Fall 2015

Puerto RicoAndrew Alcala
Georgia State University
Heredia, Costa Rica
Coming from a diverse background with roots from many parts of the world, I have always been interested in different cultures and places. I chose to spend a semester in Costa Rica in order to learn more about the history and culture of Central America, and also to learn a dialect of Spanish different from my own. I love to travel and push myself out of my comfort zone; something I plan on doing a lot this semester!


IMG_1566Isabella Bauer
James Madison University
Berlin, Germany
I am a rising Junior at James Madison University and have been looking forward to studying abroad since the beginning of high school. My Mom originally moved to the United States from Germany in her twenties, and my Dad has family in Germany as well. I grew up surrounded by the language and culture, but unfortunately lost my ability to speak German. I decided to minor in German during my college career and am committed to becoming more comfortable with the language and communicate with not only native Germans in Berlin, but my family in Stuttgart as well.

Emma BennettEmma Bennett
Point Loma Nazarene University
Paris, France
What better way to study Global Business than to study globally? I’ve always loved to travel and made the decision to go to Paris sort of last minute. I’m addicted to new foods, meeting new people, exploring new places, and coffee. A lot of coffee.



image1-1Nina Breece
McDanial College
Sevilla, Spain

I am from Northern California, but attend a small liberal arts college in Maryland. I studied abroad in Denmark for my junior year of high school, which opened my eyes to the idea of truly experiencing a culture by living in it. I am studying abroad in Spain to better my Spanish, so that I can feel more comfortable in conversations with Spanish speakers. I also want to experience the Spanish culture and all that it has to offer. I look forward to meeting Spaniards, visiting new and exciting places, and experiencing what it is like to be a Sevillano.

10382389_10203945195853115_8651763975010943755_oMiranda Brown
Point Loma Nazarene University
Bangkok, Thailand
I am a lover of stories. I’ve always been a good listener and an avid reader. As a business communication student, I am excited about digital marketing and improving brand engagement through – you guessed it – storytelling. I also love travel, people and anything outdoorsy. After this semester, I will have visited almost every continent (Australia and Antarctica are still on my list). Traveling makes me more independent, more empathetic, and less afraid. Exploring a new place gives me a better understanding of the world and the beautiful people in it.

IMG_0325Elisabeth Carter
Rollins College
Rome, Italy
All my life I have always loved traveling. I chose Rome, Italy as my study abroad site not only for its glorious history, architecture, and art, but also for its central location to the rest of Europe. During my time in Italy, I plan to travel as much as possible in order to explore as many new places as possible. As an extrovert, I enjoy talking to people and hearing their stories, and I’m sure the people of Italy and Greater-Europe will have some incredibly interesting ones. I am curious and determined, and love to develop my skills in art.

IMG_5436Hannah Conwell
University of Colorado
London, England
I am really looking forward to spending a semester in London. I am grateful enough that my parents have allowed me to travel ever since a young age. I have been throughout a lot of the United States, Canada as well as Central and South America. I have never been to Europe so I am ecstatic to be there soon. When I am abroad, I hope to better understand the world, experience new cultures, and find more of myself. I recently took a travel writing class at my university, I now have grown to love travel writing and blogging.

11949471_10153459070996294_7012782452343987520_nJack Davis
University of Colorado – Boulder
Granada, Spain
Hey there! My name is Jack and the idea of boarding a plane in a month to begin this awe-inspiring adventure remains inconceivable, but very real and increasingly electrifying. In Granada, I am eager to understand how locals are connected to their diverse regional history and how that continues shapes their political and social views in our ever changing global community. I am looking to explore how my identities I have learned to embrace stateside are paralleled internationally; what it means to be a student-athlete, politically active, or gay, for students in Granada. I would be honored to be able to share my perspective with other students, and more, back in the U.S. and around the world.

IMG_3884Kelsey Desmond
Mandeville High School
Paris, France
Growing up in the diverse city of New Orleans, I have always loved to learn and experience new cultures. I began traveling at a very young age, so I learned to appreciate new cultures and environments very early in life. I started studying French six years ago and have always wanted to expand my passion by actually living in France. As an avid photographer and writer, I plan to make my gap year abroad as memorable and rewarding as possible.

_MG_5310Hailey Dorthalina
California Lutheran University
Galway, Ireland
Before I graduated high school I knew that I wanted to live and study in another country– now it’s finally happening! My decision between colleges came down to a few major factors; one was their study abroad program. I have been reading, preparing and hoping for my 3+ months in Ireland to be an adventure. I want to learn about Ireland’s history, people, culture and about myself too. I want to grow as a musician, student, nature lover, food-eater, coffee addict (tea/Guinness anyone?) and word fanatic. I’m thoroughly obsessed with hats & I love witty people and trying new things.

IMG_0489Hannah Dull
Doane College
San Jose, Costa Rica
I am from Lincoln, NE and I am studying to be an English and Spanish teacher. I want to experience a different culture and get to know Costa Rican traditions and customs. I also will be helping out in a classroom, so I will be involved with children and the Costa Rican education system. I love writing and reading; I’ve always wanted to start a blog but haven’t had any material to start with. My study abroad experience will give me something to write about and a chance to start my own blog. I believe that I am a good writer and I am also an open and honest person. What happens in Costa Rica will not be sugar coated, but I hope to portray my experience as honestly as possible in the hopes of opening up a new culture in a positive way not only to myself, but to the readers of my blog and other people looking to study abroad.

featuredbloggerphotoAllison Dunn
Seattle University
Dublin, Ireland
I first visited TCD when I was twelve years old. I remember two things walking into the Old Library: one, that I had never in my life seen a more beautiful library, and two, that I wanted so badly to be a student at the historic university. So, here I am, six years later, fulfilling my promise. My goal for my time abroad is growth. I want to eat up as much of the world I can—I want to savor each place I visit whilst gorging myself as if I’m preparing for a winter hibernation. I’m starving for an adventure and a taste for everything un-American. I’ve got an eye for photography, I love a walk and a chat, and I’m very, very good a bocce ball.

IMG_8907Shelby Everett
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Salamanca, Spain
Ever since I can remember, traveling has been a passion of mine. My mom says I’ve got the travel bug, and I couldn’t agree more. The summer of 2013, I went on a mission trip to Spain, and after one week, I fell in love with the country. I decided then I was going to come back and study abroad. As a Spanish/Nursing double major, my semester in Salamanca, Spain will guide me towards fluency and independence, which will help me when I begin my career. When I’m not reading, you can find me riding horses or with friends.

Jordan Ficyk
Cleveland State University
Thessaloniki, Greece
I’m a philosopher by nature and an explorer at heart. I approach life with a sense of humor. Nature is my first love, closely followed by travel. I spend most of my time deep in the forest, rock climbing, or exploring cities. I strike up conversations with strangers to make new friends or to simply make their day. Of the plethora of reason I chose to take my studies beyond the borders the main is I feel most comfortable when I’m on the road with nothing but a backpack and direction to move in.

ISA Blog PhotoElizabeth Fogarty
Point Loma Nazarene University
Sydney, Australia
I am a quirky, fun-loving girl that just wants to experience the world, and all the opportunities it has for her. I have travelled all around Europe and am now starting this new adventure of studying abroad in Sydney, Australia! I love writing, helping others, fashion, and sharing my experiences with anyone who will listen. While abroad, I hope to meet people from all over the globe, expand my network, and learn more about myself.

10295269_10203616580109419_4454972177974761406_oLindsey Graham
Buena Vista University
Brussels, Belgium
I have chosen to study abroad this semester to gain a new outlook on the world around me. I love to go on adventures, take risks, and try new things. By immersing myself into a new culture and by taking this risk of going abroad independently, I hope to grow and evolve as a student, employee, and citizen of our global marketplace. As a business major it is extremely important to have a global mindset, which cannot be obtained from the classroom but from experience.

Hardy Family 2015 (5 of 36)Tabitha Hardy
Central Washington University
Meknes, Morocco
I’m studying abroad in Morocco to earn credit for my major in Global Affairs and to gain real world experience teaching English, working with international students, and improving my foreign language skills. I am minoring in theatre and hope to incorporate my theatre background in teaching. I love to sing, dance, perform, practice yoga, and am an avid outdoorswoman. Most days you can catch my either belting out a tune on the sidewalk, or hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I like to take photos that capture earth, art, culture, and natural beauty.

DSC_0590[1]Meghan Harmening
Buena Vista University
Florence, Italy
Studying abroad has been in my plan since before I even stepped foot on my college campus – it was that important to me. I love learning about new cultures by being and living in new cultures – not just being a tourist. I am unique in that I’m a bit of an old soul and look at things from a different perspective than others. I am a realist, and see things for what they truly are. I love to knit/crochet scarves and blankets for friends, family, and charity.

isa pic 2 (2)Erin Johnson
South Dakota State University
Cusco, Peru
I was born, raised, and even went to college in South Dakota. I decided it was time to leave the country and see what else the world has to offer. I want to be immersed in a culture so different from my own that I fall in love. I’m a singer and a runner. I love to dance, but my moves are a sad sight. I love to try new things and I have an endless spring of energy. I have a passion for working with children, and I find joy when making a connection with them.


Emily Kawahigashi
Seattle University
Valparaiso, Chile

Hi! My name is Emily Kawahigashi and I am from Honolulu, Hawaii. The whole point of my study abroad was to get out of my comfort zone. While I have travelled to more than 15 countries, I have only stayed for an extensive time in three, the US, Japan, and Thailand. Thus, I have becomes very familiar with many Asian cultures and norms, however I have very little experience with Latin American cultures and mannerisms.

Through traveling and living in Hawaii, I have managed to gain some skills in taking videos and photos. While a lot of my videos and photos are mostly action based (such as surfing), I have also taken photos and videos for luaus and other cultural performances.

1920312_1611181945793601_2852069743041959343_nAnna Ketterling
University of Denver
Prague, Czech Republic
A life-time learner is someone who never stops gathering knowledge; they seek out all there is to know in the short time they have. I never want to stop progressing and I will never be satisfied with just knowing the small little bits of the world I have already experienced. I hope to gain a deep understanding of the world I live in and a powerful appreciation for a culture that was initially unknown to me. I enjoy the arts but also have a passion for people and working with others. I love to read classics and write frequently.

Lindsey K Piano StairsLindsey Kinderdine
Ohio State University
Valparaiso, Chile
I am a student with lots of interest in exploring lifestyles and cultures different from my own, and what better way to explore a new world than to study abroad? I consider myself to be a dessert connoisseur, someone who appreciates a detailed, organized plan, and a girl who is not very adventurous but tries to put herself out there anyways because discovering new things is my weird sort of addiction. My special skills include grammar, respect, and putting my imagination to practical use. I love to learn others’ stories and to tell my own, too.


Whitney Kirkpatrick
Berry College
Dunedin, New Zealand
I have been struck with wanderlust, and studying abroad is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I chose to study in New Zealand because it is the land of adventure. I did not want to follow the beaten path and see the same sights that everyone else sees. I wanted to go to a place where I could climb mountains and see the natural beauty of the world around me. I have interests in many different areas, but some of my passions include exploring the outdoors, traveling, blogging, entrepreneurship, and volunteering.

Photographer: Grace Finlayson '17
Photographer: Grace Finlayson ’17

Nicholas Machlitt
Hofstra University
Barcelona, Spain
Growing up I went to a Spanish immersion elementary school. I had teachers from all over South America, Central America and Spain. Once I was in college my Spanish professor who grew up in Madrid constantly showed photos of Spain and her life there. I am studying abroad because growing up the people I looked up to were formed by their travel experiences in Spanish speaking countries. I hope to have that same life changing experience and share it to the readers of my blog as my professors did for me.

IMG_0298Riley Mikesell
Madrid, Spain
I come from a small, rural town in Oregon, and was not exposed to much diversity in high school. Since moving to LA, my world has been opened. I have been exposed to new cultures and new ideas, and have gotten to know many different people who have helped me get to know myself. Traveling to Spain will be the journey of a lifetime. This is another experience that I’m sure will shape me as a person. I enjoy singing, hiking, good books, and quick whit.


IMG_5177Elisabeth Miller
Carroll College
Reading, England
I am an undergraduate college student studying in central Montana. Although I’ve lived in Montana most of my life, my background is a bit unconventional. My father is a retired Green Beret and my mother is a lovely woman from a small village in Bavaria, Germany. After years of serious study in preparation for graduate school, I want to expose myself to knowledge beyond the coasts of America. Intrigued by culture, I want to gain a more complete and honest look at the world by traveling to an unfamiliar country.

DSC08961Laura Morse
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Salamanca, Spain
Growing up with an adventuresome family in Knoxville, Tennessee, I have constantly been surrounded by the health field and many different international cultures. I have fun memories of my three brothers and I playing soccer with our international neighbors and laughing at funny stories my parents would tell when working at a pediatric hospital. This upbringing influenced my dream of becoming a pediatrician, fluent in Spanish and serving the Hispanic communities around me. I am so excited to further this dream by studying Spanish in Salamanca, Spain.

DSC02966Avery Nelson
University of Denver
Zurich, Switzerland
I am an avid outdoorsman and traveler who has spent a large deal of my life doing both. I am very committed to backcountry skiing and hiking. I have lived both in large international cities such as Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, other smaller international cities, and multiple places within the US. This has allowed me to write about many different places from all around the world. I feel that I have a good understanding of what makes a culture stand out from others, which is what I want to capture through my writing while I am abroad.

Joshua Niezgoda
Virginia Commonwealth University
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’m a 24 year old male, and have had a lot of experience traveling abroad by playing music with various groups. However, I have never spent an extended period or had a true culture shock, and I would like to document it and how it changes me.

Jamie Nix
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Meknes, Morocco

971195_10201260888918610_2032687523_n (1)Anneli Olausson
University of California, Santa Barbara
Meknes, Morocco
I believe that studying abroad in Morocco requires a specific type of traveller and student. Most of my friends studying abroad flocked towards vacation destinations like Paris and Florence, but I found myself interested in starting a life a bit more diverse. Growing up in Sweden I have been fortunate enough to travel through Europe and while I love it, study abroad is a time I aim to be immersed in a culture alien to my own. As cheesy as it sounds, I believe that one of the best ways one can come to know oneself is amongst the unknown.

Megann Reads a MapMegann Phillips
Arizona State University
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Megann is my name, getting hopelessly lost in strange places is my game, and I’m studying abroad in Santiago de Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, for the fall 2015 semester. While a considerable amount of map reading will surely be necessary on my part in order to survive here for four months, I know my experience in this city is going to be one I cherish forever. I plan to record at least a portion of it here on the ISA Student Blog, so stay tuned!


Sakowski_blog photoEmily Sakowski
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Dublin, Ireland
I am studying abroad this fall because it has been a dream of mine since I was fourteen years old. My ancestors came from the rolling hills of Ireland, and I could not think of a more fitting place for me to be. I cannot wait to experience the breathtaking beauty of this lively and friendly country. I have always thought of myself as someone who dreams big and lives for the moment. I love meeting new people and experiencing new and beautiful places every day. I am an adventurer, a lover of different cultures, and an aspiring world traveler.

IMG_0958Stephen Sanders
Lander University
Geneva, Switzerland
I am addicted to knowledge. This addiction has led me to venture far from my small hometown, and spurs me to investigate things that are unfamiliar and strange. Of course, sometimes what first appears mundane turns out to be inexplicable, which is why I’ve chosen to study philosophy of mind and affective science at the University of Geneva. Aside from conducting research and traveling, my interests include amassing books, taking pictures of the little treasures hidden in plain sight, teaching myself dead tongues, collecting weird words, and combining words to make poetry. I am also a mediocre accordion player.

imageSydnie Schell
University of Kentucky
Lima, Peru
I am an Accounting major with minors in International Business and Spanish studying abroad to learn about international business. I’m hoping to have as many new experiences as possible, improve my Spanish, and make new friends. I like to think of myself as a well-rounded person. In my spare time I enjoy writing, singing, painting, and spending time with family and friends. I work with my dad who renovates housing for a living so I’m as fairly handy with a power tool as I am with my paint brushes. I also have an unhealthy obsession with cats, pizza, and Netflix.

blog pictureLindsay Stephan
Carthage College
Limerick, Ireland
Some people ask why? I say why not! The decision to study abroad was one of the easiest decisions that I have had to make. In my opinion, if you have the opportunity to live four months in a new and exciting place, all while traveling and meeting new people, the answer is a no-brainer. I am communication and public relations majors, so I absolutly love media and news-related activity. I am excited to experience and see how the media culture is different in Ireland than the United states. Additionally, this summer I am interning in the marketing division of a Fortune 50 company. Besides from communications, I am an active volunteer at my local animal shelter. I work with dogs and assist in training them every week. I love forming relationships with the animals and people that also volunteer. I am also a sales associate at Gap, so I love fashion and helping people look and feel their best!

1531559_10202840806768107_348989894_nRyan Sutherland
Endicott College
Gold Coast, Australia
I am studying abroad because I will never be content with what I have seen and experienced. I am always searching for new adventures but have always been hampered by money issues. This will be my first foray into the world. My hobbies include volleyball, beatboxing, guitar, hiking, and video games. My time abroad will be my first step in my journey to find a home for myself. I have never really felt at home in the United States and I know that I want to leave as soon as I can, I just don’t know where just yet. Who knows? Maybe Australia will feel like home and that is what I intend to discover.

isa blog picTegen Thon
Southwest Minnesota State University
Melbourne, Australia
I am a small town girl who has done the same things over and over. I decided to study abroad to get unstuck of my daily routines, the same scenery, and I always wanted to go to Australia so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! I am hoping to gain a new sense of freedom, and independence from this trip, also I am looking forward to new adventures. I love trying new things, even if I am not a huge fan of it after. My special skill would bending over backward to help those around me.

ISApicPeter Wachsmith
Seattle University
Meknes, Morocco
I was born, adopted and raised in Haiti until I was 7 years old, and was perfectly bilingual in Creole & English. Over the years I lost my fluency in my native tongue. In college I’ve pursued French academically, so naturally a Francophone country was on the list. I applied for Morocco because I felt it would be an enriching and non-western experience. I think I’m unique because I bring a lot of perspectives to the table. I’m black, gay, raised in a white family, I study voice classically, am deeply spiritual and desire to be grown by all experiences.

IMG_3862Kathryn Wilson
University of Denver
Madrid, Spain
When I was in the peak of my competitive figure skating training, I investigated alternative food sources to supplement my dietary needs and looked to sustainable options such as crickets. I believe crickets are an innovative way to solve food scarcity issues our planet is currently facing , while also allowing me to connect and immerse myself in other cultures where crickets are considered a normal protein. I am studying abroad in Madrid to be able to fully immerse myself in another country culture through a home-stay, food and the diverse history and architecture present in Spain today.

Blog PicCecelia Winter
McDaniel College
Bilbao, Spain
My sister and I have studied Spanish since I was 6, and loved talking in front of Mom without her understanding our secrets. 13 years later I have an extended love of the language and a yearning to study abroad. I enjoy learning and having tasks to accomplish, however I’m not afraid of failure. I’m gregarious, I’ve been in many positions that have led me to work well with people, ranging from an instructor to a stand manager, and because of my extroverted personality, I’m excited to meet many people abroad while growing in my understanding of the culture.