CEA Directory

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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Jarrod Schwartz

Director of Enrollment
As Director of Enrollment, Jarrod provides the direction and coordination of efforts across multiple departments, from his own admissions team and site specialists to student accounts, marketing, and various other administrative groups within the CEA organization. Jarrod is an educational administrator with more than 10 years of experience working with prospective students and campus administrators regarding all matters of recruitment, admissions, and retention.

Since 2006, Jarrod has worked in higher education administration in various student facing roles for numerous regionally accredited universities.

Jarrod holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Jarrod has built many teams and understands that a strong leader is the cornerstone of all great teams.

“I bring with me a drive for success, team building, and establishing a creative and developmental culture driven through servant leadership.”
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Anne-Marie Bruner-Tracey

Center Director

Anne-Marie has worked in the UK in international education for 10 years and has a total of 18+ years of experience in the international education sector. Her experience is comprised of program development and administration, admissions, compliance and relationship management, global marketing strategies, risk and crisis planning and management. Anne-Marie has been actively involved with NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad, as a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps and as part of proposal review panels on multiple occasions.

Anne-Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Centenary College of Louisiana and a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Cardiff University. She studied abroad in Mexico and Wales (UK). She is excited to take the CEA London Center to the next level of excellence.

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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

As CEA’s Director for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jacqueline Martinez brings over 16 years of experience in higher education. Jacqueline’s 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 renewal), international operations including F-1 & J-1 student status, and managing campus operations.

Dr. Martinez is also a university professor; she teaches first-year experience courses and master’s level courses in field of Industrial Organizational Psychology. Jacqueline is passionate about student retention, the student experience, assessment, academic operations, and understanding generational behaviors in higher education. Jacqueline holds a BS in Business Administration, MA 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.

  • EdD, Argosy University (AZ)
  • MA, Argosy University (AZ)
  • BS, Argosy University (AZ)

 

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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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Angela Cota

Student Accounts Manager

Angela Cota's role at CEA is to monitor and supervise the student account receivables process, including financial aid paperwork. Supervising the Student Accounts Team, she works to ensure the continued flow from student accounts receivables to CEA.

Prior to coming to CEA, Angela worked for Education Management Corporation, Universal Technical Institute, High Tech Corporate, Mitchell Sweet & Associates, and North American Technical College. She holds an Associate of Arts in Health and Nutrition from Paradise Valley Community College (Ariz.), and a Bachelor of Arts of Business Management and Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA)
  • Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA)
  • Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ASFAA)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certified Financial Aid Administrator
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April Arrowood

Eastern 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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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
Employed by CEA Florence since 2008, Emily is responsible for the management and development of the Florence Study Center and all study abroad programs that it hosts. Emily provides leadership and direct oversight to the Student Services and Student Life sectors of programs, and works in tandem with the Academic Director on academic matters regarding the Florence Center and partner institutions.

Emily hails from northeast Ohio. She 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. She has traveled throughout Italy (but says that she has still not seen enough), in addition to Spain, France, England, Ireland, Greece, Malta, and Albania. Many more locations—especially around the Mediterranean—are on her to-see list.

Before joining CEA, Emily worked at an American university in Florence, helping to create an archive and database of digital images for teaching purposes and traveling to towns in central Italy to teach students art and architectural history on-site. She has also worked on small projects as a freelance graphic designer. In her free time she likes to curl up with a good book.

Emily's advice to incoming study abroad students is to embark on your journey with an open mind, preparedness for unpredictable situations, confident self-reliance, and a willingness to break out of your comfort zone. These traits will allow you to discover new things about the world, about yourself, and about what you can handle. Push yourselves to discover all that you can!
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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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Patrick Foley

Program Director

Patrick's role at CEA includes the day-to-day management of student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program academics, and student evaluations. He also oversees office administration, advises students on issues related to academics, health, and safety, assists in management of city finances, hires and trains staff and faculty, and works closely with colleagues across France to design and deliver quality programming for CEA students.

Before joining CEA, Patrick worked as an English teacher at Polytech Grenoble (France), an engineering school, where he taught scientific English. He also taught at Lycee International (Mich.) where he met his French wife Catherine, an art teacher. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Center for Creative Studies (Mich.)

Patrick has traveled to Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales, and looks forward to seeing Australia and Indonesia one day. Patrick's advice for students travelling abroad is: "Don't be afraid – dive into your new language and culture. Be cautious about attributing stereotypes. Don't compare life in your host country to life in the U.S., but also, don't expect everyone to believe that the U.S. is the greatest place on the planet."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

LinkedIn Study Abroad Advisors

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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

* 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 travelled 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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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

Manager 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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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 Project Associate
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 Project Associate, 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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Monica Francioso

Academic Director

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA Florence team in 2015. She 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 has 13 years of experience living abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 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 and she 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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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 also manages two remote-based Regional Directors on the east coast.

Rebecca serves as NAFSA’s Consular Liaison to the New York Consulate of France through participation in NAFSA’s Education Abroad Regulatory Practice Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee. She has held this position 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, and she is currently exploring her next travel destination. A cruise up the Norwegian coast is a very strong contender!

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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 the organization and logistics of all CEA transcripts. Alex previously worked as a CEA Admissions Counselor before moving to the Academic Team.

Alex is an alumni of the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he earned a B.A. in History. He is currently candidate for a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

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

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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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Letizia Ialini

Student Affairs Advisor

Letizia Ialini is responsible for coordinating aspects of student life from housing to volunteering to internships. She liaises with local housing providers to ensure quality accommodation and services to all CEA Florence students, and serves as a resource for students for all housing issues.

Letizia's experience allows her to provide expert support to colleagues in creating the student event calendar and in identifying fruitful opportunities for students, both as volunteers through the CEA C'È initiative, or as interns as requested by Florence's returning Faculty-Led programs.

Letizia studied Economics at the University of Florence. During her university career, 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, leading her to continue her studies for an academic year in Australia. Letizia greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn a new language, travel, and make friends around the world.

Prior to joining CEA in 2009, Letizia gained employment experience managing the technical office of PratoTrade, a branch of the Industrial Union of Prato, organizing expositions for national and international trade fairs. She also worked for a Florentine cooking school, and has worked with American students in study abroad schools in Florence for over three years. In her spare time, Letizia enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.

Letizia loves to help students connect with Italian culture. She thinks that overcoming the challenge of being immersed in a new and different culture and learning diverse ways of living results in personal growth and enhanced flexibility that will help students in their professional and personal lives.

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Chiara Ortolani

Academic Advisor

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 German; 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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Aedin Twamley

Academic Administrator

Upon arrival in Dublin, CEA Academic Administrator, Aedín – or her colleague Sophie – are the first people you will meet at the student residence. They’ll help you settle in and find your way from the

residence to the college. Aedín works in the morning, so if you have any queries at the beginning of your day, she’s your first port of call. Aedín updates the website and social media for both CEA Dublin and ISB (the International School of Business), sharing all the great excursions and events that you will enjoy with your new friends.

She has 25 years of experience working in administration, support, training, and design, including four years spent in Paris, France, where she began her professional career with an American investment bank. Aedín has worked with two youth projects and set up websites for various non-profit organizations, including one for food allergies, so if you have any issues finding food you can eat in Dublin, Aedín can help!

Aedín studied Environmental Design at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Graphics, and Photography at the Irish School of Animation, Ballyfermot and completed a Webmaster diploma. Although she has spent most of her life in Dublin – and can help you find your way around – she grew up in the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow, and can recommend places to visit there, too.

Aedín looks forward to welcoming you to Ireland.

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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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Caroline Elo

Academic Coordinator

Caroline Elo joined the CEA Florence team in 2014. As Academic Coordinator, she is responsible for academic advising, coordinating course-related visits and field trips, and helping manage and monitor CEA’s online academic records program. Caroline also maintains and organizes the CEA Florence Center Resource Room, oversees textbook orders, and provides support, training, and troubleshooting for faculty and students on CEA’s academic and learning support systems.

Caroline graduated from Cornell University (New York) where she majored in German Studies and completed coursework in psychology, photography, and film studies. She was born in Budapest, Hungary and has always loved photography and learning languages. She speaks Hungarian, started learning German on trips to Salzburg as a child, and continued studying the German language throughout college and during a year spent studying abroad in Hamburg, Germany.

Caroline moved to Italy in 2006 with her family and began working in the field of study abroad in Florence. While in the U.S., she taught and worked as program coordinator for adult education programs at a community college.

She strongly believes that learning abroad goes well beyond the classroom and sees CEA’s focus on experiential education as crucial to the quality of its academic programs. She also feels that studying abroad is only the beginning of a lifelong passion for travel and exploring a larger world -- and thereby one’s own self.

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Caterina Marino

Student Life Advisor

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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Alžběta Truparová

Senior Program Administrator
Alžběta provides administrative and operational support to the team. She focuses primarily on HR, finance, and facility-management agendas. She provides crucial “behind the scenes” support for all our programs, staff, and students.

Alžběta has lived in New Zealand, Ireland, and Spain. Her travels have taken her to Southeast Asia, Japan, Caribbean, USA and other countries. Alžběta speaks fluent Spanish, and she loves traveling, experimental cooking, and reading everything from thick historical novels to speculative fiction and mystery.

Alžběta earned a B.A. degree in Public Administration and Regional Policy from Silesian University in Opava. She spent 7 years working outside of the Czech Republic in the hospitality industry. Back in the Czech Republic, she worked as an Office Manager for a Spanish multinational direct sales company.
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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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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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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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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

Student Services Advisor

As Student Services Advisor, Daniele Bini helps CEA Florence students acclimate to their new home abroad. While encouraging them to learn as much as possible about Florentine history, life, and culture through weekly activities, Daniele also organizes all student excursions. He considers his job extremely challenging and humbling as students' interactions with him represent some of their first interactions with Florentines and Italians.

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. Before joining the Florence team 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. While he did not study abroad as a student, he travels often for pleasure. These personal travel adventures have made him an expert traveler of the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. One of his goals is to spend an extended period of time in the U.S., and his dream is to live in San Francisco.

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Andrea Masini

Student Life Assistant

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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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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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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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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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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Anna Sanchez

Academic Advisor

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Anna combines academic administration tasks such as student registration, faculty assistance, communication with local universities, and experiential learning development projects, with teaching Society and Politics courses at the CEA Barcelona Study Center.

Anna graduated from Pompeu Fabra University with a degree in Political Science and Public Administration. During her undergraduate education, she studied abroad in

Università Degli Studi Rome III (Italy) and in the University of Toronto (Canada). In 2007, Anna earned a Postgraduate Degree in “E-Government and Public Management in Information Technology Society” from Pompeu Fabra University. In 2012, she obtained a master's degree in "Leadership and Personal Development" from the Economics Department at the University of Barcelona.

Anna joined CEA in 2013, but her career has always been closely linked to the international education field; she interned in the Study Abroad Office at Pompeu Fabra University, then served at the Council of International Educational Exchange where she led the Academic Administration Department of its Barcelona Center for seven years. In addition, Anna has had two professional experiences in the U.S.: in 2008, she was a visiting staff member at the Division of Overseas Studies of Georgetown University and in 2009, she interned at the Educational Office of the Consulate General of Spain in San Francisco (CA). At present, Anna collaborates as a guest lecturer in the Study Abroad Program at Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona.

Anna was born in Cambrils, a Mediterranean town in the south of Catalonia, and has travelled through Europe, North America, and North Africa. She loves the sea and open door adventures, and hopes her next destination will be somewhere in Southeast Asia, perhaps Thailand. Her advice for prospective international students is to: "keep an open mind and never stop being curious!"

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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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Yoann Buidin

Student Housing Advisor and Instructor of French

Yoann coordinates student and faculty housing, from sourcing new facilities to working with students on logistics and adaptation. In addition to his administrative position, you can also find Yoann in the classroom where teaches French at the CEA Paris Center.

Yoann holds a Master of Arts in International Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the l'Université de Lille III. Before joining CEA, Yoann taught French at West Virginia University and worked as a Graduate Student Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. He has lived in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, and has travelled extensively in North America, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, England, Turkey, and Germany. Yoann is the creator of Ma Vie Aux Etats-Unis, a YouTube channel based on his life in the U.S.

Yoann believes that studying abroad is a life changing experience – maybe even a once-in-a-lifetime experience! He understands how scary the new and foreign can be, which is why he loves being able to help students through this exciting transition into their new Parisian lives!

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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

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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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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Denisa Matsche

Internship Program Coordinator
Denisa maintains a network of host sites where CEA students can complete internships. She counsels students before the program begins to best match interns and placements. She also provides support and guidance to student interns on site.

Intrigued by foreign cultures and fascinated by people and human behavior, Denisa is interested in cultural theories and personality psychology. She is a passionate hiker and traveler that never wastes the opportunity to explore the world. What she cannot capture in photos, she expresses in her music, dance, and drawings.

Denisa holds a master’s degree in English Language and Literature from Masaryk University in Brno and a master’s degree in American Studies from Charles University in Prague. During her studies, Denisa spent a semester abroad at the University of Copenhagen. Denisa worked at our partner university, AAU, in the past as well as various non-profit organizations. She also has experience in the hospitality, sports industries, and film production, where she served as a production assistant/coordinator.
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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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Katarina Svitková

Custom and Internship Program Advisor
As Custom and Internship Program Advisor, Katarina cooperates with both the Internship Program and Custom Programs departments. For the Internship Program, Katarina assists with host-site development, counseling students before arrival and matching students to placements. For Custom Programs, Katerina advises on academic issues when needed and manages selected activities and programs.

Katarina speaks fluent Spanish. Her interests include travelling, yoga, experimenting with cooking, and watching documentary movies.

Having done fieldwork in Barcelona, San Francisco, and Santiago (Chile), Katarina is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in International Relations at Charles University in Prague. She earned a B.A. and M.A. from Charles University. She also has an M.A. from the University of Granada and studied abroad at the St. Albans School of Public Service in Washington, DC as well as the University of Miami. Katarina has worked at the Institute of International Relations in Prague as Project Coordinator and at the Centre for Doctoral Studies of the Charles University as a student advisor.
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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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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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Radka Semerakova

Senior Student Services Advisor
Radka manages the Student Services Department and Custom Programs. The Student Services Department runs all the activities and excursions, organizes visa advising, arrivals, and orientation, and continually responds to students’ questions and concerns. Custom Programs organizes academic programs in Prague for U.S. universities that are run by the U.S. university faculty. This includes providing activities, site visits, accommodations, and other support.

Radka lived and studied in Canada for four years. She loves travelling, getting to know new cultures and people, hiking, and cycling.

In the past, Radka worked for various travel agencies and was a tour guide in Spain. She also has experience as an assistant in the HR department at PwC.
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Petra Mesiková

Student Services Advisor
As Student Services Advisor, Petra is responsible for the coordination and organization of activities and excursions and handling visa, arrivals, and orientation. She also acts as a primary contact at the Center for student questions or concerns.

Petra likes traveling, yoga, hiking, and everything connected with culture and the arts.

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 US for a Work and Travel experience.
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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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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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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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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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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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Hannah Goguen

Admissions Counselor
As a Colorado native—with the Rocky Mountains and all their diversity within arm’s reach—I have always had an appreciation for the world and all its natural wonders. I attended Front Range Community College, Colorado State University, and held multiple careers, but Colorado remained my home.

This is not to say that I did not explore the world. Since I was a wee child, I have traveled to Mexico many times and even studied abroad there. Costa Rica was the first destination I studied abroad in; I was in high school and studying in a completely foreign country that didn’t speak my native language, but I did it and came out better for it! This led to my study abroad experience in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where choosing a homestay provided me with even greater immersion into the culture. From there, I decided I wanted to explore other parts of the world. CEA helped me get to Galway, Ireland. I cannot say enough about this experience; just mention anything Irish and you’ll have to ask me to stop talking! Ireland stole my heart and I followed that to my position at CEA as an Admissions Counselor.

As an Admissions Counselor, I guide students through the process of choosing a destination and academic program, work with their home university, help them figure out how to finance their trip, fill out their application, and overcome challenges or concerns to make their dream a reality. When I’m not at CEA, you will find me with my best bud Zoe (my dog) or out enjoying life with friends, food, dancing, and nature. 

Did you know? The first time I traveled without adults I was 12 years old! Talk about being independent and overcoming fears!
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Ashley Bohac

Senior University Relations Coordinator

As Senior University Relations Coordinator, Ashley Bohac provides support for the University Relations team, prepares for study abroad fairs, and coordinates events. Originally from Nebraska, Ashley attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. While obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, she completed a study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria. After graduation, she gained additional international experience through participation in a volunteer program in Vietnam and South Korea.

Ashley joined CEA in 2013 as a Site Specialist, where she advised students as they prepared for study abroad programs in Berlin, London, and Prague. Ashley enjoys using her own study abroad and travel experiences to help students as they embark on their own adventures; she would most like to travel to St. Petersburg and hone her Russian language skills.

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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 Apelt

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

The program has definitely made me realize how much I enjoy speaking and learning other languages. I've lived in many places and traveled quite a bit but Barcelona was by far one of the most linguistically diverse cities I've ever been in; I spoke English with my roommates, Spanish on the street, Italian at the pizzeria, German with my friends, and tried my best to speak Arabic with all the Moroccans.

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

The most important step if you're completely new to a language is to simply learn basic pronunciation for the first week to ensure that if you read something for the first time you'll be saying it correctly. After that, you really just need to speak fearlessly. Don't worry about antagonizing the locals or embarrassing yourself, you can't learn a language if you don't try.
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Alexandra Grundy

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

Before coming to Prague, I was scared. I didn't want to admit it, but I was nervous about being so far away from home. However, after a week into my program, I loved it. I adapted easily, and the cultural differences I saw were refreshing. I loved learning about the culture in every place I visited throughout the semester. I saw that, although each is different, there is a universal language spoken around the world. My study abroad experience has taught me that the world is not so big.

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

My study abroad experience sparked a sense of adventure in me. This has impacted my life, academic, and career goals, because I am no longer afraid of the obstacles that stand in the way of my success. Instead, I am excited for the challenges that face me, because I know they will help me continue to grow into a better person. Studying abroad has introduced me to many different opportunities. It helped me better understand what I want to do in life, and how I can make my goals into reality. I now have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish. My sense of adventure also translates to optimism, happiness, and confidence. Along with those positive gains, my study abroad experience has also taught me to give back. Because of this semester, I was able to choose an academic and career path in psychology, which will allow me to help others. I know that my experience will stay with me once I return home, and continue to bring new joys into my life.

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Alexandra Harbour

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexis Gilbert

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:

When traveling abroad, remember: Have a travel companion, find a respectable hostel, map out the area around, exchange currency, and inform your parents, program advisors, and roommates of planned whereabouts.

Because many students abroad do not have international service and use Wi-Fi for their means of communication, it is important to locate coffee shops where you can check in with your family and plan the directions for your day. Always know the exchange rate, have your currency needs taken care of before you leave, and bring a few bills of your host country’s current to avoid mishaps when traveling between the two cities. Always be aware of your surroundings when traveling between countries and be courteous and adaptable to the social norms. Last, but not least, take pictures and enjoy yourself within the new cities that you will be exploring. Make sure to pick up a small souvenir, like a postcard, from each place that you travel to so that you can always have those memories with you.

2. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My study abroad experience has taught me that there is more to the world than I am accustomed to. I travel frequently within the United States, but always knew that there was something much greater outside of my country’s borders. Not knowing much about the city of Prague, I was intrigued and excited to be exploring this country and the areas around it. I have traveled to many places over the months, and the most important things that I have learned is to take risks, show compassion, and work hard to achieve my goals. I have always reminded myself to have faith in my aspirations/dreams, but these ideas have become more prevalent since I began traveling outside of the Czech Republic. I have learned humility when encountering foreign travelers because we have been in their shoes while exploring new cities, trying to navigate and find a common language within the barriers with those who we might encounter.

This entire experience has opened my eyes to opportunities and revealed how similar we all are, no matter where we are in the world. I was accepted by others, and realized that we all share more similarities than differences within cultures. We each want to achieve success and live our passions. My experience abroad has helped me mature emotionally, culturally, and intellectually.

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Alexis Pagel

Assistant Academic Coordinator
As CEA’s Assistant Academic Coordinator, Alexis Pagel supports the Academic Team through organizing all CEA transcripts and working with course syllabi. She is a University of Arizona alumni with a B.S. in Public Management and Policy, as well as a CEA alumni of the Prague, Czech Republic program. She is currently a master’s degree candidate in Arizona State University’s Public Administration program.
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Alice Corcoran

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alison Kaye

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:

Google Maps. Seriously, I can’t emphasize enough how many times Google Maps saved my little lost self while traveling. With Google Maps you can download a location onto your phone and it uses your location services to help you get around without using any cellular data! Besides downloading all your locations on Google Maps, it’s also a good idea to pack light, because, no matter how little money you plan on spending, you’re probably going to buy a few too many souvenirs and you’ll be extremely happy for that little extra room in your bag. Last but not least, never forget the wonders of a small, compact umbrella. You never want to find yourself trapped inside because of the rain. An umbrella is a fabulous way to continue your travels and experience all you want to in a new city. The Weather Channel can’t be right every time, folks. So don’t forget your rain gear, no matter how many sunny days are promised. Always bring an umbrella, always pack light, and always download Google Maps.

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

Studying abroad will be one of the best experiences of your life. It’s probably the only time where you’ll be able to live with other students, earn college credit, and travel to a new country every single weekend. If you love trying new foods, learning about new places, even if you just love sitting in a coffee shop people watching, all of these things are an option with studying abroad. It’s an experience that’ll teach you so many new things about yourself and the world around you. You’ll gain valuable experience through your travels, like how to figure out a metro system or how to communicate with those around you even if you don’t speak the same language. Studying abroad will teach you so much about yourself and other people around the world. You’ll meet new people, you’ll try different drinks, foods, and even clothes. You will get to experience a season in another country and you’ll get to celebrate holidays in an entirely new way. You’ll even get to experience new holidays that you didn’t know existed. Studying abroad introduces you to a new culture and an entirely new world, and you can do all of this while receiving college credit! I can’t tell you enough how this experience has affected my life; I would do it again in a heartbeat. Why not give it a try?

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Alivia Lee

Alumni Ambassador

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

My study abroad experience has given me more drive than I ever thought possible. While I was abroad I was constantly looking at the cultures I was immersed in and thinking to myself, “Wow, I’ve never been so inspired.” Being in Europe really showed me what I want to do with my life. I am an international Business major so I have always been interested with working internationally, but, after studying abroad, my passion has grown immensely. I saw what my potential life could be. I pictured myself working for International companies such as Zara and Adidas. On my plane ride home I reflected on my trip and I promised myself to work harder and longer so that I could make this life I experienced for 5 weeks my future life. Seeing the world taught me to dream big and I am forever thankful for that.

2. What were your favorite spots in the city?

I visited Barcelona for 5 weeks this past summer, and everything in sight was nothing short of amazing. This question is particularly hard because it’s Barcelona! How can I narrow it down in 200 words? There was one site we visited that completely took our breath away. My roommates and I were simply looking for a little hike on a Thursday night, completely unaware of the magic we were about to see. The place we went was called Bunker Hill, or Bunker del Carmel. We took a taxi to the point where the taxi was no longer able to go past and we walked the rest of the way up. We soon were surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere. Everywhere around us was full of people, conversations, music, and food. From the top of Bunker Hill we could look out and see all of Barcelona. This wonderful atmosphere continued and only got better as the sun set. The sky then turned into millions of sparkling lights from the city lights to the stars. It was a simple spot full of beautiful views and good people.
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Allie Goodman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alyssa Wolk

Assistant Academic Coordinator
Culture, food, and traditions always inspire me. In high school, when the opportunity arose to travel to Europe, a spark inside me ignited. My study of Anthropology and Earth Science at University of California, Irvine fanned that flame! While at UCI, I 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 completely immersed in these two amazing, fabulously diverse cultures and environments, I met many inspiring people from all around this beautiful world that continue to teach and humble me to this day.

I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, France, Germany, England, Israel, Jordan, and Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as many wonderful places in the States. However, my list of where I’d like to travel is much longer! As much as I wish to travel to many new destinations, I made my two study abroad destinations my "homes," and would love to go back and spend time reconnecting with my friends, "family," and the beautiful environments there.

Outside of CEA, I enjoy 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? I was in marching band and color guard in high school and I enjoy dancing!
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Amanda Vecchio

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San José 
Home University: Philadelphia University
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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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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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Anna Pazderska

Alumni Ambassador

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

Studying abroad has taught me to be more open to new opportunities and perspectives. Prior to going to Europe, I had mixed feelings about traveling on my own, and felt nervous about what to expect during my travels. An important and life changing lesson that I learned was to take risks and step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes my doubts or worries turned out to be the best decisions I’ve made, and made my experience worth it in the end. Seeing how far I could push myself was new, yet refreshing. Ultimately, experiencing a new culture, challenges, and traveling has made me more self-aware and taught me that I can gain a lot by taking chances.

2. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My time in Spain has opened my eyes to a variety of people, who have so much knowledge and advice to share with others. Having great, meaningful conversations with people has shifted the way I think about the rest of the world. We are all searching for our passions and adventures, and getting different perspectives has convinced me that we should not be afraid to take chances. We learn a lot from others, and eventually the advice we take in leads us to grow on our own in the end.

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Annalise Pownall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Annie Friesen

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class was Travel Writing for many reasons. The professor was so enthusiastic about both the subject and Prague, which made learning enjoyable. We learned different styles of travel writing including feature stories, blogs, and guidebook entries, and we got to write about our adventures all over Prague and Europe. My professor loved Prague and wanted us to experience some of his favorite parts, so, every once in a while, he’d take us to a local pub for beer and a discussion. As a journalism major, I got to experiment with different types of writing which I’d never gotten to try before.

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

You only get this opportunity once. It’s one thing to travel the world for fun, but to live in a foreign country and immerse yourself in the culture through your classes is completely different. The city you decide to study abroad in will become your home away from home and a place you’ll always want to go back and visit. You will meet people from all over the world and make friends with Study Abroad students from all over America. School will be so different from any school you’ve ever gone to before, and you will love it. You’ll get to see the world, but you’ll also transform into a local as you explore your city. Don’t let fear, worry, or cost deter you from having this kind of experience. If you’re worried about the cost, apply for scholarships. There are a ton of them out there! Studying abroad will change your life, and I can promise that you will never regret it. Go out and see the world!

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Anthony Rotolo

Alumni Insider
*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
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence, Italy
Home University: Santa Monica College
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Ashley Cooper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Betsy Kaplan

Alumni Ambassador

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

I can't even begin to explain how my study abroad experience has affected my life. Before Prague, I had never traveled outside the United States, other than to Israel on a Birthright trip. Traveling around Europe for a semester has been extremely eye-opening to how incredibly fortunate I am to have been raised in the United States. And, seeing parts of the world I’ve always dreamed of seeing has been a true blessing. I think it is safe to say I’ve fallen in love with Europe, and leaving Prague was difficult. During my stay in Europe, I encountered many cultural shocks but none were negative. Well, besides having to pay to use a public restroom and pay for water, but that’s beside the point. Europe’s architecture, culture, and overall sense of place is completely different than the United States. Studying abroad has taught me that there are many other places around the world where people live a completely different lifestyle than Americans do. It’s so hard to imagine until you actually experience it first-hand. Coming out of this experience, I am more open to opportunities I never thought I’d be open to. I’m a more grounded person and I see myself in an entirely different way than ever before. The friendships I’ve made along the way I will cherish forever. These people have helped me escape the part of me that was stuck inside the “American bubble.” I am forever grateful for this experience, and I hope to return to Europe in the near future.

 

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

You have to study abroad because there is no reason to not study abroad. The experience of a lifetime is at your fingertips, and it’s all on you to make the first move. I always knew I wanted to study abroad when I first learned about the opportunity my freshman year. The seniors in my sorority couldn’t stress enough that it’s a must. They created unforgettable memories with their peers and I couldn’t wait for it to be my turn. Now, here I am, at the end of my study abroad program and I couldn’t be happier. This experience has been everything I’ve dreamed of and more. This is an opportunity you cannot pass by because it will change your life. You’ll realize so many interesting things about yourself that you would’ve never thought existed. I went skydiving… scary, huh? Well, it was one of the greatest moments of my entire life. This is the time in your life to experiment and try something new. So why not step it up and experience life in an entirely different atmosphere. Better yet, go alone. I’ve met so many amazing people on this trip and I can’t imagine going with a friend from my university or from home; I don’t think the experience would be the same. I’m not saying don’t go with a friend, but if you really want to get out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend going it alone. There are so many opportunities and experiences outside of the United States, so go see for yourself, you won’t regret it.

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Betsy Kaplan

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Arizona
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Brooke Begich

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Brooke Howard

Alumni Ambassador

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

Studying abroad is the chance of a lifetime. You get to experience something that many people only dream about: traveling the world. 

And not only do you get to visit beautiful places and meet amazing people, you also have the opportunity to better yourself as a whole. 

Studying abroad made me globally aware, more comfortable in my skin, and confident in my ability to adapt. It taught me to welcome new environments and embrace different cultures and people, an important skill for professional success. It’s an opportunity for a unique educational experience that will definitely set you apart from others in your career field. 

Although it may be scary to leave home and what feels familiar, I promise you adjust, adapt, and fall in love with being abroad. I strongly believe that studying abroad will benefit and impact you for the rest of your life. It changed my outlook on life by helping me become more positive, open, and social in every aspect. I am forever grateful for my abroad adventures and urge you to explore both the world, and yourself.

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

These travel tips will help you adventure both safely and skillfully, while helping you get the most out of your study abroad experience!

A. Always be aware of your environment
-Petty theft is real; keep an eye on your valuables!
-It’s a good idea to get a cross body bag, spy belt, or some type of wallet that can be easily hidden to protect you from thieves.
-Pro Tip: Never keep ANYTHING in your back pocket! 

B. Take full advantage of your resources! 
-It never hurts to ask someone in CEA if they’ve been where you are planning to go. Most of the time they know the “local” or “hidden” gems that you’ll definitely want to check out! And if not, they’re more than willing to help you find the “must-sees” of your future destination. 

C. Enjoy EVERY minute! 
-Going abroad is the experience of a lifetime that goes by too fast; make the most of it! 
-Be proactive and make a bucket list of everywhere you want to go so you can plan your weekends accordingly. 
-It’s true when they say time flies when you’re having fun!

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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

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

CEA MOJO Blogger in London, England
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London, England
Home University: DePaul University
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Cara Appleton

Admissions Counselor
As a native of Phoenix, Arizona, from a very young age, I would hear my friends speaking Spanish and knew that learning Spanish was something I must do. I first studied abroad during high school in Santa Fe, Argentina, and continued to work on my Spanish language skills while attending Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. During my junior year, I studied abroad again, this time in northern Spain. While in Spain, my host family was the best. When I would mess up a word or get confused, they were so helpful, and their corrections often provided amusing stories I would later share with my friends. During my time in Spain, I traveled to Italy over Easter Break. Italy was amazing and gave me the chance to eat gelato and see the Colosseum in all its gladiator glory.

After returning, I spent a summer interning in San Jose, Costa Rica. The “Ticos,” as those from Costa Rica call themselves, are warm and inviting, and their Spanish is very easy to understand. There were many late nights I spent talking with my Tico friends, listening to the tree frogs sing, accompanied by a massive plate of roasted chicken, rice and beans, and more fresh, tropical juice than you can shake a stick at!

Are you dreaming of studying abroad? As an Admissions Counselor with CEA, I can guide you through the process to make that dream a reality. I am excited to get you started in selecting a program that fits your personal, academic, and financial needs. When not counseling students on study abroad, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with my cuddly dog, and exploring the Arizona desert.
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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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Celene Haque

Alumni Ambassador

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

In Italy my house visited 200Centigrade almost every day! They make the best panino that we found in Rome, and it's never more than 5 euros! Make sure to get something with prosciutto!

In Prague you have to go to the top of the Klementium, you will never see a better view in your life! Even if you are afraid of heights, you don't want to miss it!

In France there is a small street in the 12th arondissmont called Rue Crémieux. It is the most colorful street in Paris and tucked away so that it's not crowded with tourists. There's usually only a few locals that walk down the street and that's just because they live there.

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

I always wanted to travel, and I thought that perhaps I would be done after studying abroad, that's absolutely not the case! I want to travel so much more! I tried to extend my stay after my program was over so that I could travel by myself. I think I am a lot more open and outgoing because I studied abroad. It taught me to come out of my shell, to be more adventurous, and to live more in the moment. It taught me things that I will implement in my life even after going home.

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Celia Skvaril

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Chandler Stroh

Alumni Insider
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
I think of Italy in each passing day. I crave my favorite meals. I dream of walking the streets. Though I can't say that my life is vastly different than it would have been if I hadn't made the choice to go, I can say that my desire to travel is stronger than it ever would have been. I know how traveling can teach you about yourself. I know how it can give you confidence and independence. So the itch to leave and see new places is not a feeling from which I will shy away.

2. What advice do you have for others?
- Jump at exciting opportunities, even if they scare the crap out of you. 
- Take lots of photos despite what people around you might think. You’ll cherish them later. 
- Time passes way too quickly. Make sure you always stop to smell the pasticcino.
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Chandler Stroh

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Florence
Home University: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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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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Christina Filipovich

Alumni Ambassador

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

My study abroad experience has definitely changed me into a better-rounded individual. I’ve known that I wanted to study abroad since high school, but you never really know what you’re getting yourself into until you’re actually there. Since I arrived in the Czech Republic, I’ve had obstacles thrown at me. Learning a different language, being in a new city, and making new friends could have been very stressful. One of the most important things I’ve learned here is to take life by stride and be independent. Back at my home university, I lived a comfortable life. I knew my campus, I knew who my friends were, and I knew what every single day would look like. Moving to a foreign country for a semester changed all of that. All of a sudden, I had to learn a new city. That required memorizing where I lived, how to use the public transportation, the currency exchange, and how to carry an entire bag of groceries from the grocery store back home because there wasn’t a car to drive me home anymore. I had to meet new people and I had to adhere to a new language that. But all of these things shaped me into a better-cultured person. Now, I know Prague like the back of my hand. I can navigate its public transportation, I know the value of the dollar, and I know that shopping more frequently is better because you don’t have to carry as much back home. I’ve made friends from across the world, and have learned bits and pieces of a new language. Studying abroad has changed me for the better, and I am eternally grateful for all the experiences I’ve had because of it.

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

If I had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad, I would tell them about all of the wonderful experiences they would have. From traveling all over the world, to meeting the most incredible people, to learning new languages and absorbing new cultures, studying abroad can influence anyone’s life. While in Europe, traveling between countries is very inexpensive. Buses, trains, and planes are all available for you to get wherever you need to be. I cannot stress enough how amazing it has been to visit places I never could’ve dreamed of seeing. From swimming in the bluest waters of Split, Croatia, to eating homemade pasta and buying leather goods in Florence, to visiting the castles and historical sites of Poland, I’ve seen places I never thought possible. As you immerse yourself in these new cultures and new places, you meet people from all over the world as well as locals. These people can become lifelong friends, or have connections who can help you in your future career. You never know who you’re going to meet while you’re abroad. Living abroad, you can pick up new languages or increase your language skills. My knowledge of the Russian language helped me so much while living in the Czech Republic, but I also picked up some Czech just by taking public transportation or going to the grocery store. My experiences abroad have changed my life for the better in so many ways, and I truly believe everyone should be able to do the same.

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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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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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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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Daniella Schuh

Alumni Ambassador

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

The rich culture in Seville, Spain surprised me. I didn't know much about Spanish culture until I came to Seville and saw the traditional flamenco dances, tried amazing tapas, experienced Spanish holidays, and interacted with many locals. It's quite the experience to embrace a new culture for 4 months and learn more about what the typical Sevillanos lifestyle is. I loved seeing how close people are in Seville. They maintain very close relationships with one another and have long lasting friendships. Walking around, I rarely saw people alone. They love company and surrounding themselves with family and friends. This ties into why there is barely any personal space in Seville. People walk and stand close to one another all the time. When you compare this culture to the culture in America that we have experienced for 20 years of our lives, it can be uncomfortable for some people or hard to get used to. However, I had no problem adjusting to this new culture and the new lifestyle I would be a part of. A surprising thing for me was how late people ate dinner, which was 10 to 11 p.m. People of all ages were out until 12 a.m. at the earliest, finishing dinner or listening to music at bars and restaurants. Seville is different from other parts of Spain because of the authentic culture you embrace and traditional Spanish language you hear and speak.

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

My study abroad experience has made me a better-rounded person and given me an appreciation for the things I have in my life. I have travelled to many different places abroad, not only in Europe, but also in Africa. Visiting these places teaches you so much about other countries and people around the world. With each country I visited, I stepped back and thought about certain things I would change or embrace about myself because of what I saw or felt from the people living in these places. I also came across some challenges and opportunities while traveling that helped me discover who I am as a person. Meeting people from other cultures and places taught me that the way I have been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. It changed my perspective on certain viewpoints and gave me a sense of reality. Studying abroad in Seville has also made me become way better at speaking Spanish and communicating with people on many different levels. Coming from a Colombian culture and background, I never really knew how different Spaniards speak Spanish. I learned that there are about 4 different languages within Spain and many authentic accents of the Spanish language. Studying abroad and travelling helped me open my eyes and shaped me into a better citizen of the world.

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Daniella Schuh

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Seville
Home University: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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Danielle Porter

Alumni Ambassador

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

Whether you’re learning Spanish for the first time or you’re advanced, I have a couple of tips for you that helped me learn Spanish while I was in Spain. First, speak the language wherever you go. I lived with my host mom and she only spoke Spanish. Whenever my friends and I went for coffee and tapas we would order in Spanish even if they tried to speak to us in English. Second, CEA has a great intercambio program and the other universities usually have them as well. Take advantage of getting your personal one-on-one session that will help you learn Spanish as you help them with their English. Last, but not least, have fun! Dance to Spanish music and learn the lyrics, meet new people and hangout, and watch your favorite Netflix show or movie in Spanish. You’re in Spain, so do as the Spaniards!

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

This was the first time I had traveled out of the United States, and I was so nervous at first. Then, I fell in love with everything that I was seeing. Things that I had been worried about before seemed so insignificant in comparison. It gave me time to reevaluate my goals and what I want to do in the future. I’m a double major in Psychology and Spanish, and, after this experience, I’ve decided I want to come back to Spain and possibly teach English before going to graduate school. I loved the Spanish language and culture and realized I wanted to become fluent and gain firsthand experience working in a different country.

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Danny Pasternak

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Darby Hennessey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Diana Kirori

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My personal experience abroad taught me that, although we are over 4,000 miles apart, we share many of the same things. We may eat different things and speak different languages than other countries, but when it comes down to it, it is about the person. The rest of the world seemed just as excited to learn about my culture, as I was to learn about theirs. My experience taught me that the world is either one big adventure, or it is nothing at all. It is important to take things as they come, especially when traveling the world. What happens to you, makes you who you are today. I learned to accept the things I cannot change and enjoy everything else.

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

One of the best views that everyone raves about in Madrid is at Circulo de Bellas Artes! In addition to a great view, they have great food and drinks. It is definitely a must do, even if you're in Madrid for a short time. When it comes to fun, there is nothing that compares to a Real Madrid game. Every person in the stadium is there to have a good time and watch even better soccer. This coming together of so many people for the game is a prime example of Spain's culture.

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

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:

The best part about studying abroad is having the ability to travel and the freedom to just book a flight wake up and go! My top travel trips are to always try everything, some of the cities you will visit will be like places you have never seen before. Before you say no to a different fish or a classic french meal be open minded and try everything because more than likely you're going to love it! Push yourself out of your comfort zone, go to places you have never heard of, being uncomfortable is how you grow. Try to interact and meet local people in the different cities you visit, they are so excited you are there and want to share their favorite restaurant and little kept secrets of their home city. Finally go site seeing, each city has its own beautiful kept land mark or piece of history, book tours and go site seeing.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?    

CEA offered multiple courses that I was interested in but my favorite class was "Intercultural Interactions: A Psychological Perspective”. When I first entered the classroom on our first day of classes I did not know what to expect from this class, although I had read the course description and the syllabus I was unaware that this class would have taught me one of the most valuable lessons while I was abroad. This class not only taught me how to adjust to new cultures and then readjust upon my return back to the United States, but this course taught me so much about different cultures around the world. During my semester in Spain and in this class we focused on the refugee crisis, the cultural divides, and overall how to be the best "sojourner" we could be. This course helped me become more open-minded, more aware of myself and my surroundings, and opened my eyes to a whole different view of the world. This course allowed me to truly make the best of my study abroad experience.

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Emily Sturgeon

CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France
Home University: University of Alabama
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Erica Collins, M.Ed.

Admissions Counselor
Although I was raised in the sunny, beach city of Los Angeles, California, I spent my summers with my aunt and uncle in beautiful Prescott, Arizona. My education consists of a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education—Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Administration from Northern Arizona University. “Go Lumberjacks!”

I realized how much I loved to travel during my time as a competitive gymnast from age 9-15, as I traveled throughout our beautiful country. My additional moment of travel excitement was when I traveled throughout Europe visiting France, Spain, and London to name a few incredibly alluring travel destinations. I had been officially bitten by the travel bug. I recently had the opportunity to vacation in Cancun and absolutely loved every moment of the food, beach, culture, and the people.

I look forward to continue to travel as time allows. In the meantime, I have been blessed to have the opportunity as a CEA Admissions Counselor to share my love and excitement of traveling with our CEA Study Abroad students and help guide them successfully and correctly towards their educational and career goals as they study abroad. When I am not at CEA, I enjoy watching and learning from HGTV, reading, hiking, listening to music, taking care of my pets, and spending time with my family.

Did you know? During my time as a competitive gymnast, I was training towards the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain when my path changed due to an injury. I ended up coaching elite-level gymnasts for 6 years instead.
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Erin Cain

Site Specialist
I grew up in O’Fallon, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, but after high school I decided to become a southerner and go to college at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) There, I studied International Studies and Economics along with a minor in Spanish and, of course, spent plenty of time cheering on the Tide at football games.

In my International Studies major, I chose to focus on Latin America and my love for studying the world only grew from there! My interest in this region led me to study abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile, so I could experience firsthand some of what I had been studying in the classroom. I had the most amazing time living with a host family and exploring the incredible variety of Chilean life, and though I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do much more travelling, I can’t wait to go back!

As a Site Specialist, I’m excited to help students identify what they want out of a study abroad experience and work with them to find the perfect program. I’m here for support, guidance, and enthusiasm in helping students achieve their goals! When I’m not at CEA, I love to spend time outdoors, bake, read, take naps, and spend time with friends.

Did you know? Before I moved to Illinois, I was born in a pink hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. My dad grew up on Oahu, and my parents have moved back since retiring, so I am lucky to get to visit about once a year.
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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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Ethan Beseris

Alumni Ambassador
1. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! Future study abroad students should not miss them:

It's no secret that Italians love to eat, but you can't experience Italian food culture without participating in an "aperitivo." These are a ritualistic prelude to a large meal but can sometimes last 1-2 hours. It was the perfect place to socialize with friends and meet locals. Another can't-miss food experience in Florence is Panini Toscani, located right in the historic Piazza dell Duomo. This sandwich shop has no menu; instead, their friendly staff offers a sample of all their meats and cheeses and lets the customer build their own panini from their favorite combinations. It's not only a great opportunity to taste the best Italian deli food but also to learn about where the food comes from and how each region handles its preparation.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?
As a result of my experiences abroad, I have been inspired to lead a more simplistic lifestyle. When I left for Europe, I carried nothing but my backpack and a pocketful of euros. I traveled on trains, stayed in hostels, and ate my meals on the city streets of Italy. I had virtually nothing, yet my time there was one of the happiest periods of my life because I learned to take pleasure from experiences, not possessions. This transformation of thought was, in part, influenced by the Italian culture. I learned from the Italian lifestyle and took more joy in the simple, every day happenings of my study abroad experience. Still today my favorite memories from my trip are the afternoons I would relax by the Arno River or lounge in the shade of a nearby church. Since returning home, I have begun searching for times where I can be with my friends and enjoy life with them because that is what brings me fulfillment. Italy taught me to derive my happiness from my present state of being, and it's a lesson that I will never forget.
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Forrest Rhinehart

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

Often it is easier to stay within your personal bubble out of fear and uncertainty. Even when you step into a new culture, it can be difficult to fully open yourself up to your surroundings and to change the way you look at things. But I have learned one thing to be true about the world: no matter where you go, common ground can always be found. Even if you don’t speak the language or understand the customs, you will be surprised at the kindness, the laughter, and the joy that you can encounter from the people around you when you make an effort to step outside your comfort zone. There are things that are the same wherever you go, people are all trying to survive, to love and to find happiness. I have also found that the world is bigger than I ever thought and there is still so much it has to teach me.

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

As a college student, it can be scary to look toward the future after school. Before I studied abroad with CEA I had no concrete idea about what I wanted to do after graduation. After just four months in Spain, I can now say that I want to pursue a career in international education. I was inspired every day by my CEA site staff, my professors, and my fellow classmates. I am now considering teaching English for a year (in Spain) before starting a graduate program in international education. This is a career path that I had not considered a possibility prior to my semester in Spain but it now seems like the perfect area to apply my passion for learning and exploring.

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Frances Mylod-Vargas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Gabbi Cisneros

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

I warmed up to the language by speaking it with my host family, who allowed me to make mistakes and corrected me when I asked for their help. As I became more confident from taking classes at school, I enjoyed trying to speak to more people when I went out shopping or traveled on the weekends. When my university had a book fair, I bought two, small books in Spanish, so that I didn't have to worry about library due dates. Reading in Spanish was a great use of my time on long bus trips. My housemates and I also made several pacts to only speak and text each other in Spanish. Speaking with people at all levels of the language was the most helpful. Those at higher levels could help me improve my speaking, and those at lower levels could improve their speaking when I talked with them.

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

Studying abroad and immersing myself in the Spanish language has made me feel more confident that I am on the path to becoming bilingual. Instead of dropping my Spanish minor, I'm picking up a Spanish major, and I'm actually excited to continue practicing my Spanish when I return to my home university. In addition, living in a different country, learning different customs, and traveling around to see spectacular sights on the weekends has pushed me in a more specific career goal. I'm a film student who knew she didn't like being on film sets, and now I know my real goal in the film industry is to make travel documentaries!
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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)
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Vanguard University
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Grace Economou

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:      

Travel as much as possible! During the six short weeks I lived in Granada, Spain, a small group of friends and I had traveled to eight different cities. We watched the sunrise as we hiked the Sierra Nevada mountains, we ate gazpacho and tapas from the top of an old Moorish fortress, we watched the sunset on the Mediterranean Sea from the sandy shore of Mallorca, and so much in between. 

Travel like a local! I assumed trains were the best mode of transportation, but my host family said “que tonta” and told me to take the bus. And I am grateful I listened because they knew best. The bus system was high quality, very affordable, and went everywhere I wanted to go. 

Traveling does not have to mean hours away! To “travel” can be as close as one bus stop outside the city limits. In countries where the history dates back thousands of years, a couple miles can make the world of a difference in food, language, and culture. 

And, of course, pack light! Waiting at baggage check for over an hour for a backpack of clothes that were never worn is a mistake I made only once.

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

I am a computer science major minoring in business. Since high school, I have been STEM-focused. I took the bare minimum amount of course credits for English, Spanish and History. I taught myself Java so I could take a higher-level programming class. In study hall, I was almost always tutoring students in math. Then in college, the worst case scenario occurred: I needed to take two semesters of Spanish. 

The Spanish 230 in Granada, Spain program was perfect for me. It satisfied both semesters of Spanish, my most dreaded graduation requirement, and I fulfilled my lifelong dream of studying abroad. I was elated when I found out that I would be traveling to Spain for the spring semester. But I was also excited to know that I would never have to take a Spanish class again.

Studying abroad with the purpose of learning Spanish was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was not stressed from trying to juggle four courses at once; I was able to focus on Spanish and commit my time to learning and studying the language. Because it was an enjoyable experience, this rigorous course instilled in me a love for Spanish—which I would not have gotten from a traditional Spanish course. I am going to carry that with me moving forward. I now jump at any opportunity to speak Spanish, and my desire to travel has only grown. In the fall, I am going to join a Spanish Conversation club; it meets weekly with the sole purpose of starting Spanish discussions. I am also going to take a Spanish culture class next Winter term, not because it is a requirement, but because I want to. And I am already planning my study abroad adventure through Asia next summer.

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Gracie Darland

CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Madrid, Spain
Home University: University of Mississippi
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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 Becke

Alumni Ambassador
1. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! You should not miss them:
-Every Tuesday night, there is Karaoke at a restaurant called Barney's on the beach. 
-Incredible Indian food at a place called Raasoie. 
-Great eats at anywhere along Stanley Street. 
-Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is a must whether its rugby or soccer. 
-Addo Elephant Park is the biggest game park nearby.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?
No one can explain the feeling of finding yourself. You can't live through other people's experiences. It was the best choice I have ever made, and I'm never going to forget all the memories I made there. Home will still be here when you get back. A one week vacation to that place one day might not happen. Why not study, earn credits, and learn more because you're there for so long? Just go.
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Hannah Ginsburg

Alumni Ambassador

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

This summer study abroad program impacted my life in many ways. By living in London, I returned home with a greater understanding of cultural differences. I observed variances in language and enjoyed learning how to communicate effectively with the locals. I gained a greater awareness of politics and economics and how others view our country. In my class on International Media, we had an opportunity to meet and interview a recruitment executive at Google and a public relations officer for Warner Brothers. These experiences were incredible.

My study abroad experience has also greatly affected my future career goals. Regarding my Communications major, I was not completely sure of where I best make an impact with my skills. But, after this trip, I have decided that I really want to seek out a career related to travel, a job that allows me to see as much of the world as possible while still working. I also feel I can translate the adventures I had into helping others. The confidence I gained has enabled me to show others the joys of learning much more about the world beyond themselves and their homes.

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

There is so much to say beyond 60 seconds! History. Culture. Language. It’s all waiting out there for a student to explore. The study abroad experience is not like a typical trip. You have a chance to explore the culture and lifestyle in a new place. Beyond seeing the typical attractions or sites, you get to immerse yourself in the city. Get on a bus or navigate the tube. Get to know locals. Walk the city and discover!

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Hannah Kersey

CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Paris, France 
Home University: Belmont University
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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
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Alps
Home University: Chapman University
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James Longenderfer

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: West Chester University of Pennsylvania
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Jasmine Brown

Alumni Ambassador
1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
The easiest way to pick up a language is to practice, practice, practice! A great tool to help would be to pick your favorite movie or show on Netflix and switch the subtitles and language over to the host language of the country you are in. For reading and writing, pick your favorite book and read it in the lanauge of your host country. Locals can help you practice, as well. Usually locals in bigger cities speak English and will switch to it to be polite. However, all you have to do is ask, and they are usually happy to switch back to their own language.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?
After study abroad, I am so much more open minded and motivated to do the things that I want to do. Before this experience, I always saw studying in a foreign country as an impossible luxury and dream. However, after a lot of research and planning, I found that it was very possible. This experience has made me realize that when it comes to achieving goals there is always a way. Study abroad has also helped me open my mind to a variety of lifestyles and ideologies. By taking the time to go abroad, my global business degree has been advanced into a world of possibilities.
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Jazmine Baehr

Alumni Ambassador

*I also studied with CEA in Florence, Italy!
1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

That the world isn't nearly as scary as the mainstream media portrays it. It's kind of like the world’s best kept secret about how truly beautiful it really is. You can go on to google and see pictures of a place but that's just seeing the surface. I assure you it's nowhere even close to how beautiful the world really is and how beautiful you begin to feel just being in its presence. It's more than just a visual thing.

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

I don't know if anyone is familiar with the David Foster Wallace commencement speech from back in 2005 but he tells a story about two goldfish not knowing what water is and how it relates to humans not realizing actions we subconsciously do such as getting frustrated while waiting in line. Some people are lucky enough to have their "This is water" moment and I can honestly say that I probably wouldn't have had mine if it weren't for studying abroad. I remember being on the U Bahn after class and it was crowded and hot and I was feeling homesick and I felt frustrated about hearing German and then it hit me that I have the choice to feel this way or I can recognize that I am in one of the most historic cities in the world growing and evolving into something better than I ever dreamed I could be.

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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 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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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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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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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 Dixon

CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: University of Michigan
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Julia Zarella

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

My experience of studying abroad taught me that there WAS a rest of the world. I was lucky enough to experience more of the world than I have in my lifetime, visiting a total of nine countries and 22 different cities. Sometimes, I was forced out of my comfort zone; other times, I gladly broke out of my bubble. Through all of this, I was reminded that there was a world outside of my own, and it is a great one. Of course, I was always familiar with the concept of the world—that there are other people living their lives, differently but more or less the same as me, and that there are entire countries operating outside my own. I always knew that my life was not the same as others and that my world was not at the center of other people’s, but my study abroad experience made this concept real and concrete. While I would go to a water fountain or buy a bottled water at a store, Romans would be getting their water out of the city’s historic fountains. Small differences like this made the rest of the world real to me. Though I was essentially on an extended vacation, people lived in a world entirely separate from mine, and their experience was not a vacation—it was real. While we all may be familiar with this obvious-but-overwhelming concept, few get to live it.

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

Traveling while abroad is no walk in the park. It’s a fast-pace hustle that is very far from lying in a beach chair, enjoying some R & R on an exotic beach somewhere—or maybe it is on Saturday, once you’ve already arrived at your destination. But when you’re trying to stay on a budget and see as much of a new city as you can between end-of-week classes on Thursday and the first day of classes on Monday, you need all the help you can get in making your travels a success. The most important tools you can rely on for smooth sailing? Google Flights, Pinterest, Lonely Planet, Airbnb, a reliable carry-on, and a shuttle system to and from the airport that you make yourself familiar with. Google Flights is the best way to search different combinations of round trip flights for the best price, allowing you to mess around with times and airport combinations. Pinterest and Lonely Planet are perfect tools to find unique ways to experience the culture of your travel destination, and Airbnb is often a better place for the same or cheaper prices than many hostels, especially if you’re traveling in groups. The Airbnb hosts are often the best resources for travel tips. I can tell an abroad student now, and they won’t listen (because I know I didn’t): Pack light. You have three days to travel, and you don’t want to be lugging a huge heavy bag around a new city. Checked bag fees are never worth it and are in place for a reason. Finally, assuming that most abroad students rely on public transportation, almost every airport offers a sort of shuttle service from a set destination to and from the airport. Get to know that service ASAP—our go-to was the Sit Bus Shuttle in Rome. Keep tabs on the schedule to ensure that you make your flights, and you’ll always have a reliable way to save money on your trips and make sure you get home.

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Julianna Matthews

Alumni Ambassador

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

If there was only one word I could use to describe the impact that studying abroad had on me, it would be this: Growth. That girl in the plane from a small town in New York on her way to Barcelona went through a type of metamorphosis. In the same way, a woman pregnant for the first time may pick up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I was doing my best to get my hands on anything to prepare me for the biggest journey in my life I’d ever faced. What to anticipate, respecting new cultures, areas to steer clear from—more importantly who to steer clear from. I spent the first two weeks trying to grocery shop with limited Spanish-language skills, and booking my own flights for wherever I wanted to go in the world. It was in those first two weeks that I realized I was there—I was doing this, all on my own, thousands of miles away from my family and places I called home. The rest of my time abroad went by faster than I understand. Each day I felt myself becoming more comfortable with this new world, and how I fit into it. In the phone calls I made at three in the morning to my dad because I was stuck in some foreign airport, I felt new levels of independence. With each solo trip I planned and travelled, I surpassed my comfort zones. Through every stranger I met and through talking about everything from politics to social issues to our own differences, I realized I may be more aware of the world than I had ever been. And with every mistake I made along the way, I learned to accept that I was the only one who could solve it. These things are what I remember about being abroad most. They are what I appreciate greatest about the opportunity I was given. The one common denominator to it all is something I wouldn’t trade for any other: growth.

2. What were your favorite spots in the city?

It is difficult to choose only a few of my favorite places in Barcelona. However, if I had to, I would choose absolutely anything and everything by Gaudi first. He combines art and architecture of the Modernisme period incredibly, and made prolific impacts on the unique culture of Barcelona. While many are familiar with La Sagrada Familia and Parque Güell, I would also recommend seeing Palau Güell and Casa Batlló. The Picasso museum was also a great experience. As another artist who helped define the culture of Spanish art, I spent a few hours walking the museum. It’s also free with a student ID! On a beautiful day, make sure to get some exercise in and hike up to the Bunkers to take in the whole city—elevated. In terms of restaurants, one place I really enjoyed was Rosa Negra. With the friendliest staff, and mouth-watering entrée’s, you can’t miss a stop here. When you’re in the mood for tapas, Mil Grito is the place to go. They have a wide variety and you can find something here to eat for just about anyone. The list of favorites goes on.
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Julianne Quinn

Alumni Ambassador

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

Study abroad has shaped me into the person I am today in so many ways. For starters, while I was abroad I met some of the most amazing and open-minded friends I could ever ask for. Travelling and seeing the world with people creates bonds and friendships that will last forever! It’s amazing how many like-minded people you meet at school and in the different cities you will travel to! While studying abroad you will experience new cultures and learn a lot of new things about the world that have influenced the way that I think and experience life. While travelling I have become much more open-minded and aware of other cultures. I have also improved my language skills. This has allowed me to continue to experience French culture through books, movies, etc. now that I’m back in America. Traveling while studying abroad made me more independent and confident in myself. I learned that I can go out in the world on my own and navigating unfamiliar situations. I am so thankful to CEA for making me the person I am today!

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

If you’re learning a new language while abroad there are so many fun ways to practice and improve your skills! My favorite way to practice my listening skills was to watch different French films. There are so many awesome French movies out there, and it’s fun the watch them with friends! The best way to practice your speaking skills is to get out there and talk with locals. I found a café that hosted events where French students could practice English while Americans practiced their French just by talking! I made a lot of French friends through that and was able to practice my French that way. I liked to try reading my favorite books in French. It’s a great way to learn new vocabulary, get examples of sentence structures, and get a new perspective on your book! Finally, it may seem weird but there is some good French rap out there. It’s a good way to practice listening, learn slang, and embrace French culture!

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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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Katherine Cook

Alumni Ambassador

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

Studying abroad definitely provided me with an opportunity for a huge amount of self-growth. Living in another country without your parents can be intimidating, but it forced me to think creatively and adapt to my surroundings. Spending 4 months in a country where they do not speak English as their first language taught me to work hard to learn the culture of my temporary home and to not fear failing. At first, I would be scared to attempt speaking Czech, but, by the end, I felt confident in myself to the point where even if the other person and I spoke no words of the same language, I could get my point across with other methods of communication. While abroad, I gained confidence in myself and my ability to adapt and thrive. I treasure this growth and I do not think that I could have gained this type of self-reliance so quickly in any other type of environment.

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

Choosing to study abroad in the Czech Republic provided a lot of opportunities for me to travel to places I would have never thought to go before. The country is situated in a prime location for seeing much of Central Europe as well as catching planes and buses to Western Europe. My biggest travel tip would be to check out other cities within the country you are studying in. I had no clue that my temporary home had so much more to offer until I visited Česky Krumlov for the day. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I am so glad I got to see another part of the Czech Republic. It added to my experience culturally and gave me a better understanding of the country and how different areas provided me with new fun experiences.
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Katherine Tarlas

Alumni Ambassador

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

For me, the best part about studying abroad was stepping out of my comfort zone. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to spend an entire semester away from home. My biggest fear was being homesick and away from everything that is familiar to me, but I decided to go, and it is an experience that will never be able to beat. I have not been homesick once, because this place has turned into my new home and I am constantly doing things to keep me busy. I feel so much comfort in Madrid because of how familiar everything is to me now. I took that huge step out of my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for that. I now have a whole different perspective on the new culture I am living in, and every experience/trip/person I have met has opened my eyes to the world in a completely different way. I have also met a ton of incredible people who I will continue to keep in touch with and who have made my abroad experience as great as it has been.

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

You will never be able to do something like this again in your life. Once you graduate from college, you will join the real world and have to go to work, and you won't have the freedom that you do now. Study abroad in order to take that big step out of your comfort zone and not take the time you can have to travel all around the world for granted. You acquire so many new skills while living in another country. These skills could include learning a new language or a greater understanding of the world, which will stay with you for the rest of your life and be helpful in the workforce. Study abroad because every single person I have talked to who decided not to has said that they regret that decision.

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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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Katie Ann Insinga

Alumni Ambassador

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

While studying in Rome, I learned Italian. I am still learning, but it is definitely something that I have picked up in my classes here. Living in a place a where different language is spoken can be challenging at first, but I personally feel it adds to the trip because it gets you very out of your comfort zone and allows you to experience something completely different than you're used to. Also, learning is expedited because you are around the language and trying to use it all the time. I would suggest trying to learn a little beforehand. I did not practice Italian at all before I came to Rome, and I wish that I had at least a little knowledge of it in order to make things easier and learn more. But, if you are going to a place where you don't yet know the language, don't worry. Most people speak at least a little English, and you can always find someone who is willing to help, especially at CEA.

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

The reason why you should study abroad is to get a once in a lifetime experience. There will never be another opportunity quite like this. You get to see new places, learn new things, and have experiences that will last a lifetime. The countless, breathtaking places I have been to are reason alone to study abroad. It has been so incredible to see places that you could only have dreamed about. This trip will make you grow as person and allow you to experience something unlike anything else. 

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Katie Fanning

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:

Do a little research! Make sure to know each airline or bus luggage policy prior to traveling. Certain airlines are strict about the number or size of bags you can bring. If you plan on doing physical activities, pack appropriate clothing wear. Don't do as I did and brave a Norway mountain blizzard in jeans and cotton gloves.

Pay attention to cultural cues and be respectful, but do not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for transportation tips or day activities advice from locals is one of the best ways to learn how to spend your time. They know the best places to eat and visit besides hot spots on Google’s top tourist attractions.

Traveling to other countries is amazing, but don't overdo it. You may be disappointed if end your studies having only spent one weekend in your host country.

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

I can confidently say I am a different and better person for having studied abroad. I have never felt an emotional connection to my home university because I did not find effortless connections to most of my classmates. This experience abroad has shown me how many more people, places, and lessons the world has to offer me. Over these past months, I have not only made the sincerest friendships and seen the most breathtaking scenery, but learned who I am, how to adapt, and how to be more independent, confident, and happy.

Moving to a foreign country that I knew little about pushed me far beyond my comfort zone. I was forced to learn how to be open to new friendships with people unlike me, be flexible in my planning, and grow from other cultures. The biggest difference in Europe that has impacted me is the way people talk here. In America, a great deal of conversations are devoted to gossiping to our peers over materialistic things. Living in Europe, people are interested in my life in America, politics, and what I plan to do with my life. I have found that my words, and now thoughts, are centered on more valuable topics than petty judgments.

After four months here, I am more mature and independent. I no longer fear being unsure of my future, because I know there is so much to see outside of Rhode Island and Delaware.

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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 Shepherd

Alumni Ambassador

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

Do it. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, do it. This has been the most rewarding experience, and I am absolutely dreading the end of this semester. I've learned so much, not only in my classes, but about myself. I've made new friends, and I now know that I can live 4,000 miles away from my family successfully. I had an incredibly difficult time at the beginning of the program, but I can safely say that this has been the best semester of my life, no matter the ups or the downs. Because I know that I can live far away from home and be just fine, I already can't wait to see what the future holds when it comes to opportunities to go and live abroad. Maybe one day, I'll work for a study abroad company. Maybe one day, I'll pick up and move outside the United States. I know that these are all very real possibilities, but I'm not sure how confident I would have been about them before studying abroad.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be Current Political Issues in France because I learned a ton, I had fun, and I had an amazing professor. During an election year in the United States and the beginning of an election in France, it was interesting to learn about the French political system and issues, and to compare and contrast them with the system and issues in America. I had an incredible professor that always made class fun, while also making sure my classmates and I learned as much as possible.

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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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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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Kim Burton

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:      

One of the best parts about studying abroad was fully immersing myself in the culture surrounding me. I gained more as a student abroad than a typical tourist. I ate the cultural foods daily and lived with locals. I got a chance to form relationships with my host family and learn more about the Tico culture in Costa Rica. I also loved being able to improve my language proficiency. It is imperative that you speak the cultural language whenever you can, especially with locals. Above all things, I enjoyed visiting the different cities within Costa Rica. It was phenomenal. I was able to see more, learn more and simply do more. My top travel tip when traveling to other cities within your selected country is to remain open-minded. Pack what you absolutely need. I understand money may be a factor in deciding where to go and where not to go, but remind yourself this is an experience of a lifetime. Upon return, you can always make the money back that you spent; however, the experience can never be repeated. I encourage everyone to budget ahead of time as well.

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

 My study abroad experience has further propelled my career aspirations. I now want to mentor at-risk youth in developing countries, and my experience has only fueled that passion of mine. I took a few days off from excursions and volunteered while abroad. The Abraham Project had the greatest impact on me. The Abraham Project is a non-profit children’s orphanage in Costa Rica dedicated to enriching the lives of those in need. Listening to some of the children’s traumatic experiences and seeing how much they’ve progressed reassured me. Seeing the efforts put worth into the children only made me wish to become a part of it. At home, I mentor young girls and I have always wanted to do that on a global scale. I take pride in serving others and contributing to a child’s life. It was heart-warming to get those same sentiments abroad.

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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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Kyle Spencer

CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: 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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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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Lauren Lason

Alumni Ambassador

*Ask me about my internship!
1. What was the best part of your study abroad?

While in Spain, my primary goal was to improve my Spanish. At first I was nervous to speak and make mistakes, but then I learned that not speaking is the biggest mistake of all. Spaniards were so kind and helpful, especially my host family. Conversations at meal-times were my favorite places to practice Spanish because of the welcoming environment they created. They knew how to correct my mistakes and build my confidence simultaneously. Often, we would talk about the newest Spanish songs. Music was another amazing way to learn the language, and it especially helped with pronunciation. They say imitation is a form of flattery but is also great practice. I still listen to my favorite songs from Spain. When I left for my semester abroad I was worried that I wouldn’t improve as much as a wanted to, however, I ended up learning more than I ever thought I could.

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

My semester in Spain was the most rewarding experience of my life. I made countless friends, developed a new self-awareness, and gained valuable skills. This experience shaped me in countless ways, and am so grateful for it. 

I have always known I wanted to study abroad. However, the when and where changed many times throughout my academic career. When I found CEA’s program in Granada and learned I could take classes and complete an internship, I decided it was the perfect experience for me. Little did I know that what I learned outside the classroom would be just as important. I am a more confident and self-assured person than I was before studying abroad. I did not know anyone in my program before I arrived. This meant I had to make friends quickly and gave me the freedom to rediscover myself without the lens of my normal surroundings. I learned to be adaptable when living with a host family, and how to create meaningful relationships despite a language barrier. I also learned to be independent in ways that I had never previously imagined. 

Coming home has shown me how much I changed, and honestly, it has been difficult at times to reconcile who I was before with who I am now. But ultimately, I grew in positive ways from my experiences and any challenges I confronted only demonstrate that growth.

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Lillian Huckabee

Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: University of Georgia
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Lindsay McGowan

Alumni Ambassador

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

I learned Czech while in Prague, and every week we learned songs in Czech. This really helped me work on pronunciation and little bits of grammar. Plus during the holidays we would hear the Christmas songs we learned playing in the mall or the grocery song, and we could sing along! As with any language though, practice it! When you’re out at a restaurant, instead of relying on your English, try and ask your waiter for your meal in the language you’re learning! You may butcher it, but often they appreciate the effort.

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

There are so many great restaurants and pubs in Prague! The goulash at Sklep in Prague 3 was to die for! For any football fans, Barfud in Prague 3 was our go to place to watch football games on Sundays. The food is great, it’s a nice cozy atmosphere, and the owners are very nice American expats. If you’re craving Chipotle, Prague has its own version called Burrito Loco. The best part: it’s open 24 hours! Las Adelitas is another great Mexican food option. They have locations in Prague 1, 2 and 3. No matter which semester you spend in Prague, you’ll be able to experience some holiday market. In the fall, we went to the St. Wenceslas and Christmas markets. They have great traditional food stands that sell freshly cut/fried potato chips, Trdelníks (kinds of spit cakes made from wrapping dough around sticks), doughnuts, sausages, gingerbread, and mulled wine!

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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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Lois Charm

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Loreen Catubay

Alumni Ambassador

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

The whole process and experience of studying abroad is like no other. I believe the best part about studying abroad is the element of uncertainty. In a country whose culture, norms, language, and environment is different from what I am accustomed to, I was constantly anticipating what adventure was coming next. Everything was a learning adventure, whether it was going to the local markets, going to a different town, or even simply going to the university's cafeteria. From every interaction or activity, I gained new insights into the daily lifestyles of Shanghai people, and was slowly able to make exchanges in only Mandarin. Every day was a fun mystery, for everyday offered something new. From simply being in a foreign country, I was able to gain more experience, insights, and skills that a textbook could not offer me.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be Cross-Cultural Communications with our professor. I thoroughly enjoyed this class because I gained a vast amount of knowledge and understanding and developed skills by communicating with people from all around the world. In addition to learning more about others, the class gave me insight into how and why I communicate, behave, and perceive the world differently than others. I believe since this class fosters understanding, it inevitably also led to closer connections with one another. From this class, I believe I gained a new understanding and appreciation for cultures and diversity.

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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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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 Fillip

Alumni Ambassador

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

My classes were in French, and I stayed with a French host mom. By participating in class discussions and having dinner conversations, I developed my conversation skills. 
Many strangers will notice your accent and begin speaking English to you, but I've found that if you pretend that you're not American and don’t speak English well, they'll have no choice but to speak with you in French.

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

Book in Bar: This café sells books in English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and several other languages (although, strangely, there were no French books). There are plenty of well-lit places to sit and get work done, provided that you at least buy some of their delicious tea or pastries. 
Coco Bohème: This is a more hipster café in that you need to take your shoes off once entering, and the lounge is in a basement. Nevertheless, this is a cozy space to hang out and/or get work done. A tea lover's paradise! 
Columbus Café: I regret not finding this sooner. The food and atmosphere are fantastic, and they have free Wi-Fi! 
Musée Granet: This museum has both a permanent and non-permanent art collections, and students get in free with student ID 
Parc Vendôme: This is a great place to sit in the sun. 
Parc de la Torse: This is a great place to run or walk.

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Madeline Inoyue

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Madeline Reiche

Alumni Ambassador

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

In terms of restaurants, there is a cozy gastropub called “The Oak” in the heart of Dublin conveniently just around the corner from CEA’s Study Center. The pork, potato pie, and beef sliders are to die for! It is a must-stop after class. If you’re looking for a coffee shop, Kaph has the best cup of coffee in Dublin (and for a great price!). However, if you are looking for a coffee shop to study in, I recommend Clement and Pekoe. They have plenty of seating with large enough spacing for laptops and books. On an off weekend, I highly recommend going to the quaint fish town, Howth. It is a short train ride a way and makes for a great day or even half-day trip. There, I recommend hiking the Cliff Path route for stunning views including the lighthouse. After, go to Crabby Jo’s for the best fish and chips!

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be Popular Culture in Ireland because of how much it complimented and enhanced my abroad experience. While living in Dublin alone gives its fair share of exposure to the vibrant Irish culture, studying the culture in the classroom adds much more meaning. Primarily, I learned Ireland’s deeply rooted history, which I came to learn had one of the greatest impacts on Irish culture and Ireland today. Additionally, I loved this class because we would learn the background and significance of aspects of the culture in the classroom and then go out on excursions to experience the culture.

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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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Malaika Wilson

Alumni Ambassador

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

My study abroad experience has impacted my academics greatly. I am a Spanish major so going to Costa Rica, being immersed into the culture, being forced to speak the language, and taking Spanish classes all helped me speak and understand the language tremendously. I had struggled at my home university in my Spanish classes because I did not comprehend the information, and I could speak little to no Spanish. However, after my study abroad experience, I am doing extremely well in my Spanish classes and communicating much better in the language.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class by far had to be my Cultural Photography class. My professor took us on many mini field trips in and around San Jose. I enjoyed that because not only were we seeing the culture of Costa Rica but we were able to photograph all the incredible things our professor showed us. Whichever technique we were discussing that week was the technique we were to practice while taking the pictures on the trips, so combining traveling and photography was a great treat for me.

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Margaret Unzen

Alumni Insider

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

My study abroad experience means everything to me. I had never left the US before I made the leap to a new country. It encouraged me to immerse myself in new cultures and interact with people from all over the world. I met lifelong friends abroad who shape who I am today. Since then, I have found that I would like to become an advisor for students wanting to study abroad. This opportunity made me grow as an individual and gave me a career I am passionate about and would like to pursue.

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

My academics have improved significantly since my study abroad. I have always been a good student, but traveling opened my eyes to what’s important. Now I value my education and enjoy learning more than ever. I also have a new interest in my career. I want to help others and have a passion for study abroad that I would like to share with others. I have found that I am more ambitious and have an all-around excitement about my future.

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Marissabel Diaz Roman

Alumni Ambassador

1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?

One of the greatest and humbling experiences I had abroad was volunteering at a refugee center. Before studying abroad, in my migration class at my home institution we talked a lot about the African migration to Europe as well as the refugee crisis. I always thought it was all very far away, and there was nothing I could do to help. When I first saw what we discussed in class, it was such intense feeling to witness it all. I started volunteering at the refugee center it made me feel incredible to know I was helping these kids even if it was just by doing a small action. It made me realize that although I was a migrant myself at one point, I did not face the extreme and dangerous journey they did. I got very close to these children because I know what it feels like to have to adapt to a new place and learn a new language. Although we have slight similarities, we had more differences. I live in a world where I have everything whereas they don’t. Volunteering at the refugee center had taught me amazing life lessons. It taught me to be patient and understanding and left me with a more open mind. It taught me how different the place I live is compared to Europe. For example, Spain had taken a more positive approach toward migrants, although they are in an economic crisis while the US has chosen to close its doors. I think it is important to know what these people are going through. It is important to know about issues going on around the rest of the world. That is what studying abroad did for me, it opened my mind even more and helped me see things in a different perspective.

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

I know you hear people often say it changes your life, well it is true! Studying abroad helps you grow as a person and you find yourself being more open-minded and adventurous. Leaving home to a whole new place can be scary. I’m telling you because I was feeling it, but, once I saw all those beautiful places and met the most amazing people, I was glad I had left home because I wouldn’t have experienced it all. There’s so much to do and so much to see. It’s a whole new world that deserves to be seem. Seeing a different country every weekend and trying different foods is something many people dream of. If you’re fortunate enough to do it, do it. It’s something I guarantee you won’t regret.

 

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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
Read my Blog!
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 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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Meghan Leslie

CEA MOJO Blogger in Granada, Spain
Check my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Dayton
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Michelle McGhan

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: London
Home University: Columbia College Chicago
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Mika Richards

Alumni Insider
1. What was the best part about studying abroad?
Studying abroad was, hands down, the best decision that I have made. The best part about studying abroad was discovering the similarities and differences between my home country and my study abroad country. Studying abroad can be daunting, to say the least. You are a complete foreigner. There are new modes of transportation, a new language, and even different cultural rules to follow, such as public behavior and dress codes. To make your experience the best possible, do research on the country, and when you arrive, you must dive in head first into the culture. Remind yourself that just because this new culture is different from your own, it doesn't mean that it is bad, but simply different. While it is easy to stay with people from your culture, such as other students you study abroad with, you should also explore (while taking safety precautions) the country as it really is. If you don't feel comfortable exploring your new city alone, you can take another student, but decide that it would be an opportunity to learn the language. For example, you could ask a passerby for directions or order food in the country's language. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life?
Studying abroad has assisted me in addressing personal battles. I have dealt with Generalized Anxiety Disorder since I was eight years old. In unfamiliar environments, I would have panic attacks, which prevented me from doing things that I desperately wanted to do, such as travelling. Studying abroad was a huge step for me, as I was travelling to an extremely unknown territory. For what I was able to prepare myself for, I did, and for what I couldn't, I told myself that I had a decision to make. Should I live my life based on my fears, or should I choose my own path? When I arrived, I chose to do what scared me the most. I made the choice to get completely lost in Paris, which is something that I never dared to do before. I was able to figure out how to navigate the metro and eventually made my way back to my apartment. After I exposed myself to this situation, I was able to trust myself, and I had gained a lot of confidence. To this day, I have yet to feel anxious, so I will forever be grateful for my study abroad experience. Travelling had always been something I aimed to accomplish, and thanks to the success I've experienced in France, I’m planning other trips to backpack around Europe. Studying abroad has sparked my interest in cultural and interpersonal differences, which is positive because it gave me more motivation to study and understand my major (Communications). Before studying abroad, I didn't especially have a plan after graduation, however, I decided that I would love to work for a study abroad organization. I want to help others experience diversity, in hopes of reducing Mean World Syndrome, or assuming the world and the unknown are always dangerous.
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Mikaela Schneider

Alumni Insider
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
One of the biggest gifts study abroad has given me so far is to simply enjoy life. It sounds cliche and straightforward but it means so much more to me than that. I have changed from being a stressed, worrisome, and frugal person to being carefree, content, and fulfilled in mind, body, and soul. I've noticed a change in myself that I'm more confident in all aspects of life, feel more competent and assured of myself, and am more decisive and true to who I am. It was after a month of traveling the world that my ideals gradually switched to just calm down, relax, and appreciate every moment. I've realized I should treat myself every day and live to fullest. I'm now not scared of new things, embrace the unknown, and have developed countless skills. Study abroad has taught me to live in the present, helped me to understand "joie de vivre" or the joy of living, and overall has changed me as a person.

2. What would you say if you had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad?
When you are considering study abroad listen to this: All those places you have fantasized about, have read about, dream of, see in pictures - they're all attainable, they're all real places that are meant to be discovered with fascinating people, cultures, histories, structures, traditions, views, and more. When you study abroad you enter a whole new world that is full of adventure, learning, and self-enlightenment. You embark on a dream journey where you're satisfied by delicious local delicacies, rejuvenated by clear waters, and essentially changed as a person by living to the fullest. You meet exciting new people that will change your life and come across many surprises that will rise above your highest expectations. You not only get a taste of a different culture, but you get to experience a new environment for a long-term stay. You are given so much opportunity and you can grab and take as much as you want from it. Perhaps these are the reasons I stayed an extra semester, because I couldn't leave the amazing life I was living and I would recommend it to anyone that has passion for travel or is open to a life-changing journey.
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Miranda Schimek

Alumni Insider

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
Read my blog!
CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Galway, Ireland
Home University: Covenant College
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Molly O'Brien

Alumni Insider
1. What are your favorite places to visit?
There are so many amazing places I would recommend to students studying abroad in Barcelona. Besides visiting the attractions Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, wandering along Las Ramblas, and walking the boardwalk on Barceloneta, there are other lesser known places to visit like touring the beautiful Hospital Sant Pau and hiking up to the Bunkers Del Carmel for gorgeous views of the city. Walk and turn off Las Ramblas into the Gothic Quarter and get lost appreciating the incredible architecture of the streets. If you want to day trip out of the city, take the train to Montserrat for to view the ornate monastery and incredible panoramic views of Catalunya. Trek up to Mount Tibidabo to visit the amusement park and pretend to be a kid again on the rainbow-colored Ferris wheel. If you want some sun, take the L2 metro train up to Badalona and visit the beach and boardwalk there. If you’re into coffee like me, there are dozens of amazing coffee shops to try out. For relaxing there are many parks and plazas to sit and read a book and enjoy people watching. You will never run out of things to do in this incredible city.

2. What would you say to convince a friend to study abroad, if you had 60 seconds?
Studying abroad teaches you lessons that you can't learn any other way. It will make you more creative in thinking of solutions to problems in an unfamiliar place when you don’t necessarily understand the culture or the language completely, and this will expand your mind. You will grow as a person, in a way that no other experience can make you grow. You’re going to meet many new people from around the world in your classes and in your excursions, who are going to teach you about their culture as well. You’ll discover new delicious foods to eat (I have memorized how to make the Spanish tortilla and fully plan on enjoying it regularly when I get back to the USA) and new drinks depending on what region you are in, and they’ll all be amazing. You will try new activities that you might not have known that you liked before going abroad, such as skiing in a colder country or surfing in a warmer country. Living abroad is also a great opportunity to practice your language skills. If you desire to become fluent in a different language, studying abroad in the country which speaks that language is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself and really get the opportunity to practice the language firsthand. A future benefit of studying abroad is the perspective that being in a different country gives you when you’re seeking a professional job in the future. Potential employers will recognize the value of the problem solving skills you acquired abroad, and how your decision to live in another place with different ways of life represent your true willingness to never stop learning. Studying abroad is an experience you can’t have after university, and an opportunity that you need to take advantage of while you can!
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Morgan Geraci

Alumni Insider
1. What was your favorite class abroad? 
My favorite class had to be Cross-Cultural Management because I am a culture enthusiast! I really enjoy learning about how culture shapes everyone differently and how it can relate to daily life, all the way to a business setting. The teacher I had, Maria did an amazing job at explaining the cultural differences within the main regions of the world and explained the business culture of Spain. From things to customer service here compared to the US and how we eat compared to the Spaniards. To me I found it really interesting and I still remember almost everything until this day because now I recognize it when I am walking around Barcelona!

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?
I would say that life is too short to be doing something you don't want to do. I love to travel and see what the world has to offer me. I am a Spanish language and culture lover so anywhere where I can speak the language, you bet I will be there. The culture is rich, the food is incredible and the academics are important, but you should enjoy studying wherever you please. If you want to study abroad but your program doesn't think it is a good idea, that's a lie. Every major can benefit from a study abroad experience, if not then you won't experience more of the world and you'll only see it from the eyes of the US. The world looking back to the point before I left New York, is so much bigger and has so many amazing opportunities to learn and grow as a person. Take advantage of studying abroad if you really want to do it. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I honestly think that everyone should do at least a semester abroad. This will be my 4th semester abroad in the fall of 2017.
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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 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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Nina Baum

Admissions Counselor
I was born and raised in Maryland and spent many summer vacations traveling with my family. I earned a BA from Arizona State University in Business with a concentration in Tourism and an International Business Certificate. As an undergraduate, I did a summer internship in Sydney, Australia. It was a rewarding experience and I made some great friends; in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I became the campus ambassador for my program! 

After graduation, I worked at the Venetian in Las Vegas. While there, I met a professor from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln who runs a program that takes hospitality students abroad for conferences and to study. I took two trips with his program. One the first trip, I spent a week in Dubai and on the second trip we traveled to Manchester and London for a conference in Hospitality and Tourism. The Dubai trip is one of my most memorable study abroad experiences. I learned so much about students, traveling abroad, and networking. I was surprised at how different Dubai was from what people had told me. I felt so comfortable there and loved exploring U.A.E. 

I will complete my Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education at ASU in 2016. I plan to keep traveling and to keep helping students study abroad. As a CEA Admissions Counselor, I work with students to address their questions and concerns, and share their excitement to travel and explore the world! When I am not at CEA I love to travel, explore new places, hike, and go country dancing. 

Did you know?  I was a gymnast and cheerleader until I was 20. I even cheered on the ASU Club Competition squad for two years. 
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Noa Berzon

Alumni Ambassador
1. These places/restaurants/sites were a-may-zing! Future study abroad students should not miss them:
- Lokal is an amazing Czech restaurant in Prague, they have many locations but my favorite is the one by the Charles Bridge.
- Bila Hora (White Mountain) is absolutely beautiful to take a walk through especially in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors. Its not far outside of Prague and is easy to get to on the tram and see a more local side of Prague. 
- Vysehrad is the second castle in Prague that has stunning views of the Prague Castle and the Vltava along with amazing gardens to walk through. The church is breathtakingly beautiful.
- Petrin Hill is a great place to escape city life for a few minutes and has tons of trails to walk on. If you climb the top of the tower, you will have a panoramic view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
- Lenta Park has a great view of the entire city with a large open field that you can go have a picnic at if the weather is warm enough.

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

My study abroad experience has been an eye opening one. I have learned to be more independent, outgoing, open to adventures, and so much more. Living and studying in another country puts you outside of your comfort zone and forces you to adapt to new environments and I loved every second of it. Since being in Prague I have been introduced to so many different cultures and ideas that I have learned from other students studying here. I feel I have a better understanding of the world around me and am able to see things in multiple perspectives!
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Paige Halfmann

Alumni Ambassador

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

It has always been my goal to live and work abroad someday. I’ve always been infatuated with the European lifestyle and business practices, however, this study abroad experience turned my infatuation into an understanding and appreciation. I have learned so much about the cultures of the countries I’ve visited during my time abroad, and even more about myself. I’ve learned that a European business setting is a place I could see myself thriving. I could only come to such a conclusion after spending ever so valuable time interning at a company headquartered in Prague. I had daily interactions with individuals from numerous different countries and learned a great deal from each of them. I believe that diversity in the work place is essential and is something that Europeans value, and I appreciate that. I can only hope that someday I will be a part of such a work place.

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

Studying abroad is extremely beneficial for many reasons. First, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to spend an extended time in a country completely different from your own. Having the opportunity to experience a different lifestyle, government, economy, etc. provides you with new perspectives and encourages you to look at your home country through new eyes. Second, for all you learn about your host country, you will learn even more about yourself through studying abroad. Traveling alone to a completely unfamiliar country, being responsible for taking care of yourself, planning travels, taking classes, interning, and learning the public transit make you into a much more independent, braver, and confident person. Third, studying abroad gives you an excellent opportunity to represent your home country and play a role in enhancing your country’s reputation abroad. Talking with locals, making honest attempts to learn, using their language, and being conscious of your surrounding and actions all make a world of difference in how people around the world view people from your country. Overall, study abroad in one of the most valuable investments you can make in yourself.

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Parisia Barker

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was one of your favorite parts of study abroad?

The best part of studying abroad was staying with a host family. Everyday my family and I took paseos (walks) around Barcelona, and it allowed me to see Barcelona in a different light. On weekends we drove to their pueblo (town) for a small vacation with their extended family. I can strongly say that my level of Spanish advanced overnight once I moved in with my family. I loved learning about my host’s families customs and traditions. It was fun teaching them about what it meant to be an African American, and it also helped me learn even more about my own identity. I will forever have a Catalan papa, mama, hermano (brother), y perrito (little dog) in my second home in Barcelona.

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

Prior to my trip to Barcelona I set a few goals. On the top was to come back fluent. When learning a new language you must have patience with yourself. I discovered that many people are willing to work with you. So when you don’t have patience with yourself, it can be tempting to just forget talking all together, second guess yourself, and or talk low as a result to loss of confidence. My biggest obstacle I faced was during my off days. I would stumble through the Spanish I had for that day, and locals would always respond in English. For a while this discouraged me, but one day when they responded in English, I kept speaking Spanish, and the conversation continued in Spanish. On days when you don’t feel like you have it, fake it until you make it, and I promise you eventually will make it. I still make mistakes, but I learn to laugh at them, ask for help, and apply the changes. Consistency is key.
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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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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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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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Sam Tierney

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite class abroad?

Past in the Present: London, History, and Museums. Every week we went to a different museum in London, which was a great way to take advantage of the free museums around the city. It helped me learn a whole new perspective while at museums. I now like to think about how well the exhibits are set up and why they may be set up in that way. The assignments in the class were also very enjoyable. For example we had to make our own exhibit based on practically anything we wanted. While I enjoyed all of my classes, this one was a lot of fun because it was not the traditional classroom setting, and the instructor was so interested in the topics, which always makes a course better.

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

Studying abroad made me a much more confident and independent person. At the beginning, being away from home for five months seemed like it was going to be the hardest thing I would have to do. Now I look back on my experience feeling proud of myself for being able to do it and not holding myself back from anything. I saw so much of London and so many countries, and I conquered my overwhelming fears: homesickness, the fear that I would not make friends, taking classes at a brand new school, and working at an international internship. All of these things were running through my head, but I was able to do it, which led to feeling more confident and underestimating myself less.
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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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Samara Rosenthal

Alumni Ambassador

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

My life has changed a lot since being back from studying abroad. I feel as if I am a different person after this experience. Four months ago, I don’t know if I could have said that I was independent and confident. In addition, I have become more outgoing then I used to be and I am not afraid to meet new people and make new connections. I did learn a lot throughout my study abroad classes, although I think I learned even more by traveling and experiencing the world. Studying abroad has changed my perspective on the world and has also opened up many doors for after college that I did not think of before this experience. Living in another country is definitely something that I would do again. I made so many connections with others that I met through this program and just being abroad in general that will help me in the future.

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

Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. You get to travel the world, meet amazing people and go on new adventures while you are studying and learning things that will help you in your future. I never thought I would come back to America with 20 new best friends. The friendships that you make while abroad are unreal. You become so close with the others in your program in such a short amount of time. Who doesn’t want to travel to a different country every weekend? This is so easy to do when you are studying abroad. You will be able to check off those places you have always wanted to go to in no time. If I could relive any part of my life, it would hands-down be the four months that I lived in Italy. So, if you ever have the opportunity to study abroad, please do it!

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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 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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Shannon Appel

Alumni Ambassador

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

As I was going through the study abroad process, I was told over and over how this would change my life and I would come out of it a different person. I have heard this several times but never quite understood what they meant until I experienced it myself. I came into the program a little skeptical because I had never been out of the country before, I had literally no idea what to expect. All I have heard was stories from other students and my family telling me I needed to be careful and a few things about the city that I had read online. Being thrown into this new place was the best thing to ever happen to me. I have become a happier, more positive person, and I have acquired so many new skills while being abroad. I was very lucky because I had the most amazing group. The people in my group were from all over the U.S. I was able to become very close with each one and learn from them. These people were the biggest reasons I loved being abroad so much. You are able to build such close connections with everyone you meet because everyone is going through the same experience. Whenever I felt home-sick or nervous about something, having people that I could talk to and be with was so helpful. There were times we traveled to new countries and we would get lost or miss a train and have to figure out what we were going to do without help from our mom and dad. We had to learn how to problem solve and stay positive always and made me so much more of an independent and well-grounded person. One of the biggest things I learned was to appreciate everything around you and not to rush through everything. I truly feel as if I have grown so much as a person in just a few months. I have made the best memories and even better friends and I could not be more thankful for my time abroad.

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

My favorite part about studying abroad in Spain (other than the siestas) was getting to experience the unique traditions and holidays celebrated throughout the city. One of my personal favorites was the holiday called Carnival. It was such a cool experience because the entire city came out all dressed up in costumes and we got to dance and enjoy the multiple concerts down La Rambla with all of the locals. They have so many different holidays and celebrations, my biggest tip would be to figure out what dates those are and plan to stay in your city those weekends. They really are a great way to get a feel for the culture and have a fun time and maybe even meet a few locals. Of course traveling to other countries was amazing as well. Sometimes your program will have their own activities that are super fun, so make sure you take advantage of those.

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Shannon Egan

Alumni Ambassador

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

Personally, I believe every experience, good or bad, shapes who you are. When I went abroad, I did not know anyone and I had never been to my host country, making it a big step out of my comfort zone and naturally providing me with an incredible experience where I learned a lot about myself. The three most influential parts of my study abroad experience include the friends I made, the food I ate, and the language I was immersed in.

My roommate was from China and taught me all about Chinese culture. This gave me an amazing opportunity to not only immerse myself in French language and culture, but also learn about Chinese language and culture. She would say the funniest things at the most unexpected times, handled change effortlessly, and was endlessly kind. I made four other lifelong friendships over the semester. They pushed me to be my best self, expanded my horizons about American culture (as they were also Americans), and were some of the most loving people I have ever met. Most importantly, they shared their faith and reawakened a deeper kind of faith within me.

THE FOOD! Every day we went to the market and get fresh vegetables and fruits. More importantly, the chocolate and bread were to die for and I still drool thinking about them. After four months of a creating a perfect balance of healthy meals and impulsive daily sweets, I ended up being my healthiest self. If you add the amount of walking on top of clean food (of both healthy and unhealthy foods), you will be amazing how your body will change for the better.

Lastly, I improved my French skills after making a couple of French friends and it gave me a new perspective on how to view the world. Have you ever picked up a Bible in other language and tried to understand your favorite verse in a new language? Give it a shot, analyze it, dig deep, and you’ll be amazed how words can be expressed so beautifully.

2. What was your favorite class abroad?

My favorite class had to be "Muslim Presence in Europe" because my professor was energetic, extremely intelligent, passionate, and took us outside the classroom. She was originally from Palestine, then moved to the US where she taught at Princeton, and then moved to France to teach.

In the classroom, her efforts and passion for diverse cultures showed just as much. She did not identify as anyone but herself and did not label herself a certain religion. She spoke only facts about what was occurring outside the classroom with Muslims in Europe, which allowed us students to form our own opinions. She provided us with articles to read, brought up current issues in the news, and took us on three different field trips so we could understand the topic from a variety of angles. She was able to bring her energy everyday to class and enthrall us with her knowledge.

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Shayla Auer

Alumni Relations Associate
As the Alumni Relations Associate 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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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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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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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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Tally Ann Bringas

Vice President - Human Resources & People Operations
Our Vice President of Human Resources and People Operations, Tally Bringas is charged with the responsibility of driving growth at CEA through effective human resources and people strategies. Focused on organizational transformation through leadership, differentiated talent models, and recruitment, Tally is also tasked with creating a culture of engagement, agility, and innovation.

She previously held the position of Senior Manager of Human Resources at Alliance Residential, LLC. She has worked with a wide variety of large and small companies in many industries across the nation and has over 18 years of comprehensive employment law and organizational development experience. Notably, Tally worked with the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and held a partnership with The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), where she served as a writer and subject matter expert for Assurance of Learning Assessment for graduating HR students. As a member of the Diversity and Inclusion planning committee for Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS), Tally introduced and championed diversity initiatives. She also worked closely with labor unions throughout the collective bargaining process and offered mediation to resolve workplace disputes.

Tally earned her bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University in Human Resources Management and a Masters in Professional Studies, Employee Relations, Employment Law, and Labor Relations from Penn State University. She holds multiple professional certification distinctions and proudly served in the U.S. Navy as a Quartermaster/Navigator.
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Taylor Farro

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Taylor Tewksbury

Alumni Ambassador

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

Prior to study abroad, I decided to add a minor in Global Studies. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to use it towards a future career, as I am majoring in a science field. Regardless, I had room in my schedule and really enjoyed taking the classes. Throughout my semester abroad, I learned that an international perspective can be applied to any field. Issues in conservation demand an understanding of the surrounding culture, as well as the ability to communicate with people unlike yourself. I now understand just how interconnected we are, both with the environment and other people. Because of study abroad, I would like to incorporate this lesson into whatever I do, perhaps through community based conservation.

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

While studying abroad in Prague, I took an introductory language course. While I won’t be reading a Czech novel any time soon, the class did allow me to connect better with the community. I may have struggled with pronunciation, but the locals seemed to genuinely appreciate my effort to immerse myself. Some would laugh along with me when I stumbled or used the completely wrong word. Others would attempt to help me, and even teach me more vocabulary. The most important thing is to try. Whenever you go to a restaurant or cafe, order in the local language. Read the labels at the grocery store and practice with your friends. Google translate becomes easy to rely on, but break the addiction. It can be frustrating and embarrassing, but with patience, learning the local language can be one of the most rewarding parts of your trip.

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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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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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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 Feliciano

Alumni Ambassador

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

I surrounded myself with Spanish as much as I could before the trip, practicing with the people who knew Spanish and changing the language of my phone to Spanish! The key for me was being comfortable to make mistakes. Once I was immersed into the language in Spain, I used the vocabulary I knew to convey my message as fluidly as possible. I also made sure to pay close attention to the Sevillanos speaking around me and picked up on the way of the culture.

2. What were your favorite spots in the city?

Sevilla, Spain has a lot to offer whether you are interested in trying new foods, visiting museums and parks or modern monuments. I would highly recommend meeting a local and asking questions about the history of Spain, because it helps you understand the life of a Sevillano, and it connects you with something much bigger than yourself. The history not only presents itself in museums or monuments but also as something as subtle as the name of the streets. I would also recommend eating out for tapas at night, when life is bustling and the air is cooler. Real Alcazar is a huge place you should not miss! Give yourself a couple of days to see the entire beauty.

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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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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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Zoey Bloom

CEA MOJO Photographer
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