Fall 2014

photoLydia Alvarado
Texas Woman’s University
Glasgow, Scotland
Having forever lived in Texas, I want to get out of my comfort zone, eat something I’ve never eaten, see a different skyline at night, and learn something new while I’m at it. I want to go in one person and leave another. I want to learn a new and different way of life. I like the theater, having been the actor as well as the audience. I read Shakespeare for fun and sometimes try my hand at writing poetry. I sing songs wonderfully off key and read poems out loud to myself to put myself in the poet’s shoes.

IMG_2491Elizabeth Armbrecht
Missouri State University
Granada, Spain
I always wondered what it would be like to really get immersed in a culture and to experience it and I figured months spent in another country would. I hope to not speak English, get lost in a city older than the United States, and embarrass myself learning how to Flamenco dance. Overall, I hope to write about my experience. Writing is my major and my lifestyle. I love telling stories and sharing experiences with the people around me and studying away is going to help me hone that skill and also give me plenty of great experiences to share.


Blog PhotoSarah Bailey
Georgetown College
Sevilla, Spain
I’m a junior in college who is ready for a change of scenery… and climate, culture and language. I have spent my entire life in small towns from elementary school to college and I feel that I can give an interesting perspective of the transition from small town to large city in Sevilla. From this experience, I hope to gain a broader understanding of the world and of a culture other than my own while also gaining more confidence in myself and my abilities to make it in a world that is not my own. And sketching/cooking are my obsessions.


IMG_1439Kelly Bast
University of Nebraska, Omaha
Lima, Peru
Hola! I’m a 19-year-old junior studying advertising, Spanish and graphic design at the University of Nebraska Omaha. When I’m not in class, I enjoy rock climbing, hiking and doodling in my sketchbook. It didn’t take much to spark my curiosity in studying abroad coming from the landlocked state of Nebraska. From its mountains to deserts to rainforests to ocean, what better place is there to study Spanish than in Peru? As I venture on this bilingual journey, I look forward to sharing every awkward moment, rewarding success and unforgettable memory!


4M7C0721Rose Bear Don’t Walk
Yale University
Hamilton, New Zealand
I’m a small town girl from a reservation in Montana who somehow found herself studying at an Ivy League college. To further fulfill cultural enrichment I find that the best way to learn is hands-on experience. The Maori culture has intrigued me ever since my mother visited New Zealand and met with local Maori people. What better way to learn about a successful indigenous group than to live on their stomping grounds for a while? And what better place to live for someone who loves to write, sing, dance, run, eat, explore, hike, snowboard and do anything outdoors.


Photo 1Katie Beaudoin
Creighton University
Madrid, Spain
My name is Katie Beaudoin, and I will be a junior at Creighton University. I was lucky enough to grow up in a beautiful place like Colorado with plenty to do and LOT’s to explore. I’m an active person- I enjoy hiking, biking, running, and everything in between. Years ago, my mom studied abroad in Madrid. She always said that it was the most incredible time of her life. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to experience what she experienced. I’m ecstatic that my time is right around the corner!



IMG_1422Shaylyn Berntson
Boise State University
Meknes, Morocco
I often have people ask me to explain to them why it is that I am so obsessed with traveling. A simple answer to this question may in fact be that there is no answer. It seems as though I have an inherent desire, or more accurately, a need to travel and experience new people and culture. And as an aspiring archaeologist, North Africa (Morocco) is of a special interest to me. I believe I have a talent for being a tolerant, respectful, and hard-working individual. I also seem to be able to express myself well with words and photography.


1965079_10203528254699776_2935398217473783052_nSiobhan Billings Pearce
Emmanual College
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hi! My name is Siobhan Billings Pearce and I am an International Relations and Spanish double major at Emmanuel College. I grew up in small town Maine without much aknowledgement of the outside world until I moved to Boston where I realized I have ten million things left to see and not a lot of time to see them. This semester in Argentina is my first time traveling outside of the United States. Visiting Argentina has been my dream since I was a child, so my whole life has truly been leading up to this point. When I´m not meticuloously planning my next excursion, I love knitting, kittens, cooking and cars. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share Buenos Aires with others via this blog. I have fallen in love with the city and I know you will too.

KatieBrady copyKatie Brady
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Beijing, China
I’m a senior in college, studying global studies with focuses and East Asia and environmentalism. The focus of my program is to increase my Chinese proficiency, but I’ll also be learning about China’s ethnic minorities! Outside of school, most of my time is spent playing the highland bagpipes. (Unfortunately, I can’t bring them with me!) I love learning about unusual instruments, so while in China I’m hoping to learn about various kinds of folk music. I’m also thinking of doing my senior project about environmental groups in China, so hopefully I’ll get some experience with the environmental groups in Beijing!

headshotCrystal Chilcott
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
London, England
I felt an instant attachment to London during my first visit. A lifelong anglophile, I was overwhelmed by British accents before I even left the customs line! During my time abroad, I want to study literature on the very ground that it was written. I hope to explore London, the British Isles, and Europe. At seventeen, I left my family and moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania without knowing anyone in the state to pursue figure skating at an Olympic Training Center site. I am excited to make a new circle of friends and create a home during my time abroad.

IMG957542_FotorTaylor Davis
Middle Tennessee State University
Florence, Italy
I grew up in a hospital and have a desire to see the world. I’m studying abroad because I believe that the first rule of truly living is to do the thing you’re most afraid of and for me that’s traveling, taking risks. I want adventure, to experience culture, history, art and anything else I can grab while I’m there. I love to write, paint/draw, read and take photographs. I want to be challenged and experience things that frighten me, which I can document through words on a page and the photos I take.






DSC_0020Mary Donofrio
Muhlenberg College
Christchurch, New Zealand
I am studying abroad this semester because I wanted to get the experience of being on my own in a new place, and to work towards my major at another university where I would be able to take course work that my home institution does not offer. I hope to see a lot of different places and meet a lot of people, but also to do well in my classes and learn as much as I can from my professors at Canterbury. I’d also really like to tap into New Zealand’s arts scene, so I plan on getting to as many museums, performances, and shows as possible, both in and outside of Christchurch. After I finish my undergraduate degree, I would like to go to graduate school and get my master’s in Dramaturgy, and eventually my PHD in Theatre and teach at the collegiate level. In addition to theatre, I enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction, going to concerts and listening to music, and photography. I take photos all the time, so I’ll probably have tons of pictures from my semester, and can’t wait to share them.

IMG_0779Katherine Dwire
Indiana University/Purdue University at Ft. Wayne
Dublin, Ireland
My name is Katherine and I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’ve lived here all my life, so I really excited to have the experience of living and studying somewhere else. I love traveling and writing, so I think I would enjoy writing about my time abroad. I always try to make the most of any experience. I love being thrown out of my comfort zone and love the challenge of experiencing new things. I try to be optimistic and find the fun in any situation.



HXUipBf2Sydney Ehmke
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Sydney, Australia
Have you ever had a desire put into your heart for no apparent reason? I have. Studying abroad in Australia just so happened to be that longing. During my time abroad I hope to expand my borders to a culture I’ve never known; to completely immerse myself into something foreign and soak up all that I have been missing as a person. What makes me unique is my spontaneity and willingness to pick up and go. Fulfilling this desire to travel to Australia knowing not a soul, will be the biggest step taken in my life, and the smallest worry.

10463071_10203786711291180_8679755534977571658_nCaroline Fry
Kansas State University
Heredia, Costa Rica
Having been born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas I decided that it was time to spread my wings a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love this town, but I was starting to feel stagnant. I decided I needed to leave all things familiar to me– this including my family, friends, university dance team, my sorority, and even my dog. Something inside me told me that Costa Rica is where I’m supposed to be in the fall. My heart beats fast thinking about how much I will learn from the people and land around me this upcoming semester.

image-1Mary Jo Gordon
University of Louisville
Malaga, Spain
I’m a rising junior at the University of Louisville, with a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish. I’m studying abroad to learn about the world, about myself, and to hopefully come home fluent in Spanish. I love fashion, filming, photography, Spanish, and sports. Hopefully I can combine at least two out of my five interests to create a dynamic career for myself. My hobbies include playing soccer and tennis, and I’m working on developing my photography skills.



isa 1Calley Hair
Washington State University
Valparaiso/Vina del Mar, Chile
As a writer and social media devotee with a healthy dose of wanderlust, blogging was always in the plan for my Chilean adventure. I started out as an opinion columnist for my school newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, and rose through the ranks to serve as the editor-in-chief last spring. Through that life-changing experience, I developed a meticulous eye for detail, a worshipful attitude toward the Deadline Gods, and an unwavering duty to our 11,000 readers. That passion for writing, for language that demands to be reread, is what put me on the path to journalism and keeps me there.

ISA Blog Photograph - Caira HeinzeCaira Heinze
Texas Woman’s University
Amman, Jordan
My sister named me after the triceratops dinosaur, but my parents made it more unique by spelling it Caira (like Sierra). C-AIR-A. I’m an avid smushed penny collector from the Lone Star State, and I once forced my freshman roommate to dance and sing to Taylor Swift songs (with hairbrushes). Despite loving forests and frigid weather, I’m headed to Amman, Jordan to dabble in a bit of Arabic and conduct more research on my passion: honor crimes and killings. I’m expecting to have some amazing experiences, meet interesting people, and come back home very very dry.

University of Nebraska-Omaha
Reading, England
I’m a 20-year-old undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I am studying abroad because I have wanted to travel to England for basically my entire life. I hope to learn more about the culture and to just take in the grand experience. I love drawing and painting, making homemade cards and other crafty things. I also love photography and writing.




blogphoto_janzLauren Janz

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
Paris, France
I am completing dream to study abroad in France. I hope to improve on my French and become more confident speaking the language. Aside from that, I want to experience how the French live and immerse myself in the city and culture. I am a frugal (or broke) fashionista. I use Pinterest as a major stress reliever (but I also pin for event ideas or recipes). I love to cook and trying new foods. I love using what’s in my fridge to create an amazing meal.



imageElise Kambou
Towson University
Durban, South Africa
I never spent my childhood growing up consistently in one place. My family was constantly moving around the globe, and I found myself calling different parts of the world home. As a result of all my travels, I developed a desire for understanding, a passion for people, and not to mention a knack for photography. Although I credit myself as being a global citizen, I have always considered myself to be an African first. It has been 12 years since I have returned to Africa, and felt that studying abroad would be the perfect opportunity to revisit my roots.


IMG_1159Savanna Kuertz
Miami University
Paris, France
After a school trip to France during my Junior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to go back and travel the world as much as possible. Now, as a Junior in college at Miami University I am returning to France once again to study abroad for a semester. During my three months abroad, I plan to visit many countries and to gain memories that will be with me for a life time. My goal is to be completely fluent in French by the time I return home because after graduation I would like to teach French.

IMG_3608Elissa Lahr
South Dakota State University
Heredia, Costa Rica
I have always had a love of the Spanish culture and language. With this opportunity to study abroad and be an ISA blogger, I hope to immerse myself in the culture of Costa Rica and maybe even come to call myself a “Tica.” Not only do I have a passion for anything involving the word “Spanish,” I love to exercise, experiment in the kitchen, volunteer as a student missionary on my campus, and dance. I feel my general love of life will definitely benefit me this semester as I cannot wait take any opportunity that arises in Heredia, Costa Rica.



MMA_1726_1Savannah Lee
Point Loma Nazarene University
Brussels, Belgium
I grew up as a “traveler” moving three times before the age of five. My next major move occurred as a sophomore in college as I studied abroad in London, England for a semester. This experience reawakened the passion for travel and led to employment in my university’s study abroad office, propelling me to take advantage of studying abroad for a second time. My former study abroad experience sets me apart because I intend to live in a more immersive and fearless way. This fall semester in Brussels, Belgium is my last semester of college so I hope to glean some wisdom on how to merge my passions with a career through my adventures in Europe.

image-1Angela Leis
Arizona State University
Barcelona, Spain
My name is Angela and I am a Global Studies and Spanish major at Arizona State University. This upcoming year, I will be in Barcelona, exploring the city and experiencing life in Europe. I have a love for change and with that, a fascination for travel and its ability to alter someone’s perspective on life. In the future, I plan to run my own NGO with the aim of developing a more modern and flexible curriculum to bring education to people in countries with limited resources. To me, expanding one’s mind is one of the most important things in life and I hope to do exactly this while abroad.

photoCourtney Luster
University of Denver
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am very excited to be studying abroad in Buenos Aires this fall. Traveling the world is my goal for the future and becoming a travel photojournalist is my career goal so going abroad was a no-brainer. With extensive writing familiarity, not only through a major in Creative Writing but also working on DU’s newspaper and literary journal, I can capture my experiences in an appealing way to audiences. Even in my hometown of Denver, Colorado, I have an insatiable need to explore the places around me so I would never run out of new material to fill my blog.

IMG_4496Abby Moncus
Virginia Wesleyan College
Dublin, Ireland
I am a junior at VWC this year and I am majoring in International Politics with minors in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. I had the opportunity to study with ISA in Galway, Ireland last summer and have found my home. I am dying to get back into Irish life. I love to explore and read. I work as a chef and love to cook. I have two sisters, one is my twin and the other is sixteen. I adore meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I am also obsessed with music and love to travel for concerts.


1010362_10204005096712569_3241635722395329278_nKaitlyn Moran
University of Denver
Prague, Czech Republic
I am a 19 year old born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. I attend school in Colorado, and although I have traveled all around the world I have never had the opportunity to live far away from home. I am really hoping my abroad experience will help me gain a new sense of independence I have not yet been forced to find. That being said, I love to explore my surroundings whether in my hometown or in a foreign city. I think the best way to learn a new city and culture is through food. Food is one of my passions and I love to cook and eat. I hope to learn my way around Prague through its idyllic farmers market and hidden local eateries.


isa blog photoCasey Nelson
Michigan Technological University
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
I’m a 20 year old college student from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who, aside from a week long trip to Los Angeles, has never been outside of the Midwestern United States. I’m studying abroad because as a chemical engineer, I would like to work on projects in developing countries, and this will be my first ever experience abroad. I chose to go to the DR because baseball is life over there, and my childhood hero, Sammy Sosa, hails from San Pedro de Macoris. I also love music and plan on bringing my ukulele with me.

okeeffe-hHeather O’Keeffe
Case Western Reserve University
Cape Town, South Africa
I’m Heather O’Keeffe, a Wisconsin native setting sail for Cape Town! Currently studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Sports Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, I decided 2014 was the perfect time for my inevitable year abroad. I landed upon Cape Town because English is an official language and South Africa seems really different from the USA. I’m looking forward to visiting Robben Island, participating in the world’s largest commercial bungee jump, exploring South African culture, finding adventures and partaking in anything and everything that crosses my path! It’s a big world out there, and I can’t wait to get lost in it.

Morgan Rajai
University of Colorado at Boulder
Barcelona, Spain
I am an advertising major at the University of Colorado. I am studying abroad to challenge myself and learn about another culture. I hope to grow as a person and learn to live outside of my comfort zone. I enjoy writing, taking pictures, and being spontaneous. I hope to share my experience with others as I take on a new adventure in Barcelona.




University of Nebraska Omaha
Cusco, Peru
I will be going in to my senior year of college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a major in journalism and a minor in spanish. My goals for my time abroad are to strengthen my language skills, immerse myself fully in to the culture, and come back with a wider, global perspective on things. I feel with my background in journalism, I would be a great fit for a featured blogger.




lindaLinda Samarah
University of Michigan Flint
Amman, Jordan
I am an Arab-American living in Michigan. I have always felt that I have been balancing both cultures (pretty unevenly) My parents’ efforts to preserve their culture lead me to resent my middle-eastern culture. Now that I’m in college, I’ve been curious to learn about my background. This is why I’m studying abroad. I’m trying to “find myself” which sounds cliche but is very true. I have many things to learn about myself but I do know that I’m passionate about reading, writing, music and singing. I would also say that I’m a good public speaker.

ISA Blog PhotoSarah Scott
Gettysburg College
Grahamstown, South Africa
I’m studying abroad because I thirst for the opportunity to both contribute to and benefit from the global community in new ways; I am anxious to grow as a result of studying in Grahamstown. I really couldn’t say what makes me unique; I don’t think that any one of my characteristics makes me unique, but rather that all of them together make me the individual that I am. My only noteworthy talent is rather a lack of basic skills (I can’t whistle, blow up balloons, snap my fingers…the list is actually quite extensive!). I do enjoy reading, running, and relaxing.

photoRachel Warren
University of Arkansas
Gold Coast, Australia
I’ve been obsessed with all things surfing since I was a little kid, although I’ve never even touched a surfboard and have lived landlocked my whole life. So, naturally, Australia has been the paradise I’ve always dreamed of, with its laid-back surf-centered culture and environment. I hadn’t planned on studying abroad in college, though–my decision to chase my dream and go to the land down under was spur-of-the-moment. Three months ago, I asked myself, “why not just do it?” And now, here I am, getting ready to move to the other side of the world.

IMG_1725Jasmine White
University of Utah
Meknes, Morocco
My name is Jasmine White and I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah near the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. I am a junior at the University of Utah majoring in International Studies and Arabic and I am studying abroad in Morocco to further my knowledge of the Arabic language and culture. This incredible opportunity will allow me to broaden my perspective and to learn and grow in many ways. I enjoy adventuring outdoors, traveling, photography, and I am currently working on receiving my professional skydiving license. I look forward to all the adventures Morocco will bring!

IMG_0802Katherine Woodward
Rollins College
Rome, Italy
As a Communications major, I feel that studying abroad is itself a method of strengthening my interpersonal skills. Thrown into a different environment, I will have to adapt quickly. I always appreciate style and fashion. During my middle school days, I remember shedding my mandatory uniform on the free dress Fridays and wearing an original outfit. I like the challenge of putting together outfits for friends and family. This love of fashion led to me creating a fashion Instagram account. It is a creative outlet for me to share my style with people all over the world.

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