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internship programs Team

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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Sadi Foltz
Placement Operations Manager, Internships Abroad

Sadi Foltz oversees and manages the integrity and efficiency of the internship placement process for all signature CEA Internships Abroad programs. Her primary focus is to ensure CEA delivers on our promise to students and university partners. She works hand-in-hand with CEA’s domestic and international internship teams to cultivate an engaging education experience for all internship students throughout the pre-departure process.

Sadi hails from Washington, 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. Sadi is a NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) certified career coach and has earned a certificate in education abroad advising. In addition to her career and education abroad experience, Sadi also contributes project management and marketing knowledge to CEA to support the development of CEA Internships Abroad.

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 become 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)

NAFSA Education Abroad Advising Certificate (2019)

Project Management Certificate, University of Washington (2019)

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Christine Weiler
Senior Internships Coach

As an Internship Coach, Christine’s main focus is to prepare prospective internship students for their experience abroad. Through interview coaching, résumé 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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Ashley Ramos
Internships Coach

Ashley is joining CEA and the Internships Abroad team with over six year of experience in higher education administration at universities like University of Colorado-Boulder, Southern Illinois University, and most recently Arizona State University, where she primarily focused on student and leadership development. Ashley received her B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Criminal Justice at California Lutheran University, and her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Cal State Fullerton. She had the opportunity to circumnavigate the world by ship on Semester at Sea, visiting Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, China, and Japan. She also spent significant time in Mexico when she was growing up. Ashley is committed to visiting at least one country a year where she can immerse herself in the culture and has made that a priority since finishing graduate school.  

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys playing with her new puppy Letty. She’s a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan, participates in competitive women’s kickball tournaments, and loves hiking, camping, and the great game of pickleball.

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Jose Balza
Academic Coordinator - Buenos Aires

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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Maggie Banchs
Program Director - San José

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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Colin Hogan
Assistant Director - Dublin

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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Kevin Whalen
Internship Coordinator - Seville

A native of New York City, Kevin has been residing in and in love with Seville for over 15 years. Having completed a Master's Degree in Marketing and Management and held positions in Consulting and Sales at several Spanish and International firms in Seville, Kevin is a seasoned professional well-prepared to support CEA students in the internship program there.   

He first joined CEA as faculty for our courses in Entrepreneurship and the Internship Seminar and has since transitioned to take over Seville's International Internship Coordination as of January 2020. In this role, Kevin will serve students with unique, hands-on, international experience, overseeing the placement process and developing host companies in diverse fields, as well as committing to our student's professional development.

He will also continue to teach CEA’s Internship Seminar and the Entrepreneurship courses. 

In his spare time Kevin serves as the President and Head Coach of a local Roller Blade Hockey Club, The Sevilla Dragons. 

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Jacqueline Menoret - Paris
Internship Coordinator - Paris

Jacqueline, the newest addition to our CEA Paris team, is a true global citizen, who has lived, worked, and studied in Washington DC, Montpellier, and London before moving to Paris. Jacqueline is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completed a B.A. in History, Political Science, and French at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities prior to earning a Master’s Degree in Human Rights at the London School of Economics & Political Science. Jacqueline will be replacing Colin Maunoury as Internship Coordinator in Paris. She will brings tremendous energy, knowledge, and experience in various fields to the team and to her new role helping our students develop their life goals in their Parisian internship placements.

She is passionate about literature and cinema. She loves to read a book at home in Montmartre when it is rainy and cold out, in the company of her cat, Olga Picasso.

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Daniele Bini
Internship & Student Services Coordinator - Florence

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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Chiara Ortolani
Internship Programs Manager - Rome

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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Martin Brokeš
Internship Program Manager - Prague

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 internship students on-site.

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.

Martin is passionate about psychology and philosophy, community development, education and facilitation, languages, and foreign cultures. He is a curious learner, explorer, swimmer, hiker, and meditator. Martin is not an artistic soul but likes to sometimes play ukulele.

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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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Marc Arnas
Senior Academic Advisor - Barcelona

Before joining CEA as a Senior Academic Advisor in 2018, Marc held different positions in the K-12 Publishing and Localization industries, ranging from Translator, Content Creator, and Editor to Alliance Manager. Having been employed by emerging start-ups and a large publishing group, he gained experience in b2b communication in international professional settings. This, together with his intercultural skills, allow Marc to contribute to the maintenance of CEA’s network of host sites and support students throughout their internship abroad experience.

Marc has a degree in English from the University of Barcelona and is a certified Secondary Education teacher in Spain. He completed part of Middle School and High School in Rye, New York. While pursuing his degree in Barcelona, Marc was granted a one-year scholarship to study abroad in Kansas.

Marc is passionate about literature, music, cinema, and theatre. He’s an avid and eclectic reader and enjoys playing bass guitar.

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Xisca Bestard
Senior Experiential Learning Advisor - Barcelona

Xisca has been a member of CEA Barcelona’s team since 2012 and has always been engaged in its experiential learning programs. She was involved in the implementation of the Internship Program in Barcelona and has fond memories of how exciting it was to host the first 17 interns back in the summer of 2017. Her role within the internship program is to develop and maintain a network of host sites, assist intern candidates throughout their placement processes, and provide onsite support. She is delighted to be able to contribute to the professional development of interns.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and Globalization, and is passionate about company growth and profitability. Before joining CEA, Xisca lived abroad in both the UK and Germany, and worked in Marketing and Communication for 7 years in Barcelona, both in the public and private sectors.

Xisca enjoys socializing, traveling around Asia, and early morning swims. She also practices TM Meditation.

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Christopher Edwards, M.A.
Course Instructor - 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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