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internship programs Leadership

Carissa Williams Murray
Partnership Director – Internships

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. Some of 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!

Carissa served as the Chair for the Lessons from Abroad Conference in Georgia from 2013-2018, 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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internship programs Team

Megan Randall
Career Development Manager

Growing up in a small rural village in Vermont fostered in me an early desire to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn more about the world beyond my home state. This craving to seek out and embrace differences from an early age is what has inspired all of my life experiences up to this point, including a Master’s in International Education and study abroad in South Africa. I absolutely love meeting and working with individuals from cultures, identities, and personalities unlike my own. I believe differences make us – and the world – stronger.

In my free time, I love getting outside to enjoy and explore nature by running, hiking, or walking. There’s always something new to discover! I also love getting lost in a good fiction novel, watching cooking shows like “The Great British Bakeoff”, nerding out to leadership podcasts, trying out new vegan recipes and restaurants, and spending time with my two cats, Llama and Ferdi.

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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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Maggie Fitzgerald
Center Director - Buenos Aires
Maggie 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, Maggie 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, Maggie 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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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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Justine Mons
Program Director - Grenoble

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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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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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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Sabrina Khellaf
Internship Coordinator

Sabrina joined CEA in 2021 as a Program Coordinator dedicated to sourcing and coordinating CEA Internships. She also contributes to all areas of program coordination, including assisting with Student Housing, Orientation sessions, activities and excursions.

Sabrina is bi-national (Franco-Algerian) and tri-lingual (French, Arabic and English). She graduated from EHEC in Algeria, before moving to Paris to complete her master’s degree at Ecole Supérieur de Gestion et Communication (ESGCI). Upon graduation, Sabrina moved back to Algiers where she worked as an Account Manager for Mc CANN Algiers, an advertising agency where she had the opportunity to work on several key accounts such as Nestlé, BNP Paribas, and Johnson&Johnson! Sabrina then moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue graduate business studies. After earning her degree, she worked in Toronto as a Student Services Advisor for international students at her university. Back in Paris after an amazing experience in Toronto, Sabrina loves to share her enthusiasm for international studies and professional experiences with CEA students!

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