Veronika has had the opportunity to visit many countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, Costa Rica, Oman, U.A.E., South Africa and others. Apart from travelling and exploring, she likes running, cycling, and alpine skiing.

Veronika gained her professional experience in the travel industry, having worked for international airline companies and travel agents within the sales, marketing, and customer care fields. She has also developed her hospitality skills while running a small hotel in Prague. Veronika also participated in the Work & Travel program in the U.S. and lived in London for two years.
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Lee Sutherlin

Senior Vice President - University Relations & Marketing

Lee Sutherlin is CEA’s Senior Vice President of University Relations and Marketing. As SVP, Lee leads all aspects of revenue generation within the University Relations, Enrollment and Marketing departments and partners with colleges and universities to provide high quality international education opportunities to their students.

Lee brings strong sales and marketing leadership cultivated during her 31 years at Cengage Learning, the education content provider. Most recently, in the position of Vice President of Sales, West Region, she led a sales team of 150 people and was responsible for over $285 million in revenue.

Over her career, Lee’s passion for education, coupled with her intellectual curiosity, has driven her to coaching and mentoring successful professionals. She enjoys working alongside her team on university campuses and has visited more than 2,000 higher education institutions and met with countless professors, department chairs, deans, and other university officials.

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Carrie Myrick

Program Manager

As Program Manager at CEA, Carrie Myrick oversees program management initiatives for Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Ireland, and South Africa. Her primary focus is collaborating across domestic and international departments to ensure consistency in the program experience and performance, while continuously working with international staff to improve quality and enhance efficiency.

As the primary liaison, Carrie assists international staff in program operations, domestic communications, and standardizing on-site practices that will contribute to overall student satisfaction.

Inspired by an amazing study abroad experience in Sweden during her undergraduate program, Carrie decided to pursue a career in international education. She has since worked as an International Exchange & Study Abroad Coordinator at the Center for International Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and at the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also obtained her MBA in Vienna, Austria, worked abroad in Germany and Austria, and has traveled to more than 25 countries.

Education:

  • MBA, Webster University – Vienna, Austria
  • BJ, Journalism, Emphasis in Advertising, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Semester Abroad, Scandinavian Studies, Lund University – Lund, Sweden
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Tim Boubek

Vice President - Strategic University Partnerships

Tim Boubek is the Vice President of Strategic University Partnerships. CEA established its University Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA Regional Consultants to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA 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. 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

EDUCATION

  • BS, Law Enforcement – Criminal Justice, Western Illinois University
  • Minor, Business Administration, Western Illinois University
  • Certificate in Human Resources Management, University of Phoenix
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Sadi Foltz

Internship Specialist
I grew up on Whidbey Island in Washington and attended college at Central Washington University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing Management. I studied abroad in Seville, Spain, completing a minor in Spanish Language and Literature. While living in Seville, I had the opportunity to be an English-language tour guide — showing off my new city and all of the exciting things I learned.

In addition to travelling all over Spain, I’ve also been to Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Argentina. One of my favorite places is Sintra, Portugal, a small city just outside of Lisbon. It has some beautiful castles to explore and the language is mesmerizing.

All of these experiences played a part in leading me to Arizona! As an Internship Specialist with CEA, I am responsible for interviewing and advising all prospective internship students while coaching students to create goals and prepare holistically for their time abroad. I also coordinate with our international Placement Coordinators to seek personalized placements for each student. My goal is to make the process as exciting and seamless as possible.

When I’m not at CEA, I love to play sports (volleyball, in particular), hike, read, craft, refinish old furniture, and try new food. And I’m not done exploring the world! Next on my list would have to be Ireland to wander the beautiful countryside. Beyond that, I would love to explore the UK, Australia, Thailand and Brazil. Where don’t I want to go?

Did you know? I was chased by an elephant in the Okavango Delta in Botswana—I’ve never run so quickly!
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Ahmad Refky

Director of Custom & Faculty Led Programs
Ahmad is originally from Cairo, Egypt, where he lived for 22 years. His first foray into study abroad came when he lived in the U.S. as an exchange student during his senior year of high school. That experience inspired him to work in international education, where he has built his career over the past decade. After graduating with a BA in International Relations from the American University in Cairo, Ahmad immigrated to the U.S. in 2001, where he pursued his graduate studies at DePaul University and studied abroad in The Netherlands as part of the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture, and Society.

Ahmad’s first position in the study abroad field was as a Group Study Exchange Coordinator at The Rotary Foundation, where he worked on short-term exchange programs for young professionals interested in learning how their vocations are practiced internationally. Next, as a Training and Development Manager at the Center for Cultural Interchange, Ahmad trained field staff on J-1 visa regulations and worked with vendors to develop an online application and monitoring system for exchange students. He was also the Illinois Regional Director, responsible for recruiting field staff and placing students with qualified host families during their academic year in the U.S. Finally, Ahmad served as a College Relations Manager for Customized Programs at IES Abroad. During his four-year tenure, he oversaw the development of short-term, quarter, and semester-long programs for schools in 17 states, and represented the organization in regional, national, and international conferences.

An avid traveler, Ahmad has traveled to Lebanon, Indonesia, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. He looks forward to traveling to Italy, Spain, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, and maybe one day Antarctica.
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Daniele Bini

Internship & Student Services Coordinator

As Internship & Student Services Coordinator, Daniele Bini helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. Daniele manages the Internship program in Florence, finding local host institutions and interviewing incoming students—while working to find matches that will benefit both hosts and interns. Together, with the internship seminar instructor, Daniele follows Interns’ experiences until the end of the program. He also organizes excursions that help introduce students to Italian locations beyond Florence.

Daniele holds a degree in Languages from the University of Florence, where he studied English, Japanese, and Portuguese. To complete his studies, Daniele fulfilled a 150-hour internship with CEA. But before joining the Florence team as a staff member in 2014, Daniele worked at a hotel in Chianti and assisted CEA with student arrivals and language exchanges.

Daniele loves to travel but did not study abroad as a student, and travels often in his free time. These personal travel adventures have made him an expert on the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. One of his goals is to spend an extended period of time in the U.S., and one day live in San Francisco

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Andrea Masini

Housing and Student Services Coordinator

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.

Andrea was born in Viareggio, Tuscany, a beach city famous for its vibrant and cheerful Carnival celebrations. Sun, water, colors, and cheer: Andrea's personality traits reflect these qualities in his positive attitude, his welcoming respectfulness towards those of different culture, ethnicities, faiths, and identities. Everyone is different, and diversity is a treasure!

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Aranoa Roldan

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 the Spanish culture. She also coordinates the communication processes, resources, and health and safety services that CEA Seville provides for students.

Prior to joining CEA, Aranoa organized international congresses and conventions for the Convention Center in Seville, as well as creating traveling initiatives and leading groups both national and internally for different companies in the tourism industry. Aranoa obtained a degree in Tourism at EUSA and completed her education with a post graduate course in Entrepreneur Initiatives from the Confederación de Empresarios Andaluces.

Aranoa was born in Pamplona, although has lived most of her life in Seville, a city she adores. She became fluent in English in England and lived in Boston for a year. She has travelled extensively around the U.S., Canada, and Argentina and enjoys discovering Europe, especially Italy, England, and the beautiful south of Portugal. Her favorite city in the world is San Francisco and she cannot wait to explore Brazil or Mexico.

Aranoa 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.

She dares students to take the chance, dismantle all of their previous conceptions, and really immerse in the culture.

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Blanca Alvarez

Senior Academic Advisor

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Blanca works across different fields at CEA, 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, 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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Anne-Cécile Couderc

Student Life Advisor and Instructor of French

Anne-Cécile's role at CEA is to accompany students through their time abroad, helping them adjust and adapt to their new Parisian lives and host culture. She organizes orientations, excursions, and social activities throughout the program, and is an excellent resource for things to do in France.

As a professor of French as a Foreign Language, Anne-Cécile also teaches at the CEA Paris Center.

Anne-Cécile holds a Master of Arts in French as a Foreign Language from the Université de Paris X–Nanterre. Prior to joining CEA, Anne-Cécile coordinated the cultural programming for Northwestern University (Ill.) students at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

After receiving her M.A., Anne-Cécile moved to Amsterdam for six months; however, her experience lasted four years. Even though she stayed in Europe, Anne-Cécile encountered many cultural differences which she overcame with patience and an open mind. Her fondness of travel and discovering new cultures took her to Romania, Croatia, Uzbekistan, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Canada, and the U.S. Her next dream destination is Iceland, with its magical landscapes, self-empowered people, and delightful traditions.

Anne-Cécile also taught French as a foreign language in France, UK, Hungary, and the Netherlands. In addition to her teaching and administrative positions, Anne-Cécile has been a contributing author for several French Language textbooks, developed and published by Clé International. Her dedication to humanitarian work has also led her to positions teaching literacy as a volunteer for non-profit organizations throughout her career.

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

* Pixel 2 – Guide pédagogique with Stéphanie Callet / Clé International

* Pixel 2 – Cahier d'exercice with Stéphanie Callet / Clé international

* Pixel 4 – cahier d'exercices / Clé International

* écho Junior 1, 2, 3 – Guide Pédagogique – with Jacky Girardet / Clé International

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Christopher Adams

Internship Specialist

Through interview coaching, resume and cover letter reviewing, and goal-setting, Christopher Adams holistically prepares prospective internship students for their experience abroad. He collaborates with the onsite Placement Coordinators to align students’ internship placements with their goals and interests. He strives to make this process as comprehensive and seamless as possible.

Before joining the team at CEA, Christopher worked as a language educator in the K-12 environment, opting for language immersion experiences, especially those abroad, whenever he could. In addition to teaching Spanish courses in public and private schools and Summer immersion programs, he directed the AATSP-GA Spanish Immersion Camp Weekend and the Barcelona Summer Immersion Program for Abbey Road Programs. After five years as a language educator, Christopher returned to graduate school and completed an experiential Master of Arts in International Education Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. During his coursework, he completed graduate partnership projects with Diversity Abroad, the University of California—Santa Cruz, and Middlebury Schools Abroad in Spain.

Christopher has worked, interned, studied, and traveled extensively throughout Spain. He has also traveled in Western Europe, the Middle East, and North, Central, and South America. He has a near-native level of Spanish proficiency and dabbles in learning any other language he encounters. Christopher’s passion for language education and intercultural competency development has led him to the field of international education. He believes that we can better understand each other through the change in perspective and self-reflection that often accompanies crossing cultures.

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Cecilia Benedetti

Student Services Assistant

As Student Services Assistant, 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, travel plans and even 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 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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Tommaso Bonaiuti

ACADEMIC & STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

Tommaso Bonaiuti joined the CEA Florence Student Services team in December 2015. As Academic & Student Services Coordinator, he works with professors and the Academic Director to ensure that visits outside the classroom run smoothly. And since August 2018 has served as a bridge between Student Services and Academics. Tommaso also helps identify volunteer opportunities for CEA students, as well as working with other members of the Student Services team to help students with non-academic issues during their time abroad.

With a degree in translation and interpreting from the SSML Carlo University in Florence, Tammaso studied English, Spanish, and Russian while he was there. He continued his studies in Turin, Northern Italy, where he earned a Master’s degree in technical and scientific translation, and also worked with several translation agencies before joining CEA.

Travel is Tommaso’s greatest passion, and he dreams of traveling as much as possible. While he did not study abroad during his university career, Tommaso has already travelled to over 16 countries, and is always ready to jump on an airplane and see something new.

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Cali Orr

Program Manager

Cali Orr serves as one of CEA’s Program Managers, working across departments and locations to ensure memorable study abroad experiences. As a Program Manager, Cali focuses on consistency, standardization, and efficiency of on-site practices.

Prior to CEA, Cali has worked in international education and operations for the past five years with a focus on streamlining interdepartmental operations. Her work has allowed her the opportunity to work on-site, collaborate with both domestic and international staff, and leverage her background in research, tourism, and logistics.

Cali’s love of travel and international education stems from her semester abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile. After this experience and receiving dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Spanish from Denison University, she returned to northern Chile to teach English. Later, she returned to the U.S. as a Host Family Coordinator and obtained her MBA at American University in Washington, D.C., while working as a Program Manager for domestic programs. Cali has traveled to 15 countries and strongly believes in the transformative power of study abroad.

Education:

  • MBA, American University- Washington, D.C.
  • BA, Psychology and Spanish, Denison University- Granville, Ohio
  • Semester Abroad- Viña del Mar, Chile
  • English Teacher Abroad- Arica, Chile
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Kelly Wilkinson

Regional Director - Southwest

Kelly's role is to work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization.

Kelly obtained his Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. and his Bachelor's Degree in History from Principia College in Elsah, Ill. He credits his high school study abroad experience in Germany with sparking his interest in obtaining a career in international education.

Kelly has traveled to over 35 countries after first getting a taste of travel through a high school exchange to Germany. After graduating from college, he spent a year each teaching in both Chile and Honduras. Leading high school groups to Mexico kickstarted his professional career in Study Abroad. And since then he has traveled throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia including some of his favorite locations: Iceland, South Africa, Spain, and The Maldives. Kelly would love for his next personal adventure to take him to Lithuania – where he can do some heritage seeking, explore the Trakai Castle, trace the ancient Amber Road, and see a statue and museum in Vilnius dedicated to one of his ancestors.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
  • NAFSA Member
  • NAFSA Region III Team and Texas State Representative
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Elisa Dordevic

Academic Coordinator

As Academic Coordinator, Elisa liaises with local academic institutions in Paris, including the Université de Paris IV - Sorbonne, the Institut Catholique, and the Novancia Business School. She also manages registration, course and co-curricular scheduling, and student advising for all CEA Paris academic programs.

Elisa supports the Academic Dean, faculty, and students at the CEA Paris Center, and acts as the main contact for Custom Program visiting faculty. In this capacity, she often finds herself working with faculty to integrate the city of Paris into their curriculum and bring the course to life.

Elisa earned an Associate Degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the Lycée de Tourisme du Val de Loire, after which she spent two years studying at Westminster College in London. Elisa has 15 years of experience in academic administration for Study Abroad programs; prior to joining CEA, she held administrative positions in the hotel and tourism industry, taught English to children in Cambodia, worked as a Tea Lady in London, and as an extra on a film set in Hong Kong.

Elisa spent several years traveling and living throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the West Indies, and would love for her travels to take her to the North Pole or Northern Scandinavia to see an Aurora Borealis. Elisa's motto and advice for students is: "Wherever you are, go with the flow!"

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Marissa Racht Ryan

Student Services Assistant

As Student Services Assistant, Marissa Racht Ryan helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. A font of information about Florence, Marissa encourages engagement with the host city, and is a point of reference for everyday questions.  She also helps resolve housing issues in a timely manner.   

Marissa holds a BA from Marywood University in Fine Arts, Theatre, and Broadcast Communications for Set Design and Art Direction for Film and Theatre. She studied abroad for the first time in Florence in 2001 and received a Post Baccalaureate degree in Art Conservation; this experience cultivated her passion for Italian art, culture and language. After she finished her conservation studies, she worked professionally as an art conservator for 13 years, living between Italy and the U.S. In 2014, Marissa moved back to Florence full-time to complete a Master’s degree in Contemporary Jewellery and Body Ornament.  

Marissa occasionally teaches jewellery as an adjunct professor to U.S. and international students studying in Florence. She loves teaching and working with students in general. Living in a different culture fascinates her and allows her to view her own culture from a new perspective.  This cultural awareness allows her to help students acclimate to their new environment, in addition to inspiring her artwork.

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Shayna A. Trujillo, MA

Program Development Specialist

As a Program Development Specialist based out of Denver, Colorado, Shayna oversees program research and development initiatives, helping to create new study abroad programs around the world. She focuses on building mutually beneficial partnerships with international universities and academically rigorous opportunities for students. Her desire to facilitate student success and to support universities in reaching their internalization goals drives her as she collaborates with her team to develop new programs and university relationships.

Shayna is a dedicated scholar-practitioner, incorporating theories of international education and student development into program design and assessment. She holds a Master’s degree in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Throughout her education and career, Shayna has concentrated on access and equity for diverse and underrepresented students and creating effective, efficient processes and procedures.

Shayna believes if we teach with purpose, think critically, reflect on ourselves and our world, and build bridges together, we may finally learn what a just and peaceful society looks like. Well-designed education abroad programs are some of the most powerful tools we have to work towards that vision. Shayna thinks we can all benefit from learning new languages, gaining intercultural communication skills, and engaging thoughtfully with people who are different from us.

She has volunteered, studied, worked, lived, and traveled abroad in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Panama, the UK, Israel, and Spain. She speaks Spanish at near-native proficiency and is actively studying Russian.

Education:

  • MA, International Education Management – Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, CA
  • BA, Sociology/Anthropology and Latin American Studies – Lewis & Clark College

Organizational Memberships:

  • Global Leadership League
  • The Forum on Education Abroad

Selected Conference Presentations & Workshops:

  • Assessment & Accountability - Evaluating Inclusive Practices and Policies Toward Strategic Change. Diversity Abroad Conference, 6th Annual. Co-presenter Erica Ledesma. Miami, FL. April 2018.
  • Leveraging Internationalization Efforts with Underrepresented Students in K-12 & Higher Education. Diversity Abroad Conference, 6th Annual. Co-presenter Abel Estrada. Miami, FL. April 2018.
  • Navigating Narration: Exploring Intersectionality and Counter-Stories Abroad. NAFSA Region XII Northern District Conference. Co-presenter Ashley Bayman. Monterey, CA. March 2018. 
  • “Capitolizing” on Student Development Theory: Enhancing Learning for All Students. NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Region XII Conference. Co-presenter, Dr. David Wick. Sacramento, CA. 2017.
  • Nominated by Region XII as a Regional Highlight by NAFSA Region XII Committee
  • Logic Model Frameworks in International Education. Co-facilitator, three-day workshop, with Dr. Sandi Smith and Dr. David Wick. Monterey, CA. 2017.
  • Intercultural Competence & Language Acquisition in Immersive Environments. Rotary Youth Exchange Pre-Departure Workshop. Co-facilitator, one-day workshop, Dr. Paige Butler. Carmel, CA. 2017.

 

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Alice Pagano

Student Services Assistant

As Student Services Assistant, Alice Pagano helps CEA students feel at home while in Florence. She supports them in their everyday requests and helps them make the most of their time abroad by giving tips on life in Florence. She also organizes CEA activities, which help students learn more about the Florentine and Italian culture outside of the classroom. Alice considers her job very important and values the interaction with students as a great opportunity for cultural and personal enrichment.

Alice holds a degree in foreign languages from the University of Florence, where she studied English, Spanish, and French. As part of her studies, Alice completed an internship with an American university in Florence, and after graduating, she worked in the fashion industry for Florentine designer Salvatore Ferragamo. She joined the CEA Florence team in December 2017.

Alice has had a passion for learning languages since she was a child, and she plans on becoming a certified teacher of Italian as a foreign and second language. She understands the benefits and challenges of living abroad, as she herself had a study experience in Portsmouth, UK when she was 19. Alice strongly believes in the importance of studying abroad, as it can help students overcome their limitations and learn to embrace different cultures.

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Eric Canny, Ed.D.

Vice President - Program Management
Eric has managed the reorganization and expansion of international operations at four higher educational institutions. His work focuses on creating effective enhancements that meet diverse internal and external client needs in a continually changing international education landscape, improving organizational systems and structures for clarity, and streamlining communication and data-flow processes.

Eric has 23 years of experience in educational policy and programming, academic curriculum development and accreditation, admissions, risk assessment and crisis management, student and staff development, and non-profit event management. He’s currently focused on developing cutting-edge assessment models, both in and outside of the classroom setting, that track student learning outcomes longitudinally and multi-dimensionally.

Eric has authored articles on various international education issues, including a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad, Fourth Edition. He recently published a chapter on "Study Abroad Retention and Student Success" in "Critical Assessment and Strategies for Increased Student Retention" (IGI Global.) He presents globally on topics relating to international education and diversity; risk assessment and mitigation; and the deployment of technology in global operations of higher educational institutions, with a particular focus on the specific needs of global processes while integrating with other systems.

He is a faculty member at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, in the doctoral program for organizational leaders, where he combines theory with real-life application. Eric serves on the Board of Directors for various international foundations focused on sustainable change and innovation in a wide range of policy areas including: education, environment, health, diversity, religion, gender, and economic equality. He is also co-founder of a documentary film company focusing on these issues.

Previously, Eric served as the Director of Student Services for the world’s largest study abroad program, annually managing all aspects of student well-being and crisis management for 4,000 students in 10 countries. Eric led teams for opening U.S. higher educational institutions in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, France, Ghana, and the United Kingdom, and for expanding existing programs in Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Spain, Thailand, and other countries. He has traveled to more than 55 countries.

Eric received his BFA and MA from New York University and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.
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Carissa Williams Murray

Regional Director - Southeast

Based in Atlanta, GA, Carissa's role is to work closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus' agenda for internationalization. Before joining CEA in January 2012, Carissa worked at the University of Wisconsin-Stout as the Study Abroad and National Student Exchange Coordinator. She was named 'Advisor of the Year,' an award voted on by students.

Carissa obtained her Master's Degree in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Carissa is also a graduate of the NAFSA Academy (Class 10).

Carissa credits her love for travel and curiosity of other countries and cultures to her parents who encouraged her to participate in a German exchange program in high school. Carissa's travels have taken her to Mexico, Canada, Germany, Scotland, Taiwan, Japan, England/Wales, Turkey, India, Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic. She one day hopes to visit Russia, South Africa and Fiji (to name a few). When traveling abroad, Carissa reminds students to go with an open mind and positive attitude; the experience is what you make of it!

Currently, Carissa is the Chair for the Lessons from Abroad Conference in Georgia and is active in the Georgia Association of International Educators (GAIE). Carissa has also presented at GAIE, TAIE, and NAFSA Regional conferences.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

EDUCATION

  • MA, International Education – SIT Graduate Institute (VT)
  • BA, Business Administration – University of Wisconsin – River Falls (WI)
  • NAFSA Academy Graduate (Class 10)
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Radka Semerakova

Custom Programs Manager

As a Custom Programs Manager, Radka helps propose, plan, and implement Custom Programs for Prague in cooperation with the Custom Program team at CEA headquarters and University Relations. Each program is unique and Radka is responsible for aligning the cultural activities and student experiences to accord with the academic plan of the program. Radka is in contact with the university during the pre-arrival phase to help set expectations, coordinate logistics, and ensure a successful program. She is also the main contact for Custom Program students and faculty while they are in Prague.  

Radka lived and studied in Canada for four years. She likes to travel, explore new cultures, and meet new people from around the world. In her free time she prefers to spend her time with her family hiking, cycling, or swimming. She enjoys working with people. Before starting with CEA, Radka worked for travel agencies and as a tour guide in Spain. She also has experience from the corporate sector where she was employed as an HR assistant.

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Sandra Tomás

Senior Student Services Advisor

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.

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Isabelle Morin

Program Adminstrator

As Program Administrator, Isabelle provides administrative support to the CEA Paris office and is responsible for human resources, legal, facilities, and financial administrative processes. Isabelle also assists the CEA Paris team with event planning and tasks that span all aspects of CEA programming.

Isabelle comes to CEA with extensive experience in business administration, having worked for over 20 years in human resources and general administration for international companies, mainly in the petrol industry. She has held different positions from Executive Assistant to Human Resources Specialist, and has a particular interest in law. She studied law at the Université de Paris XIII – Saint Denis, before spending two years in Montréal, Canada where she participated in the launch of a French grocery store. Isabelle is a born and raised Parisian and still lives in the city with her husband. She has two sons: one who is a chef at his restaurant in Paris and one who is studying psychology in Montréal, Canada.

As a parent, Isabelle believes that she had two precious things to give her children: roots and wings. She says “it is never easy when they go away from the roots, but if they use their wings to study abroad, it is fantastic!”

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Petra Mesiková

Program Administrator

As Program Administrator, Petra is responsible for the organization and coordination of student arrivals and organization of excursions. Internally she takes care of finance and together with the Center Director she manages the on-site budget. She is also responsible for office management and organizing Center events.

Originally she comes from Slovakia but moved to the Czech Republic to study. She holds a B.A. degree in English Language and Literature and an M.A. degree in Culture Management, both from Masaryk University in Brno. During her studies, she participated in an exchange study program in Spain and an internship program in Germany. She also had the chance to take part in a summer course in New York City and later returned to the U.S. for a Work and Travel experience.

She enjoys travelling and getting to know other countries and cultures. Additionally she likes yoga, hiking, and everything connected with culture and the arts.

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Eric Schueller

Regional Director - Great Lakes

As University Partnership Development Manager, Eric oversees all the organization’s university-facing marketing, communications, and relationship development strategies. Eric’s mission is to enhance CEA’s visibility and brand recognition amongst its university partners.

Before coming to CEA, he worked for St. Ambrose University and Vactor Manufacturing. Eric's travels have taken him to 13 different countries and lists Croatia as his next international destination. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Marketing from St. Ambrose University (Iowa).

Eric likes to give prospective international travelers this advice: "Dare to get lost or explore without using a map. You might stumble upon a local treasure like a hidden restaurant or plaza. When you are abroad allow yourself the chance to take it all in; the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. Push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • NAFSA e-Learning – Introduction to Education Abroad
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Mónica Rodriguez

Senior Program Administrator

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 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.

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Colin Maunoury

Program Advisor

Colin provides program support through organizing and facilitating student arrivals, orientation, housing, cultural activities, and excursions.

He began his career working as a film programmer for the Capalbio Short Film Festival in Italy. Colin lived in Rotterdam for a year and then moved back to Paris to work in film production. He is an active member of the short film selection committee for the Cannes Film Festival and speaks French, English, Italian, and Dutch. Colin holds a Masters of Arts in Film History from l’Université de Paris 7 and Wesleyan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Film Studies at l’Université de Paris 7.

Colin’s view on travelling and living abroad is that one should listen and observe at least as much as one talks, probably more. In the end, we are much more similar than we are different, but it can be difficult to grasp that without having a common “cultural language.” All cultures should communicate and enrich each other, so be yourself, share, and absorb as much as you can!

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Natalie Hadwigerová

Housing Advisor
Natalie provides direct assistance to students and local landlords to resolve housing issues in a timely manner. Natalie also is integral to preparing apartments before arrival and after departure. She assists the Senior Housing Advisor as needed.

As a humanities graduate, she loves to learn about new cultures and enjoys art of any sort. Natalie often visits galleries and multifunctional cultural spaces with a special interest in modern and abstract art.

Natalie earned her B.A. degree in Humanities, Society, and Culture at Anglo-American University in Prague, where she is now continuing in the M.A. program. As a member of the Student Council, she has been actively involved in the development of a lively multi-cultural environment. Her primary responsibility is the management of various social and cultural events. Along with her studies, she worked as a PR Assistant and Social Media Manager.
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Giustina Pelosi

Regional Director - Northwest

As a Regional Director based out of Portland, OR., Giustina Pelosi works closely with university advisors, faculty and staff to support the student exploration, advising and registration processes as well as to identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus’ agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining the University Relations Team at CEA, Giustina worked as the Faculty-Led Programs and International Internships Advisor for Portland State University. Giustina has held several positions across the field of international education including work with IE3 Global Internships, the Academy for Global Exploration, and the Hillsboro School District’s Migrant Education Program. Furthermore, she has been very active in developing and leading re-entry programming including serving as Co-Chair for the NW Returnee Conference on Education Abroad as well as developing peer advisor programs to serve as ambassadors on several campus’ throughout the Northwest. Giustina has studied abroad both in Spain and Italy, worked as a volunteer English Teacher in Ecuador, led students through Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and enjoyed travel to many more countries.

Giustina decided on a career in international education after returning from a study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain during her undergraduate studies. Giustina has continued to explore different countries across the globe and enjoys how each experience continues to open her eyes to undiscovered truths about herself and the world around her. She believes studying abroad is a privilege to which all students should have access and encourages students to make an educated decision when choosing an overseas program. “Your options are limitless when exploring abroad opportunities, the key to a successful abroad experience is in articulating your goals - personal, professional, and academic - and selecting the experience that best complements those goals while providing an environment that is both supportive and challenging.”

Currently, Giustina is a member of the founding leadership team for PDX Abroad, an association for education abroad professionals in the Portland area, and serves on the NAFSA’s Financial Aid Subcommittee for Education Abroad Rules & Policies (EARP).

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
EDUCATION:
  • MS, College Student Service Administration - Intercultural Relations (OR)
  • BS, International Studies - Spanish Language & Culture (WA)
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Beatriz Rovira

Housing Advisor

Bea is responsible for creating the best experience for CEA 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. Creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Bea also participates in the onsite Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program.

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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Lenka Kadeřábková

Internship and Custom Programs Advisor

Lenka Kadeřábková serves as the CEA Prague Internship and Custom Programs Advisor. In this role, Lenka works directly with students and host organizations to make effective individualized internship placements. She also helps with custom programs, especially those that include an internship component. Lenka served as Project Manager for Startupjobs. Throughout her university study, she was involved with the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, most recently as the National Exchange Coordinator. Lenka has a Master’s degree in Microbiology and completed internships herself in Jordan and Vietnam.

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Larry Hogan

Regional Director - Mid Atlantic

As a Regional Director based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Larry cultivates and maintains relationships with U.S. colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region, supporting their study abroad goals by keeping them abreast of CEA program offerings and opportunities. He works closely with university advisors, faculty, and staff to support the student exploration, advising, and registration processes, and to identify how CEA can promote campus’ internationalization agendas.

Before joining CEA, Larry worked for University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in positions including Academic Advisor and Assistant Director of Third Party Operations. In these roles, Larry worked closely with students to identify international and domestic opportunities that fit into their degree plans. He also maintained relationships with other universities to define course articulations that standardized transfer credit opportunities. Beyond his academic advising duties, Larry coordinated with third party agencies, private business entities, and international universities to increase opportunities for students by building partnerships that provided tuition discounts or tuition deferral options.

Larry obtained his BA in Psychology from Goucher College, the first college in the nation to require all of its undergraduate students to study abroad. He decided on a career in international education after returning from a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain during his time at Goucher. As a part of this program, Larry also had the opportunity to spend time in London, Madrid, and Amsterdam. He believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad, as it’s truly a transformative experience that allows students to explore different ways of communicating, working, learning, and living.

Larry went on to complete his MS in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Global & International Education at Drexel University. Larry completed his thesis on the impact study abroad has on a student’s career choices five to 10 years after graduation. He is a member of NAFSA.

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Martin Brokeš

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 student interns on site.

Martin is passionate about psychology and philosophy, community development, education and facilitation, languages, and foreign cultures. He is a curious learner, explorer, swimmer, runner, hiker, yoga and mindfulness practitioner and also a relentless backpacker. Martin is not an artistic soul but likes to sometimes play ukulele or dance salsa.

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.

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Alexis Jones

Regional Director – Central States

As a Regional Director based in Kansas City, Alexis works closely with study abroad advisors, administrators, and faculty at higher education institutions in KS, MO, AR, IL, IN, OK, and TN. The goals of this collaborative relationship are increasing study abroad participation and achieving the institutions’ broader vision of internationalization. Alexis cooperates with campus partners to develop custom, faculty-led programs and to advise students about CEA's study abroad and internship programs.

Prior to joining CEA, 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.

One of her primary goals throughout her career has been to educate students about the international opportunities available to them and to encourage their participation in activities that enhance their academic and professional growth. She looks forward to connecting with students throughout the Central States to share CEA’s study and internship opportunities with them.

EDUCATION:

• MA, Teaching and Leadership – English as a Second Language (Univ. of Kansas)
• BA, Psychology (University of Kansas)

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Maria Mateu

Experiential Learning Coordinator

As CEA Barcelona’s Experiential Learning Coordinator, Maria's role is to ensure the good process of daily operations related to experiential learning programs, including volunteering, international service learning, and career mentoring. Maria teaches Cross Cultural Management and Career Development courses at the CEA Barcelona Center. Along with her work at CEA, Maria delivers intercultural training workshops to individuals and groups, helping them develop and enhance their intercultural competence so they can work and live effectively across cultures.

Prior to joining CEA, Maria worked as an intercultural trainer and diversity management consultant for a wide range of organizations in the social, private, and public sectors. Originally from Catalonia, she has lived and worked in Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. She holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and Relations from Lesley University (Massachusetts), an MA in International

Development, and a bachelor’s in Communication/Journalism, both from Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain). She speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, French, and basic Kiswahili.

She is currently a member of the Board of SIETAR Spain (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research), the Spanish branch of an international organization that seeks common understanding and cooperation among people from different cultural backgrounds. Maria is passionate about cultural diversity and strongly believes that studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to broaden perspectives and develop the skills needed in a complex, changing, and interdependent global world.

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Sean Williams

Regional Director – New England

Prior to entering the field of international education, Sean worked in corporate law and international finance for a decade. Since his career change, Sean has held a variety of leadership positions in global internship program management, career development, employer relations, study abroad, and university relations. He is the former Site Director for EUSA and the Academic Internship Council in Boston, the former Director of Internship Programs & Client Relations at Intrax in New York City, and was most recently the Director of Institutional Relations for Dream Careers.

Sean is a graduate of Connecticut College and studied abroad at Oxford University, New College during his junior year. He also completed a year of graduate studies in the Economic History of Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the London School of Economics. He’s a graduate of the Senior Leadership Executive Education Program in Non-Profit Management at Columbia Business School.

Sean lives in the Boston area.

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Hana Punčochářová

Student Services Advisor

Hana serves as Student Services Advisor in Prague. Hana is on the “front line” answering student questions and helping students with any concerns. She also manages student information in databases and systems. She organizes activities, manages the Czech Republic visa process for students, and organizes Orientation each term. These responsibilities include regular and proactive communication with students.

 

Hana has an MA degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages from King’s College London, where she studied for one year. She spent an additional year in England before this on a study abroad program in Norwich and an internship in London where she was teaching children. She brings her value of education to CEA Prague’s student services, which is squarely in line with our goal to make every aspect of a student’s study abroad experience a learning experience. Hana is originally from the South Bohemian region in the Czech Republic but also studied in Olomouc in Moravia.

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Laura Madden

Regional Director – West

Based out of Los Angeles, Laura works closely with university faculty and staff to support student growth through study and internship abroad opportunities. She identifies ways CEA can assist its university partners achieve their internationalization goals.

Laura obtained her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business & Marketing from DePaul University and her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations & Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has 11 years of professional international education experience. Her most recent position was at DePaul University working within the Global Engagement Office.

Laura studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and Madrid, Spain during her undergraduate studies, discovering how study abroad can exponentially enrich your career and your life. Shortly after graduating, Laura worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an experience that launched her career in international education. Laura has a deep passion for international education and works tirelessly to enable as many students as possible to study and work abroad.

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Steven Paschal

University Partnership Coordinator
As the University Partnership Coordinator based out of Phoenix, AZ, Steven Paschal works closely with the Regional Directors and University Advisors to support the student exploration, advising, and registration processes. He also helps them identify ways in which CEA can assist in the success of the campus’ agenda for internationalization.

Prior to joining the University Relations Team, Steven worked as a Team Lead for the Admissions Counselors at CEA. In this position, he managed a group of Admissions Counselors while also providing advising and guidance to prospective students. Steven brings over two years of experience as a CEA Admissions Counselor to this position, giving him a unique understanding of CEA’s programs and the student process.

Steven obtained his BA in Anthropology from the College of Charleston, where he developed a passion for other cultures and expanding his world view. He decided on a career in international education after his undergraduate study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina and continues to explore new cultures every day. Steven believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad, as it’s a life changing experience that provides them with a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
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Keziah Diaz

Director of Operations - University Relations

Keziah Diaz provides operational support to the University Relations team. She helps create streamlined and efficient processes, refines assessment measures such as reporting and conference management, and supports the University Relations team to provide excellent service to University Partners. Keziah also oversees the CEA Alumni Ambassador Program.

Prior to joining CEA, Keziah worked for the University of Advancing Technology as Manager of Student Affairs, where she was responsible for student life, student government, student tutors, and transfer credits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia and a Master of Science in Technology Leadership from the University of Advancing Technology (Ariz.).

Keziah's travels have taken her to eight countries and she looks forward to traveling throughout Italy. Her advice for first time travelers is to "always take the scenic route."

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Laura Higgs

Manager of Alumni Relations
As Alumni Relations Manager, Laura oversees the Alumni Ambassador program and engages CEA alumni through re-entry programming. Laura’s mission is to provide leadership opportunities to returning students so they can begin to utilize their study abroad experience to their advantage in their future careers.

Before coming to CEA, Laura worked for Rotary International, Trinity University, and iE-USA. Laura completed a Rotary Youth Exchange to Argentina during high school that inspired her to study abroad in both Spain and Argentina while in college. She has continued to expand her travels to other parts of Europe and India.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College and a Master of Science in Global and International Education from Drexel University.

Laura speaks Spanish fluently and hopes to travel to Brazil and Thailand in the future.
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Shayla Auer

Alumni Relations Coordinator
As the Alumni Relations Coordinator at CEA, Shayla Auer continues to build a strong Alumni Ambassador team that promotes study abroad on U.S. college campuses. Shayla enjoys helping CEA alumni translate their study abroad experiences into life and career skills and further share their international experiences on their home campuses.

Originally from Arizona, Shayla attended University of Colorado in Boulder. While earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she completed a study abroad program in Seville, Spain. After graduation, Shayla moved back to southern Spain to teach and work in the field of study abroad. Since 2012, Shayla has worked within various departments at the CEA Headquarters in Phoenix and on-site at the CEA Seville Center.

Living in Spain for five years, Shayla learned to speak Spanish and continued her world travels. A few of her favorite locations are Portugal, Costa Rica, and Australia! Working and studying abroad has had a powerful impact on her life and career path. Her international experiences inspired her to pursue a career in international education and to share her experiences with others considering a study abroad experience. Next on her travel list – Buenos Aires, Argentina!
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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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Adrian Beaulieu, Ed.S.

Dean of International Studies - Providence College
Adrian Beaulieu oversees education abroad as Providence College’s first-appointed dean of international studies. For 25 years, Dean Beaulieu has served on many program advisory boards and has presented at many national and regional conferences with a focus on study abroad issues particular to private liberal arts colleges.

He serves as a member of the Forum on Education Abroad, as a certified reviewer for the Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) peer-review process, and as a certified assessor for the Forum’s professional certification program. His areas of interest and expertise include quality assurance, program and curriculum development, and student engagement.

Before joining Providence College, he held study abroad director positions at George Washington University and Smith College. Dean Beaulieu holds an Ed.S. degree in higher education administration from George Washington University and a S.T.L degree in theology and Christian ritual from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. He is a proud charter member of Red Sox Nation.
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Aileen Curley

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alex Barbosa

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad would have definitely been Spanish! There is something so fun about struggling together with everyone to speak a new language and learning about a new way of living. When you learn a new language, the world becomes even more accessible to you, and that is truly exciting. My advice would be "to not be afraid to make mistakes!" Learning a new language and the culture that comes with it can be uncomfortable at times, but when people see you trying to learn, they will be on your side. Find someone to practice and/or mentor you on the language to improve. The fastest way to pick up the language is listening to other people and speaking it as much as possible!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
My study abroad experience has shaped me into a better human being in my personal life. I am more sensitive to issues outside of the United States and I am more open to different ways of living life. In my career, studying abroad has taught me courage, adaptability, and independence, all of which are key traits employers look for when hiring a new person.
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Alexandra Harbour

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexis Yvonne Prather

CEA MOJO Videographer

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 Johnson

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture? 
I came into Florence with no idea what to expect. I hadn't traveled much before going to Italy and the only culture I experienced in my life is the native Alaskan culture from my hometowns. This experience was unique in the fact that I was living within the culture. I was not just living in an Italian apartment but also meeting new people from around the world every day. I met Italian people my age and was able to tell them about American "culture" while they recommended the best places to go to eat, etc.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course while I was abroad was my Family Business class. My teacher was very interactive and I responded to that style well. The class information related to me because I am taking over my family business and I was able to receive insight into how to go about that. Also, I was able to read about a family business then go and see it. For example, we read about the Ferrari family business, then the next weekend, as a class we went to Modena and visited the Ferrari museum.
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Alison Heywood

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Allie Goodman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Ally Botwinick

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was Communication and Global Competence because it gave me the opportunity to meet a student that grew up in Barcelona and is studying English at the University of Barcelona. Having this encounter was very eye-opening for me and gave me a much better understanding of the culture, the school system, and the social norms.

2. What would you tell someone considering studying abroad?
I would say that studying abroad with CEA was the best decision of my life. It gives you the opportunity to go out of your comfort zone, meet new people, get inspired by professors, and go on excursions. The faculty at CEA are extremely accommodating and do their best to make it a smooth transition from America to your temporary home country.
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Alyssa Jackson

Site Specialist

Although I grew up in Wisconsin, I was introduced to the wonders of travel early, as my family took yearly road trips around the U.S. This led to a fascination with international travel as well, so, in high school, I traveled to Costa Rica with my high school. This was just the beginning. As an undergrad, I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand, which was an amazing experience. After graduating from college, I was unsure of what I wanted to do, so I worked in the hospitality field and traveled when I could. When I discovered I could work in study abroad, I chose to pursue my Master’s in International Education Management with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which gave me the understanding of the international education field that I wanted before launching my career with CEA.

I have been lucky enough to travel to a large variety of countries, including Haiti, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Fiji, Denmark, and Italy, and more. Of course, I hope to continue exploring the rest of the world as well as all of the beautiful spots within the U.S. When I’m not having adventures abroad, I entertain myself by playing volleyball, exploring nature, going to trivia nights, reading good books, and watching movies in the theater.

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Amanda Moline

Site Specialist

Some of my very first and fondest memories are the ones that I made while living in Japan with my family from ages five to seven. I don’t remember much, but the little I do remember—things such as images of cherry blossoms, the refrains of traditional songs, and the energy at local festivals—instilled a life-long passion for Japanese language and culture and languages and cultures in general.

After moving back to Arizona, I studied Japanese, German, and Russian at Northern Arizona University, where I majored in modern languages. I studied abroad in Fukuoka, Japan for a semester and volunteered to teach English to Japanese elementary school students. This experience inspired me to work abroad as an assistant language teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program for over three years in Fukushima, Japan. I also spent an additional two years working as an English teacher and international exchange program coordinator for a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.

As someone whose life was changed by studying and living abroad, I feel privileged to help CEA students with their own life-changing experiences. I want to help equip students with the knowledge they need to feel confident and excited about their upcoming international adventures. When I’m not at CEA, I enjoy watching Netflix, besting my friends at Mario Kart, playing with my dogs, and brushing up on my language skills for my next trip!

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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 Bates

Alumni Ambassador
1. What language tips do you have, regarding Czech?
Although I did not study Czech while studying abroad in Prague, I did notice learning a few key phrases was tremendously useful when navigating the city. At first, I was nervous to say even simple things like “Thank you” and “Goodbye” because I knew my pronunciation was horrible. But once I got more comfortable I noticed I received a much warmer response when I attempted to speak the language of the locals. People treated me with much more respect when I simply said “Hello, do you speak in English” in Czech instead of automatically assuming they did. Even just a little bit of effort is greatly appreciated by locals and you will be treated with much more kindness.

2. How would you convince a friend to study abroad? 
If my friends were debating different study abroad options, my strongest argument for CEA would be the sense of community it brings. Even though all the students are spread across the city in different apartments and living situations, I feel like being a part of the CEA program bonded us together. CEA does a wonderful job of creating events and fun spaces where students can come together, share their experiences, and bond. After partaking in some excursions, I would see some familiar faces in my classrooms or on the streets of Prague. Even if we did not know each other, we would stop and chat about being in the same program. It is so comforting feeling like there are friendly faces around a foreign city where you typically wouldn't know people. I was very nervous about meeting people and making friends while studying abroad. However, from the second I got there I never felt alone. I always had a person to turn to or a resource to reach out to if I needed anything which allowed me to make the most of my experience.
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Amy Conger, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost and Director of Global Engagement - University of Michigan
Amy Conger is the Associate Vice Provost and Director of Global Engagement at the University of Michigan (U-M). In this role, she supports international platforms for multidisciplinary research, student programs (currently China, Ethiopia, and India), institutional partnerships, and legal agreements for student mobility. As a former Director of International Engineering Programs, she has extensive experience in program development for STEM education abroad, internships, and co-curricular design/service learning projects. Dr. Conger continues to teach ENGR 260: Engineering Across Cultures and co-leads research in the development of culturally informed design skills and the integration of ethnographic methods in engineering education. She also manages a large-scale assessment project for Engaged Learning at Michigan.

In terms of operations, Dr. Conger manages the U-M Global Engagement Team, a central service and consulting group for all academic units offering international programs. She co-develops and implements campus-wide policies for education abroad (academic credit and co-curricular experiences) and manages campus-wide infrastructure for education abroad and domestic engaged learning (on-line application management system, university travel registry, Global Michigan website, and internal and external reporting).

She earned her Ph.D. in higher education from the U-M, concentrating in comparative higher education and public policy. She earned her M.A. and B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her prior experience includes serving as an Advisor to the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange in Belgium, conducting fieldwork in the Republic of South Africa, and teaching English in the U.S. and Mexico. She represents the U-M as an elected member of the Global Engineering Educational Exchange (GE3) Executive Committee and as a member of the Fulbright National Screening Committee and the Boren Scholarship Panel.
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Anastasia Kingsley

Alumni Ambassador
1. What are your best tips for practicing language while abroad? 
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions. Most locals will appreciate your effort to speak their native language with them, even if you mess up. The best way to really become comfortable and fluent with a language is to practice speaking it, so take every opportunity you can to practice in different settings, whether that’s in the classroom, with your host family, or out in public. And be confident! Don’t rely on that one friend who you *think* is better at speaking than everyone else. Give your best effort yourself. 
Also, if you live with a host family, take advantage of conversations you can have with them. In my experience, I found that I had the most diverse kinds of conversation with my host family about everything from politics and religion to culture, food, and music, if you do it respectfully and with an open mind. It’s a safe space to practice both speaking and listening, and to pick up so much new vocabulary.

2. What would you say to others who are considering studying abroad? 
Study abroad can be a life-changing experience, but it really depends on what you make out of it. You have the opportunity to grow as a person, but it all depends on your attitude. The world is a really big place; anywhere you go you’ll find amazing places to see, things to do, new foods to try, people to meet and you’ll do unexpected things you never thought you would do. More than just taking a culture class or learning a new language, study abroad will make you more open-minded, give you a new perspective on the world, and help you understand other people and cultures better. 

3. Favorite class?
The Transition: From Franco’s Dictatorship to the Democracy of Today’s Spain
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Anastasia Kingsley

CEA MOJO Blogger
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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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Angela D'Amato

Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you tell someone considering studying abroad? 
I would tell a friend to study abroad because it is a life-changing experience. There is so much more to the world than just America and what we're used to. Not only are you able to learn about a new culture but you also find out more about yourself. It doesn't matter where you study because no location is the same and each place will teach you many different things that you can't learn anywhere else. Study abroad has been one of the greatest experience in my life and I highly recommend looking at all the different places that are available and seeing where the world could take you.
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Annalise Pownall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Anne-Watkins Tyson

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course abroad was Media and Conflict. For many reasons, I felt like I belonged in this course more than any other course I had ever taken. The professor had a life of experience within the Communications field and experiences around the world, and he gladly shared them with us. He made Communications bigger than just a course or field or career for me. He presented it as a passion that affects every single person globally. This course changed the way that I learn, see and communicate everything. Even if Communication or Media or Journalism are not your passions, it is the most interesting course!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My study abroad experience is the one of the most educational experiences of my college years so far. The classes were interesting, thought-provoking and challenging, yet outside the classroom is what shaped me the most. Temporarily joining a culture that was completely different than everything I knew made me appreciate the little things so much. I grew to love the Madeleine woman's 'bon matin!', I looked forward to the Cathedral's bells ringing right as I walked out of my Communications course and I smiled every morning when I smelled the fresh croissants at the neighborhood boulangerie. My passion for knowing and learning was enhanced greatly when I was abroad. In both my career and personal lives, my confidence grew after my summer in France. I became more independent, more appreciative, and more curious.
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Annie Myers

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Anthony Rotolo

Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about Internships!
1. What are your best language tips? 
I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and never once felt confident conversing in the language. After one semester studying Italian in Florence, Italy, I am very confident in my Italian language skills and am comfortable walking into a conversation in Italian! Learning a language in a place where that language is the primary spoken language is 10x easier than learning it in a classroom in the States. Every day after walking out of class you can practice what you learned with locals. You need to learn how to read signs and store names in Italian to get by. Your mind is not only thinking about the language while you are in class, it is thinking about it everywhere you go every day. I also practiced Italian at my internship abroad and with my family in Southern Italy who spoke no English! By the end of the semester I was so comfortable in Italian that during my travels after I met Italians and carried conversations solely in Italian! I am amazed by how well I learned Italian while abroad and now I plan to continue with more classes at my home institution!

2. What would you say if you had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad?
Study abroad! Just do it! There are certain times in your life when you can do something huge that can have a lasting impact on your life, and this is one of those times. There is a saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I have heard this in a different context that I prefer more: “When you are young you have the time and desire to do things, but you don't have the money. When you enter the real world, you have the money and desire to do things but you don't have the time. When you are old you have the money and the time, but you don't have the desire to do them anymore.” Looking at the world we live in, I see this to be true in many cases. If you are fortunate enough to have the financial ability to study abroad, you need to take advantage of the opportunity. Before you know it, you will be working a full-time job and your time might be completely consumed. This experience will open your mind to the different possibilities of life in this world! This experience taught me that the saying I mentioned before, about youth being wasted on the young, is not true in all cultures. It opened my mind to the possibility of a different lifestyle. It sprouted new career ideas in my mind that I had never thought of before and helped me to abandon many skewed views I had on the world! When else in your life are you going to have the opportunity to live in another country for months at a time! Some people might have that opportunity later in life, but for most of us this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is a difference between traveling among foreign countries and living in one! Study abroad, it will change your life!
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Anthony Rotolo

CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: Santa Monica College
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Aron Finholt

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Ashleigh Litcofsky

CEA MOJO Photographer

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 Cooper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Betsy Kaplan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Arizona
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Blanca Brosig

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
One thing I really admired about the way classes were conducted in Spain was that they were very interactive. Although they all encouraged conversation, my favorite class was International Management. My professor prepared lectures where we conducted activities at the end of lecture so we could apply what we learned that day. We were also put into teams and practiced how to present in front of the class. These presentations required us to be interactive with the class and not just show a pre-planned presentation. However, what made this my favorite class was how willing my professor was to interact with us. I’d speak to him after class and would get feedback from him as to how I could improve professionally.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
What I loved about CEA is the amazing staff. Before I left for Spain, I was guided step-by-step on how to prepare for the following months. From how to apply for my visa to advising me on whether I should do a home-stay or an apartment, the staff was always quick to answer my questions and ease my doubts. However, once in Spain, the start to my study abroad was a shaky one. Apart from being nervous, I left many things unattended at home and, to top it off, I had a stomach virus. A friend of mine recommended that I speak to my program director, so I did. She took me out for coffee, listened to what was going on, and then gave me recommendations on what I should do. Needless to say that what started as a negative experience changed into the best moments I’ve ever had. My program director once described that we were like her children. They took care of every detail so that you were able to focus on learning and exploring.
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Bonnie Cash

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Brogan Zochert

Alumni Ambassador
1. What do you wish you had known before going?
Although it can be easy (and exciting) to get caught up in traveling and learning about new cultures, it's important to remember why you're there. Everyone may have different motives, however, mine was to learn the language and embrace the culture. I wish I had realized that it's okay to spend a weekend playing tourist in your own city! It's like a second home to you, so don't be afraid to skip out on a weekend of travel in order to immerse yourself in the culture that you're already in!

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad?
There are so many things to love about CEA and the program it provides to its students. There are staff members to help guide you every step of the way, whether it's culturally, academically, etc. They always have your best interest in mind. Not only are the academics incredible (how often do you get to take a class about food and wine?), but they offer a lot of opportunities to get to know the culture. From city excursions in and around your country to cooking classes with natives, there is so much to learn and explore. It's a well-rounded program that still gives you the freedom to learn about your new culture in your own way.
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Brooke Begich

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Brynn Motal

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Seville, Spain
Home University: Humboldt State
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Caitlyn Bilow

CEA MOJO Blogger in London, England
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London, England
Home University: DePaul University
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Caitlyn Ward

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite class had to be my Narrative and Culture class that I took at London South Bank University. Being an English Literature major, this was right up my alley, but it was even more interesting because we touched on British authors that I would normally not read in my analysis classes back at my home university. Reading authors like Dickens, Hardy, and Woolf let me explore the world of London in a literary sense, going along with the new sites and areas I was discovering during my time studying abroad. It was so interesting to read about the world that these authors experienced and the way that they worked to preserve the London that they lived in. Comparing this to the London that I was living in and seeing was something that I quite enjoyed, for I was able to see the evolution of the city not only through my eyes, but through the eyes of a renowned writer. Not only did this give me a better view of London, but it was a class that I quite enjoyed and that also went along with my major.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My study abroad experience has changed so many things about me. Before coming to London, I had only been out of the country once before, and even though I got a small understanding of other cultures during that week abroad, it has been nothing like this experience. Studying abroad has taught me so many things about myself and the world around me. It has taught me that I am stronger and smarter than I could have ever thought, and that by taking this opportunity, I have so many more doors open in terms of my future. I had such a narrow vision of my future plans before, but being abroad has allowed me to widen my horizons and strive for bigger and better things - things that I have never thought possible before coming to London.
It has also taught me the differences in culture and the differences between countries. There is so much to see, do, and learn in each new culture, and learning about how people in different countries interact and behave gave me a more wide-ranged view on how the world works.
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Cali Fisler

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Cara Stevens

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Cari Vanderkar, Ph.D.

Director, International Center - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
As the Senior International Officer for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Dr. Vanderkar serves as a strategic partner in leading university global initiatives. She is engaged with faculty and the campus community on enhancing international partnerships and with initiatives involving international student retention and success, curriculum internationalization, and diversity and inclusivity. Dr. Vanderkar has extensive experience managing study abroad, exchange, and faculty-led programming; health, safety, and risk management; program development and administration; and consortium leadership.

Dr. Vanderkar earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of Oregon, where she researched post-socialist transition in Eastern Europe and conducted an ethnography on Moravian village life in the Czech Republic. She has been in the international education field for over 20 years and has managed study abroad efforts for thirteen years.
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Carley Kline

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad? 
My favorite class had to be Fashion Marketing and Merchandising because we had the incredible opportunity to visit trade shows in Florence, Italy. We visited the Gucci Garden and were given a detailed tour and history behind the brand. In addition, we worked on a semester-long project that involved creating a new store. Also, we went to various family-owned businesses around the city and met people that truly inspired me to follow my passions. My team and I were able to network in the city and meet some amazing people working in the fashion and retail industry.

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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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Celia Skvaril

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Chandler Stroh

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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Charlotte Mabry

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Chloe Jacobs

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

It will change you in the best way possible. Around every corner there is a learning opportunity that exists outside the classroom. There is a difference between vacationing somewhere and traveling there on your own. Staying in hostels, going to grocery stores, and finding local hang outs are all a part of learning about the world in YOUR OWN WAY. There is no right or wrong way to do it. I remember that, when I arrived in Prague, I had no idea what to expect. When we got there and stood on the beautiful Charles Bridge, however, I felt so happy and full of life. I couldn’t wait to walk around Prague Square, attempt to talk to locals, and eat the food. Every place you go becomes a part of you. It will be the best adventure of your life. You will broaden your world, your culture, and discover things about yourself you would didn’t know because you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class was definitely Spanish, because my teacher made it fun. We were constantly speaking with each other and to her, and she really enjoyed her job and teaching Spanish. Another reason I loved the class so much was because it was filled with international students from all over the world. I made friends from Canada, Kazakhstan, and Romania, and got to know more about their home country through the class and discussions.
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Christina Barnes

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

The best advice I could ever give someone about learning a new language is practice fearlessly. During my time abroad, I limited my own improvement because I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing. I would always get stuck on vocab or conjugations and halt the whole conversation just trying to figure out the past imperfect of “vivir.” This was totally counterproductive and eventually the person I was speaking to would give up and try to guess what I was saying or worse, speak to me in English. Learning my language fearlessly would have been holding longer conversations with my host mom. Engaging fearlessly would have been going to more places where there were more locals than Americans. Persisting fearlessly would be skipping over a word and powering through the conversation. Even if the syntax is horrible, locals understand what you are saying 99% of the time. However, if they don’t, you can try your hand at explaining yourself a different way. The scary thing was choosing to go abroad in the first place. If you can commit to living your life abroad, then being fearless in learning that language is more than possible.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

-Never pay for taxis. A lot of the smaller cities are incredibly walkable and the ones that aren’t have really extensive and inexpensive public transportation systems. Learn how to navigate them.
-Pay the extra money for the places you are staying. The last thing you want after a long day of being on your feet is to walk 40 minutes to your Airbnb because it was the cheaper choice. It’s better for your overall experience if you’re staying closer to the action, even if it means spending a few more bucks.
-Look for places that have a kitchen. Yes, you’ll want to eat out, but, after a few $15 meals, your wallet won’t let you. In moments like those, a kitchen will save you since you can just swing by the local grocery store and DIY with some pasta and tomato sauce.
-Pay for tours. You’ll really appreciate having somebody else organize your day of tourism for you, and oftentimes you get access to skip the line passes which are much appreciated.

 

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Christine Weiler

Site Specialist
From a very young age, I have had the privilege of traveling to see family and friends that lived in Morocco and Spain. When I was 12 years old my family uprooted and moved to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (West Africa). Boy, was that a life-changing experience! Through this experience, I was able to gain a deep appreciation for everything this great big world has to offer.

I completed my study abroad while attending the College of Charleston (Charleston, SC) and spent the spring semester of 2013 in Meknes, Morocco. This was definitely one of the most rewarding and exciting times of my life!

In all, I have been fortunate enough to travel to Morocco, Spain, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Dominican Republic, England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Grand Cayman. I don’t have a favorite destination, but Thailand, Chile, and South Africa are on my to-go list.

As an Admissions Counselor, I'm the first contact for students who are interested in studying abroad with CEA. I provide thorough instruction and advice on choosing the perfect program for each individual student based on their wants and needs. When I’m not at CEA, I love to cook, travel, have Netflix binges, read, and play with my puppy, Leila!

Did you know? About 10 years ago I visited Kakum National Park, an undisturbed rainforest park in Ghana. I went up the Canopy Walkway and, after seven terrifying bridges, I finally made it to the rainforest canopy, where I saw a few monkeys and even heard an elephant!
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Christopher Young

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Cindy Price, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs - Seattle Pacific University
Dr. Cindy Price is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Seattle Pacific University and has served in this role since 2014. Under Cindy’s leadership, the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs oversees General Education, Institutional Accreditation, Institutional Research, Global Engagement, Student Academic Services, and Study Abroad Initiatives. She is also involved in areas of academic planning, academic policies, strategic planning, parent programs, and faculty development.

Dr. Price earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University. Prior to her role at Seattle Pacific University, Cindy was an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Washington.
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Claire Farrell

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture? 
While I was studying in the French Riviera I took an advanced level French language course and throughout the semester our small class of five went on day trips with our professor (who did not speak any English) to local art museums, restaurants and culturally important places around Nice and Antibes. Doing this really made me engage in local traditions and culture specific to the Nice area, rather than just France and made me appreciate my city.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
CEA was a great way to study abroad because the opportunities I received from CEA specifically as opposed to through any other program were so unique, like being selected to intern at the Cannes Film Festival and going on excursions to cool places I never would have thought about traveling to, like the provincial regions of France.
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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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Dalia Bussell

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Dana Fazziola

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Daniel J. May, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs - University of New Haven
Daniel J. May was named Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Haven in 2013. As the chief academic officer, he oversees the academic colleges and programs, library and information technology services, and staff members supporting high impact experiential education opportunities, including study abroad.  He also oversees academic affiliation and articulation agreements, including the School-of-Record agreement with CEA.

Provost May has overseen the establishment of satellite locations at the Orange, CT and Prato, Italy campuses; the acquisition of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts; and the development of the joint master’s degree program in data science with Galvanize, Inc. in San Francisco. He has guided the campus-wide review and prioritization process of its academic programs and administrative units, and fostered the use of information technology in instruction, evaluation, and assessment.

Provost May earned his bachelor’s degree in geology at Stanford University and a Ph.D. in geology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He served on the faculty at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand from 1986 to 1989, at Bowling Green State University in 1990-91, and at the University of Findlay in Ohio from 1991-2003. Dr. May chaired programs in environmental, safety, and occupational health management prior to becoming dean of Findlay’s College of Sciences in 2003. He served there as vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2013, overseeing the addition of innovative undergraduate majors, online offerings, professional graduate programs, and a variety of continuing education and consulting services.
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Daniel Lesser

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Daniella Matarazzo

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite class?

My favorite class had to be my photography class. First, Alejandro was a wonderful teacher. You can tell how passionate he is about the topic and that he makes the class not only be interesting but also fun a priority. Photography is something I have always been interested in but have never pursued. This class was perfect for me because it gave me a reason to actually experiment with taking photos. Walking around aimlessly until the perfect picture captured my eye also gave me a chance to explore new parts of the city of Barcelona as well. This class made me realize my love for taking photos and that it is something I want to continue to do when I get back home.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped who I am a lot. The biggest impact that it has had on my life is that it taught me a lot about myself. Studying abroad has made me realize how independent I can be and how much I like challenges. I learned how to plan trips on the fly, pack lightly, and navigate many different public transportation systems. Studying abroad has also really opened my eyes to the world around me. It has shown me that the world is full of amazing, good-hearted people and that there is so much more than what exists in the little bubble of our hometown, school, and friends. Finally, traveling Europe has helped me confirm that one day I would like to move here. I feel as though life here is less about the hustle and bustle and more about enjoying each day as we are given.

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Danny Pasternak

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Darby Hennessey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Dayyana Ibragimova

Alumni Insider

1. How has this study abroad experience shaped you?
Studying abroad has shaped me in so many ways! First and foremost, it helped me be more open-minded. Seeing and experiencing different cultures made me realize that there is a lot more to life than the little bubble I lived in. Cultural differences are not weird or irrelevant; they shape who we are. Just because someone else acts or talks differently than me does not make them strange, and that is so cool.

During the CEA trip to Morocco, I saw a completely different culture for the first time in my life. I saw women wearing hijabs, ate delicious lunch at a local family’s house, and rode camels. Those are experiences I had only because I studied abroad.

I learned how to plan trips and be more independent, which are important life-skills I can implement in my life beyond this semester!

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
I studied Spanish while abroad, so I tried to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. I went to salsa classes, intercambios (where you get to meet Spaniards in spots like the LemonRock Café and practice Spanish, while they practice English), watched movies and TV shows in Spanish with Spanish subtitles on Netflix, and listened to Latin American music!

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Delaney Bresnahan

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Studying abroad has been my dream ever since my first taste of international travel.  This opportunity perfectly blends my love for other nations and my drive to experience life in a new and exciting way.  Pursuing my studies while surrounded by the culture, architecture, and people of Spain will be my greatest adventure yet!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Seville, Spain as my study abroad destination because it's unlike anywhere I have ever been.  Seville is a vibrant, colorful place full of passionate people.  I am eager to learn about the city's deep history while simultaneously experiencing the modern aspects of the culture.  I am also pretty excited about that tropical climate!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Being a MOJO Blogger is going to be such an amazing part of my study abroad experience.  I look forward to sharing my experiences through my writing and photography.  On the weekends I'm excited to travel to different European cities through CEA excursions and personal travels.  I also hope to improve my newly-acquired Spanish language skills by speaking with locals.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I took four years of German language classes in high school, so going to a Spanish-speaking country was a great leap of faith for me!  I am an archery instructor, amateur photographer, and avid adventure-seeker.  I spend my weekends hanging out in coffee shops with friends or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.


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Delaney Jenkins

Alumni Ambassador
1. What are your best tips for practicing a language while abroad?
Language was something that worried me prior to my semester abroad. I was at a slight disadvantage because I took Latin in high school, and only took 1 semester of Spanish before studying abroad. However, I was happily surprised after leaving my semester abroad because I felt so much more confident in my Spanish after my semester. While abroad I took a Spanish class, which was a humongous help because my teacher was a native Spanish speaker and was very patient and helpful while answering all my questions. Another aspect that really helped with learning Spanish was always going out of my way to listen in on locals conversation and try to figure out what they were saying. Not to sound noisy or anything, but listening to real life conversation was always very interesting and helpful to me when it came to learning Spanish. When I first arrived in Spain, I was a little timid when it came to engaging in conversations with native Spanish speakers. This is totally normal, but I am so glad I forced myself out of my comfort zone, and start practicing my Spanish through small conversations in Spanish with the locals. I strongly urge anyone studying abroad to try to use the local language, even if it a little nerve wracking, I found majority of the locals find it endearing, and are very welcoming to the conversation.

2. What do you wish you had known before going?
One thing I wish I would have known before beginning my semester abroad was the importance of budgeting, and not excessively overspending. I knew going into the semester that I would be spending more money than usual, but I did not anticipate the volume of spending money I ended up going through. This was no one's fault but my own, but I definitely wish I went into the semester knowing some money-saving hacks that I did not discover until a few months into the semester.
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Diamondnia Mack

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course was International Economics. I am an economics major, and studying the class in a different country, with a more global perspective added another layer of depth and richness to the study of economics.

2. What would you say to a friend considering study abroad?
CEA is adventure, exploration, unconventional learning and really great people all-in-one. Studying abroad with CEA will open your world to all new people, language and cultures, and ways of living that you may have never imagined! Just go!
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Dominique Cornacchia

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Buenos Aires
Home University: Champlain College
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Eberechi Ogbuaku

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence
Home University: University of Michigan
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Egan Osaki

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Elena Piech

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Elise Vocke

Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
Picture this: You wake up on a Friday morning after completing your homework for the next week. The weekend is all yours. What do you want to do? Go to a food market? Try a trendy ice cream place you saw pictures of on Instagram? Hit up a museum and see a famous Van Gogh painting? See where tons of people were imprisoned or beheaded? Walk the footsteps of Charles Dickens through Victorian London streets? Shop at the fancy stores on Oxford Street? Go see where Harry Potter was filmed? It is completely up to you and you can’t go wrong. Living in a city that is so rich gives you all these options. The world is out there waiting for you. Unfortunately, when you are older, you may not have the opportunity to see as many places as you can while you are young and abroad for a full semester. You may have a full time job, graduate school, children to take care of, etc. You want to look back and have no regrets. When I studied abroad with CEA, I traveled to ten different countries and traveled to different parts of the UK. These experiences will stay with me my entire life. I feel so independent since I know now I can do it. I grew up and became more mature having to navigate and live on my own in a different country.
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Eliza Jason

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad? 
My favorite course abroad was History of Art II. I selected the course to fulfill a General Education requirement at my home university and expected to do merely that. What I found was that this course not only ignite a love for art, it allowed me to experience my temporary home in a beautiful and unique way. My instructor, a Czech woman, was undeniably passionate about what she was teaching. From the initial moments of the class her excitement was contagious. Each class period, she would lecture for the first hour or so of the class, and then the remaining one or two hours was spent walking around the city to view local architecture, visit museums, or attend exhibits that physically illustrated the concepts she was teaching. Throughout the semester, I marveled at my newfound appreciation for art and architecture. In my weekend travels I was excited to visit a particular museum to see a piece we had discussed, so I could return and share with my professor. I was highly impressed by her ability to express complex words, phrases, and topics in English, her non-native tongue.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
My study abroad experience has impacted me in so many more ways than I could have ever imagined. I am a Media Communications major with a Writing minor and my career goal is to use media and its influence to positively communicate with one another and the world. My study abroad experience broadened my career objectives to include the global scope. Because of my international education I have considered how I might incorporate my love for travel and cultural exchange with my passion for sharing with one another through media. I have begun researching post-grad media opportunities abroad and considered how useful they could be for my professional development. My study abroad experience empowered me to be an independent, brave, and well-traveled global citizen who understands that the best way to create peace in the world begins when we respect the cultural practices of one another. I now see the interaction of global awareness with my personal vocation and plan to use it in positive ways.
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Eliza Jason

CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: Point Loma Nazarene University
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Elizabeth Colwell

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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Emilija Razma

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I have always loved adventures. I enjoy learning more about different cultures, and I'm so excited to grow as a person while studying abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Alicante because it's a local town, so it will be a more personal experience. I want to experience everyday life in Spain and connect with the locals in the area. Alicante is also one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and I'm planning on learning more Spanish.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm most looking forward to how much I'm going to learn and grow this semester. Every adventure and every person I meet abroad will show me a new side of this world. I can't wait to meet new friends along the way to experience these new adventures with them.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I speak Lithuanian fluently, love playing the guitar and piano, and hiking and swimming in beautiful places.


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Emily Durant

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Emily Sturgeon

CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France
Home University: University of Alabama
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Emily Trific

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture? 
I experienced the local culture everyday, by walking to class or taking the tube, grabbing a coffee at a local cafe before class, and sightseeing everyday after class. I took day trips to castles and toured as many palaces as I could. I saw a play, went to a concert at the O2 arena (and climbed it!), and experienced the nightlife whenever I had the chance! The days were long and packed but I would not have had it any other way. Whatever I was doing, even just sitting on Primrose Hill to watch the sunset, I felt like I was immersed in the culture of London. The museums were great, too (and free!), and that gave me a good background to England's history.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
I have learned to step out of my comfort zone at every opportunity, because you truly do not know what could come out of it. I have made so many new friends from all over the world and it was so interesting to hear things from different perspectives, whether it be from a Canadian or an Australian. I also became good friends with someone from Spain and I am so grateful. 
I have also learned so much about the pros and cons of living in the city, thanks to my course "Psychology of City Life". A city, like London, has so much to offer and I learned how to live in the healthiest way while being exposed to stressors in the city. The paper that I wrote for my course will allow me to earn Honors credit back at home, which I am grateful for.
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Emma Jordan

Alumni Ambassador
*You can also ask about my internship in Prague!
1. What are your best tips for learning a language while abroad?
While studying abroad I continued to learn Spanish and finished my minor in Buenos Aires and then I started learning Czech in Prague. Here are some tips for learning a language that works with any language level background. First, talk to people! Even though I only knew a few words and phrases in Czech, native speakers always appreciate when try using their language. Some good ways to do this are to order in the language at restaurants and finding people, like friends from the country or coworkers if at an internship, that will help you practice. Another good way to practice a foreign language is listening to music in that language or watching shows and movies in that language.
When I was in Buenos Aires, I watched a telenovela on Netflix to practice and got a few of my friends to watch with me and we would then talk about the show in Spanish to continue practicing. Finally, take advantage of the opportunities that CEA offers to help you improve. For example, in Buenos Aires, CEA gave all students a pass to a language club where students and locals would practice their Spanish and English.

2. What was your favorite class while abroad?
My favorite class I had while abroad was my internship seminar course I took during my spring semester in Prague. I enjoyed this class for several reasons. First, I loved getting real world experience in the business world abroad. I learned a lot from my coworkers about business norms and customs in Europe, which I hope to use in my future jobs. Second, the internship was a good way to interact with locals. My coworkers would always give me suggestions for things to do and places to go in Prague. The internship was also a good way to practice Czech, since many of my coworkers did not speak any English. Finally, the internship class itself was great. It was a small class so I really got to know the people in it and many of them became some of the closest friends I had abroad. I learned a lot about business, people, and myself during the class. We participated in different activities so we could find out about our learning styles and personalities and how to work with others of the same or different personalities.
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Esther Yoo

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada
Home University: Virginia Commonwealth University
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Evelyn Little

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to expand my knowledge and worldview by fully immersing myself in what I’m learning about.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have always heard about the French Riviera being a coveted and awe inspiring place to travel to. I did not want to follow other students going to a place I had already heard so much about, like Paris, London, etc. Antibes and Sophia Antipolis are two of the most beautiful places, and they are not on most people's radar. I feel as though going to the French Riviera will be even more enriching and fulfilling than I expect it to be, and I can't wait to find out how.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to learning the French language more than I do now, and along with that, I am looking forward to learning about all of the rich, beautiful history that embodies France.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Something not everyone knows about me is that I am an artist. My favorite mediums to work with are charcoal and graphite, watercolor and pens. I also dabble in wood burning, as well as other fun crafts such as sewing and jewelry making.


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Frances Mylod-Vargas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Gabriele Litkauskaite

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

I’ve always imagined that I would study abroad. While in high school, my teachers described their own travel experiences, and I thought study abroad would be an amazing opportunity. However, when the time came to apply, I wasn’t sure if I would be a great fit. But here I am now, enjoying it more than I ever knew would be possible! As a very determined double major, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find a program that would help me complete both of my majors on time. With the help of my advisers and the study abroad office at DePaul University, I was able to find a program that fit my needs perfectly, in a country that I had always wanted to visit. While in Madrid for three months, I was enrolled in three Spanish classes and a Political Science class that both fascinated me and made me work harder than ever. I even practiced speaking Spanish in the classroom. As for my future, I don’t yet know where it will take me. The more of the world I see, the more I realize that majoring in Political Sciences and Spanish has been the right choice for me, as I am closer to my goal of working in the Foreign Service. Nevertheless, there is still so much to learn from the world and all the opportunities that are waiting to be discovered!

2. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! You should not miss them:

The brilliance of Madrid is that the city is at your fingertips. Embrace all that it has to offer and let the Metra take you on a journey through one Madrid stop after the other. One thing that you cannot miss is taking a Salsa/Bachata class at CoCo Bongo every Monday night. While you will be fully immersed in learning about Latin Dance, you will also be meeting other students from all over the world! It’s a great opportunity to branch out and surround yourself by La Vida Madrileña! After the lesson, grab your new friends and head over to Chocolatería San Ginés, because churros taste the best with a hot chocolate, a good group of friends, and a full night of dancing!

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Gabriella Gebo

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: Vanguard University
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Gabrielle Oliveira

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to travel the world and gain first-hand experiences with other cultures while learning during the whole time. When I found out I had another study abroad chance, I didn’t think about it twice.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Italy as my study abroad destination because I’m passionate about the Italian language, culture, and food! Italy is also a really nice place to stay in Europe since I can quickly visit other countries.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m very excited to get to know the other students, visit as many places as I can, learn a lot and blend in with the Italians, besides taking lots of beautiful pictures!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
A fun fact about me: I was born and raised in Brazil and also lived in Saudi Arabia before going to the US to study. I love to travel, dance, take photographs, and hang out with friends and family.


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Gemma Gonzalez

Alumni Insider
1. What are your tips for learning a language abroad?
Although I came to Paris with an advanced level of French, there were still areas of the language in which I could improve on, like my accent. My number one tip would be to speak as loudly and clearly as possible. Even if you cannot pronounce a word correctly, it still helps the listener to guess what you are trying to say. They will correct you if you are wrong, and now you know how to pronounce it correctly. When riding the metro, it also helps to repeat the name of each stop after the announcer says it. This way, you will not only learn the places that metro line passes by, but you will also improve your pronunciation. Another tip is to stop by Gibert Jeune Bookstore, by Nôtre Dame. They have a huge selection of gently used and new books in all sorts of genres. Grab a classic like "Le Petit Prince" by Saint-Exupery, or Baudelaire’s "Les Fleurs du Mal" if you are into poetry, and head to Tuileries or the Gardens of Luxembourg to read while enjoying a beautiful and relaxing view.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
Studying abroad will show you how diverse the world truly is in terms of clothing, food, and art, but also in styles of thinking, behavior, and of approaches to solve problems. This unforgettable experience will enhance your cultural acceptance, which is essential in order to coexist with people who are different than oneself. Not only this, but studying abroad will also show you the great degree of similarity that you have with people in other parts of the world, as they might share the same core values that you possess, or they might be dealing with similar problems.
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Gianna Prainito

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite class had to be Great Masters: Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo because we were rarely in class! The majority of class periods were spent in museums around Florence. We were fortunate enough to visit a plethora of museums ranging from the Uffizi to the hands-on Leonardo da Vinci museum. It was amazing to be able to learn about art pieces while standing in front of them, as well as to walk on the same floor that Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo did. Another incredible aspect of the class was visiting the Vatican while on our Rome overnight and getting a personal tour from our professor. Although the crowds were overwhelming, the Vatican is breathtaking. The class was so fitting for Florence, being the birth place of the Renaissance, and still a continued center for the arts.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
As a result of studying abroad I learned how naturally independent I am. I love exploring and am so naturally curious and I do not mind doing things on my own. I realized how much I value my family, friends and good food over anything else. There is so much stress and a lot of it unnecessary in life, that it is important to be able to acknowledge what really matters. After coming back from abroad I learned that I need to take time for my mental and physical health. This quarter was incredible in that regard, I took a lighter load in school and focused on myself. I took a ceramics class, went on runs, hiked, camped, backpacked and planted a garden in my backyard. The biggest thing I took away from studying abroad was feeling a lot more secure with who I am as a person and prioritizing my well-being over other things. I learned that if I am in a good space I can make more change and focus on activities that I have a burning passion for.
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Gracie Darland

CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid, Spain
Home University: University of Mississippi
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Grayson Hennelly

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I knew before coming to college that I wanted to study abroad, but I had no idea where. I was so excited to travel the world that it became impossible to pick only one city. But once I decided to minor in Spanish, it became a lot easier to find a place that was right for me. The ability to go to school in a foreign country was an amazing opportunity I couldn't pass up.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Madrid because of its exciting culture, central location, and the ability for me to improve my Spanish while I'm there. Even though I want to travel a lot while I'm abroad, Madrid is the perfect home base for me. Also, Universidad Nebrija is very centrally located within the city, and I am so excited to wander through Madrid on my way to and from class.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Besides traveling and practicing Spanish, I'm looking forward to spending time with my friends in a completely new environment. In addition to becoming friends with the other students and locals, being able to experience Madrid--and all of Europe--with friends from home will make my time in Spain even more exciting!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to explore and try new things, whether it's surfing, hiking, camping, beach volleyball, etc., so being in a new place like Madrid will have so many more opportunities for me! In my down time, I love to read in coffee shops or find cute boutiques, so you can expect many of my blogs to be written from a new place I just found deep in the city.


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Haley Hasen

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Haley Moore

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

If you’re trying to learn a foreign language while you’re studying abroad, don’t be afraid to immerse yourself completely in the language! It may seem overwhelming at first, but it WILL get easier and this is the best way to learn. My CEA site and university offered “intercambios,” where you are paired with a local student. This is a great way to make local friends AND learn the language. I had a Spanish friend who I would make every attempt to speak to in Spanish, and if I made a mistake or ever had any questions I knew I could ask her for clarification. Another way I found that really helped me to improve my comprehension was to listen to reggaetón music! They speak really fast and (full disclosure) are not speaking the prim and proper way that you were probably taught. It’s a fun way to better understand colloquial Spanish. If you aren’t looking to learn Spanish, keep an ear out for what the locals listen to!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Anyone who has lived in Spain will tell you the Spanish people live and breathe their favorite phrase: “No pasa nada” (“Don’t worry about it”). For me, as someone who makes a catastrophe of everything, this was, at first, an infuriating mindset to be living amongst. I would feel guilty for hours over forgetting to tell my host mom that I wasn’t eating dinner, but she was never upset. I would anxiously sprint to class if I was just a few minutes behind, but my professors often were usually ten minutes behind me. I would worry that the wait staff wanted us to leave if my friends and I took too long to eat, but the Spanish tend to extend meals to as long as two hours. 

After sometime around the Spanish, however, I learned that perhaps life is better if you savor it. You should never be in such a rush that you can’t stop for a café con leche. You should never be afraid of getting tapas alone (sometimes that’s the best way to do it!). Most importantly: You should never take anything too seriously. 
I used to despise eating alone, and now it’s something I enjoy. That might seem silly to some, but to me, that was huge. No, my anxiety isn’t cured, but studying abroad helped me to see that some of the daily things that I illogically worry about aren’t worth my energy. Eating alone? No pasa nada.


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Hannah Kersey

CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France 
Home University: Belmont University
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Hannah Rohaley

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have always been passionate about seeing the world and attempting to understand it.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in a country that doesn't speak my native language. I was very close with my French teacher in high school (who loved the French culture) so studying in the French Riviera struck a cord in me.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am excited to meet other international students and also have the opportunity to explore an entirely new country.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I was picked to danced on stage with my favorite band, Thirty Seconds to Mars!


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Helena Kaufman, Ph.D.

Director of Off-Campus Studies - Carleton College
Dr. Helena Kaufman has over 25 years in the field of higher education and is currently the Director of Off-Campus Studies at Carleton College, where she has served in this role since 2000. Helena oversees all education abroad programs led by Carleton faculty and sponsored by academic departments. Dr. Kaufman also advises students on program options, works closely with Carleton faculty on the development of education abroad seminars and curriculum, conducts program and site evaluations, and ensures the academic integrity of Carleton’s education abroad programs.

Dr. Kaufman interests and ongoing research in student learning outcomes, culture identity, cross-cultural studies, world literature and student assessment align with her active board memberships, which include: the Outcomes Assessment and Research Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad , the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), Minnesota Study Abroad Professionals, the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), and Carleton College’s Global Engagement Initiative Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Carleton College, Helena was an Assistant Professor of Portuguese at Ohio State University. Originally from Poland, she received her bachelor’s degree in Iberia Studies from the University of Warsaw and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Luso-Brazilian Studies.
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Iliana Gonzalez

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in a very small border town in Mexico. As a young kid, I nurtured an inquisitive curiosity for unfamiliar places and diverse cultures. I always dreamed about traveling around the world, so I set myself the goal to make this dream come true by studying abroad; however, living in a town with low economical resources, opportunities to study abroad were not accessible to students. Back then, my goals to go abroad seemed almost impossible to achieve.

After graduating High School, I had the fortune to move to the United States with my family. I applied to Arizona State University and was admitted into their Fine Arts program in 2006. It was while attending college that I discovered the wonderful opportunity to study abroad to earn credits towards my major in France.

I enrolled in a summer program to study Plein Air Painting and French language at the Institut Catholique de Paris. It’s every artist’s dream to study painting in one of the most artistic cities in the world, a place that has given birth to some of the most influential artists in history. I recall vividly the incredible joy I felt when I wandered the streets of Montmartre, carrying my paint and brushes and scouting for the best location to paint a landscape. I also remember my daily excursions to Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre seeking for inspiration from the impressionistic work of Claude Monet and the expressive Paul Cezanne. To this day, I still hold a painting of Notre Dame cathedral I executed “alla prima!” The opportunity to develop my academic skills in Paris changed my life, and it has greatly influenced my professional work in a way that sets me apart.

After graduating college, I ventured on my own to see the world and have traveled to some of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Southern Mexico, and Ireland.

As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I strive in helping students achieve their own dreams to see the world! I provide comprehensive counseling to assist my students find the best program that fits their career goals and I am always available to support them in all the different steps they take in their journey!

Did you know? I am trained in different dance forms from diverse cultural spectrums! My training ranges from Mexican Folklore, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Latin American styles, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Angolan (Kizomba), and Bollywood!
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Isabel Kinsolving

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Alps
Home University: Chapman University
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Isabel Rodgers

Alumni Ambassador
1. What are your tips for learning a language abroad?
My move from the U.S. to Florence was slightly overwhelming. Not only was I expected to navigate and live in an entirely new city miles away from home, but I had to manage all of this without knowing Florence's native language. Taking Beginning Italian helped me to feel more comfortable and adjust quicker than I believe I would have without the class. Although I did not come away from my study abroad experience entirely fluent, I was able to pick up on important words and phrases that allowed me to communicate with and show my respect for the locals who live in the city I was lending my time to. From my positive experiences in intercultural communication, I was able to better understand why CEA Florence made Beginning Italian a requirement for students in the program.

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad? 
I would tell them that the most important reason to study abroad as a college student is because the time is now. There is no better time to travel to foreign countries and learn about different people, cultures, and issues than when you're young enough -- but old enough. To engage in this type of experience at a college age is unlike engaging in this type of experience at any other age because you can acquire skills and knowledge that will equip you for adulthood and the rest of your life.
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James Longenderfer

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: West Chester University of Pennsylvania
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Jamie Coles

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have always admired those who live their lives spontaneously, in constant search of new places, people, and experiences. However, being a person of habit, it’s never been easy for me to venture too far outside of my comfort zone. Not only traveling to, but actually living in Italy is a HUGE step for me and I’m stoked for the personal growth, memories, and travels that these 15 weeks have in store.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Growing up hearing my dad’s stories of his time abroad in Florence, I knew I had to follow in his footsteps. With Florence being central to Italy, and Italy being in close proximity to many other European countries, he was not only able to immerse himself in the Italian culture, but travel outside of Italy to experience many other cultures as well. I’m looking forward to being able to establish a home away from home in the capital of the Tuscany region, just a short train/plane ride away from countless other beautiful cities.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most excited for the amount of push pins I’ll be able to add to my travel map when returning to the states. I’ve grown up traveling within the U.S. with my family, mainly for the purpose of either camping or visiting out of state family members and friends. It wasn’t until the summer after graduating high school that I made my way to Europe with my grandparents, and needless to say, it stole my heart. I can’t wait to fuel my travel bug while I’m abroad, where so many new places and experiences are within my reach.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I’m from Southern California and have never surfed a day in my life, but I work at a surf shop? I honestly think I have an addiction to sunsets and Oreos. If I don’t make it through P.A. school, I’ll probably end up living in a van and traveling the country with my dog and my camera. Chris Burkard is my biggest inspiration as a photographer, he’s a cool human, give him a follow.


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Jamie Crane-Mauzy

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Jared Knepper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Jazmine Lawrence

Alumni Ambassador
*You can also ask me about my international internship! 

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has humbled me and fostered the ability to be present and appreciate my surroundings and the world around me. I was able to meet so many new people and enjoy so many new experiences. For me it really expanded my understanding of the world and I have so much gratitude for my ability to be able to participate in the program. I was able to study, intern, and volunteer.

 

2. What are your tips for learning Spanish abroad?

-Watch television, listen to music/ podcasts, and/ or read books in the language of your host country.

-Make an effort to integrate yourself in the community (sports team, church, acting troupe, etc.)

-Volunteer!

-Make friends with the locals.

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Jennie Ricks

Sr. Visa Specialist

I grew up around the beautiful rocky mountains of Utah, and now I find myself in a desert landscape of saguaro cacti and the seemingly endless blue skies of Arizona. My bounteous list of traveling abroad consist of Mexico. But, the excitement from CEA staff and the students going abroad is spurring me on to visit England and Ireland this year. Go me!

As the senior visa specialist, I work to provide appropriate documentation for students so they can have successful consulate visits. I also work with specific Spanish consulates to provide group appointments for the students attending school in Spain. With ever-changing visa processes, I work to stay on track of student visa needs and the corresponding paperwork.

I received my undergrad from ASU and my graduate degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College, which leads me into what I do outside of CEA. I love to read and write, and my favorite things to read and write are horror and psychological thrillers. Of course, I love hanging out with my children, eating wonderful food, and hiking. Although, I still think it’s strange to be hiking among cacti.

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Jennifer Siegel

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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Jessica Budlong

Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My study abroad experience has changed me both personally, as well as professionally. I have become more open to new experiences, and have become more adventurous. I also found a new trust in humanity because of the experiences I had; When I was in need the most in Aix, someone was there to assist. Professionally, it has opened my eyes to issues around the world. I’ve always wanted to be involved in international affairs, but studying abroad has made me more confident that I can accomplish this, and I can do it anywhere in the world. It has expanded my focus and has driven me to look at more programs abroad as well. It has also proven to me that the issues I care about deeply, are not looked at the same in every country which has shifted the way I address and study these issues. I feel I have grown into a more complete, confident person who can take on anything thrown at her.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My program with CEA was different than most because we had our school professor with us for the month long class we took. Since it was the only course I took, I guess by default it was my favorite. I truly enjoyed it though because we had the opportunity to explore France through literature, guest speakers, and hands on experiences. With the help of Karen, our CEA coordinator, we had lectures on common holiday traditions and immigration issues in France. Each speaker gave me insight into the culture and actual views of the French, rather than what a textbook writer feels. The different literature we read expanded my vocabulary and my knowledge when I understood it. The best part of the course was being able to explore the cities around the southern part of France. Each part of the course helped me understand how a new culture has formed, and transformed throughout the years, something a course on campus couldn’t truly convey.
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Jessica Walker

Admissions Counselor
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to travel. I would read about a faraway place and hope to go there someday. Growing up in Texas, my family only traveled short distances, but these trips solidified my love of travel. In college, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Paris for a semester, and it definitely changed my life. I made lifelong friends, immersed myself in the culture, practiced my French, and became more independent. I plan to go back there someday! It was my study abroad experience that led me to the position of Admissions Counselor at CEA.

I am grateful to have been able to travel to Spain, England, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Belize, Canada, and Honduras. And this list is just the beginning, I hope to travel to many more places!

As an admissions counselor, I help students discover the world of study abroad. I enjoy assisting students with finding the program and destination that fits their academic and personal goals. It was a dream of mine to study abroad and I love helping other students achieve the same dream. Outside of CEA, I enjoy reading, dancing, watching movies, spending time with friends, and exploring new places!

Did you know? During a museum trip in Paris, the actor Hugh Jackman was standing two feet in front of me, and I didn’t realize for the longest time. When I finally did, I told my friend “Look it’s Wolverine.”
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Joan Komolafe

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Jocelyn Garza

Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
Personally, studying abroad has been the best experience of my life. Having the time to myself, to learn about others, to focus on another culture gave me the ability to enhance my diversity, communication, and awareness skills. I learned a lot through a different style of teaching at Veritas Universidad and I had a lot of fun in every activity I did going to excursions, beaches, and more. In such a short period of time I experienced the good nad the bad, stress due to having to give class presentations, back-to-back fun filled weekends, meeting new people from all over the USA and locals and I was able to find myself as a person. I came back knowing that I am growing into an independent and confident woman in all aspects of my life.

2. What would you tell someone who is considering study abroad?
Do it. An experience is always better lived than told. You're young and in college, so this is your chance to experience something out the ordinary. It will be different, but it will be heart warming and fun. Go for it!
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John Peters, Ph.D.

Dean of International Programs - Marist College
Dr. John Peters is the Dean of International Programs at Marist College. In this role, he supports Marist students studying abroad over six continents and divides most of his time between the Marist Poughkeepsie and Florence Campuses. Some of his interests and experience include curriculum development, community outreach, intercultural communication, and program development. John is passionate about developing and helping to connect students with innovative, empowering international and intercultural experiences.

Dean Peters received his bachelor’s in Economics and Japanese from California State University, Sacramento. He also holds a M.A. in International Studies from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Southern California.
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Jonathan DeMarco

Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
My study abroad experience has shaped me in more ways than I ever thought it would. You hear of kids coming back from their time abroad calling it “life-changing” and you roll your eyes thinking “we get - you were in Europe,” but it truly is a transformative experience. I am so independent now, far more outgoing and willing to meet and talk to anyone. I am more confident than I ever was, I can plan and execute travel with ease, and I see more clearly now what is important to me in my life. My time abroad has influenced my career path as well. I know with certainty now that I want my job to include travelling, and not just office work. Not only is the life experience incomparable to what I may have learned in the classroom setting at my home university, I am a more versatile student now because I have learned to balance academics with travelling with budgeting with cooking and maintaining an apartment.

2. What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?

The way that we live as Americans, means that almost everybody you know will graduate with a degree and then move on to their full time job with 40 hours a week and two weeks off a year. When in life will you ever have the chance to spend between 4 months to a year in your destination of choice to truly immerse in a different culture and have the opportunity to do all the travelling your wallet will allow without consequence? It’s an experience that will shape who you are for the rest of your life, teach you things that 10 years of university could not, and let you find out who you really are and what you really want to do in life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I recommend without hesitation to everyone.
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Jordan Lopez

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite class had to be Differential Equations and Linear Algebra because the teacher was phenomenal. He explained the class very well and he wouldn't leave any student behind. In every lecture it was a guarantee that the professor would stop his lecture to make absolute sure that every question is answered to completion. This class was especially stimulating because we didn't spend so much time on the theory of DiffEQ; but rather, he would give a short lecture, we would do an example problem together, then you get to do a problem on your own. If you're studying Engineering, you shouldn't expect the classes to be overwhelmingly difficult and you will get to know your professors really well.
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Jordan Loria

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course was my organizational behavior course - We had a big group project that I got to work on with a very international group - we worked to study stress levels in different hospitality organizations in our area and what heads of companies were doing to combat stress in the workplace. Everyone in my group was from a different company and it was interesting working with so many ideas stemming from so many different lines of thinking.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
CEA made my study abroad experience more than I ever could have imagined. I was so excited to find a program that pre-planned excursions that could help me enjoy as much as possible about the country I was staying in. They provided us with an amazing resource (our in-city CEA Director) and she was so fun and incredible and helpful in literally every circumstance. She bent over backwards to get our group together for fun outings and to really enjoy our time in Antibes. You will not find a more supportive system than CEA.
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Jordynn Dixon

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad in order to fulfill my desire of exploring creative and expressive courses while in college. In addition, it has been a goal of mine to explore the world. I am so grateful this trip will provide me with the opportunity to do both.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose the city of Florence for several reasons. For one, I felt Florence would be a perfect location to study art and to find the most expressive version of myself. Additionally, I feel Florence will offer me the "travel hub" I was looking for. I chose this location because I feel it will be a good location for traveling between countries during my stay.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
During my abroad experience, I am most looking forward to learning the ins-and-outs of a new culture. I have always appreciated cultural foods, practices, etc. and this trip to Florence will allow for this on a regular basis. Additionally, I am looking forward to fresh foods and a more relaxed lifestyle (or so I have heard).

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a Nutritional Science major and have a burning passion for health, nutrition, and an active lifestyle. I love to be active, smile, and cook good food. Ironically, I am an ice cream addict, but how could you not be?!


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José B. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs & Initiatives - CEA Study Abroad

José B. Alvarez, Ph.D., serves as CEA’s senior academic leader and member of the CEA Executive Team. José sets CEA’s academic vision, ensuring the alignment of all academic offering and projects with CEA's School of Record and university partners. In addition, he is responsible for establishing and managing CEA’s external Advisory Board, in order to further innovate our curriculum and increase the diversity of our academic offerings. José also plays a strong collaborative role in CEA's U.S. university engagement initiatives to support the alignment of our messaging and training regarding CEA’s academic programs and expertise.

José holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to working with CEA, José was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia for 12 years, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. His research emphasis focused on the analysis of the cultural production of Latin America, more specifically the study of films and literary texts produced in Cuba from the inception of the Revolution until the early 1990's. He directed more than 25 master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.

While at UGA, he created and directed UGA en España, a comprehensive set of study abroad programs with four sites in Spain, which was later expanded to Cuba, Venezuela and Peru. Prior to his time teaching, José was an Academic Dean for Latin American, Caribbean, and Europe programs for SIT Study Abroad, where he was responsible for more than 30 programs in multiple locations on two continents.

José has lived in Switzerland, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain, and Italy, and has traveled extensively across the globe. He wants to tell students to explore, live, struggle, and ultimately conquer foreign culture to the point of making it their own: "Embracing differences will only make them stronger. It is not an easy task, as being in someone's comfort zone is the easiest path, however going beyond it will enrich the experience, promote growth, and equip them with language skills and intercultural understanding that will last a lifetime and influence their perspective forever."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Forum on Education Abroad (elected to the council 2012-2015)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Southeastern Council on Latin American Studies (SECOLAS)
  • Phi Lambda Beta Portuguese and Luso Brazilian Honor Society
  • Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

— Books

  • Contestatory Cuban Short Story of the Revolution. New York: University Press of America, 2002.

— Articles

  • A Revision of Censorship and Resistance in Cuban Arts" International Education and Global Justice: Rethinking the Politics of Sustainability. Eds. Said Graiouid and Taieb Belghazi. Rabat: University Mohammed V (forthcoming). 117-124.
  • "Cuba, Filmaking, Literatura, Havana." Routledge Internacional Enciclopedia of Queer Culture Ed. David Gerstner. New York: Routledge, 2006. 163- 165, 262.
  • "El cuento cubano de 1959 a 1990: un movimiento pendular." South Eastern Latin Americanist XLIII.3 (2000): 21-36.
  • "The Dialectics of Cuban Homoeroticism in Cuban Narrative." Chicano/Latino Homo-erotic Identities. Ed. David William Foster. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999 241-271.
  • "Nation, Cinema, and Women: Discourses, Realities, and Cuban Utopia." Global Development Studies 1.3-4 (1998-99): 91-99. Reprinted in: Cuban Transitions at the Millenium. Eds. Eloise Linger and John Cotman. Largo, Maryland: International Devel-opment Options, 2000. 115-122.
  • "Discursos de resistencia y contestatarios en los Novísimos." Romance Languages Annual 10 Tome 2 (1999): 426-431.
  • "El homoerotismo en la narrativa cubana del siglo XX." Antípodas: Journal of Hispanic Studies of Australia and New Zealand 11-12 (1999-2000): 25-48.
  • "(Re)escritura de la violencia: el individuo frente a la historia en la cuentística Novísima cubana." Chasqui 26.2 (1997): 84-93.
  • "La generación literaria sin trauma: mirada socio-histórica a los Novísimos narradores cubanos." La Chispa 97: Selected Proceedings. Ed. Claire J. Paolini. New Orleans: Tulane University, 1997. 17-27.
  • "Mujer transparente (1990): contrapunteo entre el viejo y el nuevo orden social cubano." Romance Languages Annual 8 (1996): 368-71.
  • "Miguel Otero Silva." Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Ed. Verity Smith. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. 608-09.
  • "José Kozer." Latin American Jewish Writers: A Critical Dictionary. Ed. Darrell B. Lockhart. New York: Garland Press, 1997. 321-25.
  • "La narrativa cubana de la revolución: el Quinque¬nio Gris y sus con¬secuencias." Mester 23.2 (1994): 129-56. [issue published in March, 1996].
  • "Un texto a favor de la libertad marxista: lec¬turas contestatarias de Retrato de Teresa y Plaff." Confluencia 10.2 (1995): 111-23.
  • "Ruptura en la narrativa social cubana: Novísimos y Novísimas." Torre de papel 4.4 (1995): 61-75.
  • "Literatura cubana de los 80: una visión sin censura." Torre de papel 3.3 (1993): 85-98.
  • * (et al)"Un motivo etnoliterario andino: la deslealtad." Escritos 8 (1992): 85-101.

PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED

  • 2012:"Standards for Programs Serving Pre-Health Students Experiences." Forum on Education Abroad. Denver, Colorado. March 20-23.
  • 2012:"Cinema, Memory and Human Rights in Argentina." Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging Past, Present, and Future. SIT and the Center for Conflict Management. Kigali, Rwanda. January 10-13.
  • 2011:"Cuba Study Abroad: New Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Challenges." Council on International Education Exchange. New Orleans, Louisiana. November 16-18.
  • 2009:"Utopia and Dystopia: Lunes and P.M. in the Outskirts of Revolutionary Culture." Invited Lecture at Occidental College, California. February 26.
  • 2008:"Comentario de investigación: Una mirada a la situación de la diversidad sexual en Managua." Primer seminario centroamericano: una mirada a la diversidad sexual. Centro de Estudios Internacionales. Managua, Nicaragua. December 9-11.
  • 2008:"Revolution, Images, Jean Paul Sartre and Cuban Identity." Identity, Multiculturalism and the Arts. University of Ghana-Legon. Institute of African Studies. August 7-10.
  • 2008:"To Fight and to Play: Music and Destiny in Venezuela." Invited Lecture at Phoenix College Latino Film Festival. March 29.
  • 2006:"Reel Cuba: Documenting the Island." Shoemaker Lecture. Westtown School. September 24.
  • 2006:"Storied Havana: from Euphoria to ‘Reel' Blues." Invited Lecture at University of North Carolina, Asheville. October 12.
  • 2006:"Havana Blues in Context." Invited Lecture at Furman University. May 9.
  • 2006:"PM, Lunes de revolución, and the ICAIC: The Revolution and its Conflicting Cultural Policies (1959-1961)." Cuba Politics and Culture. Cuban Research Institute, FIU. February 6-7.
  • 2005:"Cuba en 1960 en la mirada de Jean-Paul Sartre y Simone the Beauvoir." Evento internacional Sartre visita a Cuba: Huracán, surco, semillas. Casa de Altos Estudios Don Fernando Ortiz. Havana. November 22-26.
  • 2005:"‘Reel' Cuba: Dispelling the Utopia through Film." Spring 2005 Center for Humanities/Georgia Museum of Art Lecture. UGA. April 20.
  • 2005:"Reel Cuba: Castro, Utopia, Film and Censorship". Invited Lectured at Temple University's Dissent in America Teach in Lecture Series. September 23.
  • 2003:"Fidel Castro is Dead." Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. UGA. Oct. 8.
  • 2003:"Memorias del subdesarrollo: Paradise in 68?" Key Note Lecture at Georgia Southern University. Fourth International Film Festival. March 4-6.
  • 2003:"Cuban Film and Teaching Film." Invited Lecture. Georgia Southern University. March 6.
  • 2002:"Cuban Post-Revolutionary Culture: True or False" Honors Program Invited Lecture. Oct. 2002
  • 2001:"CHA Provocative Conversation: Promotion Standards in Literary Studies." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, September 26.
  • 2001:"Testimony in Documentary: The Case of 90 Miles." Invited panel participation on the film 90 Miles. Center for Latin American Studies. Arizona State University, September 10.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Revolutionary History Through Film." Invited Lecture for the Spring Focus Lecture Series. Valdosta State University. Valdosta, April 9.
  • 2001:"Reel Cuba: Gender (Re)Presentation in Film." Lunch in Theory Series. UGA. February 14.
  • 2000:"Virtual Literature: Removing the Panic out of HisPanic Literature." American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Boston, November 16-19.
  • 2000:"Beyond Hollywood: The Beauty and Power of International Cinema." A roundtable discussion. Center for Humanities and Arts. UGA, October 20.
  • 2000:"His-panic? U-SA Panic? Who is Moving to your Neighborhood?" Key Note Lecture at University of North Carolina at Asheville. Hispanic Heritage Month. October 9.
  • 2000:"Bitter Sugar: Reel Cuba from the Other Shore." Invited lecture at Berry College. April 17.
  • 2000:"Reel Cinema: Cuban Political and Social Crises through Film." Invited Lecture at Furman University. April 10.
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Juan Mejia

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Studying abroad not only gave me connections around the world, but it helped me connect with myself. I found the true "me" while abroad for 4 months and could not be happier with what I learned about myself. I got to experience a different culture hands on and was given so many opportunities to immerse myself into it. I think studying abroad will have a lifelong impact on me, because I will always remember walking down the streets of San Jose.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

When I was abroad, I found out that I wanted to help others a lot more than I once believed I did. In the future, I plan on going back to Costa Rica & Nicaragua to teach English to the youth. It was very interesting to me that in order to get a decent job, you had to have a certain English level. I noticed that a lot of those classes were very expensive or not accessible. Therefore, I made it a goal of mine to open a non-profit organization to teach English to the people of Central America. My experience impacted my academics in a way that cannot be put into words. It made me realize we take for granted the education we get at universities in the US.

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Julia Byker

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julia Cory

Site Specialist
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio (Go Bengals!) and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a minor in Spanish with an emphasis on diversity. After graduating, I moved to Costa Rica for 6 months to pursue my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish. I served as an intern in the Study Abroad Office at Universidad Veritas, where I found my passion for international education.

After moving back to the United States, I packed up my bags, drove across the country, and landed in Phoenix, Arizona. I started as an intern here at CEA and moved my way up to Site Specialist. In this position, I have the pleasure of guiding students through the process of studying abroad and helping them achieve their international goals.

When I am not at CEA, I love reading, cooking, running, watching football, and listening to The Beatles. Traveling is my one true love, and my goal is to visit every country in Central/ South America.

Did you know? While living in Costa Rica, I volunteered at an animal rescue center where I hung out and made friends with sloths and monkeys for a week!
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Julia Diehl

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julia Dixon

CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: University of Michigan
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Julia Griggs

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Juliana Wall

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were some ways you experienced the local culture?

Adjusting to life abroad in Italy was exciting as well as daunting. I didn't know any Italian before my semester, so learning the language and the local culture was an adventure from day one. The classes I enrolled in with CEA allowed the opportunity for broader education and applying that knowledge to the local culture. Our Italian language and photography classes often took us outside the classroom into the city to practice Italian with the locals and explore the city. We had to order food and gelato in Italian, and we went to the market to complete assignments. The CEA Rome Center provided so much valuable information regarding living in the city and the staff was always ready to answer any questions students might have.

2. What do you wish you knew before going?
There is a stage during the adjustment period abroad that is very hard, and that is completely normal. Personally, I had to overcome several obstacles during my adjustment period, but the CEA staff were always very supportive and the friends I made in the program made things easier. That period eventually passed, and I had the opportunity to travel to a total of nine countries, including the chance to explore more of Italy and fall in love with Rome.

3. What courses were your favorite? 

I enrolled in the John Cabot Full Curriculum program so I had two classes with CEA and two at John Cabot University. My favorite class with CEA had to be Photography in Rome because we went out into the city once a week to shoot for three hours. As a photographer myself, I absolutely loved it. Our professor was a professional photographer who shared his knowledge of the craft and was always eager to help students. We explored Rome as well as visited museums around the city.

My favorite class at John Cabot had to be Media, Culture, and Society. As a communications major, I'm fascinated with the ever-evolving world of media, especially global media. My professor was an Italian journalist and my classmates came from countries like Bulgaria, Sweden, Kenya, and Italy. In addition to learning traditional media theory, I loved hearing the perspectives of the other students and how certain media is perceived around the world.

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Juliana Wall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julie Vartigian

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Karime Diaz

Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about Internships!

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

The way that my study abroad experience has shaped me today is that it has made more patient and curious about other cultures and people. This is also an experience that has helped me grow and gain full independence and confidence to pursue new things and to accomplish my life-long goals. I feel that if I did not take this opportunity, my view of the world and of myself would have stayed narrow. I am so much more adventurous and willing to try new things and to embrace people while still maintaining my values and perspectives.

2. One of the best parts about studying abroad? Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

The best part about studying abroad are being immersed in a new culture and city and learning about the history and influence it has on the people. I recommend that you always go to the museums and landmarks to really learn about the city and culture. It is also nice that Spain is so close to neighboring countries like France, Italy and Morocco, so weekend trips are pretty cheap and easy to plan!

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Kasee Hurt

Admissions Counselor

As a Phoenix, Arizona native who has always dreamed of sliving outside of Arizona to experience what else this big world has to offer, I have always had a passion for design and travel. I fused the two to make my dream a reality.

After graduating from high school in Phoenix, I relocated to San Diego, California and settled in Los Angeles, where I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Visual Communication. Next, I left California to pursue my lifelong dream of moving to the beautiful Island of Oahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, where I began working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies. While at Manoa, I studied abroad in London, England, exploring multicultural relations and having the time of my life!

After my time in England, I returned home to Phoenix and began working at CEA to help others achieve their study abroad goals while also continuing to pursue my degree at U Hawaii Manoa.

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Katelyn Huyser

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course?
My favorite class while at SKEMA had to be Organizational Behavior, because I loved my professors, the material, the projects, and the classroom diversity. The professors knew the topics very well and were more than willing to give extra instruction if needed. I thoroughly enjoy learning about psychology and business, and this class was the perfect combination of both. We were required to do a semester long research project related to behavior in the workplace with another student from a different home country. Through this, I learned a ton about working with students from other backgrounds who have different work ethic and more diverse ideas. By the end of our research on gender differences and leadership in the workplace, my partner and I came out with a great friendship, more knowledge on our topic, and a better understanding of effective communication.

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad?
Unlike most things in life, with CEA you get specific guidelines and helpful instructions to help you through the process of setting up your location, housing, and visa. It may seem intimidating when you look at everything you need to do, but once you get started it’s all straight forward and always works out in the end. There will be hard moments as you’re in an unfamiliar environment away from home, but every second of the experience is beyond worth it. The city you choose to live in will quickly become your home and the other CEA students will become like family. This is one of the rare opportunities in life where you get to live in another country, make friends with people from every side of the globe, and travel to different cities every other weekend. Study abroad is a chance to live a life you create for yourself. It’s a life where you get to know the local shop owners and buy homegrown products at the market every morning. It’s a daily opportunity to practice a different language or learn creative ways of conversing with the café barista. There are people out there waiting to be met and a world that is eager to be explored.
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Katherine Edmonds

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have wanted to study abroad someday since I was young. I've always had a deep curiosity for seeing the world and exploring it. Ever since my first trip to Europe in 2012, I knew I wanted to spend a part of my life there someday.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I had known for a while that I wanted to study abroad in Spain. My sister studied abroad in Spain two summer ago (in Pamplona), and I visited her there. I got to spend a day in Seville and fell in love.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I look most forward to getting out of my comfort zone. I am very much a reserved and set-in-my-routine kind of person. I look forward to experiencing something entirely new and getting out of my shell.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have played violin since I was 5. I don't get to play much anymore, but in high school, I had the opportunity to visit Europe three times to to tour and perform with my violin group. This deepened my appreciation and interest in Europe and cultivated my interest in living abroad.


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Kathleen P Garrison

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
There are several different reasons for traveling abroad. The main one was simple for me. I can’t understand other people and other cultures if I don’t experience them first hand. It’s giving me the ability to further learn about myself while also gaining an understanding about different parts of the world. Studying abroad will also test my capacity to adjust to different environments and regions.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Barcelona for several different reasons. For starters, the history of Spain. The second reason would be for the art and architecture there. The weather is definitely appealing, and in addition to that, it’s a lot cheaper to live there, plus the night life is enticing.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Going into college, I had so many expectations for myself. Going abroad, I don’t want to say there is something I’m most looking forward to. I think the experience in itself will be amazing, and I want to take it day by day. Obviously the food and the shopping sound good, but I really want to find the hidden spots that only locals know about.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Fun facts about me: before I take off on an airplane, I listen to the same song and I’ve been doing that since I was 12. I love solving riddles on my phone when I’m bored. When I am super stressed, I bake, and I will bake literally anything. I love film, photography, and anything that has to do with the outdoors. Accomplishments? Wow, well, I work for a magazine where I am the lead for Content Creation, and I also am lead of Content Creation for another company. But my favorite accomplishment is my ability to eat a row of Ritz crackers without any water.


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Kathryn Farrell

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love European culture. I think it is really important to travel and see other people's worldview and culture to shape our own. Studying abroad will give me that opportunity in a really impactful way.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I visited France in 2017 and felt an instant connection with the culture. The French Riviera had all the classes I needed to take, as well as all I wanted in a town. The French life, all on the Mediterranean coast: amazing!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to exploring my host city while soaking up the lifestyle. But I am also looking forward to jetting off to amazing European destinations almost every weekend. I can't wait to make new friends and experience this amazing place with them.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have been a musician all my life, so I love singing in my free time. I am also passionate about photography and videography; I do some form of that almost every day. I like to read, sit at coffee shops with friends, and travel.


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Kathryn Theisen

Admissions Counselor
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and braved harsh winters for 18 years, before moving east to Wisconsin, where I put up with 4 more snowy winters. Finally, I moved to Arizona to embrace the sunshine! Living in a rural community, I always felt like I was missing a huge part of the world and knew that when I went to college, I wanted to study abroad. Being a college athlete, I was limited in choices and resources for going abroad. But, thankfully, I had a great support system and ended up spending a whole summer away while still pursuing my athletic career.

My time abroad was based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I listened to bagpipes, dipped my face in the fairy pools, and learned to ceilidh dance. During my program, I checked out 12 other countries and became an expert on packing for budget airlines, running through airports, and figuring out public transportation. One of my most memorable experiences was getting to meet one of the direwolf “puppies” in Northern Ireland that were used in the first season of Game of Thrones! The travel bug bit me pretty hard during my time abroad, and I loved having so many memorable adventures. I cannot wait to cross the pond again!

When I’m not at CEA, I love going to movies, exploring my new home, playing with my foster kittens, and planning my next big adventure!

Did you know? I hold a basketball scoring record at my University.
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Kayla King

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris
Home University: Point Loma Nazarene University
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Kayla Smith

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
I experienced local culture all the time while abroad - through my own explorations, and also through CEA! I took two classes at CEA, and both of my professors were constantly bringing us out into the city to see and experience exactly what we were learning about. In my architecture class, we experienced France's cultural past. We learned about the history behind dozens of buildings, which helped me understand why French culture is the way it is today. In my world religions class, we learned about the diversity of Parisian culture - we went to several different religious sites, and met tons of people of different religions who decided to make Paris their home. Our CEA excursions gave me a glimpse of French culture outside of the big city - we visited smaller cities and little towns, were I experienced a slower version of French life while still noticing all of the things that connect the French people as a whole. 
Of course when I was not with CEA I was constantly out exploring with my friends. We made it a point to wander sometimes, in order to see the little nooks and crannies of Paris that you only see if you're looking for them. These were my favorite moments - when I found a new fountain or a cool piece of street are, I really started to feel like a local.

2. What are your language tips? 
I studied French at the Sorbonne while I was abroad. Especially for other students learning at the Sorbonne, I would warn you not to expect to learn French the same way you did in the USA. The French do not teach their language in the same way - this is a good thing! While it was a slight shock and something I had to get used to, I learned so much from my Sorbonne professors. There were several elements of the language which I had been struggling to grasp for years which, after my professor explained them in a different way, seemed so easy. My advice is to embrace this new way of learning - the Sorbonne professors are the best in the country. Sorbonne classes are long, and they are every day of the week, but they are worth it and a willing student can learn so much.

3. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
My study abroad experience brought me completely out of my shell and gave me the confidence I need to jump into my future career. Before going abroad, I was hesitant to try new things, out of fear of failure. While abroad, I had no choice but to do things on my own, from going out and finding a store to going to a church all on my own to volunteer and interview the pastor. When I returned, I noticed a huge difference in my confidence - it was suddenly much easier to write a cover letter, my resume didn't look so empty, I was barely nervous while interviewing for summer internships, even calling my doctor's office was less scary. Making the big jump to a new city all on my own was the first step, but my entire experience abroad gave me a confidence I never thought I would have.
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Kayla Sullivan

Alumni Ambassador
1. What are ways you found to experience the local culture?
One of the main reasons I studied abroad was to immerse myself in another culture. As soon as I got to Prague, I made it my mission to learn as much of the language as possible, take as many Prague-focused classes as possible, eat as much Czech food as possible and speak to as many Czech people as possible. While I was abroad, I was constantly trying new places to eat, new coffee shops and I went to almost every excursion that CEA offered including a guided tour of Prague and a Czech language and culture class. When I was not in class, I was constantly looking for new places in Prague to explore. I would get on the tram or walk to places I had never been before. My favorite cultural experience was one time at my favorite restaurant, I interviewed the waiter about his family background with goulash for a project. It was so cool getting to hear about how he grew up eating goulash and how much it meant to his family.

2. What would you tell someone considering studying abroad? 
First off, CEA was great helping me with my pre-departure needs. I was given an advisor who helped me with each step of the process. She spoke with my parents numerous times about finances, she helped me with getting my classes approved and addressed any concerns I had. I loved that CEA did such a great job immersing everyone at the beginning and created a community for us. There was at least one session every day at the beginning (and once a week later on) about Czech culture, language, tours, etc. that helped ease my transition to Prague and gave me a chance to get to know other students on my program. Also, I loved that CEA partners with Anglo-American University because not only were all of my classes in English, but I got to know other students from all over the world who were studying in Prague, which was my favorite part of school.
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Kayla VonBurg

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

Besides listening to Spanish music, living with a host family, and watching telenovelas, my best advice for someone trying to learn the second language is to listen—on the metro, in the streets, in restaurants—just listen to what people are saying, how they interact with each other. There is so much value to listening to the native speakers around you. This not only expanded my grammatical skills, but it also helped me pick up dialectal phrases and words.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Before I got on the plane on January 31, 2017, I was the girl who was afraid of her own shadow. I was a doormat and afraid to do things on my own. I was generally fearful for my future. From day one of living in Madrid, I was pushed to do things that were beyond my comfort zone. Between being in a new city, the language barrier, and culture shock, I was forced to grow up in a matter of about a week. I remember calling my mom about a week after I had lived in Madrid, and she told me she had never heard me sound so grown-up. By the time April of my term rolled around, I decided to take a last minute solo trip to Palma de Mallorca and London. This was perhaps the moment that I began to understand how much I had grown from this experience. I realized that I was so capable of being on my own, conquering my fears alone, and being comfortable in my own solitude. Study abroad is not about “finding yourself” as many say. Study abroad is about showing you what you are capable of. I now realize that I can do so much more than I once believed, that I am so much more valuable as a human than I once believed, and, with that in mind, I cannot wait to take that perspective with me for my remaining time in college, for my career, and for the rest of my life.

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Kelly McKeon

CEA MOJO Blogger
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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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Kendall McKee

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kevin Mooney

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kiara Perez

Alumni Ambassador
1. How did your study abroad experience shape you?
Since being abroad I've realized that it has been an experience that I didn't think I so badly needed. Things from, friends, food, cultural experiences all gave my body an amazing shock. I could have easily spent this semester solely going to class and then returning back to my apartment and letting the days go by, but that is not what study abroad is about. When this amazing opportunity pops up in your life, you really have to take advantage of it. I've been able to adapt to a new location within days and seek something to do most of my days. I truly believe that when I go back home I will be vouching for everyone to go study abroad, it changes your outlook in life and makes you itch for more adventures and has you planning your next trip before you even leave.

2. What are your tips for learning the local language?
I came to Paris to perfect my French. Attending a school that solely taught in French has been very helpful but at the end of the day I needed to do more to make sure it would stick. I make sure to order my food and ask questions in French, even when the locals detect my accent and would switch back to English, I stand my ground and continued speaking in French.
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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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Laura Bastings

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Laura Claypool

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: Chapman University
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Lauren Gioglio

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Lauren MacDonald

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
While abroad I stayed with a host family that cooked local food and brought me into their world. I was able to get a first hand experience of daily life in Granada being with this family. Also I would go exploring the city when I got a chance and interact with locals.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad? 
CEA had the best options for where and what I wanted to study. When I got to my study abroad destination the staff was welcoming and always available to me. The excursions were amazing and eye-opening. My host family was great and became like a second family to me. I was very happy that I chose CEA and was able to have one of the best experiences of my life.
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Lauren Stornelli

Alumni Insider
1. What ways did you find to experience the local culture? 
The local culture that I experienced while I was abroad was very different than that in the United States, but in the best way possible. For me, the biggest difference was the meals. In Spain, lunch is the largest meal of the day consumed between 2:00-3:00PM and dinner is a smaller meal that is eaten around 9:00-10:00PM. In addition, almost the entire city shuts down between 2:00 and 5:00 so that everyone can spend time with their families and eat lunch together. As someone from the Boston area, where everyone rushes around, placing less and less value on eating meals together as a family, I valued this aspect of the culture the most. Not only did I get to know my host family better in this time, but I got to take a break from the fast-paced life and enjoy my family, my meal, and a small siesta. This transfers to other aspects of Spanish culture as well, even down to the way that people walk on the streets. They walk slowly, taking their time and enjoying themselves, rather than rushing around from place to place and living the fast-paced life that Americans are notorious for.

2. What tips do you have for learning the language? 
I was in the Intensive Language Program while in Spain, and I found that the classes took some getting used to. They are very different than the Spanish classes I have taken in the United States. There is no English spoken in the classroom and many of the professors are not fluent in English. This was amazing, because it forced me to speak in Spanish at all times. If the professor didn't understand what I was saying, I had to explain myself and I learned so much from this approach. My tip would be to not get frustrated with the increase in difficulty. It can all be overwhelming at once, especially when everywhere you go, people are speaking Spanish. Even if you don't notice it, you are improving tremendously and you should stick with it.
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Lauren Tifft

Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
It taught me to work better with people from different cultures and helped me learn about cultural differences.

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad?
Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to visit places I might not ever have been able to see if I hadn’t. I was able to take all of my core classes while learning how different cultures function and I was able to meet so many new people.
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Lauryn Huber

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Leah de Leon

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Leah deLeon

Alumni Insider
1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 
After spending four months in Paris studying with CEA, I really felt like I lived like a local. I learned how to navigate the metro and RER - whether it was to school, a cute cafe, or to a museum. Instead of texting on my phone during meals or walking around the city, I found myself reading a book, something I never did at home. I enjoyed buying my groceries fresh every Tuesday and Friday at the local farmers' market outside my apartment. I even got to know the merchants and waved to them on my way home from work. The boulangerie next to my apartment recognized me and came to know my order of 'un pain au chocolat' every Monday morning. I also practiced my French daily and found myself able to ask questions, socialize and communicate with strangers without hesitation.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
Study abroad gave me opportunities to grow as an individual, a creative, and future entrepreneur. I never traveled outside of the country by myself - so this was a huge risk and leap of faith in myself. Leaving my comfort zone of my university and my home allowed me to become more independent. My understanding of the world expanded and my curiosity to understand my cultural roots grew. I discovered a passion for photography through Photography in Paris, and got the opportunity to create promotional videos for a travel company. Study abroad also made me realize that traveling is something I want to continue in my personal and professional life. CEA helped me combine my curiosity and creativity into tangible results.
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Lillian Huckabee

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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: University of Georgia
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Lillie Ross

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your study abroad experience taught you?

Because of my study abroad experience in Granada, Spain, I have a greater understanding for different cultures around the world. After my trip, I travelled to Amsterdam, Dublin, Barcelona, and Madrid, and by living in Granada for the two months previously, I already had a deeper appreciation for different language, food, and lifestyles. I learned that you must be open to all experiences and willing to learn about yourself and others. It is amazing to meet people from different parts of the world and stay in touch over time because you can never have too many connections. Any preconceived notions or stereotypes about different cultures must be deleted from your brain because there are so many good people in the world, and it could be a missed opportunity if you do not open yourself to all types of people and different cultures.

2. What would you tell others about studying abroad?

If I had one minute to convince a friend to study abroad, I would tell them that no matter where they study, they wouldn't regret it. Being a world traveler and studying in a different country gives you newfound appreciations for different ways of life. It is a skill to be able to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It can be nerve-wracking at times, but the outcome is so rewarding -- life-time friends, amazing stories, and most importantly, learning about yourself.

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Lindsay Gilman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Lindsey Carl

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Lisa Chieffo, Ed.D.

Associate Director, Study Abroad - University of Delaware
For more than 20 years, Lisa Chieffo has been involved with international education at the University of Delaware (UD): first as Study Abroad Coordinator in UD’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, then in UD’s Institute for Global Studies. As Associate Director, Dr. Chieffo oversees over 100 study abroad programs and supervises program coordinators. She has led multiple research projects with a focus on student learning abroad, presented at international education conferences such as NAFSA and Forum, and published in professional journals.

Dr. Chieffo’s areas of expertise include short-term education abroad programs and faculty leadership; education abroad assessment, adjunct instruction in education abroad; and educational leadership. Dr. Chieffo is co-editor of NAFSA’s The Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad (3rd edition forthcoming in 2018). She earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, M.A. in German, and bachelor’s degree in Languages at UD. As a student, Dr. Chieffo studied abroad in Tübingen and Bayreuth, Germany and Vienna, Austria.
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Logan Palmer

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
During my time in Rome, I tried to find every opportunity I could to experience the local culture. I told myself that I would try one new thing at every restaurant I went to, I explored local farmer’s markets with my classmates, and I experienced the Italian nightlife. I found ways to connect to Rome’s local culture mainly through food, as I ate freshly made pizza, pasta and supplì (stuffed fried rice balls essentially). I also rode the subway and the city’s many other forms of public transportation to get around the city. I found myself at Stadio Olimpico, where I watched A.S. Roma play football and take home the win against Genoa one night in April and I went across town to visit Eatly one afternoon. By immersing myself into Italy’s culture, I was able to feel at home there and it opened up my mind to the world around me. Often times, I would walk around the city and use the little Italian I had learned in order to order gelato or say excuse me. Rome’s local culture was fast-paced, yet friendly and delightful.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was my Cross-Cultural Management (CCM) course. This course struck me as particularly interesting and it turned out to be my favorite (even over Food & Wine) because of its application to real life and the new perspectives I received from it. In Cross-Cultural Management, we were able to learn from a real professional who has worked across cultures in various parts of the world. Not only did we learn about specific cultures and how members of that culture typically function in a business setting, but we were able to see how different cultures work together and how managers come together to make these relationships work. CCM was my favorite because as I was taking the class, I was also able to walk outside and be immersed in a different culture where I could see first-hand how one specific culture actually functioned and how that lined up with what I was learning in the classroom. I also enjoyed this course because it helped me realize that I want to pursue a career in global management, where I can work and live abroad in differing cultures.
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Lois Charm

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Macey Hallstedt

Site Specialist
I grew up in west Michigan and had a picture-perfect childhood. Literally, the movie American Pie is based on my hometown. It’s a great place to be from, but I have always known I wanted to travel. It’s a big world, and I want to understand as much of it as possible. My first step was studying abroad in Costa Rica with CEA. Long story short, it changed my life, and I learned that international education existed as a career path. But, to be a good advisor, I knew that first I had to travel.

So I did. Since graduating from the University of Michigan, I have worked at an ice cream shop in Sweden, as an English Teacher in rural Spain, a kayak guide on Lake Superior, and a logistics expert for outdoor adventures in the southwest before finally settling in Phoenix at CEA Study Abroad. During and between these gigs, I visited Costa Rica, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Portugal. Included on my travel to-do list: the rest of the world.

When I’m not at my desk helping send students abroad, you can find me at beach volleyball or tennis courts. Or on top of a mountain. Or in my kitchen cooking up a feast with my friends. Or in my hammock reading a good book. Or obsessively tracking flights….
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Mackenzie Phillips

Alumni Ambassador
1. I am super responsible and motivated, so I participated in an internship/volunteer program/service learning program while I was abroad. Here’s how I will use those career-building experiences:

I signed up for the International Internship Program, which allowed me to intern at a Primary International School in Prague. This opportunity opened many new skills and methods I could use and learn from when I enter the education field. The school I interned at used the United Kingdom education method, and it was very different from the United States’. The children at the school came from all parts of the world and they are able to gain cultural sensitivity at an early age. They are used to all types of religions, cultures and races surrounding them every day. In a lot of the American schools, race can be a primary issue since the students are not surrounded by it like international schools are. This is a key skill I would like my classroom or school to learn. I would like the learning of different cultures to be a part of the curriculum so that students in the US will gain cultural sensitivity at an earlier age.

2. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?

One thing that surprised me was that Prague was different than I imagined it. All the roads are nothing but cobblestone and the city is mainly still traditional. There are some modern things in Prague like malls, expensive shops, clubs, but there are also a lot of traditional areas as well. There is an area in Prague called Wenceslas Square that features lots of shopping and modern things (movie theaters, restaurants, etc.). Not far from it is also that oldest area that exists in Prague called Old Town Square. This whole aspect surprised me as a whole.
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Mackenzie Pinn

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures while also earning class credits.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I've been wanting to study in France since 8th grade, but Aix-en-Provence, specifically, seems like a beautiful town to reside in for my time abroad. Everything about it is a perfect fit for me!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Traveling around and trying new things from different cultures! And taking photos, of course!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I've been interested in photography since I was eight years old. When I was 15, I accepted a national gold medal (for one of my pieces) at Carnegie Hall!


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Madeleine Collins

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence
Home University: University of South Carolina
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Madeline Inoyue

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Madelyn Lorubbio

Site Specialist
As LeBron James once said, “I’m just a kid from Akron, Ohio!”

Growing up, my parents made it a priority to get us out of Ohio for at least one family vacation a year. By age 8, I had already visited several places on both coasts of the United States, as well as many other destinations in between. After graduating from Ohio University (OU-Oh Yeah!) in 2016, I decided to put my Spanish minor to good use and explore Costa Rica. The internship I had with Universidad Veritas in San Jose sparked my passion for the study abroad field. I fell in love with the culture, and I wanted others to be able to have a similar experience, as it was life-changing.

Upon returning to the USA after what seemed like a short six months, I could not seem to adjust to the below freezing temperatures of snowy Ohio. I set out for a warmer location, drove across the country with my best friends, and landed in the desert! Not long after arriving in Phoenix, I started my internship with CEA. The following month I was encouraged to apply full-time and moved up to become a Site Specialist. I found this position to be parallel to my career goals of getting students to have an international experience like mine.

While not at CEA, I enjoy travelling, scary movies, hanging out with friends, stargazing, and watching Game of Thrones.

Did you know? I met LeBron when he was a senior in high school, and he signed my shoe after my 2nd grade basketball scrimmage.
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Madison McCormick

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Martha McGivern, Ph.D.

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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Matthew Miklas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Shanghai
Home University: Cedarville University
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McKenzie McClanahan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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McKenzie Smith

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Megan Kruskie

Alumni Ambassador

1. One of the best parts about studying abroad?

Getting to travel to other cities and countries! Here are my top travel tips:

-Buy your tickets in advance. Otherwise, travel can get pretty expensive! 
-Do all you can do when you visit another city. You never know when you'll be back, and you've already made the trip there, so why not take advantage of everything you can? 
-If you're worried about cost, there are always plenty of local things to do or day trips to take. You don't have to spend a lot of money to travel! 
-Don't be scared to travel alone. If you want to go somewhere, go! Obviously be careful, but traveling alone can be fun and teach you a lot about yourself.

2. How has this study abroad experience shaped you?

My experience has really made me think a lot about who I am and what I want to do with my life. While abroad, I definitely questioned the career path I was on more than once, but in a good way. It really opened my eyes to what is important to me. I am definitely more eager to learn other languages and travel as much as I can because once you know what's out there, you can never get enough. There is just so much to learn about the world that you can only experience by traveling. Study abroad has also made me a more outgoing person. When you're alone in a foreign country, you have to put yourself out there to learn about the culture and meet new people. Speaking in a foreign language is not always the most comfortable thing to do, but you learn to work with what you have and always try because if you don't, you won't gain anything.

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Megan Reid

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I knew it would be a great opportunity to see the world while also getting an education. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just couldn't pass it up. There are so many things to look forward to that I would never be able to experience staying in the states.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I went to Rome two summers ago and absolutely fell in love with the city. There's still so much to see and explore. Rome has so much history and I knew the entire trip I had to come back, and so studying abroad here was the perfect solution!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
 I can't wait to explore a new city and to live in Europe for a few months. I'm also looking forward to all of the people I'm going to meet that I would never have had the chance of meeting in the States. Experiencing a new culture is also very exciting,  I can't wait to just embrace Italy.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
One of my favorite things to do is kickboxing! It's amazing exercise and so much fun. I really enjoy working out and being with my friends. I also love to read and try to do it as much as I can.


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Megan Styborski

Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

When I first arrived in San José, I think I spoke maybe three words in Spanish. I had studied French in both high school and college, but never any Spanish. I have four big tips for learning a new language while you’re abroad. First, try to learn some before you depart, especially key phrases and vocabulary. Second, bring flashcards with you from home and use them as much as possible. Third, practice as much as you can! It’s easy to talk to friends in your program in English, but try practicing your language with them instead. It also helps a lot to make local friends and practice with them. At first, it’s a bit hard and awkward, but the improvement will blow you mind, and you’ll make life-long friends abroad in the process. Fourth, if you can, use Netflix. At my destination, I watched in English with Spanish subtitles, and it did wonders for me! If you think that you’re ready for it, you can also watch in a foreign language with English subtitles, or just watch in a foreign language alone! You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

The first thing I would say is that it’s one of the best ways to kick off a life full of travel. It’s so cost effective considering how long you’re there and how much you get out of it. And for those of you who say it’s too expensive or who think there aren’t many options for your major, don’t worry. I have the answers! First off, yes, studying abroad can be painfully expensive. But it doesn’t need to be! There are so many different destinations and program types, and those factors can have a big impact on the cost. I personally couldn’t afford most of the options in Europe, but I still found a way to go! I barely spent more money abroad then I would’ve at home, and some students save money by going abroad. For those of you who have difficult majors, there are work-arounds! My major was in the health sciences, and I had a lot of difficulty finding an option that was both affordable for me and useful for my major. So instead, I used my time abroad to work on my minor and my honors coursework. I ended up getting an affordable experience while also getting an academically valuable experience. It’s completely possible on both counts. In addition to all of that, studying abroad does so much for you as a person. You mature in so many ways, from traits like confidence and independence to being able to live off a backpack full of bare necessities. You develop a global awareness and understanding that is completely irreplaceable and highly valuable for the rest of your life.

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Megan Vande Linde

Alumni Ambassador
1. What are your tips for learning the language while abroad?
If you’re studying another language while abroad, you have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself completely. Lean into that immersion. During my year in Spain, I changed my phone and Netflix settings to Spanish, listened only to Spanish music, watched TV (even game shows!) in Spanish with my host family, spoke almost exclusively with my new friends in Spanish, and attended weekly language exchange sessions. The more contact you can have with a language, the more natural it will begin to feel, so seek out every chance you have to practice! While I was with English speakers, I listened to the conversation and tried to find the phrases, words, or ideas that I would be unable to translate into Spanish. Once you identify your weak spots, you can begin to work on those areas specifically. When it comes to studying for your language classes, use the same techniques that work for you in your home university while studying your target language. In my case, that means lots of color coding, homemade study guides, and flashcards, but everyone has their own system!

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad? 
My experience with CEA was incredible, not because everything went perfect all year (a perfect year is impossible even at my home university), but because the CEA staff was one of the most attentive and compassionate groups of people I’ve ever met. Whether they were patiently helping me choose my classes, suggesting activities around Granada, or planning and leading those incredible excursions on the weekends, Begoña, Jorge, and Antonio did an incredible job in making everyone feel wanted and welcome in Granada. On top of the amazing staff, the CEA excursions are enough reason in themselves to convince you to go with CEA. During my year abroad, I traveled to Ronda, Cordoba, Seville, Morocco (twice!), Madrid, Toledo, Nerja, Las Alpujarras, just to name a few, all of which is included in your program fee. CEA didn’t just send me to Spain and drop me there; they made sure I had a great time, stayed safe, improved my Spanish, and got to know Granada too.
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Megan Vande Linde

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Meghan Leslie

CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Dayton
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Melissa Greenberg

Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
I would say that the experience is worth having, not just to improve on language skills or have aesthetically pleasing pictures for social media, those are just a bonus, but to find out more about a culture and yourself. You learn how to live life completely on your own, and overcome challenges such as breaking language barriers or becoming more local as time goes on. You get to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and along with life lessons that you thought you would never have to learn. The program itself is inclusive and takes you on adventures all over the country while expanding your food palette, and also opening a door to numerous opportunities.

2. What are your best tips for learning the language while abroad?
Learning another language can be difficult at times, but the best way I encountered was conversing with locals as much as possible. While in France you are surrounded by French speakers, therefore the best way to learn is to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the community. I spoke to everyone while I could, even the unconventional "Uber" drivers, because they love to teach the language and help you learn since they know it is not easy. Also studying phrases you've never heard before or listening to songs with more conversational French is the sort of thing that helped me expound on my language skills. My French professor also took us out to learn in a more interactive manner, such as meeting natives at a cafe or learning how to cook in French. Overall, attempting to use the language on a daily basis despite the mistakes that may be made is the most efficient way in my opinion, because over time you become more comfortable speaking and can pick up on different slang and accents.
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Michelle Gross

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Michelle McGhan

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: Columbia College Chicago
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Miranda Schimek

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

Since I have gone through the culture shock and reverse culture shock twice now, because I did a Rotary Youth Exchange in high school and then studied abroad in college, I have become extremely adaptable. This is convenient in the workplace, I can adapt to different jobs and tasks quickly. Since I began traveling my senior year of high school I haven’t stopped. I have met people from around the world who have shown me the importance of travel. It has made me a very accepting and welcoming person. I have met people from all diverse backgrounds and religions and I find we can learn a lot from everyone we meet.

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

I would recommend focusing on conjugation before arriving to your host country because that is more universal. While learning vocab is nice to have, each country differs a lot; I had to learn a lot of new words just between living in Colombia and then Costa Rica. When I arrived to Colombia on an exchange in high school, I didn’t speak Spanish at all and my host family didn’t speak English. My host sister knew a little written English and wrote a list of the main verbs they used and the slang. When trying to learn a language it is best to immerse yourself into it completely. This means listening to Spanish music, TV, and making friends who you can practice it with (locals who are native speakers of that language are always the best because then you can learn the language and the culture with it). I also found having a host family was very important to me because they taught me most of the Spanish I learned on exchange and were super patient with me.

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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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Morgan McKenna

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Nakia Edmond

Alumni Ambassador

What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class was my intensive Chinese because we could not speak in English at all except for a few words we didn’t know. Speaking Chinese for 2 months straight expanded my vocabulary extensively and helped me learn more than I ever did in a classroom on at my home campus. It gave me the confidence and drive to continue practicing my foreign language even after my program had long ended.

How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?  

My study abroad experience is more of a personal journey I share with others that helped me figure out what I was passionate about and what I was meant to do with my life. I came into college a criminal justice major with no real direction or passion for the major. However, after I returned from my study abroad program, I was determined to finish out my major and attend grad school for international studies with a concentration in East Asian Studies. I started my journey by interning for the education abroad office on my home campus my senior year and applied to grad schools with strong international backgrounds. Now I am a graduate student attending Texas State University, and I have CEA to thank for helping me find myself and my career path.

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Nam Nguyen

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

I firmly believe that studying abroad benefited me academically, professionally, and personally. Studying abroad broadened my knowledge and perspective in multiple ways. It has expanded my knowledge in my field of study and has helped me become the open-minded and flexible person that every employer is looking for. These experiences have helped me further develop my independence and be prepared to face whatever challenges come my way.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

Thanks to my study abroad experience, I can enter my professional career with a significant understanding of different cultures and people. After participating in many different study abroad programs, I am more aware of the cultural expectations and norms surrounding me. I have a proper understanding of what is expected of me and how to better “fit in” in the new environment. Finally, the sensitivity I have gained by studying abroad can help me succeed in many different cultures.

The insights I gained from living and studying abroad will assist me in future career opportunities. The instances in which I overcame cultural barriers and challenges will help me differentiate myself from other applicants quickly. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to marvel at the culture and history of many different countries up-close. By bridging the language barriers, I will have a chance to open plenty of doors to my future career. Whether I intend to work in a country where I studied or join an international company that maintains partnerships with those cultures, being able to speak their language and having knowledge of their culture will make me an attractive hire.

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Nate DeRidder

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Nathan Sweasey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Nicole Francese

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Nicole Nordman

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

I realize that there are not enough words to adequately describe my time abroad. I feel like I have become an entirely different person, a more real and whole me. The opportunities I had while abroad are numerous and extensive, but each had a significant impact on the person I am today. Before going to Spain, I felt confused and unsure of most things in my life, but after coming back, I am sure that my potential is endless and anything is possible if I am sure of myself and my capabilities. The most important things I have learned are that language doesn’t have to be a barrier; family is more important than I ever realized; studies don’t have to be the center of your life as long as you’re doing what you love; and food is a very important part of every culture! I will never forget my time living with my incredible host family in a country so different from my own. I was able to share so many things with them from the simple conversations about activities I did in class to something as complex as my mental health. In high school, I gave a speech to the whole school about my experience with mental disorders and it was one of the hardest things I had to do. I thought I would never do something like that again, but after seeing how understanding a person can be even when there is a language barrier, I’ve found that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Living in Granada with my host family truly was an ever-lasting experience that I will cherish forever.

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

I would have to say that the best way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it. Not everyone has this kind of opportunity, but if you are lucky to be able to, put in your best effort every day to speak to the natives. And, if you get the chance to live with a host family, talk to them about what you do every day. I also found it helpful to watch game shows with my family because they use a lot of every day vocabulary, and I could ask my host family about the words I didn’t know. The most helpful thing that I did before leaving for my host country was changing my phone to Spanish because it really forced me to learn vocabulary that’s prevalent today.

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Olivia Bracy

Alumni Ambassador
*You can ask me about my international internship too!
1. What would you say to others who are considering studying abroad? 
Studying abroad has an endless amount of benefits for students. From forcing people to step out of their comfort zone to becoming the best version of themselves, studying abroad does it all. Stepping out of one's typical day-to-day life and living in a foreign country calls for new learning experiences. Being exposed to new people, a different viewpoint on history, and unfamiliar places calls for eye opening experiences. Traveling to a new country and unfamiliar location alone is an excellent method to become more mature. Although your new roommates are there for you, you truly must depend on yourself in a foreign country. An additional area that most people grow in while being abroad is global competence. After visiting another country, you are able to better understand cultural differences. Everything from the way people in your host country dress, to the language they speak, to the food they eat, and their laws and actions, everything is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow as a person. While comparing America to your host country, two opposite situations arise. When you are living in another country, it is eye-opening to recognize that specific country's outlook on life along with their rules and regulations. Distinguishing the differences can do two things: teach a person how America can improve as a country and, on the contrary, display aspects to be grateful for. Nothing in this word can compare to the opportunity to study abroad. DO IT!
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Olivia Ferri

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Olivia Hernandez

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Experience new cultures!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have previously been abroad and wanted to go back.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Meeting people from all walks of life that I wouldn't be able to meet otherwise.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I climbed Colorado's tallest mountain last summer!


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Ontaya Artis

Student Accounts

Prior to working for CEA, I was new to the study abroad world. Working here has opened my eyes to the major benefits of the studying and travelling abroad. I am definitely inspired and look forward to future ventures abroad.

My career in higher education started over 10 years ago. I held positions as an enrollment counselor, a financial aid counselor, and a financial aid processor before coming to CEA. The skills I acquired in this roles have equipped me to be successful in the student accounts role because I have the ability to counsel students from every angle in the college process. I enjoy making a positive impact and assisting with problem solving making this all possible one student at a time!

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Paige Romero

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
To gain professional work experience abroad & to really learn the culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I've been taking Spanish for 2 years and both of my grandparents were born in Spain. I feel connected to it in some way.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Improving my language skills and living in an entirely new culture.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I published a book at 16, I love creative writing & poetry, photography is one of my passions, and I love being outdoors.


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Patrick Casey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California State University, Sacramento
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Peter O'Neill

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
As an aspiring travel writer, studying abroad was a no-brainer. I wanted to get as much travel experience as possible in school, so I could make it a profession.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
After months of consideration, I picked Prague because it offered the best Journalism courses. I did more research on the culture and the area, and soon fell in love.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm big on exploration, so getting to roam the city and experience it as a local will be quite exciting.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I worked on a few Hallmark movies over the summer. One with Melissa Joan Hart, and another with Jessica Ruderman. Both great experiences, and truly eye opening for those unfamiliar with the film industry.


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Phoebe Nielsen

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love to explore new places and try new things. My older brother studied abroad during his time in college and claimed it was one of the best experiences of his life: he met new people, saw new places, and tried things out of the ordinary. I wanted to have a once in a lifetime opportunity as he did, so decided to go abroad!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose to study in Prague because I have never been to Prague before. I have traveled to other European countries with my family, but have never been to Prague or the Czech Republic. I also chose Prague for its historic sites such as the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, which I hope to explore while there.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to meeting new people and exploring different cultures. I hope to meet other CEA students as well as locals. I’m excited to meet people from different countries and create a network of friendships across Europe!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and love to ski. Although I wanted to go out of state for college, I love the close proximity Denver has to the mountains. Going to school far from home has made me appreciate Colorado and the opportunities I had growing up so close to mountains.


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Quinn Kanner

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Rachel Bornstein

Alumni Ambassador
1. What ways did you find to experience the local culture? 
One of my favorite activities in experiencing and living the local culture in Granada, Spain was the tapa experience! In Granada, you can get FREE food with a purchase of a drink (only 1-3 euros!) Tapas are a very Spanish thing to do, where you go out with your friends around 8-10pm for a “tapa” in place of a large dinner, and eat small appetizer-sized portions of food paired with a drink. I LOVED that the dining etiquette in Spain doesn’t include tips! I also loved going to some of the MANY cafés close by and scattered around the city on the weekends to have a Spanish breakfast— café and delicious toast or a pastry!

2. What are your tips for learning the language? 
Live with a host family! If you’re living in a region where English is not spoken proficiently, it's a big change because you may live with a family who knows little to no English—this is good! It will be easier to improve your skills if you are at least an intermediate-student in your target language, as you have the minimum amount of knowledge to practice using it everyday. If you are an absolute beginner, I won’t deny that it may be difficult for you at the start. For this, I recommend you really pay attention in your grammar classes and practice applying what you learned as much as you can with your host family and writing in a journal.
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Rachel Pasche

Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you say to others who are considering studying abroad? 
There is so much of the world to see, so many things to experience and learn, and studying abroad gives you an easy way to do those things. You meet new people, see new things, go places you've never even dreamed of visiting, and it all seems possible. You'll surprise yourself with how much you're capable of, and it'll amaze you to see what the rest of the world holds. Once you start traveling, once you get the bug, you'll never want to stop. It'll change the way you see the world, broadening your mind and horizons, and you'll be a better, more open, more independent person for it.

2. What was your favorite course while in Seville?
Spanish Culture and History because it was so informative. I learned how to discern quality from cheap olive oil, how to cook countless Spanish dishes, how the beer industry in Spain has evolved, and why certain foods were more popular than others. I learned why Ropa Vieja is named such, and why it came to be a popular dish. I became so knowledgeable about culture, food, history, I felt it was the final step of my immersion into the Spanish culture. Beyond that, every two weeks we went to a kitchen and learned to cook traditional Spanish cuisine, including desserts.
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Riley Doerge

CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Washington State University
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Riley Hubbard

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted the opportunity to grow my professional experience while also diving into a new culture and country.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
The Irish people. I wanted to meet amazing people who are nice and share the same love of humanity as I do.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm most looking forward to building relationships that will stay with me for the rest of my life and traveling to places I've never been to before. I want to connect with locals and make friends who are also studying abroad.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am an international shuffleboard champion. When I was 14 years old, I competed in Germany on an International Youth Shuffleboard team and our team placed 3rd out of 15 other Nations and teams.


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Robby Gragnola

Alumni Insider
1. What was your favorite course abroad? 
My favorite class was Architecture and Painting in Barcelona because of the opportunity to explore the rich culture that art in Barcelona had to offer. I was on the fence about taking this class because I never cared about art previously, but this class changed my attitude about the subject. My perception of the class was that we were going to simply talk about paintings and sculptures and what they meant to the artist, but it turned out to be so much more intriguing than that. After learning about an artist like Gaudi or Picasso, we would actually go see their masterpieces in person at their museums that were located in the heart of the city. The combination of seeing their works up close and the information I learned in class helped educate me on the meaning behind their creations and what makes them so special. It was fascinating to discover how much the environment they lived in at the time influenced what they created. This class gave me a new appreciation for art and the lessons that it can teach me.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
Being the youngest of four children, I have always relied on my family to guide me through different stages of my life. But for the first time in my life, I wanted to escape my comfort zone and become more independent, and that is exactly what CEA helped me do. Throughout the past five months in Europe, I have been to nine different countries, all having their own unique cultures and customs, and each one teaching me something new about myself. The one experience that attributed the most to my personal growth was my trip to Paris. This was the first time I was traveling alone, but I was eager to explore this city and put myself outside of my comfort zone. This city has some of the most famous national monuments in the world, all which combine different aspects of French history to create a very diverse culture. My first stop was to the Notre Dame Cathedral where I experienced the iconic French Gothic architecture. After studying architecture over the past several months I was able to point out certain styles and techniques that made the cathedral so extraordinary. Next was the Louvre, where I met a man named John who spoke fluent English and French, who ended up guiding me through the historic museum. If I was by myself I would have just seen piece of art and not even have thought about the significance that each one had on society global scale. But I was lucky enough to meet John who was able to describe the cultural implications of each famous work of art in far more detail than any typical tour guide ever could. That day showed me that I can get out of my comfort zone and be rewarded with some of the most enriching moments of my life. I not only became more culturally aware, but I also discovered new traits of self-confidence and extroversion that would not have happened had I not had this experience. And in fact, I almost did not go on this trip because of the fear of being alone, but it turned out to be my favorite destination.
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Roxanna Reforme

Admissions Counselor

My passion for travel and education started from a young age. When I was thirteen years old, I went on a mission trip to Agua Prieta, Mexico to teach English at an orphanage/school. That summer before high school sparked my interest in volunteer work, which I ended up continuing throughout high school with organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Andre House, and others around my community in Phoenix, Arizona.

Once I reached college, I studied abroad in Kolkata, India, where I volunteered at one of Mother Theresa’s orphanage/schools while taking courses on Indian Language and Culture. When I returned to Scottsdale Community College, I was ready to apply to the College of Education at Northern Arizona University, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, specializing in English.

After graduation, I had the opportunity to teach abroad at a high school and college in Himeji, Japan, where I also obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Relations. I was able to travel to Nepal and throughout Japan. Even though I was terrified to travel and work in a foreign country, I fell in love with Japanese culture and food and met the most amazing, friendly people. Upon returning from Japan, I completed a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Studying and being abroad is something that has been so influential for me. There is so much beauty in other cultures and countries, so I love helping others to reach their goals of going abroad! When I’m not helping students, I am usually with family, hiking, biking, exploring locally, or really just doing anything that gets me outside!

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Roxanne Anthony

Admissions Counselor
Outside of work, you can probably find me outside. I’m an avid rock climber, hiker, camper, sleep-under-the-stars kind of a gal. My parents are total environmentalists who helped foster my love of the outdoors and adventure early on in life. I am an Arizona native and can never seem to get enough of what the state has to offer, but I like to keep a good balance of being here and being away. I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of in country travel, hitting about 50% of the states, and some out of country travel as well.

In college, I spent summers and spring breaks in Mexico and parts of ski season in Canada. My junior year, I traveled to Ireland with a group of my sorority sisters and had the time of my life! We romped around castles, kissed the Blarney Stone, held tons of baby sheep, and dressed head to toe in green for St. Patrick’s Day. I even won a contest to see who had the best Irish accent. As a speech and hearing sciences major, I had a bit of a leg up on the competition. My favorite memory was towards the end of our trip while on an excursion to the Aran Islands. These islands have very few beaches and mostly meet the ocean by way of towering cliffs. In true form, I decided that I needed to hang off the cliffs for a photo op. This horrified my sisters, but the picture was well worth it! My trip to Ireland brought me closer to the friends I went with, but I also left with new friends from around the U.S., Ireland, and a few other countries as well.

I believe there is a sort of raw vulnerability that experiencing the world brings out in people. It allows us to tap into a part of who we are that we may have never found otherwise. As an Admissions Counselor at CEA, I'm the first point of contact for students who are interested in studying abroad. I provide instruction and advice to assist students in choosing the perfect program for them based on their wants and needs. And of course, I’m here to answer any questions my students may have!

Fun Fact: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Arizona State University (Go Devils!), and I am current pursuing my Master of Business Administration at Grand Canyon University!
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Ryan Mellin

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Sam Vodanovich

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you experienced the local culture? 
While I was in Rome it was a goal of mine to make sure my friends and I saw or tried something new everyday. We did a lot of walking and a lot of eating, but in Rome that is the most practical way to immerse yourself in the culture. We were consistently trying new restaurants, visiting new museums, or even just going for nightly strolls along the river.

2. What was your favorite course abroad? 
The Culture of Food and Wine was my favorite course because every class was different. We would try new local foods every week and sometimes we would get to cook with our teacher at her home kitchen. It was one of the most unique experiences of studying abroad.
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Samantha Davies

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I want to learn Spanish, travel the world, explore something new and have the best semester of my life!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Barcelona because I want to be fluent in Spanish, and I have always been intrigued by Spain!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Living in the amazing country of Spain!!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love sports, photography, traveling, and making new friends!


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Samantha Potempa, M.A.

Assistant Director for Study Abroad, Office of International Studies & Programs - Illinois State University
Samantha Potempa is the Assistant Director for Study Abroad at Illinois State University. Ms. Potempa leads the Study Abroad Unit and serves as the External Communications Coordinator for the International Educators of Illinois. Some of her primary responsibilities involve study abroad risk management and program development. Previously, she worked as a Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she served on the Latin American Studies Committee. Samantha enjoys sharing knowledge with the education abroad community and presents at national, regional, and state conferences. She is particularly interested in providing training and professional development guidance to those new to the field.

Ms. Potempa received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and her master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Master Certificate in Human Resource Management from Cornell University.
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Samantha Yeager

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Samara Rosenthal

CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: University of Arizona
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Sarah Carrillo

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted an experience outside of New York City. If anyone is given the opportunity to travel, I always think they should take it! Being able to live and learn in Paris is a dream.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
New York

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to fully immersing myself in Parisian culture. From food to fashion, I am excited for all of it!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I have a huge interest in fashion and beauty. I love trying out different makeup looks and exploring all types of fashion trends.


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Sarah Franco

Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about my internship!
1. What were ways you found to explore the local culture?

I loved Florence, Italy. It was a very lively city filled with many things to do and see. I took full advantage of my summer abroad. I enjoyed the easy going nature of the Italian culture, especially the food and lifestyle there. I interned at a cooking school and it had international customers with whom I was able to interact with and share travel experience with. Florence was very international which helped when making new friends. The food and wine class I took helped me learn about the culture even more than I would have one my own.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
I now know exactly what I want to do, now that I have been abroad. It helped me refocus my goals, and since I didn't know anyone one going into the program, it helped me learn how to do things on my own and made me more eager to leave my comfort zone, meet others, and branch out.

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Sarah Hubbard

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Sarah Shearer

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

When you spend a long time building something up, it can be hard to tear down. This is true for perceptions, identities, and physical places, too. Having lived in the same house in the same city for eighteen years, I only knew one home. A singular point on the map. And while going to college had begun to shift that perspective in me, studying abroad is what really shook things up and threw out the “one home” absolute in my head once and for all. The first time I opened the door to my home stay in January, it felt like someone else’s house (it was), and I didn’t know how to picture myself coming back there day after day. But, somehow, I did. I made it a home for myself. Not only there, but I began to live in a state of constant “at home-ness” at the end of the day, no matter where I ended up: whether it was in bed at my home stay, in an Airbnb in Malta, sharing a room with strangers at a hostel in Munich, trying to get comfortable on a bus going through the Alps, or stretched out across a row of chairs in the Amsterdam airport. It wasn’t always easy or comfortable, but that’s a big part of how going abroad changed me (and most people, I’m willing to bet): you learn to accept it. Whatever “it” is. When you’re not in the place where you grew up, and people have different ways of life in different corners of the world, you have two choices: turn around, or buckle up and go forward. These were four months of going forward for me, and now I can never go back.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Imagine opening your eyes one morning and staring out at a place you’ve only seen before in pictures pasted to your ceiling and on cell phone commercials. But instead of just a vacation, you’re there to experience society in its purest form: Make friends from all over the world, buy broccoli at the market, go to school, develop personal cheese preferences, wave “hello” to locals, and become a regular at a café. These are the realities of studying abroad, and they are there and waiting for you to experience in any way that you will. Maybe the hardest part is making up your mind to go and then making the arrangements. I know that’s the case for some. Make the decisions anyway. Pull up a word document on your computer and get a hit list together. Pick up the phone and call your university’s study abroad department and ask for help. I hope you do it. You can make all the plans you want for the future, and it’s quite possible they’ll come true. It’s also possible they won’t and you’ll find yourself making it up as you go. The great thing about college is that it is NOW. These years are alive and they are yours in your hands. If international education and travel are on your “bucket list,” pull them into your reality and make it happen before life starts to shift around after college and gets formed and reformed by careers and families. Only you know what you really want, and if you let it pass you by, no one will be there to cry over lost opportunities with you. That will be your pill to swallow. So, if “traveling someday” is what you want, maybe think about changing it to “traveling next year.”

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Sarah Shearer

CEA MOJO Blogger in Aix-en-Provence, France
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
Home University: University of Pittsburgh
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Sarah Underwood

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid
Home University: Belmont University
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Sarah Woods-Killam

Alumni Ambassador
1. What ways did you find to experience the local culture?

Being in Argentina was an amazing, unforgettable experience. I feel that I was able to immerse myself in the culture by constantly speaking Spanish with anyone I could outside of my classes (taxi drivers, people on the bus, shop keepers, etc.). Additionally, I went to as many Tango classes and Milongas (social dancing) as I could, which helped me improve as a dancer as well as learn about the history and beauty of Tango. I engorged myself on carne asado, empanadas and dulce de leche which are common foods in Buenos Aires. I chose to stay with a host and I know that I will always be in contact with her because she's wonderful. I walked around as many neighborhoods in Buenos Aires as I could to learn about the beautiful city.

2. What do you wish you had known before going? 
I wish I had known how big of a city Buenos Aires was. I didn't have any particular notions about how I was going to get around considering I wanted to save as much money as possible, but the city has great public transport. It just means that I had to be careful about including travel time whenever I needed to get somewhere. I also wish I had brought a raincoat for myself because I didn't realize how rainy it could be during the 'winter' there (which is in June/July/August). 


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Shelby Epstein

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite class was my Tapas cooking class at Universidad Pablo de Olavide. I loved this class so much because I not only got the chance to cook amazing food, but also meet more people outside of CEA too. Each class we learned about the tapas of the week and then got the chance to cook and eat them. It was fun and educational because the class was taught in Spanish and now I am going home with so many yummy Spanish recipes to cook for my friends and family.

2. How has this study abroad experience shaped you? 
Prior to going abroad, I had this idea that I was cultured and worldly because I have lived in a couple states and traveled a little bit in the past. When I got here and met people who have already lived in Africa, India and South Korea, I realized quite fast how inexperienced I actually was. Having this knowledge now has taught me to look deeper than first glance at people and how different everyone's story is. Everyone in my program has had a different past and comes from so many different places to be able to learn from and travel with them has shaped my view of the world and myself tremendously.
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Shelly Ng

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
My Czech language class, cinema class, and communications class encouraged me to think about Czech history, visit the different Prague neighborhoods, and try all the delicious foods. I spent my weekends going to cafés usually hidden in courtyards, eating chlebíčky (an open sandwich) and guláš, and practicing my Czech speaking skills with vendors at the farmers’ market. I took notice of proper etiquette on trams; it is important to give a seat to older people and if you are standing by the door, you are expected to exit the tram and step to the side to let others out. I went on a self-guided tour of street art in the city, which inspired me to write my Global Studies Minor Capstone about art as a form of expression. I also attended big events such as čarodějnice (night with huge bonfires) and the Prague Open. I witnessed how the locals cheered and clapped for the players. I noticed that the claps for encouragement were different from the claps for a winning shot. I followed what I observed as I watched multiple matches.

2. What are your tips for learning a language abroad?
I studied Elementary Czech while abroad and found it very helpful to review what I learned after every class. I had a second notebook for me to sort vocabulary I learned into thematic lists. It is important to take note of common trends in the language, such as how, in Czech, masculine nouns usually end in consonants, feminine nouns usually end in ‘a’ or ‘e’, and any noun that ends in ‘o’ is neutral. Listening to public transportation announcements and reading advertisements is a great way to practice pronunciation. Force yourself to speak the language as often as possible. I found it easiest to do this at restaurants and markets, where you would understand the context of what is being said. If there are times you hear phrases or have an unexpected interaction, try to jot down what was said to the best of your ability and ask your language teacher next class to understand why and how those phrases were used. Associating words with a situation may help a great deal when you are trying to improve your language skills.
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Shirley Mak

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Simran Heer

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera
Home University: University of Arizona
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Sophia Spooner

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad? 
I absolutely loved Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. Every other week we went on a field trip to such interesting places. I got to experience the Gucci Gardens, Stefano Ricci, and even an expo convention on fabrics! By stepping out of the classroom, I felt that I absorbed more information than just being taught by a PowerPoint.

2.  What would you say to a student considering study abroad with CEA? 
CEA is there for you. Through applying to be in the program, obtaining your visa, being in a foreign country and even when you return home. They organize documents that you need to have to be abroad in great detail, plan trips for you and your classmates to explore the country and have well-rounded and experienced professors to help you make the most of your four months. In addition, the employees want to know you and make sure that you are enjoying your time abroad. Because they really do care about everyone having an unforgettable semester.
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Steve Maravillo

Alumni Insider

1. What was the best part about studying abroad?

My experience abroad indefinitely widened my cultural and interpersonal state of mind. It also helped me gain a greater understanding of the beauty and dynamic of international travel and diversity. My favorite part about studying abroad was the connections and friendships I made with individuals while abroad. Although I learned plenty of useful information in the classroom, a lot of my learning took place within my interpersonal and intercultural relations with students, civilians and workers that were Paris natives. My top travel tips are to immerse yourself into the culture of the city and country of your study abroad experience. In my experiences, the best way to accomplish a successful intercultural immersion is by meeting individuals native to the country, with a strong familiarity of the culture and society of the given country that will ultimately educate you in a form greater than a classroom setting. Although I wasn’t quite fluent in French, it was very easy to make friends with local Parisians, and was immensely rewarding in the learning experience and expansion of interpersonal connections.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

After my study abroad experience, I shifted my career goals and interests to better suit a more international and global vision of work. My career goal is to go into Epidemiology, but I am strongly interested in potentially establishing my career outside of the United States because of how impactful my study abroad experience was. During my abroad experience, I found immediate comfort in the concept of living and learning abroad, to a point where I am now yearning to return to that lifestyle and am very interested in potentially living outside of the United States for a much longer time span after my education. After returning to my home university, UC San Diego, I was hired to work as a Student Assistant for the Study Abroad Office on my campus, and have since spoke on behalf of my experiences abroad and the key components of the importance and impact of international education and travel on students like myself. Additionally, my experiences abroad encouraged me to become involved in the international student population at my university, in surrounding myself by students from every continent as well as in sharing my own experiences abroad as an American student. Another impact of my experiences abroad took place in my fundamental understanding of friendship and companionship. Before studying in Paris, I had very poor communication and relationship skills and found it difficult to speak to people and make friends. I was fortunate enough to make numerous friends during my abroad experience, which beautified my experiences abroad in a tremendous way. The experience was life-changing, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had in being able to study abroad.

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Steven DelCegno

Admissions Counselor

The world is an amazing and wonderful place. Traveling exposes you to new cultures, customs, and opportunities. Family vacations as a child to Cancun, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and various U.S. locations set the stage for my zest to take in different environments, explore, and evolve my perspective on who I am and where my life could go.

After growing up in Connecticut, I traveled to both Ohio and Arizona. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development & Family Studies from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Arizona State University.

Not only do I feel a strong connection to different places, but also I share this same passion for people. I am inspired by learning about others, and I love to use this inspiration to create positive and transformative experiences for them. I have spent my professional life working in youth sports, child welfare, and higher education. For CEA, my goal is to engage with students in order to ensure the facilitation of a meaningful and high-quality study abroad experience.

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Summer Atwood

Alumni Insider
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
There are so many ways to immerse oneself in the culture of the host country, but I found that my favorite strategy (at least in Florence, Italy and Aix en Provence, France, where I studied), was simply to go and sit at a petit café, sip on a cappuccino or café au lait, watch the world pass by around me, and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to me. This provides an opportunity to casually observe the life around you – for example, noticing that buoyant and boisterous conversation is conventional in Italy or that picking up after one’s dog is not customary in France – and then see how you might fit into it. It also offers a chance to interact with the locals. On one sunny afternoon in Aix en Provence, I was sitting at my favorite café – Brasserie de la Mairie – and working on my homework. The elderly woman sitting next to me saw what I was doing and started speaking to me in French. We had a nice conversation about la vie francaise and it was the perfect opportunity to practice my French. It was in that moment that I felt like a true local.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
While I was in Aix en Provence I took a creative writing class that was not only my favorite course I took while abroad, but very likely the best course I have ever taken. Part of the reason for this was that I simply discovered something I was truly passionate about. Now I want to pursue a writing career. But this class also served as the perfect opportunity to truly observe the life around me and reflect on my study abroad experience as a whole. During many class periods, our assignment for the day was simply to go to a park or a café and write about the world around us. I swear I saw things I had never seen before, noticed quirks of which I was previously unaware. The course encouraged me to truly recognize and understand my surroundings. It was through creative writing that I learned not only how to creatively convey stories, but I also learned that les Aixois do not order café au laits in the afternoon, that the sun perfectly strikes the bell tower at 16:35, and that riding a razor scooter to work is commonplace. The class changed how I view the world.
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Summer Selden

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: University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
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Sydney Stocksdale

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to be able to get a better understanding of a different culture.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Costa Rica because of its history and the beauty in the native language.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most excited for the food! I love Hispanic food and I can’t wait to have homemade tortillas. #yum

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Fun fact: I enjoy anything that takes place outdoors, and I love going on adventures.


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Talia Stewart

Alumni Insider
1. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
Studying abroad with CEA was the best decision that I’ve made of my college career. When I began the process of looking into abroad programs, I inquired with a couple different providers. CEA was the only company who actually got back to me on a timely manner, set me up with my own personal contact in their U.S. office, and was more than willing to answer any questions that I had pertaining to the application process and the actual time spent abroad. Once I applied and was accepted to CEA, I continued to be impressed with the level of communication that the program specialists maintained with me. I was a bit nervous before I left for my trip, but the CEA team calmed all my worries and worked with me to make sure that I knew exactly what to expect during my time abroad. In addition to great communication, CEA also boasts fun and meaningful excursions most weeks. In Prague, CEA took students to the zoo, a concentration camp, a quaint Czech village, and many more sites. These were all included in the price of the program, which made it a great option if you were looking for something to do on a free day. Lastly, CEA had a great office located in a centralized area of town where friendly staff members were always there to greet you, as well as help you with any concerns you may be having while abroad.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was either my Czech language course, or my Contemporary Art class. My contemporary art class consisted of weekly field trips to various Prague art galleries. This course was fascinating in my eyes because it helped me get out and about in areas of Prague that I otherwise may not have visited on my own. The art scene in Prague is unlike any other city’s, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting various venues and seeing the artists that they hosted. In addition to viewing art galleries, my professor would always give us a walking tour on the way to the gallery. This was always one of my favorite parts of the class because he would point out landmarks and give us information about special sites along our walk that are less known to tourists.
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Tamara Saxman

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I constantly crave new experiences and love meeting new people from different backgrounds! Even though I love my home institution, this will be a great opportunity to branch out, educate myself, and expand my worldview. I think one of the best ways to educate yourself and make the most out of your college experience is to study abroad.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I find Prague fascinating. It has undergone years of economic, cultural, and historical transformation that has resulted in a highly diverse and unique city. Prague is also known for its Jewish history, which will allow me to learn more about my own roots and religion.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I can't wait to meet new people from a variety of different backgrounds and learn more about their lives! I love hiking, so I'm looking forward to checking out some local hikes as well. I'm also excited to visit some of the incredible museums in Prague!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I'm obsessed with mangoes. I once hiked the longest gorge in Europe. I have two dogs and two cats back home, and I miss them more and more every day!


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Tasia Tsiplakos

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?

My favorite class had to be Cross-Cultural Management because it taught me that there are many cultural differences when managing or working with people in business. The class helped me be aware of cultural tendencies so that I know how to communicate effectively to get through to employees with different backgrounds because it affects how they work. It even helped me understand some cultural aspects of how people behave right in Barcelona; I was noticing things I learned in class while interacting and living in Barcelona.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My experience has shaped me today by broadening my understanding of people from different cultures and how to properly interact with them. I have gained such independence through living in a new place and traveling to 10 countries during my semester abroad, that now I am not fearful of new things. I have a positive outlook on life because I am so thankful to have these experiences that taught me to open up to others and put myself in uncomfortable situations to learn more about people, culture, and the places I went. Studying abroad has given me a thirst for life in which I am always able and willing to handle any situation. I can't wait for my next travelling experience!

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Taylor Farro

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Taylor Tewksbury

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Delaware
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Theresa Burke

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite class had to be "Immigration, Race, and Identity", because of the knowledge gained that I was originally so ignorant to. This class focused on the European refugee crisis happening presently. Coming from the U.S. I was not highly aware of what was going on, on the other side of the world. I was aware of the Syrian war and Syrians being displaced across Europe and even some to the U.S. I learned that this crisis was much more than just the Syrian war, but that so many other individuals were fleeing war, persecution, and torment from countries I had never heard of. We read the book 'The New Odyssey', this book gave real people and their tragic stories a voice in this crisis and made me realize how much of a humanitarian issue this is. In this class we discussed law reform options in the EU.  
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Thomas Kelly

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Tracy Weber, M.A.

Associate Director, Study Abroad & PreCollegiate Programs - University of California, Berkeley
As Associate Director of Study Abroad and PreCollegiate Programs in the division of Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning at the University of California, Berkeley, Tracy Weber is responsible for new program development. She also oversees ongoing programs, including faculty-led programs abroad, global internships, and on-campus and overseas programs for newly admitted freshmen, transfer students, and high school students. Ms. Weber received Berkeley's Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award in 2016.

Before joining UC Berkeley in 2006, Ms. Weber was the Assistant Director of International Programs at The George Washington University. Here, she was involved in managing exchange agreements, creating a series of winter break opportunities abroad, and establishing the England Study Center. Other positions in the U.S. and overseas involve advising international students and scholars with the Embassy of Japan and the Fulbright Scholar program, and facilitating Sister City exchange.

Ms. Weber holds an MA in International Communication from American University's School of International Service, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Virginia. As a student, Ms. Weber participated in study abroad programs in Switzerland and Russia.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Tracy spent three years in Japan as a Language Teacher and Trainer for the Mie Prefecture Board of Education. There she developed a passion for traditional Japanese arts that she continues to pursue today, by practicing tea ceremony through the Omotosenke Society of Northern California.
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Tristin Collins

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised on my family farm in a small Ohio town. Staying close to home, I went to college 45 minutes away, where I obtained my Bachelor’s in Organizational Communication and a minor in Psychology from Ohio University in Athens. Go Bobcats! After graduating, I was the Manager of the Athens Country Club for two years. With an unshakeable urge to see more of the world, I packed up my bags, drove what fit in my car across the country, and here I am in Phoenix, Arizona.

I started as an intern here at CEA, helping the Enrollment team make various types of contact with new students. In two short weeks, I heard there was an Admissions Counselor position available and applied for it immediately. In this new role, I have the pleasure of advising students through the study abroad process and matching them with a program that is best for their personal and academic goals!

When I am not at CEA, I enjoy various activities with my Boston terrier, Penelope, hiking with friends, finding new breweries, and attending local concerts. Traveling is slowly becoming one of my leading passions in life, and my goal is to visit every country in South America (for starters)!

Did you know? My first vacation and plane ride were to Costa Rica in 2016 to visit my girlfriends who were studying abroad!
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Tyler Stieren

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite class while abroad?
My favorite course I took abroad was my Intermediate Spanish course. I really enjoyed the course because it didn’t really feel like a class – it was more of a conversation. Every day, we’d come into class and our professor, Jose, would just talk with us. He’d ask us about our weekends, where we went, what we did, etc. All of this was in Spanish, by the way. He really cared about the experiences we were having and made sure to ask about it every day. We talked bout current and past problems of Seville, and Spain in general. He taught us the history, he showed and told us things we never would have known prior had it not been for us talking through it. He really wanted us to have as pure of an experience as possible, so telling us about the history and culture of Spain really gave me a great appreciation for that course and what Spain had to offer.

2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
This program is so good, it's evident that the staff truly cares about and supports you and what you do. I’d tell them about how I felt safe being a part of this program, and I always felt included, like an important part of the greater experience. CEA really makes all the difference, providing you with outlets such as Intercambios, learning sessions, excursions, etc. for you to be able to express yourself and meet people you’d never otherwise have the chance to.I loved the courses that were offered, they were very beneficial to everything we did. The courses were very interactive, and often times we had projects or class excursions that had us get involved in the city, which was great because you felt at some points like you were making a difference and it was truly amazing. The last thing I would tell them is that the community is amazing. The community that CEA provides you with is stellar – they promote new friends, going out of your comfort zone, and experiencing everything possible, and I really thought that was something special.
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Vannessa Kramer, M.Ed.

Assistant Dean, Global Programs - Eller College of Management, University of Arizona
Vannessa Kramer has been in the field of international education for 10 years. As the Assistant Dean of Global Programs for the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, she is responsible for designing and implementing study abroad opportunities and programs for Eller undergraduate students. She approaches her position in an entrepreneurial way, recognizing that business students seek out international experiences that enhance both personal and professional development. In addition to this businesslike approach, she has great respect for the student experience and strives to deliver a high-quality, memorable, well-coordinated international student experience.

Ms. Kramer manages a diverse portfolio of study abroad options including faculty-led programs, international internships, international service experiences, and study abroad partnerships. She advises for the Global Business Program, coordinates the annual Global Perspectives Conference, and is the club advisor for the Eller Global Business Association. She also teaches a Topics & Careers in the Global Environment course, in which she applies a critical global perspective pedagogy.

Her areas of expertise include program development, partner collaboration, faculty training and development, risk management, comprehensive program management, marketing and promotion, cross-cultural communication, co-curricular development, pre-departure and post-return programming, study abroad advising, and student development. Ms. Kramer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in sociocultural studies with an emphasis in global perspectives.
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Victoria Krug

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Dublin
Home University: University of Southern Indiana
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Victoria Slaybaugh

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have always had a love for travel and a desire to learn more about the world by actually going out and living in it. The internship opportunities were right up my alley, very service oriented, and I was immediately drawn to them.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I have visited Spain on more than one occasion but never for more than a few days, and Granada seemed like the perfect balance between lively and laid-back. I have a dual diploma from Spain, but my Spanish is a little rusty, so I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to regain my fluency.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
My cousin lived in Granada for some time and raved about the culture, especially the flamenco, as well as the people. I am also very excited about the unknown, about the adventure of living somewhere new and beautiful.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to travel and take photos, of course! I enjoy yoga, dancing, painting, and a wide range of music - from classic rock to jazz to electronic deep house. I have a deep love for any form of self-expression and nature, and I cannot wait to see the scenery, art, and people that Granada has to offer!


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Vivika Stamolis

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Whitney Knorp

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I had gone on a couple family trips to Europe in my early teens and quickly became enamored with exploring new places. One of my favorite aspects was being submerged in a completely different culture and landscape; I was completely in awe. From then on, it wasn't even a question to me that I wanted to study abroad and utilize the opportunity to spend more time getting to know another city and culture away from the typical American college experience.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Prague hadn’t been on my radar initially, but after doing more research, I realized it was the most enticing study abroad city to me. The beauty was striking, and I could see myself genuinely enjoying the experience of living there, whether walking to class or trying the foods or participating in the lively nightlife. The central location also made it ideal, so I can travel to a diverse range of places on some weekends.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
This semester I am most looking forward to completely diving out of my comfort zone. I’m excited to learn how to speak some Czech, meet diverse people, take some interesting courses, and try new foods and activities. I think the most rewarding part will be fully experiencing the independence (and challenges) of living on my own in a foreign country.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
A fun fact about myself is that I am a huge nerd, especially when it comes to anything I’m passionate about. I could go on forever about anything related to dance, journalism, Harry Potter, Hamilton, word games, or dessert, and I love learning about all kinds of subjects!


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William Manson

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?

My study abroad experience has shaped me in many ways. I learned a lot about who I am during the fifty total days I was abroad. I had never been away for home or from the United States that long during my entire life. It was like an incredible coming of age ceremony. I am twenty, nearly an adult by societal standards, but so far away from truly being one. The experiences I had during my summer in 2017 have left an incredible mark on who I am as a man and how I want to continue to attain that mark in the future. It stoked the embers of a burning desire to travel. I saw seven countries and fourteen cities. I saw people, places, and cultures that 99 percent of my age group has never seen before and maybe never will. But, as I sit here and reflect on the memories and all I saw and did, I cannot help to think....what else is out there? I want to travel more because of this experience. I want to go to Eastern Europe, not just Western Europe where I studied in Barcelona. I do not just want to see Europe, I want to see every continent. I want to see the world. There is so much to see and so much to learn. I want to work hard and achieve success in life so I have the ability to travel.

I also just learned so much that I become a much better-rounded person. I learned to cook while in Europe. I had never really cooked before and I almost had to learn or I wouldn't eat! But I took that skill back with me as some tangible evidence of my growth as a person. Studying abroad really did help shape who I am sitting here today, writing this. I am forever grateful for it.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?

I would say I made the choice to study abroad too. I had the debates in my head. Should I do this? I am scared, it may be expensive… whatever fear you had - I had it as well. Despite those concerns, I am sitting here right now imploring you to do this. It is the most incredible experience you will ever have in your life. You will learn so much about who you are, you will gain so many lifelong memories, and you will meet so many amazing people. This is not some study abroad person telling you to do it. I am a student. I am your peer. I am telling you right now that this experience is unparalleled. You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on your own life! Trust me, if you do it you will not regret it. The only thing you will regret is not taking a chance and studying abroad when you had it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Take it.

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Yvette Hodgen

Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about my summer internship!
1. What was your favorite course?
My favorite course abroad was the Wine Culture class that was offered at CEA. Since this is the area of work I am aiming to be in, it was a great opportunity for me to learn in a comfortable environment. The professor was so knowledgeable even past the main elements of his industry. If you are an interactive learner this is also a great course to take because we took many interesting trips to wine shops in Paris, as well as to his businesses, the Caves du Louvre and O'Chateau.

2. How has your experience abroad shaped you? 
My study abroad experience helped me answer a lot of questions that I had before and reshape some ideas for what I thought to do and where I wanted to be in life. My internship placement was spot on and gave me amazing opportunities. Living in another country that is more laid-back gave me a chance to step back and evaluate my stress level towards the small things and consider what is most important to me. It also broadened my horizons for what to do after I graduate. I plan to go back to France for my masters and experience even more than before. Before CEA, I was unsure of my exact career path. After my internship in international wines and the wine course in the spring, I now have a clear idea and am comforted by knowing I can now make solid plans.
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Zainab Bhojani

Alumni Ambassador

1. What ways did you find to become immersed in the local culture?
First off, I chose to live with a host family. When you're studying abroad that is the best decision to make in terms of your living situation. I had constant language interaction with my host family and I saw an immediate improvement in my speaking abilities. The host family also helped point out where to go in the city and what to do. The moments and deep conversations you have with your host family are like no other. In a country where you do not know anyone else, they really do become just like your family. You learn and experience what it really feels like to be directly involved in the family culture of wherever you go. 

During my time abroad, I also met with other students at the university and CEA center and planned to go do cultural activities together like mate club, mundo lingo, and tango dancing lessons. During all these activities I also met with and talked to other Argentines and we would talk in Spanish and English back and forth. It was like giving them a piece of who you are and they give you theirs. 

I also went on a trip to Iguazú Waterfalls. There were about 50 other international students on the trip. These students were from all over the world. From Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, France, Mexico, Switzerland, and the states. Spending a weekend with all these people, you bond with them and make life-long friendships. You learn about who they are, where they come from, and what's important to them. I even saw the major and minor differences between different Latin American cultures. 

CEA also organized a multitude of cultural excursions to tango dinner shows, other small towns, and activities to show us around the city. I went to each and every single one and saw the different districts and how each one is so different but still perfectly tied together to make Buenos Aires the amazing city it is.

2. What would you tell other students considering CEA and studying abroad?
CEA was by far one of the best programs for study abroad there is. I talked to students from all kinds of difference programs and they did not like their programs as much. They felt lost among huge groups of students and weren't given quality attention. CEA makes sure each student gets what they want from their study abroad experience and have the best options and programs and you can find everything you're looking for. CEA was a super engaging program which immersed the students in the culture so they could have the highest quality experience when going abroad. Everything at CEA was extremely organized and they took care of me pre/during/and post departure all the way through!
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Zenab Bakayoko

Alumni Ambassador
1. What do you wish you had known before going? 
Before studying abroad I wish someone would've explained to me the concept of "culture shock" more. I've heard the term before but I didn't understand the concept in-depth and didn't fully understand how real it was. After the first few days of being abroad, I remember feeling like an outsider and believing that I would never fully become a part of this culture because I am American and that's all I know. It was not until we talked about the concept in one of my courses that I started to realize that's what I was going through. Once  understood this, I realized that I was not trying to emerge out of insecurities of being judged and rejected. When I started to embrace my ignorance, and move on from a fear of being judged or rejected, I was able to really emerge from my shell.

2. How was your experience different than others?
I believe that any student who studies abroad learns a ton (both in and out of the classroom). However, I believe that my experience was remarkably different than most. I was raised by two French-speaking African immigrants. I thought that because of this, my experience abroad would be easier. This was a false belief, and adjusting was still hard. My experience was also very different because I was the only African American student in my program. I learned a lot of information and lessons that I feel like would greatly help low-income students interested in studying abroad. Reach out to me!
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Zoey Bloom

CEA MOJO Photographer
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