CEA Directory

CEA Directory

student accounts Advisory Board

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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student accounts Leadership

Magdalena Fitzgerald

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

Program Director - Amsterdam

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

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

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

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

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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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Kristin Kerr

Program Director

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

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

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

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

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Justine Mons

Program Director

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

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

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Justin Schaefer

Director – University Relations

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

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

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

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Lilian Trigo

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

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

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

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

Director of Academic Affairs

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


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


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

Presentations:

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

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

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

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

CEO & Chairman

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

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

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

HONORS/AWARDS

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

Associate Director of Custom & Faculty-Led Custom Programs
Jayna Winn oversees and manages CEA’s custom and faculty-led programming. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s onsite international staff, and in collaboration with the academic, program development, and university relations teams. Her team is responsible for partnering with university staff and faculty to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that support their specific learning outcomes and student population.
 
Jayna holds a Master of Arts in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Utah. Before joining CEA, she worked in the field as a Program Coordinator at MIIS and through consulting projects focused on program design and assessment. Additionally, Jayna spent five years managing international teams and partnerships for a digital marketing agency, where she developed an intercultural training program. Jayna is a member of NAFSA and has presented and facilitated at regional conferences.
 
Jayna has spent time working and/or studying abroad in Peru, Costa Rica, England, and India. An avid traveler, she has also had the opportunity to explore Australia and Israel, as well as several countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.
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Alvaro Sánchez

Program Director

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

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

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

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Silvia Martínez

Program Director

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

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

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

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

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Emily Schiavone

Center Director

With CEA since 2008, Emily Schiavone is responsible for the management and development of the Florence Study Center and all study abroad programs that it hosts. Since 2014, Emily has provided leadership and direct oversight to the Student Services team, and works closely with the Academic Director on academic matters regarding the Florence Center and partner institutions. 
 
Emily hails from northeast Ohio, and holds a BA in Art History from Carleton College and an MA in Italian Renaissance Art from Syracuse University. Two study abroad experiences in Florence prompted Emily to remain after her third stint abroad, and she has called Florence her permanent home since 2004. Before joining CEA, Emily worked at an American university in Florence, where she helped to create an archive and database of digital images for teaching purposes and travelled to towns in central Italy to teach students art and architectural history on-site.  
 

Emily’s life would not be the same had she not come to Florence as a university student.  She hopes that students embark their own journey with an open mind, preparedness for unpredictable situations, and confidence; attributes that allow students to discover new things about the world and about themselves. 

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Lilian Trigo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Center Director

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

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

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

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Victor Gonzalez

Center Director

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

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

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

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Maggie Banchs

Program Director

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

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

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

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

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Enric Figueras

Vice President, Spain

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

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

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

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

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Yan Liang

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

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

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

Program Director

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

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

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

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

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Thomas Fisher

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

Director of International Programs – France

As the Director of International Programs for France and Director for the CEA Paris Center, Alexandra is responsible for overall programming and operations for CEA sites in France, maintaining CEA standards across all educational programs. There's a lot to keep her busy on-site, including long and short-term Program Development, managing Finance and Human Resources, overseeing Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and working with students in and out of the classroom.

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

Before joining CEA, Alexandra started her career as a one-person office Program Coordinator for CAPA International Education in Paris, where she gained experience in hands-on programming. Through experience and professional development, Alexandra has taken a particular interest in questions of health & safety abroad, and how meaningful integration can help students better understand their host environment and, consequently, stay safer while studying and travelling abroad.

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

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

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

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

Program Director

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

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

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

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Francis Kelly

Center Director

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* European Association of Institutes of Education (EAIE)

* BUSINET

* ASAPI (American Study Abroad Providers Ireland)

* QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)

* The Marketing Institute of Ireland

Irish Council for Overseas Students

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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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Monica Francioso

Academic Director

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. 

Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis, which she is currently editing for publication, focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. 

Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. 

Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

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Cassandra Peacock

Program Director

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

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

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

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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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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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Jessica Hankiewicz

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

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

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

Senior Director of International Operations
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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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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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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Caitlin McCollum-Martinez

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

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Vanguard University
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Gracie Darland

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

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis)
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: French Riviera, France
Home University: Cedarville University
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Lillian Huckabee

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

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

University Partnerships Marketing Director

Michelle Williams is the Marketing Director for University Partnerships. She is responsible for developing and executing the B2B marketing strategy for CEA Study Abroad. Michelle partners closely with Enrollment, Product Development, University Relations, Internships, and onsite teams to leverage key insights and experience to drive growth across the organization. 

Michelle has over 19 years’ experience in higher education publishing, most recently at McGraw-Hill Education. Her love of learning combined with her experience in editorial, digital production, sales, and marketing infuses her work with passion and purpose.  

 

Michelle loves sharing the CEA story and looks forward to partnering with new colleges and universities to provide high quality international education opportunities to their students.

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Molly Hulsey

CEA MOJO Blogger in Galway, Ireland
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CEA Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Galway, Ireland
Home University: Covenant College
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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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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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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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student accounts Team

Amanda Moline

Site Specialist Team Lead

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

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

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

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Tristin Collins

Admissions Counselor Team Lead
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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Gina Mahfood

Director of Enrollment Services

As the 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 talent and drive to provide superior assistance and leadership within this organization. Gina has been working in education for over 15 years, with experience in admissions and enrollment, learning and educational development, and industrial and organizational improvements. Gina also took her passion for education a step further by co-authoring and designing a college textbook, which is used at colleges across the United States.

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

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

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Elizabeth Kather

Director of Health, Safety & Student Affairs

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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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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April Arrowood

Senior Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

April Arrowood is responsible for providing pre-departure support to students, family members, and university faculty and staff in her role as Senior Student Services Coordinator, Custom & Faculty-Led Programs. She enjoys collaborating with university partners and international staff to prepare students for their time abroad. Prior to joining the Custom Programs team, April gained six years of student advising and international education experience in multiples roles on the CEA Admissions team.  

April is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she double majored in Communications and Spanish Literature. During this time, she participated on a semester study abroad program in Alcalá de Henares, Spain to earn credits toward her Spanish degree. She has continued to travel the world since then visiting many countries in Europe and Latin America.  

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Adriana Gonzalez

Student Services Coordinator

Adriana was born and raised in Madrid, and relocated to Alicante to attend the Universidad de Alicante, where she majored in Tourism. She has a professional background in the tourism industry and has also worked in a university helping students to integrate to their new city. As a Student Services Coordinator in Alicante, Adriana advises students on issues related to student life, immersion, and cross-cultural information about the city, health and safety. She is responsible for day-to-day management of student services and for maintaining close contact with student families.

In her free time, Adriana enjoys learning new languages.
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Alyssa Jackson

Senior Site Specialist

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

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

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Natalia Cascante

Student Life Advisor

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

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

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

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Álvaro J. Sanjuán

Student Services Advisor 

Álvaro J. Sanjuán studied English Literature, History and Linguistics at University of Oviedo (Spain) and continued his studies on Applied Languages at Dublin City University (Ireland). After being an Art History professor in UNIPEC in Burgos (Spain) he worked as Web Manager and Community Manager until he began to collaborate for several years as a tour guide with CEA Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Coordinator. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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Jessica Walker

Senior 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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Cynthia Engel, MA

Director of Internships Abroad

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

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

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

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C. Thomas Whitehouse

International Director of Risk Management

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

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

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

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Giustina Pelosi

University Partnerships Manager, CEA Internships Abroad

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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Matthew Janus

Regional Director - West

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

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

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Alex Henderson, M.Ed.

Associate Academic Coordinator

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


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


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

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Camille Ivery

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

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

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

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

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

Senior 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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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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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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Jami Jaimes

Health and Wellness Advisor

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

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

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

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

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Damien Kelly

Assistant Director

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

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

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

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Jose Balza

Student and Academic Advisor

Jose has a BA in Communication from Arturo Michelena University in his home country Venezuela and is a TEFL certified instructor from the Hunter College of the City University of New York.

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

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

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Margit Pugh

Senior Program Coordinator

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

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

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Rebecca James

Regional Director - East

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

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

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

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

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

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Alyssa Wolk

Assistant Academic Coordinator

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


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


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


Did you know? Alyssa met her husband studying abroad!
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Sadi Foltz

Placement Operations Manager, Internships Abroad

Based in Phoenix, AZ, Sadi’s primary focus is to holistically prepare prospective internship students for their experience abroad. Through interview coaching, resume and cover letter reviewing, and goal-setting, she works closely with the International Placement Coordinators to align students’ internship placements with their goals and interests. She strives to make this process as comprehensive and seamless as possible.

Sadi hails from Washington State where she completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing Management. She earned her minor in Spanish Language & Literature while studying and volunteering abroad in Seville, Spain. She also earned a certificate in Career Coaching through NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers). Sadi brings experience in non-profit management and marketing to CEA to support the development of CEA Internships Abroad programs.

She has travelled, volunteered and studied throughout Europe, Africa, Australia and South America and she speaks conversationally in Spanish. Sadi’s passion for immersive travel experiences led her to the field of international education. She believes in creating meaningful opportunities that help us understand and support others, which is increasingly important as the world continues to be even more interconnected.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

NACE: National Association of Colleges & Employers


EDUCATION

BS, Business Administration, Marketing Management – Central Washington University

NACE Orientation to Coaching Certificate (2018)

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Michelle Esche

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Michelle Esche works closely with university staff and faculty, alongside CEA’s University Relations team and international Program Directors, to develop and facilitate high-quality custom programs that meet and support both university and student needs.  

 Michelle holds a Master of Arts in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from DePaul University. Before transitioning to her most recent role, Michelle was a CEA Student Services Coordinator for custom programs. In this role, she advised hundreds of students through the pre-departure process on topics such as course registration, visas, and housing selection.  

As an undergraduate, Michelle studied abroad through 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. 

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Letizia Ialini

Student Affairs Advisor

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

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

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

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Chiara Ortolani

Internship Programs Manager

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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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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Lauren Bates

Assistant Academic Coordinator

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

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

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

Assistant Director

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

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

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

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

Regional Director - Midwest

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators
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Christine Weiler

Internship Specialist

As an Internship Specialist, Christine’s main focus is to prepare prospective internship students for their experience abroad. Through interview coaching, resume and cover letter reviewing, and goal-setting, she works closely with the International Placement Coordinators to align students internship placements with their goals and interests, while appropriately setting expectations for their life abroad. Christine comes to the Internships Abroad team with over four years of experience within CEA-first as an Admissions Counselor and then, more recently, as a Site Specialist, helping students to prepare logistically and culturally for their upcoming study abroad experiences. She completed her undergraduate degree in International studies with a concentration in Africa and minor in Sociology from the College of Charleston, in Charleston, SC. Her study abroad experience took to spend a semester in Meknes, Morocco, but not before living in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for two years. She has travelled, volunteered and studied throughout Europe, Africa, and Central America and looks forward to expanding her horizons even further.

Christine grew up in a multi-lingual household, and is fluent in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic (Darija). After studying abroad, Christine dove head-first into international education by volunteering and interning at her study abroad office, which then brought her to CEA post-graduation. She believes in fostering students passion for travel and career development and is deeply invested in helping students to become more global citizens.

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Olivia Del Viscio

Program Development Coordinator

As the Program Development Coordinator, Olivia is responsible for supporting program development initiatives to align, grow, and expand CEA’s program portfolio. She works collaboratively with CEA’s Academic Affairs, University Relations, Enrollment, and Marketing teams, as well as the staff across CEA’s international locations, to accomplish this work. Her passion lies in creating accessible programming for students traditionally underserved in education abroad. 

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Prior to joining the Program Development team, she served as an Admissions Counselor in the CEA Enrollment department for just under two years. She has volunteered in various capacities for Lessons From Abroad and the Forum for Education Abroad. 

Olivia studied abroad in Rome, Italy as an undergraduate student. Other travels have brought her to the Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland, New Zealand, France, Mexico, Belize, and all throughout Italy.  

Organizational Affiliations: 

The Forum on Education Abroad: Diversity & Inclusion Resources & Website Working Group (2018-2019) 

Lessons From Abroad 

Education: 

BA: English Language major, Film & Media Studies minor – Gustavus Adolphus College 

NAFSA Education Abroad Certification (2017) 

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Caterina Marino

Student Services and Programs Manager

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

Senior Housing Coordinator

As CEA Seville’s Senior Housing Coordinator, Esther is responsible for managing all aspects of Center housing, including selecting and maintaining a network of relationships with local constituents to offer four different concepts of student housing.  She advises students on issues related to housing, the adaptation process, and making the most out of their study abroad experience. She also joins students and staff at social events, immersion activities, and daytrips.

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

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

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

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Sonia Priego

Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor

As a Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor, Sonia manages the Spanish language courses to ensure high academic standards and course quality, as well as students’ registration in Spanish courses at CEA and our partner universities. She also manages the tutoring program, and organizes and supervises cultural activities designed to enhance language acquisition. In addition, Sonia teaches several Spanish language courses.

Sonia was born and raised in Alcoy, Alicante, and graduated from the University of Alicante with a degree in Hispanic Philology. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and some French. After graduation, Sonia accepted a job teaching Spanish at a small high school in Massachusetts, an unforgettable experience for her. After two years in the U.S., Sonia returned to Spain in 2002 to begin an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as Second Language at the University of Barcelona, which is how she ended up in Barcelona. She has taught Spanish for various study abroad programs in Barcelona, as well as at ESADE Business School. In her free time, Sonia enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and traveling.

Sonia became involved in study abroad because her two years abroad showed her what an incredible experience it is to live in a different country. The time she spent in the U.S. helped her to understand the world—and herself—a bit better, and this is why she encourages her students to make the most of the wonderful opportunity they have to live and study abroad.

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Julieta Matilde Cecere

Program Advisor

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

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

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Lenka Vystrčilová, Ph.D.

Academic Director - Prague
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 - Barcelona

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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Alexandra Massini

Academic Director - Rome
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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Cristina Serrano-Baixauli

Student Life Advisor

As Student Life Advisor, Cristina will provide support in the planning and coordination of housing, activities, and trips, including the coordination of volunteering and internship placements. She will also act as a liaison regarding other aspects of student services onsite. Cristina will use her experience and her love for meeting people from different cultures & travelling to provide students the most supportive, enriching & successful time in Granada.

She studied abroad at Wilhelms-Wesfälische University in Münster, Germany. After graduation, Cristina worked in Germany for two years as a Spanish language assistant at Gymnasium am Krebsberg and Gymnasium am Steinwald, then taught Spanish in Poland for a year. She has also worked as a translator of scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals.

Cristina is from Valencia, and she holds a Degree in Translation & Interpreting from the University of Granada. She describes herself as a language enthusiast. In her free time, she loves reading, traveling, and learning languages.


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Sarah Becker

Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

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

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

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

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Veronika Gregorová

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

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

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

Manager of International Operations—Program Experience

As International Operations Manager at CEA, Carrie is responsible for collaborating across domestic and international departments to ensure consistency in the program experience and performance. She also works with international staff to improve program quality, enhance efficiency, and establish best practices.

Carrie partners closely with the Program Development team in the vetting and planning for new locations and project manages the transition from Development to International Operations.

With Enrollment Services and the University Relations sales teams, she collaborates on annual trainings and provides the onsite perspective and representation in developing sales strategies to meet annual enrollment goals. 

As the primary liaison for Amsterdam, Berlin, French Riviera, London, and Shanghai, Carrie assists international staff in these locations with program operations, domestic communications, and performance 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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Daniele Bini

Internship & Student Services Coordinator

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

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

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

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Andrea Masini

Senior Academic Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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Aranoa Roldan

Student Services Coordinator

Aranoa is responsible for the organization of students’ arrival, orientation, immersion activities, and excursions, along with every aspect of daily life in Seville that helps students immerse in the Spanish culture. She also coordinates the communication processes, resources, and health and safety services that CEA Seville provides for students.

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

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

Aranoa is grateful to have the opportunity to help students grow when they are challenged by cultural differences during their study abroad experience. It is always rewarding for her to lead students into a better global citizen version of themselves.

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

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Blanca Alvarez

Senior Academic Advisor

As a Senior Academic Advisor, Blanca works across different fields at CEA, including academic administration, teaching Spanish, and coordinating cultural activities. The combination of these three things allows Blanca to explore and develop her main passions: culture, arts, and languages.

Blanca was born in Salamanca, Spain, where she graduated from the University of Salamanca in English Philology and Art History. After finishing her degrees, she decided to pursue her education in Barcelona, where she earned a master’s degree in Art and New Media Curatorship at ESDI (Barcelona), qualification issued by Ramon Llull University.

Before Blanca joined CEA, she worked freelance in the cultural world for institutions such as Arts Santa Monica (Barcelona) and in the studio of the international artist Antoni Muntadas. She also taught Spanish to foreigners and designed cultural activities to connect them to the Spanish culture.

Her main interests lie in all the expressions of the artistic and cultural world, reading, cinema, and travelling around the world, when she has the chance. She also likes to design and curate art exhibitions, a hobby she combines with her present job.

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Anne-Cécile Couderc

Student Life Advisor and Instructor of French

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

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

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

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

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

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

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

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

* Pixel 4 – cahier d'exercices / Clé International

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

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Monica Francioso

Academic Director - Florence

Academic Director Monica Francioso joined the CEA Florence team in 2015, and is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of Florence academics including academic integrity, curriculum development, and faculty training and assessment. She serves as a leader for students and faculty, and her work ensures compliance with the standards established by our School of Record agreement with the University of New Haven. Monica holds regular on-campus office hours and is always happy to talk to students and faculty on academic matters, and to respond to all substantive inquiries and concerns. 

Monica obtained a BA in English and Russian from the Università degli Studi di Padova, an MA in English Studies, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis, which she is currently editing for publication, focuses on narrative theory in post-war Italy. She has published articles and books, both in Italian and English, on Celati, Calvino, Palandri, and migrant writers. 

Monica lived abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 13 years. Prior to joining the CEA Florence team, Monica held several teaching positions in Italian language, literature and culture at various higher-ed institutions, including Royal Holloway University of London, University of Durham, University of Bath and University College Dublin. She earned a CELTA certificate to teach English as a foreign and second language. She also taught English to students of all levels, preparing them for the Cambridge English exams. Monica also holds a DITALS II certificate to teach Italian as a foreign and second language, and she worked as a teacher trainer for the same program. 

Monica firmly believes in the importance of studying abroad as a means to broaden horizons and better oneself. Her experiences have shown her how enriching speaking/learning other languages and knowing other cultures can be. She believes she would be a different person today had she not experienced life abroad.

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Christopher Edwards

Academic Director - Paris

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

* Phi Beta Kappa

* APUAF : Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

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

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

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

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

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Mary Alice Soriero

Academic Director - Seville

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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Darragh O Briain

Academic Director - Dublin

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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Cecilia Benedetti

Student Services Advisor

As Student Services Assistant, Cecilia is the first point of contact for all students when entering the center. She supports them in their everyday requests, helping them make the most of their time abroad by assisting them on everyday questions, travel plans and even tips on the Roman culture. She considers this job very important and values the interaction with students as a great opportunity for cultural and personal enrichment.

Cecilia worked at CEA Rome as a University intern while getting her Master’s degree in Linguistics and American literature, before that she travelled extensively throughout Brazil, where she taught English and Italian to local students. She is passionate about foreign cultures and arts and in her free time she enjoys writing and talking about music and movies.

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Tommaso Bonaiuti

ACADEMIC & STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

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

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

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

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Cali Orr

Manager of International Operations—Program Administration

Cali Orr serves as one of CEA’s International Operations Managers, working across departments and locations to ensure memorable study abroad experiences. As an International Operations Manager, Cali focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of onsite policies and procedures.  

Cali has worked in international education and operations for the past seven years with a focus on streamlining interdepartmental operations. Her work has allowed her the opportunity to work onsite, 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 17 countries and strongly believes in the transformative power of study abroad.

Education:

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

Regional Director - Southwest

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

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

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

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

Academic Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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Marissa Racht Ryan

Student Services Assistant

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

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

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

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Shayna A. Trujillo, MA

Program Development Specialist

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

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

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

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

Education:

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

Organizational Memberships:

  • Global Leadership League
  • The Forum on Education Abroad

Selected Conference Presentations & Workshops:

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

 

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Alice Pagano

Student Services Assistant

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

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

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

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Carissa Williams Murray

Regional Director - Southeast

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

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

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

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

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

EDUCATION

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

Custom Programs Manager

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

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

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Sandra Tomás

Senior Student Services Advisor

Sandra is the primary contact for students in all issues related to student services. She keeps the Director informed and responds to student concerns in a timely manner. Sandra provides support to housing and academic coordinators and is responsible for assisting in planning and implementation. She also provides students with weekly email bulletins and supports students in their transition into the local environment.

Sandra was born in Brussels to Spanish parents. Thanks to her origins, she has always experienced the Spanish culture. After finishing her studies in 2001, she moved to the Catalan capital where she started her career in the tourism industry, working mainly for incoming travel agencies. She was also involved in projects for a European business women's association, financed by the European Commission.

Sandra earned a degree in Tourism at the Superior University School ISALT in Brussels and did a four-month internship in Barcelona during her last academic year. Sandra speaks Spanish, French, English, and Catalan.

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Isabelle Morin

Program Adminstrator

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

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

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

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Petra Mesiková

Program Administrator

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

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

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

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Eric Schueller

Regional Director - Great Lakes

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

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

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

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

Senior Program Administrator

As part of the Student Support Team, Mónica's role is to oversee and coordinate all logistics related to Student Services. She focuses on health and safety issues, acts as procedures and Health Services liaison, contributes to the organization and operation of student arrival and orientation, and to the execution and continuous improvement of the Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program. By creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Mónica works to ensure CEA students receive the quality assistance and guidance they need to make the most of their experience abroad.

Born in Barcelona, Mónica has spent time in England, France, and Morocco. While still in school, Mónica spent some months as a hotel trainee in Paris and rural England. It was here she discovered her love of travel and meeting people from different places. After finishing her studies, she worked in London's hotel industry. As a result of her interest in other cultures, she lived for a while in Fès (Morocco) doing volunteer work and learning about the Moroccan culture, language, and way of life. When she came back to Barcelona, Mónica worked as a group organizer and tour leader for incoming travel agencies.

Mónica earned a Tourism Degree at the University of Girona. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and French.

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Colin Maunoury

Program Advisor

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

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

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

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Natalie Hadwigerová

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

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

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

Housing Coordinator

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

Martin graduated from Anglo-American University with a B.A. degree in Politics and Society. During his studies, he worked as a personal fitness trainer and a marketing associate among other roles. He also has experience in the NGO sector, particularly with organizations promoting social responsibility and sustainable development.

He is interested in current affairs and follows various local and international media to stay updated on the latest news. His hobbies include playing games of all kinds, literature, and film. He also enjoys hiking and trekking. 

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Pavlína Müllerová

Internship and Custom Programs Advisor
As Internship and Customs Programs Advisor, Pavlína contributes to two agendas at CEA Prague: the internship program and custom programs. In the internship program, Pavlina works with CEA students and local host sites to ensure the most effective internship placements. For Custom Programs, she helps to implement activities and excursions and provides support to students and faculty onsite.

Pavlína graduated from Leiden University in the Hague with a B.A. degree in International Studies and a specialization in East Asia. During her studies she spent a semester abroad studying at Peking University in China, and she also spent some time in Taiwan and India through exchange and volunteering programs. She has been involved with different student organizations and NGOs, focused mainly on community outreach and human rights.

Pavlína is passionate about traveling, learning new languages, music, yoga, and exploring nature and hiking.

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Martin Brokeš

Internship Program Manager

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

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

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

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Alexis Jones

Regional Director – Central States

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

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

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

EDUCATION:

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

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Maria Mateu

Experiential Learning Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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Sean Williams

Regional Director – New England

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

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

Sean lives in the Boston area.

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Seth Weil

Regional Director - Mid-Atlantic

Based in Philadelphia, Seth works closely with university advisors, faculty, and staff to identify ways in which CEA can support campus internationalization efforts through study abroad programs, internships, and customized faculty-led programs.

Seth graduated from Juniata College with a B.S in Biopsychology and spent a semester of his junior year studying in Newcastle, Australia. He also participated in two short-term programs in the Dominican Republic and Cordoba, Argentina. Through these experiences, he developed a passion for working in International Education, wanting to provide these same experiences to other students. Seth has years of professional experience in education abroad administration, working in the areas of advising, program development and management, and university relations. 

Seth has traveled to over 18 countries and has been on every continent except Antarctica. His favorite experiences while traveling involve trying new cuisines and building a global network. Seth's advice for first time travelers is "Be open to new experiences, ask questions, and reflect on your experiences." 

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Laura Madden

Regional Director – West

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

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

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

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Steven Paschal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

Where do I even begin? My favorite course was Mass Media in London. Basically, the course was meant to compare the similarities and differences between American and British media. A lot of the class time was spent going on excursions around London and/or meeting people involved in the media. We got to speak with several impressive people who had a lot of great information for us! One of our more decorated lecturers was Josh Berger, the president of Warner Brothers Entertainment! This class definitely provided me with a more diverse network and a more confident approach to speaking with professionals. I also happen to major in Journalism, so studying media was right up my alley.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

I’ve grown up in Mississippi my entire life, and I now go to college in the same state. I haven’t ever experienced living anywhere other than Mississippi for periods longer than a week. Of course, I’d gone abroad before, but it was only ever with a guided tour and family members. Going abroad long term, completely alone, I’d never felt more like myself. I didn’t know a single soul coming into it, and I think that that was really good for me. It made me realize how small my worldview was, and it also made me appreciate what I had back at home. Of course I missed my friends and family, and of course I was excited to see them again, but actually being on my own for the first time ever was like a breath of fresh air. It put a lot of things into perspective.

 

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Abigail Haley

Alumni Ambassador
1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
During my first few weeks in Paris, I made sure to head out on my own as often as possible. This exercise in self-confidence had me learning the French language, style, and manner before ever even stepping foot in the classroom. As I adjusted to my new learning community I found the CEA Staff to be valuable resources for my cross cultural journey. They introduced me to places, dishes and activities that were beyond my knowledge as a traveller. I also developed some close relationships with fellow students who gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and into the local culture.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad (and my favorite course of my college career) was 19th Century Art: Impressionism and Post Impressionism. This art course was catered to the city, and often took place in museums, exhibitions and installations. This interactive way of learning made the city come alive. It reminded me that places at home are worth exploring as well, and gave me an appreciation for places and things I'd dismissed as mundane instead of familiar. This new perspective reinvigorated my passion for making the arts accessible for everyone; I enjoyed this class so much I want others to experience the same joy through learning.
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Abigail Haley

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Aileen Curley

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexa Davis

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

In my career, I know I will be able to adapt to situations more quickly after doing so abroad. Additionally, my classes in Spain all focused heavily on participation. I believe this will make me feel more comfortable participating in classes at home as well. Personally, I was able to learn a lot about myself and my independence in a different way than back in the United States. Being in a new country where I had to start from scratch with making relationships while going through a million changes taught me a lot about myself.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took a class that discussed the culture in Spain. This was very interesting because I would be able to experience and notice topics we spoke about in class as soon as I left my classroom. Additionally, the class made my experience feel even more immersive since I was experiencing the topics we spoke about in my every day life.

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Alexandra Harbour

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Alexandra Isabell

Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

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

 

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?

Honestly, because I can't stop thinking of Paris. I traveled from CEA in the Marais to CDG and home to the USA on May 11th, 2018. A year later I cannot be more gratful for my experience with CEA. I miss my professors and the material they taught with intention and passion. I miss doing something new, and something scary every single day, but having the best day ever. Since my time abroad, I find myself speaking about the experiences and the cultural value I have pulled from them constantly. I reccomend study abroad to every student I have the chance to and I would love to be able to do this more formally as an Alumni Ambassador for CEA. Lastly, I want to be an Alumni Amabssador because I want to put the 1,000s of brilliant photographs I took abroad to use and share more of my insight with future CEA students.

 

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Alexis O'Sullivan

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

While abroad, I had an internship. Through my boss, a Parisian native, I was able to learn the best spots to eat and shop. By getting insight into their food and fashion, I was able to better understand the local culture. I also loved to sit at a cafe, people watching and practicing my French with the waiters. Observing Parisians from a cafe, a quintessential part of Parisian culture, helped me immerse myself in my new home.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experienced has shaped me both professionally and personally. It inspired me to take a position at the study abroad office at my college so I can help others have the same incredible experience that I did. It has helped me on job interviews because I have many unique experiences to discuss It also helped challenge me to be more responsible and independent. It made me more comfortable with being myself and doing things on my own.

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Alexis Yvonne Prather

CEA MOJO Videographer

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

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

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

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


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Alice Corcoran

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alice Johnson

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

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Experiencing the local culture abroad started with getting to know my host family, asking questions about their day to day lives in Seville, the traditional cuisine and the holidays they celebrate. Additionally, I attempted to be involved in school activities as much as possible, I joined a recreational volleyball team at UPO there I met a lot people including some local people who were from Seville who became my friends and intercambios. Lastly, I made sure I attended local festivals like Semana Santa and Feria this is where I was able to really immerse myself in the local culture.

2.  Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

During my time here in Seville I had time to think about how I would like to leverage my experience abroad, one of the ways I would like to do this is encourage other students study abroad, especially students of color and low-income students. I think study abroad is something more students should experience in college. I would like to be a resource for other students who are considering studying abroad.

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Alison Heywood

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Allie Goodman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Alyssa Roby

Student Services Coordinator - Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

Alyssa works on the Custom Programs team, which organizes unique study and internship abroad programs for CEA’s U.S. university partners. Alyssa has worked in higher education in many different capacities, including as a study abroad advisor at Northern Kentucky University and as a program manager for a science outreach initiative at Arizona State University. Alyssa studied abroad in Russia while pursuing a degree in biology and international studies, using funding from scholarships offered by the United States Departments of State and Homeland Security, for which she has since served as a judge and reader. She is passionate about helping students find creative ways to fund their international education and make the most of their time abroad. She had a life-changing experience while studying abroad and wants other young people to have the same opportunity.

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Amanda Platt

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Amanda Vecchio

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San José 
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Ana Lopez Martos

Student Life Advisor

Ana is from Granada, and she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation & Interpreting and a Master's Degree in Events Management from the University of Granada. She studied abroad in Rouen, France, and later she worked for a year as Spanish language assistant in Perpignan.

Ana has also worked as an international patient welfare officer at different hospitals in Granada, and she has a lot of experience organizing national and international events, such as conferences and music festivals.

Passionate about culture and possessing excellent communication skills, Ana will do her best to provide students with the most supportive, enriching, and successful time in Granada.

As Student Life Advisor, Ana will assist with the planning and execution of CPs in all aspects related to student services onsite.

 

 

 

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Anastasia Kingsley

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

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Andrea Vazquez

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Andrew Mantone

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: San Jose
Home University: Philadelphia University
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Andrew Tognolini

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

From the get go, my roommates and I wanted to become genuine parts of the community and feel like Florence was truly our home. Every Tuesday we would walk to the market in our neighborhood Porto al Prato and thrift, shop for chicken eggs and vegetables, and get spicy porchetta sandwiches from the same people every week. Each week our Italian got better and we built friendships with the stall owners. Most importantly, we were never afraid to walk the unbeaten path and go out of our way to immerse ourselves in the colorful community Florence has to offer.

2. What are your best tips for practicing language while abroad? 

The best way to learn Italian for us was shopping in local markets in our neighborhood, going to authentic restaurants, and interacting with locals in as many ways as possible. The staff in Florence gave us recommendations and encouraged us to spend our time in Florence like locals and with locals. You need to constantly be around the language to absorb it. Almost everyday we would go to the park to play soccer with locals and learn language and connect through one of the few things that translates over all languages, sports. At the same time our Italian soccer teammates would teach us words in Italian regarding sports and just everyday things.
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Angela D'Amato

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced many cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K.. Some of those differences I found while I was in London include drinking tea, differences in words, the quietness of British people, the amount of drinking, etc. For the most part, I was not surprised by these cultural differences because I had and have family who live in London and have gone there a few times before. However, I did start assimilating to some cultural norms, such as drinking tea. I was never a fan of tea until I went to London and almost everyone British person would offer me to. From then on, tea became a part of my every day routine. Drinking was also something that I knew about but I did not know the extent to which it went. My internship would have work related events where people would get so drunk that they would go to the hospital or pass out at the event. I have never been a big drinker, so no matter where I went I limited how much I drank but I assimilated to the cultural norm. These are just some examples of how I experienced the local culture while studying in London.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experienced changed me for the better. I became so much more open as a person when I didn’t used to be before. In London, many of the students would strive up conversations with me without even knowing me and that boosted a lot of my confidence. Also, have an internship and being in a professional setting allowed me to open up, as well. Career wise, the fact that I did an internship abroad will definitely look good on my resume. Just the fact that I studied abroad will look good on my resume. This will make my internship search a whole lot more easier because I have differentiated myself from 95% of the other applicants.

 

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Anna Sullivan

Alumni Insider

1.How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Whether it was walking alongside Galway's lively Shop Street or exploring nearby abandoned castles, I made a goal for myself to find the hidden gems of the city. I also sought out recommendations from my Irish housemates and from other locals to immerse myself in the culture.

 

2. What do you had wish you'd known before going abroad?

Before studying abroad I wish I would have known the amount of on-site support CEA provides. In Ireland, my on-site director held multiple events for our group to bond and he was able to be contacted at anytime. He provided enough support for all of his students to feel comfortable exploring the local culture while providing resources in case we were homesick and to learn about the Irish culture.

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Annalise Pownall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Annie Myers

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Aron Finholt

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Ashleigh Litcofsky

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I love experiencing other cultures. Also, I'm studying International Relations, so going to a different country allows exposure that will apply what I'm learning.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Aix-en-Provence is the city I chose to study in because of its culture, charm, and history. For an artist, the ability to see where Cezanne lived and worked is an amazing opportunity. Additionally, Aix itself is so charming with its cobblestone streets and old architecture. It's also exciting to be so close to the Mediterreanean Sea, as I have never been to the south of France.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm most looking forward to daily life in France as well as the weekends. I'm hoping to adapt to french life through things like the markets and language. On the weekends, I'm excited to be able to visit the surrounding areas of France as well as the countries that border it.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Some passions of mine are painting and poetry. I love to recreate landscapes and subjects on a canvas with just a paintbrush and some paint. Similarly, I love being able to use a pencil and paper to write my thoughts in an artistic way.


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Ashley Cooper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Becky Fox

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course was Cultural Values & Stereotypes: Spain & the U.S. This being partly because of the course but mostly because of the teacher. Mary Alice organized it in a way for us to discuss what we're observing. We were taught concepts and theories, but most of the class involved discussions. I learned a lot about the culture in Sevilla, in Spain, and around Europe. We would start every class, with the question, “Did anyone encounter an interesting cultural experience?” This allowed us to really think about what we were encountering and ask ourselves why we thought it was different. I loved comparing stories with everyone in the class and learning about the small cultural differences we probably wouldn’t have noticed, if not being asked this question. This class was something spectacular. I am a Sociology major, meaning a lot of my classes delve into other cultures and people. Though, I have not been a part of a class as successful as this one. Yes, I was physically in another culture but it was more than that. We were taught to be global compassionate citizens and to really appreciate the differences we were encountering, whether we liked them or not.
2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad with CEA?  
There is a lot I would say but first, I would talk about the staff and especially the on-site staff I had. I was blown away with the help I got before I left, and even more blown away with the assistance I got while in Spain. Not only did our on-site staff care about making sure we could get around and have our things in order; they cared about us. I was greeted warmly every day by our on-site staff and they were likely to strike up a conversation with you about how you were doing or what your plans were for the weekend. We had our CEA excursion to Morocco. This trip opened my mind and my heart to the cultures around me, even those I might haven’t even known existed. If it wasn’t for CEA I wouldn’t have had this opportunity, and if it wasn't for our staff it wouldn't have been as special. They knew just how to prepare us and pose questions we could really think about, while we were there. Overall, I would express my gratitude for CEA and the unique sense of family I got while being a part of this program.
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Benjamin Lewis

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

Without a doubt, my favorite course was España y Los Españoles (Spain and the Spanish People). Foremost, I can attribute this to the insights it provided me. We covered a wide array of subjects from national politics, to the cultural shifts Post-Franco. I began to explore Spanish musicians we had heard in class and could actively participate in conversations with locals about the current state of the country. Our instructor would make sure we took this knowledge outside of the classroom as well and assigned projects that required us to team up and explore new parts of the city to share with the rest of the class. I felt that without this class my experience would have been lacking. In addition to the background knowledge this course put me in a great position to hone my Spanish skills as well. The class was quite small, just six people including myself, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It was a Spanish only course and therefore I was in a position to not only learn grammar, but to engage in extended conversations.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My experience abroad will have a positive impact on my professional endeavors, but still this comes second to the feeling of personal development this trip provided me. This was the first time I was truly independent, farther than a hour from home, and in the position to dictate everything about my day to day experiences. The prospect of both being in a major city, but also one that did not speak my native tongue, made anything else I had to face at home seem like childs-play. I came home feeling much more emboldened and confident, ready and willing to take on whatever challenge came my way. Though my repeated successes in these day to day challenges it built me up to feel that I was in a position to handle anything.

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Benjamin Shoemaker

Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course was my computer engineering class. It's one of those classes that you know has been gifted by the lucky stairs: the teacher is nice, you enjoy the class, and you clearly just met your new best friend from Germany.

2.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
Personally, my study abroad experience has shaped me to be a dynamic person that is no longer stagnant on the whistle blow. It has taught me that when they raise that whistle, you have to be ready to go.
As for my career, it has definitely taught me to be a better leader. Leading a class exercise is one thing, but navigating Prague decisively and clearly with the people in your group is a whole other challenge and I am proud to usefully bring that to the table at any job.
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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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Bonnie Cash

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Brianna Bence

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course by far was International Marketing with Damien Kelly. Our class was relatively small with about twelve students, and not only was the course extremely interesting, but he made it so much fun. Marketing is my field of study, and as I am interested in the international workplace, this course made sense for me to take. Not only did I learn so much, but I was challenged with real-world situations to think through and activities and field trips with the class that made the information stick so well. One day we just went to a nearby store and answered questions about how it was set up and the marketing they used, while another day we played a "game" for the entire class about trading and using resources and time wisely in order to gain an advantage. Although we worked hard and had multiple presentations and exams, I learned so much more about marketing, and am so grateful for the lessons learned through International Marketing.

2. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad

Two days after arriving in Dublin, I visited a local church right in the city, and this ended up being an incredible way to experience the local culture and immerse myself in the Dublin way of life. Most Sundays I ended up spending at least half the day with these new friends, many of whom had lived in Ireland their entire lives. We would go to pubs, have a backyard barbecue, see a new Irish movie, and explore the local restaurants and cities. This was an amazing way to get a view into the life of a Dubliner and to get to live alongside them as well. One of my friends and I also decided to set up a weekly "tea time" in the city, and by the end of the semester we had been able to visit eleven different tea shops throughout Dublin. Tea is a huge part of the Irish culture, and this was a really neat and unique way to be a part of it and feel like a local as we sipped our pots of tea and bit into our fresh scone with butter and homemade jam. One of my favorite things to do on nice days was simply to take a walk to Phoenix park and join the families, couples, and students on the grass and bring a book to read or study. Little things like these made me feel so much more at home in my new environment, and it helped me adapt so quickly to the Irish culture.

 

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Bridgette Stolyar

Alumni Ambassador

1. What do you wish you had known before going?

Have. No. Expectations. Your experience will be a thousand times more positive if you aren't anticipating what almost every single person anticipates: "Oh my gosh, will it be the best time of my life or will I struggle to find friends and feel lonely?" That is not something to worry about at all! Once you allow yourself to be open-minded and receptive to friendly people, making friends and enjoying the culture only gets easier and easier. Studying abroad is the most beneficial thing you can do for your individual character, just relax!!!!

 

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

Studying abroad will give your life a whole new meaning with different experiences, memories, hardships and successes. Studying abroad with CEA will make your journey smooth as butter, as they will help you with every single step, including assistance with courses at your home university, provide your housing options, and offer scholarships to help with your finances. Beyond that, CEA makes being alone in a foreign country less stressful at the host-country by helping you get acclimated to your neighborhood and the city, plans incredible trips that are included in your tuition, and the on-site staff is always ready to answer any possible question you could have!

 

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Brigid Nealon

Alumni Ambassador
1. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad?
I decided to study in Aix-en-Provence to improve my French language skills. Every time I stepped out the door, I was immersed in the French culture, language, and lifestyle. I ate French food, spoke with French people, and shopped in French stores. I had the incredible opportunity to authentically live a lifestyle other than the one I was so comfortable living in.
2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?  If you are ready for an adventure far out of your comfort zone, study abroad is for you. If you want to improve your language skills, study abroad is for you. If you want to expand your knowledge, study abroad is for you. You will learn about the world and about who you are. It is challenging, but worth it. The more you put into your experience, the more you will take away from it.
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Brittany Fernandes

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Prior to my study abroad experience, I always pursued unfamiliar endeavors with an undercurrent of uncertainty. Throughout this semester, each endeavor I pursued moved me further outside the bounds of my comfort zone. These experiences helped me to develop confidence and a sense of independence. I also saw myself adapting and being flexible in the face of unforeseen events, whereas in the past it could be a source of concern. Through the immersive experience of my home stay, I was able to experience French culture directly and improved my French fluency. The exposure to different perspectives through my classes at SKEMA and my home stay allowed me to develop tolerance and open-mindedness. Each opportunity allowed me to ask the questions necessary to understand the perspectives that led to the different interpretations. These various traits are invaluable to a current job seeker within any career field.

 

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

Selecting CEA as your study abroad provider allows the necessities to taken care of. CEA provides guidance over the course of your application, program acceptance, and during your time spent abroad. Through CEA, the housing options are situated relatively close to areas frequented by the area’s locals and the area’s student population. The CEA organized excursions that will offer participants the opportunity to visit regional sites of interest that may be more difficult for students to visit independently. The Program Director is also an amazing resource if problems occur or if you have any questions. When I mentioned my interest in volunteering within the community, our Program Director was able to introduce me to an organization’s local director. I was able to start the following week! CEA is a provider that will get you situated in your study abroad location. Throughout the semester, you will constantly have access to resources and professional staff who will help you make the most of your experience!

 

 

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Brogan Zochert

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Brynn Motal

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Caitlin Cain

Alumni Ambassador

1. What do you wish you had known before going?

One thing I wish I had known before studying abroad would be to really make sure you are financially secure and really plan a budget for your trip. Bigger cities in Europe are very expensive and while you will encounter very cheap flights and suddenly you want to travel everywhere every weekend, you have to take into account how much actually being in the cities (fun, food, hostels, transportation) is going to cost. Those things add up quickly. Nearing the end of our study abroad my roommate, who did not budget efficiently enough at the beginning of our trip, ended up running out of money and had to cancel trips and stop going out around Sevilla with us because she could no longer keep up with the payment schedule she had set up with CEA. Before you go abroad look at the higher end of the budget that CEA gives on the website and shoot for that. Pick out the top places you would want to travel to and plan a budget accordingly.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me into a more confident, independent, and capable person. It helped me improve my skills with intercultural and cross-cultural communication as well as with my language skills. Because I was living in a complete different country in a completely different culture, I feel I am able to problem solve faster and more efficiently using different methods and have found myself to be way more adaptable than I was before. I have been able to find my way around foreign countries alone with a language barrier, with little knowledge of the customs, where I did not know a single person, and I was robbed or lost. As I would like to be a study abroad advisor as my career learning to communicate effectively across cultures and to learn a language and just being apart of a study abroad program including all the traveling I did was extremely helpful to my future career goals.

 

 

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Caley Griebenow

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I knew I wanted to study abroad during my time in college. I'm so excited to see another part of the world and really expand my worldview. Living far from home is equally scary and exhilarating!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Prague checked all the boxes for me: major European city (hello travel-filled weekends), the program had offered the classes I still need, and it's stunning all year round.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Meeting new people and making unforgettable memories as I explore new places.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I write for my school's fine arts magazine, I have a dog with one eye and I'm related to Jimmy Fallon.


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Cali Fisler

Site Specialist

My Mom always emphasized memories over material things and instilled my love for travel at a young age. During my last semester of college, she encouraged and helped me pursue the amazing opportunity to intern and study abroad in Dublin, Ireland with CEA. I worked at The Rediscovery Centre, a small environmental sustainability non-profit, as a Marketing and Events Intern. I also attended the International School of Business and was a CEA MOJO Photojournalist. I made memories with friends at school and work from all across the world that I will cherish for a lifetime.

I was raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, and born and raised a Wildcat (Bear Down). I earned my Bachelor in Science in Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona at Eller College of Management. During college, I volunteered regularly, worked as a photographer for my school, attended all the ZonaZoo events I could, and started my own photography business, Cali Fisler Photography. I love photography, hiking, yoga, cooking, and experiencing new adventures!

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Portugal, the Bahamas, and all around the USA! I work at CEA as a Site Specialist to help students experience working and studying in another country.

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Camille Norton

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course abroad? 

Photography or Global Environmental Politics. I loved my photography professor and truly appreciated her direct feedback, honesty, and above and beyond willingness to help. I went into that class a complete amateur and left feeling confident that I, at least, understood the concepts and principles of photography as well as really knowing my camera. As for Global Environmental Politics, as an Environmental Issues minor, I really appreciated this diverse and eye-opening perspective on this topic. It was hefty reading and a lot of in-class discussions but very thought-provoking and opened my mindset which ultimately will make me more understanding and effective as a communicator. 

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

My experience with the southern French culture was extraordinary. I made sure to go out of my way to meet French students and engage in their lifestyles. I made a ton of friends and learned so much about their habits and routines. From the way in which students interact to Cafe Culture to la bise, the everyday culture of these French students, I felt became my own. I regularly met with students from le FAC between classes and got coffee or lunch. I went out on the weekends with them for aperitifs, to the bars, and out to the local clubs. The nightlife culture in France is so different and something I really appreciated. The students were very welcoming and wanted to mix between speaking English and French so we could all improve our skills. Overall, an amazing experience.

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Cara Stevens

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Caroline Skinner

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I've known I wanted to study abroad since the first time I visited Europe when I was 15. Each of my older brothers spent a summer in college traveling Europe, and had nothing but great things to say. The only regret they expressed was not committing to a full semester. I also really want to become fluent in Spanish.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Spain because of my Spanish minor. I then narrowed my choices to Alicante after deciding I wanted a smaller, costal city that speaks little English. I live on the coast of Florida and I felt the beach would help me feel less homesick.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to everything about the spring semester, but especially getting out of my bubble and experiencing new cultures. I have yet to experience anything more exciting than visiting a new country for the first time.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
My major is Retailing, in hopes of being a buyer in the future, but after finishing my career in fashion I hope to teach English as a Second Language to spanish-speaking children! Also, I'm writing this in the airport on the way to San Diego!! #travels


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Caroline Thompson

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has gone beyond shaping career or personal aspects of my life —it has shaped my life as a whole. All exaggerations aside, being abroad was an eyeopening revelation, unfolding a plan for my life. I have come to realize that study abroad is not a mere phase in my life, rather something to which I want to dedicate my lifestyle. Various cultures are my passion, and Spain has my heart. My perspective on the world has broadened, and I see life from a worldly viewpoint instead of my narrowed, small-town mindset. Studying with CEA in Seville, being my second time studying abroad, has cultivated a passion within me for studies abroad. Therefore, I have come to realize that this is not the end of my journey through studies abroad, and I would like pursue an opportunity to teach abroad following my undergraduate degree. Furthermore, being an international studies and Spanish double major, I now hope to work for a study abroad program, such as CEA, in the future, inspiring others to find their passions through studies abroad as well.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad?

Although I can undoubtedly say that I thoroughly enjoyed each course that I took abroad, my favorite course was the one class that I took with CEA––The Culture of Food and Wine in Spain. This course encompassed more than merely the study of food and wine in Spain; rather, we learned extensive history behind the culture of Spain, leading to the development of such food and wine. The class took numerous excursions around the city to places such as Las Setas, El Mercado de Triana, and the Archivo de Indias, allowing us to see first-hand such historical sites. Additionally, the course took a hands-on learning approach when we took a cooking class right across from the Cathedral, creating local tapas of Seville such as salmorejo and tortilla de patatas. On top of everything, the course was taught completely in Spanish, which aided in my language acquisition skills, and it was taught by the kindest professor who was born and raised in Seville, adding to the authenticity of the course. Overall, I learned not only about local food and wine within Spain, but also about the ancient history of the culture of this long-established country.

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Cate Lewellyn

Alumni Ambassador
1.  What are your tips for learning the language? 
I would recommend that US students try to interact with the local students. It may be difficult to put yourself out there, especially with the language barrier, but you could make a lifelong friend while improving your language skills. Additionally, I would recommend living with a host family. Although I enjoyed the apartment I stayed in, living with fellow Americans does not give you as much of a daily opportunity to practice speaking a foreign language as a host family would.
2. What would you say to students considering studying abroad with CEA? 
You should study abroad with CEA because they have the best resources. Whether it be help with your student visa, questions about local culture, or program costs, there is always someone readily available to help. CEA Alicante was a smaller group of students, which I liked better because I got to know everyone really well. CEA helps create a home away from home for you, something that other programs sometimes don't get right.
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Catherine Fiore

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I am constantly in search of my next adventure and studying abroad offers the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and expand my worldview. I have had very few opportunities for international travel and am now hungry to soak in an entire semester worth.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
My family roots tie back to Ireland, so I fell in love with the idea of going back and getting a chance to truly live there, not just visit. In addition, the opportunity to take classes as an international student at the National University of Ireland - Galway (NUI Galway) was an incredibly attractive factor, as it offered the opportunity to fully immerse myself as a student.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting people from a wide variety of backgrounds and picking up on small cultural habits that only make themselves evident when you live there.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Any time of the year you can find me searching high and low for the best ice cream shops and bakeries in town. If I cannot find the dessert I'm craving, I try to make it. 17% chance of it going horribly wrong but a 100% chance of funky playlists playing in the background. I love to stay active by playing soccer, going for hikes, swimming or kayaking (I have to offset the desserts somehow). Overall, you can find me just hoping to make the most out of every day!


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Catherine Pierce

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I wanted to study/intern abroad to improve my Spanish language skills, cultural competency, and acquire meaningful work experience.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am obsessed with every aspect of southern Spain. The Moorish architecture, food, flamenco, and people.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm looking forward to learning Spanish fluently and becoming a real Andalusian!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love going dancing with friends, playing volleyball and solo traveling. My biggest accomplishment travel-wise is definitely finding my way off of Ibiza after getting my documents stolen.


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Celia Skvaril

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Chandler Stroh

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Christopher Young

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Cierra Wilson

Enrollment Support Specialist

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

I knew I would want to continue to be a part of international education in some way, and a few months after returning to the states, I had the opportunity to intern with CEA twice. A few years later, I have found my way back as a full-time employee and now support our Enrollment Department. As an Enrollment Support Specialist, I accept students into our programs, serve on the Scholarship Committee, and assist with our student visa process. I enjoy nothing more than being a part of the process to assist students in embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives. One day, I hope to live in Europe full-time, but for now, I am enjoying Arizona’s sunshine.

In my free time, I enjoy playing Pokemon Go and disc golf, going to Indie & Alternative rock shows, spending time with family, and, of course, traveling!

 

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Corey Swafford

Admissions Counselor

Corey’s first brush with international travel took her to Germany the summer after high school graduation, and after falling in love with German culture, she knew travel would forever be a big part of her life.

At Virginia Tech, Corey studied International Politics and the German language. Because of her German major, she studied abroad for one year in Munich, Germany and traveled throughout Europe. In total, she visited 26 countries. Upon graduation, she was selected to be an English Teaching Assistant in Madrid, Spain, where she lived for two years. This teaching experience inspired her to complete a master’s degree in International Education at the Universidad de Alcala. From flamenco shows and tapas to Oktoberfest and hiking in the Alps, Spain and Germany will always have a special place in Corey’s heart.

As an Admissions Counselor, she helps students decide which study abroad program is the best fit for them. In this role, She is able to work with students every day, as well as share her experiences abroad with them.

Outside of CEA, Corey enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and exploring her new home city, Phoenix! 

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Courtney King

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad to experience a new culture. I am also excited to meet new people and learn new things. Because I go to school in Alabama, I am ready to be in a new city with lots of stuff to do!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Barcelona not only because of the amazing weather and beaches, but because I want to expand my Spanish language skills.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to meeting new people and traveling to different countries around Europe. The culture and architecture in Barcelona are also supposed to be beautiful, so I am excited to take it all in. The food is also something I look forward to trying because I am a huge foodie!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Hanging out with friends, writing, shopping, going to the gym, eating.


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Cristi Pontius

Admissions Counselor

I am an Arizona native and deeply in love with the scenic views Arizona has to offer. I grew up as the oldest of three, who always wanted to leave Phoenix behind. When I was growing up, my family spent their summers traveling the country and exploring all that the US and Canada have to offer. As a result, by the ripe age of 16, I had visited 49 out of 50 states! As a high school student in Peoria, I got the opportunity to study abroad in Paris. I spent part of a summer living with a family and exploring.

I went to Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in History. I took a small break during my undergraduate program to try living outside of Arizona. I spent three great years living in Seattle, Washington. I gained my independence and saw what there was outside of Arizona. I ultimately came back to finish my degree. After earning my BA, I spent 5 ½ years, gaining experience in program coordination and volunteer management. During that time, I returned to ASU to earn a Master’s in Sustainability Leadership, where I learned how to motivate companies to create a culture of change.

I was drawn to CEA because of my love to travel and encouraging others to try new experiences! As an Admissions Counselor, I am able to work with students and help them make plans to achieve their goals. The world is so large and has so much to offer. It is a lot of fun to work in a position that allows me foster other’s sense of expl
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Dalia Bussell

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Dana Fazziola

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Daniel Lesser

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Danny Pasternak

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Darby Hennessey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Delaney Bresnahan

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While I was studying abroad in Seville, Spain, I had the opportunity to experience the local culture through its people, food, and traditions. From both the small interactions I had on the street to the deep conversations I had with my host mom, I got to catch a glimpse into the lives of the local people. I took a course that was solely about the culture of Seville, and it was amazing to approach it from an academic standpoint as well. I also experienced the culture through Spain’s food and traditions. Staying with a host mom allowed me to taste the authentic flavors of a home-cooked Spanish meal and I even got to take a cooking class to learn specific techniques. While I was in Seville, the city hosted its two largest week-long events of the entire year—Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Feria de Abril. These two weeks are identifying characteristics of Andalusian culture. During the two different festivals, I was fortunate to have locals take me under their wing and show me how to appropriately approach and participate in the festivities. These glimpses into the culture are my most valued take-away of the entire semester.

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

I would love to be a CEA Alumni Ambassador so that I can be a bridge between students at my university and the best experience of their lives. I am extremely passionate about study abroad and I couldn’t have been happier with my experience because of CEA. I would love to tell others about that experience while simultaneously advising and guiding them from the perspective of an individual who was in their exact same place. I remember meeting the CEA Alumni Ambassador at my school right before applying to go abroad and she was such a great encouragement to me that I was making the right choice. Even since returning home from my semester abroad this spring, I have had someone reach out to me about my specific program looking for advice and recommendations for when she applies. I loved guiding her and giving her further information and direction. To be able to partner with CEA in this role would help me to find more students and increase CEA’s reach at my university and beyond. I believe in CEA’s mission and would love to be a part of it moving forward.

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Delaney Bresnahan

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Destiny Evans

Alumni Ambassador
1.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
I am more outgoing and not so timid after going abroad. I feel like now I have more of a voice and opinion.

2. What are your tips for practicing the language?
Try your hardest to not speak your native language, switch your phone to the language that you're practicing.
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Dominique Cornacchia

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

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

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Elena Piech

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Eliza Jason

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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Ellie Barton

Alumni Relations Associate

As the Alumni Relations Associate at CEA, Ellie Barton works with the rest of the Alumni Relations team to help recruit Alumni Ambassadors to spread the word about their study or internship abroad experiences on campuses around the country.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Ellie received her B.A. in English with a minor in politics from Sewanee: the University of the South. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education Administration with a focus on Student Access and Success from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the university relations team, Ellie worked as a Travel Program Assistant at The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, where she helped to plan, promote, and sell over 100 domestic and international trips for Michigan alums a year.

Ellie understands the value of international education, after studying abroad three times in her academic career! Whether honing her Spanish skills in Ecuador, learning about politics and media in the United Kingdom, or studying post-apartheid educational efforts in South Africa, Ellie’s experiences inspired her to pursue a career in student development, especially as it relates to out of classroom practices. Next on her travel bucket list? Singapore, Colombia, and Italy!

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Ellie Pomer

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Personally, I feel this experience has helped me become much more independent than I anticipated. I have become more securely based in myself, knowing more things I can do and shouldn't be worried about. 
 

I am quite an anxious person who worries much more than I need to, so flying to a different country on my own for just over four months was a big jump for me. Having done something like this and really put myself out there has boosted my confidence and enhanced my life all around. Because of this, I want to help people with similar concerns or issues know that they can do it too.

2. What are your best tips for practicing the language while abroad? 

I was very nervous about the language barrier before going abroad because I have studied Spanish for a number of years, but still did not feel secure enough to call myself fluent or even close to fluent. Once I arrived, it was great to have the site specialists and teachers encourage Spanish speaking, but it is true that everyone is at different levels. There will be at least one person who knows more of that language than you, but there also will be at least one person who is less comfortable with the language than you are. 

I would recommend taking advantage of the professors and cite specialists knowing the language and practice with them whenever possible - even in small conversations. A great help that is still continuing for me now is also making friends with locals. I am still continuing to work on my Spanish as I keep in touch with friends from back there.

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Emilija Razma

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Emily Durant

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Emma Hammerson

Alumni Ambassador
1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 
While abroad I truly immersed myself. I am fluent in Spanish and that aspect definitely contributed to my immersion in Spain. I would go to coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants frequently and just sit and try and talk to the waiters and servers to get to know the area and locals. Additionally, I lived in a "casa" and therefore we had house parents. I would talk to them often and always asked about Sevillano life, customs, and traditions. Lastly, I took most of my classes at the Universidad de Sevilla and there I introduced myself to the Spanish students and made friends with quite a few of them which helped me get to know the local culture.
2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was Women in Art which I took at the University of Sevilla. This class was my favorite for a multitude of reasons. My professor was passionate about art and all of the artists we learned about. My class was small, and therefore more intimate, and it was more discussion-based which really helped my speaking skills. Additionally, my professor took us on field trips once a week around Sevilla and pointed out all of the different aspects of art in the city. We also went to different museums, like Bellas Artes, and I loved having someone help me understand the art in the museum. I would recommend it to anyone!
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Emma Kilvin

Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has shaped my life in an abundance of ways, some as simple as missing a specific kind of European soda and some ways that are much more significant. I feel as if I gained a more expansive world view, one that allows me to better understand the decisions and relationships that my home country has with the rest of the world. My study abroad experience also gave me a better insight on how the rest of the world views Americans, and this is something that impacts my day to day life.

 

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Esther Yoo

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

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Frances Mylod-Vargas

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Gabrielle Ciuteikis

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Outside of attending university at the University of Seville, I was able to maximize my experiences in Seville thanks to the CEA staff. Living with a host family was a great option for me. Every evening we would eat dinner together. This gave us an opportunity to talk about our daily experiences, and also to share our hidden gems of the city. My host-mother would often take us out to “tapear”, to have tapas, several times during the semester. Each time we went out, I let her order what she knew was good at these specific places. Her daughter also introduced me to leisure activities including snowboarding. It was mind-blowing to find out that the Sierra Nevada was only a couple hours away from Seville. These little experiences accumulated to one beautiful cultural immersion. 
 
I also made friends at “intercambio sessions”, where Spanish university students came to the CEA center to practice their English while we practiced our Spanish. It was a pleasant way to make Spanish friends, since it may be difficult to do so sometimes. My “intercambio” friends were very welcoming in Sevilla. They showed their local perspective of the city. There were many times where we would just get a tapa, or enjoy a walk in the park while practicing Spanish! I learned so much history about Seville’s customs and traditions through my friends and was fortunate enough to experience Holy Week and Fair of Seville with them. Since these two holidays are the most important in Seville, it was nice to learn more about these traditional holidays from Sevillens themselves. 
 
Lastly, I made sure to do my part in immersing myself into the culture. Since Seville is known for people “living on the streets” because they spend so much time out and about, I did it myself. I spent a lot of my free time in romanticized parks that always had new flowers blooming, and by the river that always brought peace to mind. While drawing in one of the parks early in the semester, I met an Argentinian student that was also an international student in Seville. We coincidentally became close friends which was another fun way to experience the culture there. We were both international students, but whenever we would spend time together walking around or in museums, my friend Juanita would always tell me about similarities she sees between Argentinian and Spanish culture. This was an unexpected great way to learn more about Sevillen culture.

 

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

One of the most important pieces of advice to carry around with you during the study abroad experience is to not be afraid to speak the language. The CEA staff are very supportive making sure that if you have the desire to practice the language, they will always engage in the conversation. The professors at both the CEA center and any other university you attend classes in are already accustomed to students learning and bettering their skills in the foreign language. They are here only to help you, especially knowing how much effort you put to come all the way to a foreign country. 
 
In my case, I felt very comfortable speaking to staff and professors just because I know they are here for us students. On the flip side it was difficult for me to break out of my shell while talking to locals in daily scenarios like ordering at a cafe. I think that the dialect being very different than what I am used to intimidated me. I knew that I should be taking advantage of my time here, therefore I just tried to speak my best. Being able to practice Spanish in class and outside was an opportunity only available while studying abroad. Living with a host family had also helped to hear colloquial Spanish. We would talk about a range of topics at the dinner table which expanded my vocabulary just by spending time with the family. You will be surprised as to how much you can improve your foreign language ability by consistently listening and practicing with the environment around you.
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Gabrielle Oliveira

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Grayson Hennelly

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Haley Hasen

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Hannah Mietzner

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course I took abroad was Art History. Art plays a huge part in Europe, as it has shaped society today. Without art, culture is lost. I found it intriguing learning about all the different periods that has brought a new perspective to the continent, such as the Renaissance, Romanticism, and Impressionism. Furthermore, being in a country where once lived several famous artists is amazing. I feel like I was able to use my knowledge of Art History outside of the classroom as well: In museums, I often recognized the works we studied and felt the inspiration from the artist first-hand. Thus, this course enhanced my overall understanding of European history and culture.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Studying abroad has literally and figuratively expanded my horizons. Before studying in France, I was heavily reliant on family to help me get through anything big or small. I have now become a very independent woman in the sense that I feel capable using my resources to navigate through different situations and problem solve. Additionally, I have drastically improved on the French language. As I mentioned, I was able to open up and accept help from others. My objective was to advance in the language, and this experience certainly allowed me to succeed. I went from a level B2.0 in September, 2018, to a level C1.5 by the end of May, 2019. Lastly, I was able to travel outside of France several times to learn more about culture and history in other parts of Europe, such as Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland. These 3 aspects allowed me to grow as an individual and shaped me today. I am continuing to grow and set up more goals thanks to this study abroad experince.

 

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Hannah Rohaley

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Hannah Valente

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was History of the Papacy with Eric Walters. The amount of history that this course involves is incredible. As a Theology Major in Rome, I could not have taken a more amazing course that has allowed me to truly understand the Papacy beginning with St. Peter and up to Pope Francis!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me into a person who loves to travel and explore new cultures. As I was studying abroad, I applied through Providence College to teach for 6 weeks in Sydney, Australia. Without how comfortable I felt studying in Italy and traveling around Europe, I would never have the confidence to apply for this Fellowship. With the skills I acquired abroad, I truly feel like I can do anything, even maybe move back to Rome!

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Iliana Gonzalez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Travel has always been a huge part of my life, so to me it made a lot of sense to continue my education in a foreign country.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
My whole family is French and I have been there a couple of times, so I’m already pretty familiar with the city. I see this as an opportunity to connect deeper to my heritage and get a chance to feel even more at home in Paris.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
Definitely the food! But aside from that, I’m excited to improve my French and to visit other parts of France I’ve never seen!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I absolutely love movies (including French cinema, of course) and I am a big fan of cooking and painting!


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Isabelle Pekarsky

Alumni Ambassador

1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

The culture at while I was abroad was an interesting change to what I was used to. My family are Ukrainian immigrants and although the culture was different in many ways, it was similar in a lot of ways as well. I am used to not understanding and having to adapt to difficult situations. Therefore, doing simple things like the grocery stores was easier for me, whereas my friends and classmates struggled with that. I enjoyed having to adapt and work through situations while learning and growing. This experience made me want to continue studying and exploring the world.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

It changed the direction of what I plan to do after I graduate. I plan to get my masters in international relations and hopefully find a career abroad.

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Iyana Buckmon

Alumni Insider

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad in Prague during the Fall 2018. I experienced the local culture by visiting local restaurants and tasting the food. I remember having the experience of taking a walk with my friends near Narodni Trida mall and further past it, joining in the fun with other local residents. I also took part in speaking with a couple of locals about the city and beyond. I spoke with women about what life is like for them in Prague and they wanted to know vice versa for living in America. I visited many sites such as the Christmas markets, the Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, and the University that I attended was not far from Prague Castle. I made plenty of Czech friends that would help me with the language and I used that language whenever I went grocery shopping or out to eat in the city. I also realized very quickly that Prague has many people from other countries and I used my abroad opportunity to make friends with them as well.

2. What was your favorite course abroad? 

My favorite course that I took abroad was my Sociology course that was focused on Subcultures. I really enjoyed that class because it gave me a better understanding of people who live different lifestyles and do different things that may not have a label. I think what I enjoyed most about taking courses in Prague at AAU in general are the field trips. I think going out into the field and actually seeing for yourself what you are discussing in class, helps a lot. For example, the field trips that we took to Lennon Wall and Tesnov when we were studying graffiti showed us just how important graffiti and street art is to people all over the world. I have taken many field trips with my professors throughout my semester in Prague and I am so grateful because it is an enriching experience.

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James Benn

Interim Director of Student Affairs

As Interim Director of Student Affairs, James oversees the Student Affairs department at CEA Paris, including program logistics, orientation, excursions, social activities, student well-being, housing, and program budgeting. 

James earned a Master of French from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts in French and Russian from Northern Illinois University. He studied abroad three times and has lived in Czechoslovakia, Italy, and France. He has worked in the study field for almost twenty years. 

His advice to students is to enjoy the “abroad” aspect as much as the “study” aspect of study abroad. Seek and pursue them, but let them reveal themselves to you, too - and find your place in each of them. Both will take you further than you can ever imagine they would.   

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James LaRue

Financial Services Specialist

I grew up in Los Angeles, right on the beach, where I spent my early years hiking, surfing, and playing volleyball. I came to Arizona in 2014 when I started school at Arizona State University and fell in love with the state for its beauty and history. Prior to my current position, I worked in a calzone shop and then interned here at CEA!

I do not remember when I developed my love for traveling abroad but that may have something to do with the fact that my parents brought me on a family vacation to New Zealand when I was just a few months old and then to Scotland only a year later. The need to travel and explore has been ingrained into my mind ever since, so I am incredibly proud to be part of a team that makes that dream a reality for others.

A fun fact about me is I spend my free time finding and then exploring abandoned gold mines throughout the state, which is as exhilarating as it is terrifying.

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James Longenderfer

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

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Jamie Crane-Mauzy

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Jared Knepper

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Jason Schultz

Financial Services Specialist
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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Jennie Ricks

Sr. Visa Specialist

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

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

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

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Jennie Torres

Alumni Insider

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

My experience with the local culture while abroad was eye-opening, as it revealed how I could persevere through cultural challenges by my ability to adapt to a new environment. The culture compared to the one I've experienced in the United States felt to be much more relaxed as far as how they deal with work related issues. I found myself conflicted with not having enough tasks to do during my internship in Barcelona due to my co-workers valuing more time for themselves versus my prior experience having to constantly be on my feet attending to tasks with only a 30 minute break in a 12 hour long shift. This was by far the most difficult thing to overcome because I am grown accustomed to feeling like I need to work constantly, but I managed to get adjusted to the environment by communicating with my co-workers on what more assignments I can have accomplished, thereby including my own culture within their own. However, that doesn't mean I disregarded the new customs either. I felt like compromising between our two cultures would be beneficial as it reveals to use the positives and negatives that can come from either spectrum. Personally, I did end up enjoying how flexible my internship was with allowing me to relax on the job to complete any personal assignment I had and the dress code appeared to be a little more casual than I was anticipating which brought upon a closer relationship between my coworkers and I. Overall, the local culture especially at my internship helped me reflect on what is more valuable in life, getting the job done or having time for yourself. Although I do believe it's both, I am grateful to have experienced a community where they are not so strict on completing tasks in exchange for allowing their coworkers to enjoy life and not have it taken from them five days a week. It helps me value my personal space and mental health much more.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My experience interning abroad has shaped me today because I have a greater understanding of what I aspire for in my future career. First off, when it comes to my career I came into this program believing that it would be easy to work at my internship because of the requirements that it described which was to be a content writer and proofread their work for them 8 hours a day, 4 days a week. Being a graduate with an English degree, I thought this would be a walk in the park and I would adore doing this kind of work when in actuality, I found myself wanting more to do in this job. Completing these assignments were in fact easy, but what wasn't was my unfulfilled desire to accomplish more things with my time, things that could've included interacting with more people. My typical work day involved sitting at a laptop proofreading already finished articles, and that showed me that this sort of work is truly not what I want out of life. The internship was certainly fulfilling because without it I would've never known that I require more complexity within my schedule, and that I would like to find a career that makes me feel like I have a larger role in the community. It was amusing to recognize how a job that I thought would give me enough enjoyment to do for the rest of my life was actually proven false, so now after this program I'm searching for career paths that could offer me more to do with my time that could also involve writing but perhaps there can also be days where I am communicating with people so that way I don't feel restricted to a computer all of the time.

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Jennifer Saviski

Alumni Ambassador

1. What are your best tips for practicing language while abroad? 

I was a Spanish major while I was abroad and I definitely improved my Spanish a lot while I was abroad. The biggest tip that I can offer is to not be afraid to mess up. In Spanish classes at school, I would never raise my hand or volunteer to speak because I hated to make grammar mistakes. However, while abroad, I realized how many mistakes I make when I'm speaking English and that locals would rather have you try and make mistakes than not try at all. Plus, if you don't try you won't make lasting connections with the local people that can continue your language growth even after studying abroad.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad?

My favorite course abroad is a tie between the Teaching English Abroad class and my Historia de esclavitud en America latina class. I loved the Teaching class because I got to make real life connections that I still have to this day. (My students just sent me a huge package of letters and drawings recently and now I'm making them a video about the city where I'm from) I also loved my history class because we went on tours of Seville and learned about how Seville had a huge impact on the transatlantic slave trade. It was really cool to see first hand where events took place that I normally only hear about in history books or see in old paintings from those times.

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Jennifer Siegel

CEA MOJO Blogger
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CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Barcelona
Home University: Miami University
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Jeremy Dolezal-Ng

Alumni Ambassador
1. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad.  
The local culture I experienced in Seville was eye-opening and exciting. One of my favorite things in life is food, so getting to experience Spain's famed tapas dishes was incredible. Being able to explore small servings of spanish tortilla, croquetas de jamon, and patatas bravas on the first day was a great introduction to the local cuisine. 
Another fun cultural experience was getting to enjoy flamenco shows. CEA provided students with an excellent showing of Flamenco in the Triana neighborhood. We were able to watch 3 performers show us how it's done and engage with them with cheers and applause. On my last day in Seville, my family and I located a free flamenco show in the central neighborhood. The dancers and singers put their heart into each performance as a crowd of all Sevillanos enjoyed it.
2. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course was ARCH 460- Architecture and Painting in Seville. I got to learn about why Seville looks the way it does today. Not only that, we got to learn a bit of history of the city through connecting famous painters like Velazquez and Murillo to the development of Spanish culture. Probably the best part about the class was the way I got to study. For our final exam, one of the parts was a walking final where we went around random areas of Seville and answered questions about the buildings. To study for this, I walked around the whole city with my friend, enjoying different Tapas bars as we strolled and pointing out key elements of the Seville architecture around us. We weren't confined to studying in a library or reading a book. Our class knowledge was all around us.
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Joan Komolafe

CEA MOJO Photographer
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John Lamb

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Four months studying on a different continent? Did I mention that the fee is cheaper than the fee to be in Tucson for a semester? Also, the food in France. Yum!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I’ve been to Nice once in my life, and now’s my chance to become a local. I’ll find the quality options that are necessities in daily function. I’m from Los Angeles and Nice is practically the LA of France.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am looking forward to becoming localized in Nice. I want to better understand European cultures and daily habits so that I can model myself culturally better in America. French people experience life just like Americans, except everything they use and revolve on is entirely different. I’m sure I’ll be able to tell more once I can call myself a local.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Big entrepreneur guy. I enjoy new experiences and new habits. My favorite vacation will always be on a cruise ship.


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Jonathan DeMarco

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

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

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course was probably either Spanish Civilization and Culture or International Business. I loved learning about the history of Spain and how Franco's dictatorship still affects Spain to this day. That being said, in International Business, it was so interesting learning about how businesses I am familiar with and often use, have tried to expand themselves across the globe, and either failed terribly or succeeded greatly. It was also interesting to learn how much research truly needs to go into the globalization of a corporation.

 

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

I would first tell them about where I studied and how much I loved Barcelona and Spain as a whole. For CEA specifically, I would tell them how accommodating CEA is to everyone's needs and how they tend to people's issues or feedback in a quick and efficient manner. I would tell them that Fridays are off, which allows students to travel on weekends and gives time to explore Barcelona. Professors are nice and are very understanding that while we are there to study, they understand that we are also there to experience the culture and the new environment.

 

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Jordynn Dixon

CEA MOJO Videographer

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

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

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

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


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Julia Byker

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julia Diehl

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julia Griggs

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Juliana Wall

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Julie Van Der Karr

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to not just finish my degree with foreign language courses in my hometown and university, but to experience the language and culture firsthand in another country to optimize my time in school and get the most out of being a World Languages and Literature Major!.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I LOVE the cultural history, art, and dance of Argentina! It will be a honor to attend the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires! !

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I want to speak Spanish fluently with native speakers in my everyday life. I want to drink "mate" with them and possibly even take tango lessons there!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am actually a ballet dancer and also participated in an international yoga competition!


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Julie Vartigian

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Kaitlyn Reif

Alumni Ambassador

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

The most important thing about learning another language is to swallow your pride and to just practice, practice, and practice. Everyone says that submersion is the best way to learn a language, and it truly is. I 100% underestimated how difficult it is to learn another language, so living in Spain was a good reality check for me to realize how little Spanish I truly knew. To learn another language, you need to accept failure immediately, and I mean this in the best way possible. Accept that you are going to mess up, say the wrong words, and even forget words, but do not get embarrassed or discouraged. Making mistakes is part of learning, and you need to know that you are not going to be a perfect, fluent speaker right off the bat. Try, try, and try again. Do not be scared to practice another language because locals do appreciate you trying and learning. Many times, the locals were just as bad at English as I was at Spanish, so it was fun to try to communicate in one another’s language. Practice makes perfect, so do not be shy!

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I surprised myself with how much I loved my archaeology class. This class was about the ancient societies that developed and thrived around the Mediterranean. I already love history, but as I mentioned, I initially did not know much about Europe. This class helped me with learning the geography of Europe and its history as well. As I traveled, this class helped me with the history of the cities that I visited. I honestly do not think that I would have enjoyed Athens or Rome as much as I did had I not taken this class and learned about the history behind these ancient towns and their people. My archaeology class was only about 20 students and was split with about half of the students being locals and the other half being study abroad students from many different countries. I enjoyed getting to know my classmates just as much as I did learning.

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Kamila Gardocki

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I have always had hopes of becoming a world traveler and seeing cultures different from my own. Having been learning Spanish since my freshman year of high school, I would really like to obtain a minor in Spanish language and I found the Madrid program to be especially immersive, one that will allow me to dive into the environment and learn everything there is to learn first-hand. One of my ultimate life goals is to become trilingual - I already have native fluency in Polish, which was my first language growing up. I have chosen Spanish as my third because it is such a prevalent language in the United States and I truly believe it is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. Learning new languages is an unmatchable art that challenges and sharpens the mind, and I knew that I would want to study abroad to do just this.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Spanish language and culture have especially fascinated me and have made a large impact on many aspects of my life and recreation. I've chosen to pursue a program in Madrid, Spain, because I have a deep appreciation for the people and the culture, and I hope to become fluent in what I think is the most beautiful language in the world. I know that through this program, I will have various opportunities to travel within Spain and visit culturally rich cities including Toledo, Granada, Sevilla, and Segovia. I am also very happy that housing through this program is with host families, because living with native Spaniards will give me an even greater chance of becoming fully immersed in the language and family-based Spanish culture.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am very passionate about art and art history - I visit the Art Institute of Chicago often and I am already very excited to continue this hobby in Madrid if given the opportunity. When I visited Madrid two years ago, I was able to visit El Museo Nacional del Prado and got to see works by many of my favorite Spanish artists - Picasso, Velázquez, and El Greco. Not to mention, my favorite music to listen to is Spanish rock, including artists such as Juanes, Zoé , and León Larregui and I am excited to maybe attend some live concerts in Spain. Everything about Spain fascinates me, and I am absolutely thrilled to immerse myself in all of its art, dance, and food this fall.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love health and wellness - I am passionate about finding fun ways to cook healthy foods and creative outdoor workouts or activities.


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Kasee Hurt

Admissions Counselor

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

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

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

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Kate Moo

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took two courses in Rome: one centered around engineering (Principles of Engineering Materials) and one culturally-centered elective (Art & Archaeology of Ancient Rome). Though I enjoyed the former, the Art and Archaeology course was definitely my favorite! The course was structured so that every class (except for two sessions) took place on-site at a museum or archaeological/historical location in or around Rome. In three weeks, we visited the Trajan Forum, Hadrian’s Villa, the Pantheon, Colosseum, Baths of Caracalla, Ara Pacis, Old Jewish Ghetto, Vatican Museums, and many more…all at no out-of-pocket cost at the student. The assignments in the class were also creatively-centered and focused on what each student wanted to investigate, whether it be a statue at Palazzo Altemps or an aspect of ancient Roman culture. In all, paired with a passionate and extremely knowledgeable instructor, Art and Archaeology was an immersive and highly effective course that not only taught the subject matter in a chronological and thorough manner, but gave us the opportunity to explore countless cultural marvels of Rome.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Studying abroad for over a month in a foreign country opened my eyes to the richness and uniqueness of other backgrounds. Prior to my departure, my pre-conceived notions of Italy involved one of fashion, art, and food, but experiencing the country in both urban and rural, positive and negative settings helped me realize that such aspects of culture are really the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Beneath the surface of these superficial facets of culture are issues and notions of education, manners, ideology, economics, and the perceptions or treatment of the country’s past. Looking for such influential characteristics shaped my understanding of why other nations are what they are, it and drove me to want to learn more about the world’s other cultures. Additionally, though I wanted to work outside of the United States before studying abroad, my experience reinforced this desire. Living in an American college town, it can be easy to perceive the world, or at least one’s personal world, as the bubble of one’s own experience. Exploring Italy’s history and current events brought to light the interconnectedness and influences shared between other countries, and I wish to partake in this global sharing of knowledge in my future.

 

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Kate Nuelle

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I want to learn how to speak French fluently and immersion seemed like the best way to do that. Additionally, I have always lived in the U.S., so I felt that living abroad would be a good opportunity to understand another culture and see American culture through a new lens.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am interested in Paul Cézanne, who lived and worked in Aix. His workshop is even preserved as a museum! Visual art continues to be a big part of the culture in Aix, so living there will allow me to understand French perspectives on art and be part of a community artists as I create work myself. Plus, the environment is great inspiration for landscape paintings!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm a sucker for sweets of any kind, so I'm thrilled to be able to try new treats in Aix. I look forward to finding a few favorite pâtisseries and learning how to make some pastries myself.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to take photographs and paint in oils. Museums are some of my favorite places on earth, and I am interested in becoming a exhibition designer. Also, I am always fascinated to learn how technology is changing modern life and listen to a lot of podcasts on the subject.


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Katelyn Huyser

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

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

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Kathleen P Garrison

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Kathryn Farrell

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Kathryn Theisen

University Partnership Coordinator
As a University Partnership Coordinator based out of Phoenix, AZ, Kate works closely with the rest of the University Relations team to support the formation of new university partnerships and maintenance of established partnerships. She also works with her team to identify how CEA can help each of our university partners reach their internationalization goals.

Prior to joining the university relations team, Kate worked as an admissions counselor in the Enrollment department, advising students from all over the country on CEA Programs. She helped students through the enrollment cycle and made sure they were confident and prepared to study abroad.

Kate received her BS in Business Administration and Economics with a minor in German from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, where her passion for travel and international education grew. Kate then returned to help students at her home campus study abroad on a variety of faculty-led and exchange programs all over the world.  Kate believes that studying abroad is an impactful experience that pushes students outside their comfort zone and teaches them how to learn in a totally new environment. She believes study abroad programs lead young people to gain many skills they can use in their careers after college graduation, and she’s proud to be a part of the team that helps them participate in study abroad.
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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 McGuire

Site Specialist

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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Kayla Reed

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

One of the most significant ways I experienced local culture was via cuisine, because almost every day I would go to a French café or bakery. One of my favorite meals I ate abroad was traditional Niçoise food in the heart of Nice with my French class. I also experienced local culture by attending local festivals, like Le Fete du Citron in Menton. Seeing locals celebrate their own culture was a wonderful way to further my appreciation for the south of France!

2. How has study abroad experience shaped you?

Study abroad truly shaped the person I am today and continues to impact the person I strive to become. Although I traveled before my experience abroad, study abroad genuinely opened my eyes to the vastness of the world. So many unique people and cultures manifest throughout the world, and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to experience as many of these cultures as I can. By studying abroad, for the first time I was able to completely immerse myself in a different culture which provided me with the incredible experience to learn about and fall in love with southern France. Ultimately, studying abroad fueled my desire to dedicate my life to seeing and experiencing as many cultures as I can while hopefully inspiring others to do the same. International studies and travel have always been my passion, and studying abroad absolutely solidified my personal desire to explore the world as well as my hope to have an international career.
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Kelly McKeon

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kelsey Fredricks

Alumni Ambassador

 1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I dove right into the local culture upon arrival, but I guess you could also say that it encapsulated me from the start. In fact, I vividly remember my first night in Galway. Instead of catching up on sleep and taking the night to relax into our surroundings, the other CEA students and I went out into town, where we happy-go-luckily explored the cobblestoned, music-filled streets and kicked off our journeys as new residents of Ireland. The lights that decorate Shop Street shone brighter than ever before, sparkling in unison with our spirits. This night still feels alive now, six months later, like how thrilling my life felt nearly every day and night in this vibrant city. I became close friends with many Irish students while abroad, who did not hesitate one bit to take me into their arms and circle of love, friendship and loyalty, like the symbols of the famous Claddagh ring. I also own this ring myself, which rested on my finger from spontaneous trips to the nearby bay, evenings spent exploring the local craic (fun) and now as I type on my keyboard in full reflective mode of that one time I just so happened to live in Ireland.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

 I really enjoyed this course called “Contemporary Irish Literature,” which served as my English seminar. The lecturer was equal parts entertaining and informative, and he focused more on classroom discussions than lectures. I also liked that I was the only American in the class, and that there were two other students from France and Spain, as this further exposed me to the Irish culture and allowed me to communicate with only European students. We were often set into groups of three, where we would make lists, brainstorm ideas and analyze the book of the week, most of which were compelling Irish texts––in my opinion, at least, as a foreigner. Two of my other classes did not purely revolve around Irish literature, so I always looked forward to this seminar at the end of the week. (However, pro-tip: try to consider the days on which other students may not have classes, since my friends frequently wanted to travel or hangout on Fridays, which is when this class was held.) Also, other literature courses often lacked in classroom discussion, which was really difficult for someone who loves to engage in conversation, especially when the material was so interesting that I just wanted to gasp and discuss it with others.

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Kelsey Fredricks

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I want to learn more about different cultures and gain a wider perspective on both the world and myself. The world is much larger than the United States, and I think that oftentimes people tend to forget that. I've heard from others that they have grown tremendously due to their study abroad challenges and experiences; therefore, as a lively and compassionate individual, I am eager to explore this vast and exciting world of ours.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am from Irish heritage, if you couldn't already tell by my picture, so Ireland was definitely on my mind. I knew that I wanted to study abroad somewhere before I graduate next fall, but I just didn't know where. I went back and forth between other locations in England and Ireland for awhile, but I eventually discovered and fell in love with the bright and colorful location of Galway, Ireland. Galway looks absolutely beautiful and it falls right on the Atlantic Ocean, but it also has a lot of green scenery "like the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara Mountains" and is a medieval micro-city. I really couldn't have chosen a better location for myself, and I can't wait to absorb in the music-filled streets, Irish friendliness and this wild adventure as a whole.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am mostly looking forward to the memories and friendships that I will forever have to hold onto, as well as the connections that I will hopefully make for my careers in writing and journalism. I am also excited to encourage myself to try new things and experiences, since this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience (not to sound too cliché or anything). I am currently not the greatest cook, to tell the truth, so this cherished time abroad will force me to make actual meals for myself, and not just simply microwave frozen food. The university I am going to also has a great reputation, from what I have seen, and I am excited to immerse myself into more literature. I have stalked the location of Galway on Instagram a lot, and I believe this could possibly be the next thing to take my breath away since I met Taylor Swift (or at least close to it).

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
As mentioned above, I absolutely love Taylor Swift, and she even invited me inside her Rhode Island mansion, which is now my usual icebreaker upon meeting people, and this is my favorite experience in this lifetime. Apart from my status as a diehard Swiftie, I am a writer, and I mostly use this talent of mine to expand and enhance my “poetic prose” and journalistic pieces and styles. I also love running, talking with both strangers and friends (for hours on end) about life stories and philosophical thoughts, the smell and sound of rain (which happens a lot in Ireland, or so I've heard), and wildly dancing even when everyone is watching, which I encourage everyone to do more. Make the moves up as you go, and the rest will fall into place. I am so excited for this journey to begin already, and I hope that you have or will become encouraged to apply to study abroad somewhere yourself as well. The world is out there, just waiting for you!


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Kendall Bannowsky

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I have always had a passion for travel and adventure. Study abroad is a great opportunity to combine schooling and cultural experiences together. I believe everyone should at least try to do it because you will never get such an amazing opportunity like this again.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I believe Prague chose me. When applying, my major was only open to three countries. The other two I didn't choose due to them being hot. Prague's weather, history, landscaping, and availability to other countries was perfect, and I could not say no.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
It would be easier to ask what I'm not looking forward to. Besides the obvious things like food and architecture, I cannot wait to experience a new culture. I have only been out of country once and it was for a mission trip, so I was unable to really see what the whole country had to offer. With an experience like this, I will be able to make my own schedule (besides my schooling) and do the things that interest me the most. I also can't wait to meet other people -- whether they be locals, or my roommates.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Hobbies include photography, cooking, hiking, and recently drawing. My interests include travel, dogs, and people. I love learning and expanding my knowledge of places and languages. I also really love National Parks. My accomplishments consist of winning state in mohair, winning first place showing sheep in San Angelo, and last semester I was student major at Chick-Fil-A.


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Kendall McKee

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kevin Mooney

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Kiara Perez

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

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

Site Specialist

I was born and raised in Wisconsin and studied Spanish and pre-nursing at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. While at La Crosse, I decided to study abroad in Granada, Spain. My study abroad experience was my first time leaving the United States (besides a family cruise), and it completely transformed my life! While I was abroad, I traveled to various countries and since then, I have continued to grow and expand my traveling experiences. So far I have been to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, the Bahamas, and The Netherlands. I hope to add many more places to my list soon!

After graduating from UW- La Crosse, I decided to pursue a career in International Education. Because of my own study abroad and traveling experiences, I became very passionate about international education and wanted to be able to inspire more students to go abroad. My passion for studying abroad led me to start working for CEA and begin my new adventures in Arizona.

While not at CEA, I enjoy traveling, playing sports, watching Netflix, reading, and spending time with my friends.

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Kylie Forster

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
For me, there was never any question about whether or not I would study abroad in college, and early on in my freshman year I declared a Global Studies minor to incorporate a global perspective into my education. I have been passionate about travel and have longed to see the world for as long as I can remember, and I believe that there is no better way to strengthen your understanding and appreciation for other cultures than by immersing yourself in them.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
It honestly feels as though Paris chose me just as much as I chose Paris. Although I have been to Paris once before, I was only there for one day! I was able to visit the city on the last day of a two-week-long trip to Europe with my high school four years ago, and of all days to go, I was there on Bastille Day! I have been infatuated with Paris ever since then, and I admire everything from the art, cuisine, history, and just the atmosphere in general. A bonus of studying abroad in Paris is that it’s centrally located in Europe, so traveling to other countries will be easier as well.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most looking forward to making new connections and meeting new people, whether they be other international students or Parisians. I also hope to get to know the country better and am excited to explore Paris and surrounding areas across France!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
A fun fact is that I know (nearly) every word to the musical Les Misérables, which takes place in France during the nineteenth century. I love all genres of music and in my free time I enjoy finding new artists to listen to and even writing my own songs!


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Laura Bastings

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Laura Claypool

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

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Lauren Hammond

Alumni Insider

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

CEA made the process of applying and preparing to go abroad so easy. I never felt lost in the process because there was always someone checking up on me. I could call, email or text the Sevilla site specialist at any time and could expect a timely and complete response. All the resources you need are on the online portal and your parents even receive the information. Having my parents connected made it less stressful to prepare for going abroad. Once in abroad, our CEA center provided excellent classes and professors, many resources and activities, excursions to places that I may have never traveled myself. The center was the perfect home base and the staff was really there for us 24/7! I couldn't imagine it any other way!

 

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced the local culture by spending as much time as possible out exploring the city. Sevilla has so many beautiful streets and places I would have never found if I chose to stay near the touristy areas. Adjusting my schedule to fit around Sevillian norms like siesta, late dinners and spending almost all of my time outside helped me experience the local culture. One of my favorite places to spend time was at a local park. There I was able to observe locals with their families and friends or carrying on about their day to day life. Eating at restaurants that were frequented by locals was another one of my favorite ways to experience the local culture. I found that trying new foods and drinks is one of the best ways to connect with a culture. These experiences, while daunting, became some of my favorite memories!

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Lauren Rossman

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
While searching for the perfect college for me, I envisioned a traditional college campus less than a four hour drive from home. While I love attending the University of Delaware, I’m excited to tackle the challenge of living in a city halfway across the world! Additionally, I am excited to learn about how people my age live in other places including London, but also experience new cultures on weekend trips throughout Europe.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
If I’m being completely honest, my love for London started with my love for One Direction. But, as I’ve grown older I love the proximity and convenience that London provides to visit other cities / destinations, the fashion and the wide array of food. Furthermore, while this may be an unpopular opinion, I love a rainy day.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I’m most looking forward to making new friends from all over the world. I feel as though living and learning alongside people who live differently than I do will teach me a lot about different cultures. I hope the friends I meet are up for weekend travel adventures, because I can’t wait to explore new destinations.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
My happy place is most definitely the beach. I’ve taken surfing lessons before, even though I am absolutely terrible at it. I’ve also pushed myself to try parasailing and indoor skydiving as well. While I would describe myself far from a thrill-seeker, I am excited to see what new things I’ll get to try while studying abroad while documenting it all here!


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Lauryn Huber

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Leah de Leon

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Lily Anderson

Alumni Ambassador

1. What ways did you find to become immersed in the local culture?

The Alameda neighborhood in Sevilla is rich with bars, cafés, playgrounds, trees, beautiful buildings, and most importantly, PEOPLE! So many people stroll down the large, urban boulevard while heading home from mass, eating ice cream from Freskura, playing with children or dogs, or chatting with friends. For four lovely months, I was one of those people. By enjoying coffee from small cafés, chatting with fellow customers, strolling the narrow streets, and learning about the history of the area, or walking with a neighborhood friend and his dog, I was able to feel like part of the beautiful Sevilla tapestry. The neighborhood is young and hip, while still being rooted in deep Spanish tradition.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I was lucky in my ability to take classes at both the University of Sevilla and the CEA Center. My favorite course was taught by the wonderful Professor Álvarez through CEA. By analyzing the history, economy, politics and culture of Spain, we studied gender roles in present day Spain. No class taught me as much about the valiant liberation of the Second Republic, the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, or the oppressive regime of General Franco. By utilizing all of this through a feminist lense, we learned about how women were involved and impacted. Additionally, Professor Álvarez went out of her way to expose us to cultural events in the city, take us on walking tours regarding women in Sevilla, and introduce us to a Syrian refugee who impacted all of us in the class with her beautiful story.

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Lindsay Gilman

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Lindsey Carl

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Lisa Cummins

Site Specialist

When I was 10, my dad told me he had exciting news. He had saved enough money so we could go on a trip! He gave me a choice: Disney World or Rome. I chose Rome, and never looked back! It was my first and only opportunity to travel abroad as a kid, but I spent the rest of my childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dreaming of the trips I would take as an adult.  

As a junior at Duquesne University, I finally had the chance to realize my dream and spend five months studying abroad in Málaga, Spain. While there I travelled as much as I could, visiting places like Paris, London, Florence, and Cairo. Spain had captured my heart, though, and I returned the next summer for a six-week program in Salamanca, Spain. After I graduated with a degree in English Literature and minor in Spanish, I went back to Spain again to teach English, and continued working in Almería, Spain, for eight years. Spain taught me to love myself, to be present in every moment, and to embrace new experiences. With the confidence and skills I gained, I started my own business providing private English classes to Spanish students, and by the end of three years I had over 60 students enrolled.  

I’m thrilled to bring my passion for international education to my work advising students as a Site Specialist here at CEA. I believe there is no better way to learn about the world, and yourself, than experiencing life in another culture! 

Outside of work, I love snuggling on the couch with my two rescue mutts, learning new colloquialisms in Spanish, obsessively researching flights to all corners of the globe, and of course, binge-watching my fair share of Netflix series.  

Did you know? I can sing flamenco thanks to lessons during my time in Spain!  

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Lois Charm

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Luca Micheloni

Housing & Student Services Advisor

Luca Micheloni was born in Marino, a small town close to Rome, and he graduated with a degree in Sociology and Social Sciences from the University of Rome, ”La Sapienza.” While at university, he worked within the hospitality sector, and his thesis was about the learning process within a working community connected to the hospitality industry—a great subject for a future Student Services Advisor at CEA!  

Luca moved to London to focus on his language skills, and a few months later, he won a scholarship through the Leonardo Project in Crete, Greece, where he worked as a researcher in the economic department of MaiCh. Luca considers interacting with people an important part of his life, whether personally or professionally, and he often seeks out this interaction. He enjoys travel with the goal of learning a new language and culture, and he finds Spain and the Spanish language fascinating.  

When Luca is not at work, you can find him trekking around the Castelli Romani area or playing soccer. As a child, he used to dream of being a professional soccer player, but he ended up being a professional AS Roma fan instead.  

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Mackenzie Pinn

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Madeleine Collins

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

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were the ways you experienced the local culture?
Living downtown, I interacted everyday with the local culture in Grenoble. To be completely honest, I had the preconceived notion that the French population do not like Americans or those who speak English. What I realized was quite the contrary. Each time I attempted to speak with strangers, even though they could tell I did not speak French fluently, they were more than happy to help me improve my vocabulary and skills. I learned how to get medicine at a pharmacy, I learned how to order my coffee, and many other simple yet necessary things that I never learned in a textbook. Also, living in the student residence hall, I encountered several local students from Grenoble who were extremely kind to me. Another way I experienced the culture was by walking through or by markets every day. I went to one market so often that the owner recognized my face, said hello to me, and asked me how I was doing each time he saw me. Food is such a crucial cultural aspect in France, and the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, meats, fish, and more you find at the markets are a taste of local life. The Christmas Market must not be forgotten! What a wonderful experience it was to enjoy hot wine on a cold day while shopping around for different trinkets, handmade crafts, or foods accompanied by music. I experienced the culture not just by interacting with the population but diving into everyday life as a lifelong native would.

2. What would you tell a student looking to study abroad?
If you are looking to study abroad, I honestly cannot imagine where you can find a friendlier group of people who are there to help when you need them than with CEA. Each interaction I or my mother had with anyone working with CEA was comforting and informative, because they knew exactly how to tell us what we needed to hear and help us get to where we needed to be. The beginning stages, preparing to go abroad, can be stressful, but they provided the service, documents, and information to make the process a breeze. Every document needed for the Visa Application was provided, and they walked us through each step to ensure our success. Then, once I got to my destination, which was Grenoble, France, my on-site program director was kind, thoughtful, passionate, driven, and ready to take on any problem we had or to laugh with us over a cup of coffee. CEA is a wonderful organization geared towards providing students with an easy path to achieving unforgettable experiences abroad. I loved every minute of my study abroad program, and I am sure you will, too.
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Madeline Inoyue

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Madison McCormick

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Madison Rettew

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Like so many students, not studying abroad often stokes discussions of regret. That seems to be a common thread, and I’m determined not to make the same mistake. Grateful for the opportunity to study in Antibes this fall, I look forward to embracing the French culture, meeting new people from around the world and visiting other European cities. I’ve even dreamt about returning home to the U.S. speaking French fluently! For whatever it’s worth, I’ve got the travel itch again, and I can’t wait to immerse myself as a local!

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Having traveled throughout Europe since childhood, I wanted to choose a study abroad destination that wasn’t as popular as most. Also, I was mindful not to choose a big, busy city to avoid that touristy feeling. And although Antibes was a place I had never been, the French Riviera seemed rather intriguing. Prior to signing on with the CEA program, I extensively researched the small towns along the Cote d'Azur and fell in love. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the entire region and relished the thought of easily traveling to Monaco and Italy. Also, I liked the idea of attending an international university described as the "Silicon Valley of Europe.” That really caught my eye being a technology major. I’m really looking forward to arriving in Antibes this September to live among the locals and to experience the food, the culture, and the coastline. I’m confident my Antibes experience will present as more than I could have imagined!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I cannot wait to learn French in France while immersing myself in the culture!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I was only 4 months old when I went on a plane for the first time! My hobbies include traveling, cooking, and playing tennis.


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Madison Sudweeks

Alumni Ambassador
1. What got you interested in being an ambassador for study abroad?
I want to help other students have their own life-changing experience studying abroad like I did. I know that I have grown so much through this experience and I know there are so many students at my university and across the country that would benefit from the experience. I feel that as a first-generation college student, I can connect with others who wouldn't normally think studying abroad was in their reach and show them it's possible. My life was changed forever because of CEA and I would like to give back to the organization that helped me achieve this dream.
2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was my International Service Learning course. In this course we learned about current issues in Spain and specifically Seville, and then got to observe these issues in practice while volunteering with a local NGO weekly. Through this experience I was able to connect with the refugee population of Seville, a population I never would've been able to meet otherwise, and make connection with refugee children in order to practice our Spanish skills. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity to start teaching English classes at the center as well. This class exposed me to the issues facing Spanish society and helped me better understand Spanish society as well.
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Maranda Crittenden

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course was Creative Advertising. The professor had years of experience advertising and it really showed, and the course was structured so I felt that I got true life experience. We were asked to help advertise a real company that had just repackaged its product, and my professor helped explain what you should and shouldn't do in each position of the advertising agency. I found it very helpful and very insightful.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

This study abroad experience has helped me become more confident in myself and my abilities. I came to Prague as the only one from my school, and I knew no one until I got here. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and now I know I'm more capable of change and challenges than I thought. I feel that I will carry this forward, and when I am given new challenging tasks I won't doubt myself - I will continue forward.

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Margo Ward

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture?

Being aboard is much more than going to a different country and learning. It's about learning about their culture and traditions. While I was abroad, I experience the local culture by participating in cooking classes, going to sporting events, eating at local restaurant, and communicating with locals. Some of my favorite memories from being abroad is getting to experience the local culture because it's something different than what I am used to. Once you experience a different culture, it opens up your mind.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me by allowing my mind to grow and it has taught me to more independent. After traveling through Europe I am able to look past the US ways and keep an open mind to other people and other cultures that I don't think I would have been able to do if I didn't go abroad. By that, I think that can also help me with my future career by being more open minded, communicate with all types of people and have better people skills. Going abroad has many benefits that I could have imagined.

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Mary Geletka

Site Specialist

The desire to see the world was instilled in Mary at an early age. Her parents often travelled to different locations around the globe during their military enlistment. While they weren’t always able to bring Mary along, they made sure to bring home a trinket from each trip and plenty of stories. It was enough to make Mary determined to see those places for herself.

Mary earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History from Arcadia University with a minor in International Studies. During college, she took every opportunity to travel abroad, hoping to learn each country’s history and culture in the physical location first-hand. While she left a little piece of her heart in London after living and studying there for a year, she also left the city determined to see more of the world and experience each place she visits just as deeply.

Mary’s desire to travel didn’t stop after graduation. So far, she has been to China, Greece, Quebec, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Netherlands, and Japan. If her collection of travel Pinterest boards are any indication, this list will only continue to grow.

Outside of work, she can typically be found writing in a local coffee shop, enjoying the view after a hike, or fawning over a nearby dog!

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Matthew Baldini

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced the local Czech Culture through the food, history, and people. The Czech cuisine is hearty, and some of my favorite dishes consisted of meat and potatoes such as their signature cultural dish Goulash. Others dishes I enjoyed including Svickova, a dish served with meat and bread dumplings in a creamy sauce and cranberry topping. For dessert, nothing beat Vetrnik. Since words cannot do it justice, I recommend try it for themselves. Museums featured prominently in my itinerary while abroad. The Czech painter Alphonse Mucha was popular, and for good reason. His larger than life depictions of Slavic tradition, called the Slav Epics, were a unique window into the past. The Charles Bridge is a national landmark for the Czech people representing when their capital city of Prague was the cultural center of Europe. Being able to walk across this bridge gave me a deeper appreciation for the Czech cultural identify. Interacting with the local Czech people was an eye-opening experience because their social norms are quite different than what I am used to in the States. They are much more reserved in nature. However, that does not prevent them from showing kindness and generosity.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was Prague Art and Architecture because it encouraged me to experience a side of the Czech culture I would not have other wise. I visited a local exhibit displaying the Czech artist František Kupka. Kupka started out as a Realistic style painter but progressively transitioned into primarily abstract paintings. The art exhibit show cased the chronology of his works. His most famous abstract painting the Amorpha, Fugue in Two Colors surprised me with how much human movement can be expressed through abstract figures. 

 

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Matthew Borlik

University Partnership Coordinator
As a University Partnership Coordinator based out of Phoenix, AZ, Matthew Borlik works closely with the Regional Directors and University Advisors to support the student exploration, advising, and registration processes. He also helps his colleagues identify how CEA can assist our university partners’ successfully reach their internationalization goals.

Prior to joining CEA, Matthew worked in finance at Wake Forest University, where he worked with various departments across campus to answer their travel and financial policy questions.

Matthew earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he had the opportunity to live abroad in Spain for 3 years. During his time abroad, he developed a passion for travel and learning about other cultures. After working in higher education, Matthew wanted to transition to this role at CEA where he could inspire others to study abroad.
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Matthew Miklas

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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McKenzie Smith

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Megan Mercado

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My Czech Language and Culture class! It was a class with all CEA students and the most brilliant professor who was a native Czech citizen and speaker. We had great discussions and it really helped open my eyes to all of the things Prague could offer deeper than the surface that I could discover myself.

2. What do you wish you had known before going?

The one thing I wish I would've known is how incredible the onsite CEA staff would be. I knew about all of the resources CEA provided us when we were still in the States, but when I arrived in Prague, I was greeted with the most generous and friendly people ever. They helped me every step of the way and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them!

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Megan Reid

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My Intro to Italian course was definitely my favorite course for a few reasons. The main reason was my professor Mario. He made the class so much fun and he was a big fan of experiential learning so we would take class trips to gelato shops, the local market and more. In these situations it was really fun to be able to use what we learned in the classroom in a real life situation. I also really liked this class because it was fun to learn the language that I was hearing all around me.

2.  Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

I really enjoyed my experience abroad and my experience being a MOJO. I love talking about my time abroad and I am passionate about encouraging people to take a semester abroad. I really like to have a completely honest discussion about the pros and cons about going abroad since I wasn't able to get that kind of talk before I left. I think it would have helped reassure me that I was making the right decision.

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Megan Reid

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Megan Styborski

Alumni Ambassador

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

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

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

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

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Megan Vande Linde

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Melissa Greenberg

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I chose to study and intern abroad to learn new tourism aspects that are different from United States. I choose Barcelona because it is full of diverse backgrounds and it is a top tourist-attracting city.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Barcelona is unlike any other city. It is full of life and creates the perfect atmosphere for a person studying hospitality management.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to the internship I will be working at Hotel Indigo Plaza Catalunya. I have more than a year of experience working in a hotel and will bring a lot of knowledge of IHG hotels to Barcelona.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
As a hospitality student, it excites me to experience new food & beverage restaurants and compare and contrast them.


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Michel Pinard

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Experience a different culture is an unique opportunity for personal growth and cross-cultural understanding. Adaptation might be difficult at the beginning, and nostalgia might strike sometimes, but one cannot let those things play a crucial role in the everyday life while abroad. One of the key factors to a positive experience is to be always busy, academically as well as socially. Buenos Aires is an extraordinary place that needs to be enjoyed by going out to museums, attending concerts and art festivals, going to outdoor markets, having merienda at a local café, talking to locals, taking colectivos as often as possible, walking, biking, just to mention a few. Travel to other places within the country is also important in order to develop a better picture of the country as a whole, its people, its culture, and going beyond the historically centered perspectives of Buenos Aires. Argentina has numerous interesting destinations for all tastes that deserve time to be discovered and enjoyed beyond the city limits of its capital, and certainly beyond the classroom and homestay.

 

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

It is not a simple choice since I truly enjoyed all the classes that took in the Universidad de Belgrano. However, I would say that the class titled Cultural and Social Changes in Argentina was the one that I found more interesting. The professor's teaching style added to her personality and the already interesting curriculum made this class my favorite. Thanks to it, I fostered my self-awareness and started to question more socially-constructed concepts and historical perspectives, while gaining insight to different issues related to politics and economics that have impact in the everyday life of citizens in Argentina.

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Michelina Nardone

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
Studying abroad would allow me to be fully immersed in another's culture, and this opportunity would enable me to discover myself and grow.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I chose Seville, Spain, because of its rich history and unique culture. I have always wanted to taste famous Spanish cuisines, such as tapas and paella. Not only is Spain famous for its tasty foods, but it is home to the Flamenco, a tradition that is unique to Spain. There are many more wonders of Spain that I am excited to explore.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I am most looking forward to improving my Spanish speaking skills by practicing with the locals. As well as improving my Spanish, I am excited to travel to many different European countries and make plenty of international friends.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I am a Biological science major with a passion for medicine and helping others. Not only do I have a passion for medicine, but I love fitness, such as playing soccer, cycling, and running.


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Michelle Gross

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Michelle McGhan

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad, I was able to intern at a local school. This helped me get to know some local people a little better. I also took plenty of time to go by myself to cafes and bars and just talk with locals. I truly adopted the local lifestyle, siesta and all. I tried all kinds of new foods and drinks, and pushed myself to say yes to all the experiences out of my comfort zone.

 

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

The biggest tip I can offer is to completely dive in headfirst. If you're living with a host family, practice as much as you can with them. I didn't have a host family but my friends did and I got to practice a little with them too. Also don't be afraid to just try it. You'll probably make some mistakes, but most locals and people are more than willing to politely correct your mistakes when you're making the effort to try.

 

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Morgan McKenna

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Nate DeRidder

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Nathan Sweasey

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Navatnie Etchin

CEA Content Contributor
 
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Nia Livingson

CEA MOJO Videographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
My personal goal in this study abroad experience is to put all of energy into my passions as a future journalist. As a college student, it is sometimes hard to manage and balance the many obligations I have while pursuing my long-term goals. This semester, I am enrolled in 19 credit hours, interning with Alpha Media Broadcasting Company, mentoring students as a resident mentor for South Tower all while running my own Limited Liability Company on campus. While these commitments have allowed me to grow tremendously throughout my undergraduate journey, I hope that through this study abroad experience I am able to hone in on my academic abilities and maximize my true potential in the media field. My supervisor in my role as a resident mentor told me in a meeting this semester, “To do your best, you have to be your best,” which is a quote that was a deciding factor in devoting all of my energy into my capacity to learn and grow academically.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I am a broadcast journalism student participating in the Communication, Media Studies and Tourism Studies Program through the CEA Study Abroad Program in Seville, Spain, in the Fall of 2019. This part of Spain is known for its culture, monuments and artistic heritage; however, these factors are only some surface-level perks of being in this beautiful city. My intent in studying abroad is not only to build upon my journalism foundations I have been pursuing at USC, but to fully indulge in the culture and language so that I am able to learn Spanish and understand the culture of Spain. In doing so, I will be able to understand the history behind the media controversies that exist in the society today. I also plan to conduct my own independent study that focuses on “The Effects of Social Media on College Students and Their Attitudes Toward Beauty” and can integrate my findings in my role as a MOJO videographer.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I look forward to diving into my research project. I plan to use the findings of my research abroad to offer a diverse voice and perspective to the media industry, significantly impacting my study abroad experience for the better in allowing me to challenge my academic capabilities. My introduction to media through entry-level journalism classes have informed my understanding on media literacy, but my vehement desire to build on these media foundations rely upon opportunities such as this one, that connect eager students, like myself, to outlets that allow them to apply, practice and perfect these concepts through real-world experiences.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
I love to travel, eat and sleep. I have a beauty business at my home university doing eyebrows and eyelashes. I love editing videos (no surprise here)


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Nicholas Ciacca

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Before coming to Madrid I had been to Alicante, in the south of Spain. I expected the culture in Madrid to be similar, but to my surprise, it was completely different! I fell in love with the city immediately, the architecture and the immense history made it really fun to walk around. To fully immerse in the culture and experience as much as I could I forced myself to do a number of things.  

First, I tried my hardest to speak and understand the language. This made it possible to understand the people and hear their stories, as well as hear the different Spanish accents and learn how each one came to be. I was able to speak with the old and young, and most importantly my fellow college students at UC3M. This to me was very important. 

Second, I was always outside. Going outside in the city and seeing as many things as possible was essential to fully take in the city of Madrid. Going to the local markets such as El Rastro and San Miguel really showed me what Madrid is all about. Also traveling the rest of Spain was very important because the Spanish culture is so diverse. CEA did a beautiful job by showing us cities such as Granada, Sevilla, and Toledo, showing us all the important historical places in each city. 

This was how I experienced the local culture while abroad, and I loved it so much I went back last week!

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

There is no other experience like living in a different country for six months, and CEA makes it a thousand times better. They bring around the whole country, immerse you in the culture while being close to students just like you from all over the United States. The staff and advisors are awesome and the experience is truly life changing. CEA makes sure that the experience goes smoothly, from finding you a wonderful apartment to finding you wonderful roommates. If you have ever thought of going abroad, DO IT, and do it with CEA! 
Also, my friend came to visit me for a week and she had so much fun hanging out with the CEA guys and living the Spanish life that she went abroad with CEA the next year!

 

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Nicole Francese

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Olivia Ferri

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Olivia Gutierrez Padron

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I enjoyed all of my classes abroad because I feel like they offered very different learning environments and curriculum from what I am used to. However, my favorite was Management Communications. I found the professor to be very passionate about what she was teaching us. The class offered materials to be analyzed by people with all kinds of background. She covered all learning styles in the assignments so it was enjoyable to learn and retain the material. She also included a lot of self-reflection so you can relate your life and career goals to what was being taught in the classroom. I greatly enjoyed this class and would gladly take it again.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

This was a truly once in a lifetime experience that taught me not only life lessons but also taught me a tremendous amount about myself. I considered myself a resilient person but that was truly put to the test when being in such a challenging environment like being on your own in a foreign country where I didn't even know the language. I learned a lot of problems solving skills since you can't always access things that are easily available to you in the U.S. and because you are living with total strangers. More than anything I expanded on having an open mind. Taking in everything around me and being free of judgment to try and truly understand the culture and the locals. I feel myself being a more grateful person thanks to this experience. Career-wise it made me learn that I perhaps don't want to work an average office job. I might want to travel more and learn more about others. I have a pretty flexible major, communication/ marketing, so I think this might be a possibility.

 


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Olivia Hernandez

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Paige Romero

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Parker Ornellas

Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad in Aix-en-Provence, I was fortunate enough to experience a rich and thriving French culture right in front of me and easy to partake in. The first way I like to experience any culture is through food and drink. In Aix there were many restaurants and cafes catered to English speakers, however, these types of places were not the type to offer cultural growth. I found that going to authentic French cafes and restaurants where people speak little to no English was the best way to engage in the culture and better my language proficiency. On the topic of food, buying from the local markets and engaging in conversations with the vendors made me feel right at home in France as well as yielded some delicious produce. 

 

2. Language Tips

Studying another language can be extremely discouraging sometimes. One day I felt I was improving immensely and the next I felt completely comprehensible to a native French speaker. When this happens it’s easy to succumb to the overwhelming urge to only speak English, but it’s essential not to give in. Only practicing another language in a school course is not proficient enough to improve. It’s extremely important to practice outside of the classroom setting. I was lucky to befriend two French university students who helped me with my grammar and taught me useful lingo. I also listened to french music and had designated times when my roommate and I would speak to each other only in French.

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Patrick Casey

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

Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took a photography course while in Prague, and I still think it's some of my best work. Being in a densely populated city let me, as a photographer and storyteller, be free with my artistic ability. Additionally, I also took a videography course that had me document a formerly homeless musician and tell his story.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My time in the Czech Republic really cleared up who I am, and who I want to become. My flaws were highlighted during my time, and as a response to identifying what I lack in, my work ethic improved. Since finishing my semester abroad, I am more confident in both myself and my work-capabilities.

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Peter O'Neill

CEA MOJO Videographer

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

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

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

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


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Phoebe Charney

Alumni Ambassador
1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture?
I experienced the local culture by trying new foods, meeting new friends, and going to the places people loved. I visited several historical landmarks and museums. I also went to several different markets.

2. How has your study abroad experience affected you? 
Studying abroad has changed me personally by allowing me to become more adventurous in my day to day life. I got to see life in a whole new way. Certain countries appreciate things differently and I found that fascinating. I stopped taking things for granted.
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Phoebe Nielsen

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Quinn Kanner

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Rachael Brown

Admissions Counselor

I spent most of my life in a small town in Oklahoma, but got my first taste of adventure abroad when I was 15. I traveled to Italy and have been infatuated with travel ever since. Though I stayed in my hometown for undergraduate studies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, I went abroad every other year, to England, Ireland, and Wales, which allowed for me to travel to 11 other different countries! It was an amazing opportunity that left me with incredible memories and friends I still meet up with to this day.

After graduating, I worked in Admissions at my alma mater, as a reporter at the Oklahoma State Capitol, and then as a Proposal Writer before deciding that my true passion was in education abroad. Having experienced what study abroad offers first-hand, I went back to school to get my Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. While getting my Master’s, I also did an internship across the pond in London, working with students from a Texas university. While there, I was also able to connect with a friend I studied abroad in Wales with and go to Budapest! I love being able to work with students and encourage them to take advantage of abroad opportunities.

When I’m not helping students, I love traveling, spending time with my dogs, seeing family, and reading.

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Rachael Satz

Alumni Ambassador

 1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While I was abroad, I experienced the local culture by getting involved in the activities that CEA offered. I did the AICAP activities: Intercambio Español, Hidden City Tour, Reshaping The City, and Changemakers. I also experienced the local culture on my own by going to the Palo Alto Market and interacting with locals in general.

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

 I would tell them that CEA is the best program to do because they offer you free activities to experience Barcelona in a different perspective, the apartments they give you are SUPER nice and they honor your roommate requests, the CEA center is very nice and is close to the main part of Barcelona, they are quick to respond and help you with any issues you might have while studying abroad, and they offer you an $1,000 dollar flight voucher that can be used towards your flight to Barcelona or any trips that you might do while in Barcelona.

 

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Rachel Bornstein

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

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

CEA MOJO Videographer

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

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

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

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


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Roxanne Anthony

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

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

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

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

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Samantha Davies

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Samantha Yeager

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Sara Doss

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

While in Barcelona, I took an entrepreneurship class and it has to be my favorite class I have taken in my college career. My teacher, Carlos, was an amazing teacher and sparked my interest in a career in entrepreneurship. I learned what being an entrepreneur truly meant and how I can open my own business in the future. He also helped to want to pursue a specialization in International Business. I am so glad I took this class abroad so that I could see the aspects of business in a country outside of the United States.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad career has helped me shape my wants for a career by showing me that there is more to this world that the United States. It made me become more independent. It has helped me to open my options and seek jobs in other states/countries.

 

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Sarah Carrillo

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Sarah Franco

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

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

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

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Sarah Hubbard

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Sarah Shearer

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

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

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

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

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


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Savanna Lenker

Alumni Ambassador

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

I would tell prospective students to:  

 1) Don't get overwhelmed, professors are understanding and just want to push you to step out of your comfort zone to practice the language. 

2) Don't be afraid to ask questions, your professor and host family will be very willing to help you. 

 3) Practice the language whenever you can. Whether it is saying hello to a stranger in passing or talking to your taxi drivers, all of these conversations help increase your confidence in your language abilities. 

 4) It's okay to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and making mistakes is part of learning every language.

 

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

Studying abroad with CEA was the whole package. We had a small group of students that bonded over the course of our time together. I had an amazing host family experience, which allowed me to further experience the food and culture of Costa Rica. The CEA facility was an amazing resource to get school work done, hang out with friends, and cook our lunches. The built in field trips were well planned and allowed us to experience more unique places. The communication before I left the U.S. was prompt and straight forward. 

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Shelly Ng

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

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

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Simran Heer

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

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

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

Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was my Marketing 202 taken at Anglo American University. Not only did I love the professor but she also gave us the opportunity to work on a marketing pitch for a real client who was looking to expand into the American Marketing. This served as our final project and my team won the marketing campaign. As a result we earned a cash prize and I gained professional connections in Prague. For one of our final classes we also took a field trip to a marketing firm and I am currently in contact with the company in efforts to return to CZ to intern for them. This course was filled with diverse students, gave me experience working with a client and offered me connections that I am very grateful for.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me in almost every way, including my career and personal goals. From a professional stand point, I am seeking out opportunities to return overseas to either Germany or Czech Republic in order to gain some international marketing experience once I graduate in December 2019. I see the value of being a well traveled individual who is able to perform in diverse and unfamiliar environments. As for personal goals, I look to go back overseas and travel as a 'local' with my best friend in a potential gap year. Study abroad has given me a travelers heart.

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Steve Maravillo

Alumni Insider

1. What was the best part about studying abroad?

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

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

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

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Steven DelCegno

Admissions Counselor

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

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

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

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Susan Jones

Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I spent as much of my time wandering as possible. If I was not in class, I was in a park, or at an open market, or on the bus or tube to get to someplace. I wanted to soak up everything I could in the little time I had.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

I am a different person today because of this experience. I could write an entire book about the self discovery that this opportunity brought me. I grew so much as a person, which surprised even ME because I was 45 at the time and thought I had done most of growing. Not the case. I see the world in different ways now and I feel like I could express that to others.

 

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Sydney Stocksdale

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Sydney Unger

Site Specialist

I was born and raised in Colorado. I graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. I am working on my master’s program in Organizational Leadership Development and will graduate in December 2019. Traveling has always been an important aspect of my life and had led me to where I am today. When I was an undergrad, I went on a Semester at Sea voyage. After that, I studied abroad during a summer in both London and Rome. My passion for studying and traveling abroad has only increased since then.

As a Site Specialist, I support and guide students through the process of getting ready to study abroad! I am new to Phoenix, Arizona, and this next adventure here in the desert is super exciting. I am a people person. This means in my free time I enjoy making new friends and being in social settings. Now that I live in Arizona, I spend lots of time by the pool!

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Tali Pilip

Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
I experienced local culture while abroad by making some of the Parisian customs my own. One of the really big things I was able to experience that I will try to bring back to the U.S. with me is their pace of living. In the U.S., especially coming from the Silicon Valley, we very rarely take moments to slow down and enjoy our days. When we take breaks from work or school, we stay at home or go out to grab a quick bite to eat with friends, spending a majority of that time on our phones. The Parisians, however, use their prolonged mealtimes to take a break from their days, and to really have those long, meaningful conversations that can last several hours after a meal is finished. I also learned how to be more independent, in sitting on the terrace of cafes, slowly enjoying a coffee, and watching Parisians go about their daily lives.
2. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course abroad was the History of Parisian architecture. It was such an interesting way to learn about and to visualize the history of the city, while learning about what the future plans for Paris are as well. My favorite part of the course was our weekly excursions in which we would visit a site such as the Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Centre Pompidou. On-site, we were able to not only apply concepts that we learned in class, but also to experience Paris through its incredible architecture. As I was also taking a fashion class at the same time and spending a lot of my free time in art museums, it was extremely interesting to see the juxtaposition between historical periods and how their art, fashion, and architecture either complemented or contradicted each other.
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Tamara Saxman

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Taylor Carnazza

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 give anyone studying a new language is, do not be afraid to practice with people, especially native speakers. Practicing with those who speak the language on a daily basis is the best way to comprehend conversational styles and accents. Although it may seem daunting at first, practicing is the only way to get better so don't be afraid of making mistakes because that's how you'll learn! Befriend people who live there and if you have a difficult time with that at first, you can always ask your institution if there is a pen-pal or meet-up program that allows you to be partnered up with students in the area trying to learn English. So many people now are eager to learn English to keep in mind that you'll be helping each other out.

2.  How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I was fully immersed in the French culture and can say that I have learned so much while studying in Aix. I attended IAU with one other friend from school and it gave us the opportunity to build friendships with French students who did not attend IAU. I can easily say that I became friends with more French people than I did with people in IAU because I wanted to expand my horizons and fully get to know the culture. Getting to know a culture first-hand and through people whose origins are in that specific place is the best way to enjoy yourself abroad in my opinion. I am so thankful for my experiences there and cannot wait to visit my friends again at some point.

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Taylor Coulson

Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experienced shaped me today into a person who is patient, independent, intrigued, and down to adventure. Even though I got sick while abroad, there was so much to offer in Barcelona that I couldn't turn down just because I was feeling a little down-I recovered faster than usual because I was excited to explore and have new sights to see and places to step on. I am now a go-getter I would say. I reword things that don't make sense to others because I understand that even though it does to me, that maybe there's a better way to portray it. I toured the city via bicycle by myself for days in a row and was so content. I have a journal to record what matters most to me during my time spent adventuring. Experience is far more important to me than text from a book. Being able to say, "I've been there" or even think back to the times shared with people that were strangers a few months ago and feel so overwhelmed with happiness they're in your life now, that's powerful. I never know when to stop questioning anything now. I wonder the history behind walls in places that are new and old. I wonder which stories and memories are the ones I will love so much that I will relive one day with my future family and friends? I know I'll be back and studying abroad created even more wanderlust in me. Places I never dreamed of going are now on my bucket list and I realize that they ARE achievable and easy to accomplish as long as I manage my time and money. I am now more patient with other people, public transportation, customer service industries, and colleagues.

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

It will be the best time of your life. Exploring new places with new people is so exciting. There will never be a more perfect time in your life to do it than when you're in college, regardless of which year you are. You'll bring back so much knowledge about things you didn't even realize you were learning when you're there. You wont be sorry, you'll be better. You'll leave behind a routine you didn't even realize you had, and will create a brand new one that is inconsistent but it will fit. It'll teach you more about yourself than you knew was possible and will create a network of lifelong friends and potential coworkers or neighbors one day. It's like you're finally the one writing the story to your own life when you come abroad. You get to choose what you do with every opportunity that gets handed to you now. Before when you were contributing to that routine, you didn't think about what you did with your life or what you'll do in the future, you definitely will now. Every single aspect of your life will change if it needs to. Of course you'll abide by the values you've always had but you'll be more independent and realize what weaknesses need to be strengthened. It's a lot of self growth and new opportunities you create for yourself from the moment you step onto that plane.

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Taylor Farro

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Taylor Tewksbury

CEA MOJO Blogger
Read my Blog!
CEA Fall 2016 MOJO Blogger
CEA Study Abroad Location: Prague
Home University: University of Delaware
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Thania Inoa De Jesus

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
To expand my knowledge and explore Alicante and Europe.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
I loved the architecture and how antique the city looked. Also, it's near the beach!

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
The food, traveling and learning.

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
Draw, paint, make pottery


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Theresa Thomas

Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My experience abroad has been immensely valuable in shaping who I am today. I learned how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, to embrace how it feels to be unsure of yourself in this new place while learning to thrive anyway. While traveling, you spend a lot of time with yourself. I was able to learn what values are most important to me, what I needed to truly be happy—material things and everyday comforts that I “thought” I needed, became obsolete. 

Professionally, the opportunity to improve my Spanish has been an immense advantage in my preparation to attend medical school and to eventually practice as a physician abroad in a Spanish speaking region. I became more fluent in the language, learning to switch between speaking Spanish and English without issue. There truly is no better way to learn a language than to immerse yourself in it and to learn on your feet. My ability to speak Spanish to my patients will help to develop our relationship, and the experience living in a different culture has taught me to be more globally aware with the ability to relate to the different experiences and lives of others, especially my future patients.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
I was absolutely enthralled by my course on Gender History in Latin America. The opportunity to learn while abroad is incredible because you learn from a completely different perspective. During this class we learned about the way gender relations and the patriarchy have evolved and influenced life in Latin America throughout time, specifically in Argentina. As I learned about the different historical eras and gendered events that took place, I was able to see their effects on present day life in Argentina. I learned to think more critically about the way society often operates and to analyze why things are the way they are. Being lucky enough to learn about Latin America while in Latin America taught me things from a different point of view that I never would have thought about had I not learned them from my local professors. My global view was broadened and I now feel like a much more informed and influential global citizen.
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Thomas Beckman

CEA MOJO Photographer

Why did you choose to study/intern abroad?
I studied abroad because I saw an opportunity to expand my perception of learning and experience new cultures. I've noticed friends and family who have studied abroad typically return home as a better, more well-rounded individual, and that's something I hope to receive from my experience.

Why did you choose your study/intern city?
Prague is in Central Europe, so it gives me the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures rather quickly. I was struck by how beautiful and untouched the city is, especially after the chaos of the World Wars. I believe this preservation of Czech culture would make for an interesting experience abroad.

What are you most looking forward to during your abroad experience?
I'm looking forward to meeting new people and gaining new experiences. I'm especially excited about weekend trips to different countries and sharing my stories through CEA as a Mobile Journalist!

Fun Fact (hobbies, interests, accomplishment, etc.)?
My life revolves around music. Though I'm a business major, I always try to find new hobbies throughout music or art that can help me take my mind off my hectic lifestyle. In the past few years, I've been teaching myself Photoshop, DJing, and producing music. Everything I know is mostly self-taught or assistance from friends or family.


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Thomas Kelly

CEA MOJO Blogger
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Tricia Andrews

University Relations Coordinator
As a University Relations Coordinator, Tricia Andrews will be responsible for helping plan and execute both internal and external events. These include conferences such as FORUM and NAFSA, as well as company workshops, Familiarization Trips, study abroad fairs, and more. She’ll also work with the University Regional Directors to enhance our university relationships.  

Tricia received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Concordia University Irvine. While in college, she was an athlete on the Women’s Swim Team. During her junior year, she completed a semester abroad in the Gold Coast, Australia. After completing her degree, she moved back to Arizona, where she was born and raised, in search of a position in event management.  

Tricia grew up loving to travel and has visited over 15 countries. She’s always looking to plan her next trip somewhere new!
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Tyler Fixel

Admissions Counselor

Tyler was born in Dearborn, Michigan and moved to Georgia when he was 5, but he calls South Carolina, where he lived from age 9 to 17, home. He graduated from Arizona State University with a major in Global Studies and International Affairs and has a passion for everything internationally focused, including politics, trade, economics, and travel.

 Tyler can speak Japanese at an intermediate level and loves Japanese culture. He studied abroad in the summer of 2017 in Hiroshima, Japan. This once-in-a-lifetime experience helped him nurture his love of the unknown and travel, and he wants everyone to be able to experience something as wonderful. He plans to go back to Japan on a yearly basis because he felt at home within their culture and overall lifestyle.

 He enjoys a wide range of sports and started playing both baseball and lacrosse at a young age. He has also coached both little league flag football and baseball for his younger cousins who live in Arizona. When he’s not engaged in athletics, Tyler loves to read and is a huge fan of both Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. He’s excited to make a difference at CEA. 

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Valeria Angel

Alumni Ambassador

1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

Studying in Aix-en-Provence was amazing because I was able to emerge myself in the French culture, I had previously always been in love with the French culture, and being able to experience it first hand was truly eye opening and amazing. Getting to witness the difference in culture with American culture and Colombian culture (where i'm from) was very interesting because it was able to expand my knowledge on different customs within different cultures. Aix was a perfect town for this because although there were many tourists, there were also many more locals that you would become familiar with on a daily basis, and I was able to have conversations with them about living in France, along with practicing and learning better French.

 

2. What was your favorite course abroad?

My favorite course was the France during the Occupation course because although I was never fond of history, experiencing a different country makes learning history a lot more fun! I was able to understand the history of France a lot easier, and was more interested in it. What allowed this to be fun and interesting was the amount of history films we watched in class, along with a Field Study trip we took to Marseille to further understand what the French dealt with when Germany occupied France.

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Victoria Krug

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

CEA MOJO Photographer

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

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

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

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


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Vivika Stamolis

CEA MOJO Photographer
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Whitney Knorp

CEA MOJO Blogger

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

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

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

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


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Zoey Bloom

CEA MOJO Photographer
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In order to help you plan your program abroad, we need a little info. Choose the destination you're most interested in. If you're not sure, just check 'I don't know yet'.

 

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