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site specialists Team

Kayla McGuire
Site Specialist Team Lead

It has been years and I’m still just as in love with Sevilla as the day I stood across the river overlooking the city on my first day.  My yearlong experience as a student through CEA transformed my life—now, working for the Enrollment department, I come to work each day prepared and excited to aid my students in making their experience abroad the best it can be. 

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

Being an international student was, and remains, both the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I learned to be self-sufficient, learned how capable I truly was. I became spontaneous. I fell in love with a city and its people—along the way, I fell in love with myself. 

I think that the ability to see so much light, so much good, in a place that originally seems foreign is such a beautiful thing. What a lesson—both personally and professionally, study abroad pushes a person to be the best possible version of themselves. I look forward to helping future students discover this and so much more! 

Outside of work, I like to sing and listen to live music! I read every day, and spend time with my friends and family as much as I can.

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Mary Bowman
Site Specialist

Growing up I spent a lot of time traveling, one of my earliest memories is getting into the car to drive nine hours to Oklahoma to see my grandparents. The long car rides turned into long plane rides as I got older and my love for traveling grew. I’ve traveled to at least 12 different countries and 20 states. My goal is to visit every region of the world and all 50 states.

Growing up in a small town in southeast Texas, I surprised everyone when I decided to attend college in a different state at a school nine hours away. After graduating high school, I packed my things and moved to Oklahoma to pursue my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. There, I had two majors: International Studies and German. Also, I completed a minor in European Studies. During my time at OU, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Heidelberg, Germany, for a semester to develop my German skills. Long story short, I fell in love with it and worked towards making a career out of it. When I returned to OU, I spent two semesters as an intern at their Education Abroad Office. After completing my degree, I returned to Texas and taught in middle school and high school as a guest teacher. After a year, I decided to pursue a graduate degree at Texas A&M University in Master of International Affairs. While I pursuing my degree, I worked at the Education Abroad Office on campus. Living and studying in Germany was the best decision I’ve ever made and fueled my desire to pursue a career in the international realm whether it was in national security or international education.

When I am not working, I love to read, garden, bake, and do a lot of crafts. During quarantine, I spent a lot of time getting into new hobbies. Now, I know how to make soap, candles, and embroider. I love to try new coffee shops or restaurants and wander around bookstores for hours. Moreover, I enjoy spending time with my two nieces and the rest of my family. Most of all, I love lounging around watching Hitchcock movies with my 21-year-old cat, Princess.

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Anna Wojciechowski
Site Specialist

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, my first taste of the world was through cruises with my family! My brother has played travel hockey for 13+ years so I also had plenty of long car rides across the country in my childhood. I knew I wanted to go to France in the fourth grade, started studying French in High School, and went to Paris for a semester with CEA in Fall 2019!

I stayed close to home, attending Northern Illinois University (NIU), where I obtained my Bachelor’s in World Languages & Cultures with an Emphasis in French and Francophone Studies. During my time at NIU, I also spent a month in Aix-en-Provence living with a host family.

When I am not traveling or working, I enjoy listening to podcasts and trying new restaurants!

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Layla Franco
Site Specialist

Being a Phoenix native, Layla attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.S. in Tourism Development and Management. While at ASU, Layla had the unique experience of working at the Arizona Capitol Museum in many areas including curation, marketing, and even operating tours for students (ask her about how Arizona became a state and she can go on for hours!).

After college, she had the incredible opportunity to work with musicians and students; planning their concerts and events all over the world. This career took her to some of the most phenomenal destinations around the globe.

For Layla, travel is a sincerely life-altering experience that grants us the opportunity to see how big the world is and how little we’ve seen of it. Learning the logistics for planning a trip was useful, but seeing the incredible impact travel had on the students and musicians moved her. Assisting others in having this experience seemed right! Getting the chance to help students study and live abroad is something that she didn’t intend when studying tourism, but it has very quickly become something that brings her tremendous joy and fulfillment.

When she’s not working or traveling, she loves to explore Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes attending local Phoenix events, hiking amazing trails, and going on walks with her two dogs - Emmy and Moose.

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Taylor Coulson
Site Specialist

I traveled to Spain for the first time with my Spanish Club after graduating high school. Before I left, my grandma hugged me goodbye and whispered, “Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” That moment ignited the spark and desire to make travel a constant in my life. Fast forward two years later, and I was back in Spain’s sparkling Catalan city of Barcelona for a summer-long marketing internship with a cycling startup and international business course with CEA. Luckily this was just the start for me pursuing my passion for travel, words and people.

I traded in Cava and Paella to finish my bachelor’s degree in Cross-Cultural Communication and Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Clearly Cava was still on my mind when I returned home, because after going abroad I started working as a wine concierge and marketing assistant for another startup in the states. Prior to graduating college during a pandemic, I was lucky enough to cross a collection of countries and cities off my travel bucket-list – Spain, The Netherlands, France, The Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, and even Morocco to name a few.

I truly believe that travel is the best way to gain perspective and that “when you arrive in a place, you become part of that place.” After college I continued learning and sharing stories about new places in the world along with the new person it shaped me into while I worked for a travel technology company as a travel editor for digital and print publications. One day, I’d love to put my passion for travel, words and people to use and write a book about my travels in my 20s.

Milwaukee is a great city on a great lake in the Midwest I call home and now I’m living the desert dream. I picked my new place to call home in May 2021 when I moved to Phoenix, Arizona with my chihuahua named Mario. When I’m not working, traveling or writing about traveling, you can find me hiking, biking, baking or hanging out with friends. I also love reading a good memoir book and listening to live music outdoors!

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