Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Abnos DDustin Abnos
Kansas State University
Barcelona, Spain

My name is Dustin Abnos, and I am a junior at Kansas State University, double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Spanish. I am 21 years old, and will be attending the University of Barcelona, looking to improve my Spanish speaking skills. Being a huge soccer (the real “football”) fan, I plan to attend one FC Barcelona game during the next 4 months in Spain. I am excited to learn more about the Spanish culture, whether it is the food, music, dances, or arts. Being a fan of food, I am especially eager famous Spanish dishes, such as the paella, and tapas. I was born and raised in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but traveling the world is something I love to do. I have already traveled to over 20 states and have traveled internationally, including Peru, China, and Mexico. With this trip to Barcelona, I plan on not only exploring the wondrous cities in Spain but also the “must-see” cities in other countries around Europe. I am looking forward to the priceless experiences and friendships that await me in the upcoming semester.

Anderson SSophia Anderson
Rhodes College
Prague, Czech Republic

Hailing from Atlanta, GA, I am eager to study abroad in Prague this semester and immerse myself in a new city. Along with my independent explorations, I will also be taking classes at the University of Economics- Prague and blogging my adventures. As an English and Business double major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, I hope that this experience will allow me to exercise my skills as a writer, business woman, and world traveller. I cannot wait to find out what this semester has in store for me and to learn about a culture that is completely foreign from my own.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJeffrey Angeloty
Regis University
Brussels, Belgium

Greetings, I’m Jeffrey Angeloty a 20 year old Communication major and Sociology minor studying at Regis University in Denver, CO. Born and raised in San Jose, CA, I have the best of both worlds by enjoying the beauty of Colorado, and the pristine beaches in sunny California. I’m a vertically gifted 6’6 individual who has passion for theatre, and performing arts in general. I’m pumped to study abroad in Brussels, and attend Vesalius College. I look forward to my elementary Dutch class that will help me better communicate and interact with the locals. I cannot wait to experience the European culture, museums, and Belgian cuisine (moules and frites anyone?) I have always loved to travel to different places, and now have the opportunity to experience the sights and adventures that Belgium and Europe have to offer. I’m thrilled to let you see a glimpse of my semester abroad with ISA!

Barrera CCelene Barrera
Bennington College
Meknes, Morocco

My name is Celene and I call Southern California my home. I’m currently studying Political Economy and Politics at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. My particular academic interests center around community organization for political and social change and its effect on campaigns/elections, with a particular focus on migrant communities. I want to study abroad in Morocco to learn more about Arab politics and culture, and want to try my hand at learning Arabic. I’ve never traveled outside of the country before, so I’m hoping to take some great pictures, eat good food, and learn as much as humanly possible. Looking forward to sharing my experiences!

Bowen HHaley Bowen
Rollins College
Rome, Italy

I’m 21 years old, and I was born in Houston, Texas! I grew up in Winter Park, FL, however, and now attend Rollins College. I am majoring in Studio Art and double minoring in Art History and Creative Writing. I was given the wonderful opportunity to travel to Europe this past summer, visiting the south of France, Italy, England and Switzerland. Out of all the major cities we saw, Rome put me in a different place. I felt old-world, I felt Renaissance, I felt that I was stepping foot into another time. I knew that studying abroad was an option for me, so I immediately picked ISA’s program for this incredible city. Being an artist and writer, I hope to be culturally immersed from this new place artistically, art historically, and in my writings. I want to be given experiences I’ll never forget. So, enjoy my writings as much as I will enjoy them!

Brooks KKelsi Brooks
Georgia College and State University
San José, Costa Rica

I am a studio art major at Georgia College and State University from Atlanta, Georgia. I chose to study with International Studies Abroad for the quantity of benefits that they offered, such as included meals and excursions, a structured atmosphere for travel, a great support system online and helpful assistance both overseas and in the United States. As a featured blogger in Costa Rica, I hope to expand my knowledge about Central American people and their cultures, as well as improve my writing skills and my understanding of how media can enhance and transform one’s experience abroad.

Chernicky JJulia Chernicky
University of Pittsburgh
Málaga and Granada, Spain

I am from Erie, Pennsylvania and go to school in Pittsburgh, PA, where I am studying Psychology. I had a welcoming introduction to Spanish lifestyle in Malaga this past fall, but will be in Granada this semester. This spring is my last semester of college, and I am hoping to expand on my background knowledge of European history and make the most of my time here. I am excited to explore a new city, learn more about its rich history, and share all I discover with you!

Dispenza LLaurel Dispenza
Olivet Nazarene University
Heredia, Costa Rica

Born in Ohio, moved to Indiana, currently attend university in Illinois, gone around the world, and now I will rest for a while in Costa Rica. My name is Laurel Dispenza. I’m almost a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University, a small school south of Chicago, and my majors are in Spanish and Intercultural Studies, but I am a scholar who’s classrooms are the many countries of the world and who’s teacher is life. Writing is my release and languages are among my loves. Culture captivates me, and I’m learning to humbly learn from everyone I meet. While in the beautiful place called Costa Rica I hope to learn much more than Spanish, growing holistically in all aspects of life and soaking in the beauty of that which is natural in nature. During my time abroad as well as upon my return, I hope to see and participate in the holistic restoration of Life, making many friends as the adventures commence. So let us begin this journey together, taking just one more step forward on this road we’re already walking along.

Elamin ENadia Elamin
Chatham University
Amman, Jordan

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where I currently live today. I attend Chatham University and major in International Studies with a concentration in the Middle East. I have chosen to study abroad in Amman, Jordan in order to genuinely experience what the Middle East has to offer through Jordanian culture. Because my father is from Sudan, I have always had a close connection to the Arabic language and Arab culture. Having just recently discovered this side of my identity, I would like to further explore this part of myself both academically and personally through my experience in Amman. In addition, I hope to enhance my linguistic skills in the Arabic language and gain a better understanding of my own culture, Jordan, and the Middle East as a whole. In all, I hope to grow from this experience as a person and a student and gain a better understanding of a culture and place that is often misunderstood.

Green BBlythe Green
Washington State University
Prague, Czech Republic

My name is Blythe Green and I am an adventure-craving 20something with roots planted in the enchanting city of Seattle. I am currently pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in fine arts at Washington State University. Choosing to study abroad in Prague was a rather spur-of-the-moment decision. I knew I wanted to go somewhere, but I was very indecisive about just where that would be. I couldn’t shake the idea of Prague out of my head so I ended up trusting my gut and going for it. I’m excited to immerse myself in this beautiful city while sharing plenty of photos and stories along the way.

Hale K Katie Hale
Luther College
Paris, France

My name is Katie Hale. I’m 20 years old and from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I am a Junior English and French double major at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, but I’m so excited to be calling Paris my home for the next six months! I’ve been a Francophile since middle school and I just knew I had to study abroad in Paris or I would forever kick myself at such an incredible missed opportunity! I’m looking forward to becoming fluent in French (I hope!), as well as learning more about French culture (plus a trip or two to Disneyland wouldn’t hurt!). My hobbies include reading, writing, nail art, and watching Disney movies or Doctor Who. I can’t wait to share the stories of my adventures in France!

hartley sSarah Hartley
University of Tulsa
Brussels, Belgium

My name is Sarah Hartley, and I am from Norman, Oklahoma. I study communications and public relations at the University of Tulsa. Although I am proud to be an Oklahoman and love cheering on my OKC Thunder, I can’t wait to call Brussels, Belgium my home for the semester! Although a lot of things about Brussels will be brand new to me, I do know this: I love meeting people, going on adventures and challenging myself to continually learn new things. Tack Belgian waffles onto the list and I will be living the dream.

Hatfield LLyndsy Hatfield
The College of Saint Rose
Galway, Ireland

Hello! My name is Lyndsy Hatfield. I am a small town girl from Moravia, N.Y. I am a sophomore attending The College of Saint Rose, located in Albany N.Y. I major in Business Administration, with a concentration in Financial Planning, as well as a minor in English. I chose to study abroad in Ireland, because I have always wanted to travel to the Emerald Isle. I feel a deep desire to discover more about my Irish heritage. I have always wondered, and now is my opportunity to learn more about myself as well as my family. During my time in Ireland, I hope to learn to appreciate the Irish way of life, to understand their customs, as well as embrace their ‘love of the land.’ I will start by making friends in Galway, where I will be studying at NUI Galway, (short for National University of Ireland), but also every other place I visit, while in the country of the friendliest people in the world.

Hulsey SSam Hulsey
Middle Tennessee State University
Cusco, Peru

Hey Everyone! My name is Sam and I’m a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University double majoring in Spanish and Global Studies as well as shooting for a minor in Environmental Sciences and Technologies. When I’m not planning my next adventure abroad you can find me hiking, skateboarding, or exploring new musical instruments. After spending the past summer as an eco-tour guide in Juneau, Alaska I’m thrilled to be heading south for a semester nestled in the Andes. During my time in Cusco not only will I be experiencing full immersion in a Spanish speaking environment, but I’ll be learning Quechua and serving as an intern for a local conservation group. Whether they be frivolous, awkward, or slightly embarrassing, I can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you.

Leehong KKatharine Leehong
University of South Carolina
Seoul, South Korea

I am a junior media arts major, french minor, and I’ll be studying abroad at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. Looking for culture shock and more than just a language immersion program, here’s to hoping I have plenty to relay to any readers interested in the program in the future, especially those looking for elusive media specific programs in non-English speaking countries (which are surprisingly difficult to find.)

Llewellyn SSandra Llewellyn
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Santiago, Dominican Republic

I’m from Amherst, MA by way of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. I’m a UMass Amherst Anthropology major, minoring in Spanish and Education. I am so excited for the opportunity to study abroad again, this time in Santiago, Dominican Republic as 4 weeks in Salamanca, Spain was not enough! This program provides the opportunity for me to combine all of my interests, while indulging the traveling bug I’ve carried around with me since childhood. This semester, I look forward to leaning into the experience of being in a new environment and approaching things with curiosity. I want to do tons of traveling, make amazing new friends, and of course drastically improve my Spanish-speaking skills. I’ve always dreamed of having a blog, a creative outlet in which to connect with other people on everything from college life, to travel to fashion and social justice. Documenting my journey in this way, would make it most memorable. I hope in sharing my experiences with prospective students, I can pass along a bit of that travel bug.

Marrakchi NNadia Marrakchi
Colorado State University
Amman, Jordan

Ahlan wa Sahlan! I was born and raised in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. I am a junior at Colorado State University, majoring in International Studies as well as minoring in Arabic Studies and International Development. I am about to achieve a dream of mine as I spend my spring semester in the captivating city of Amman! I have been influenced by the Arab world my whole life as my father is from Morocco which has given me the opportunity to spend many summers amongst family and friends, absorbing the culture. I chose to study in Jordan to stray away from what is easy and familiar in Morocco and instead challenge myself to become more independent. I hope to improve my Arabic language skills tremendously and experience first-hand the Jordanian culture. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I plan to join the Peace Corps in an Arab speaking country and work to generate awareness about the importance of youth advancement throughout the world. Ultimately, I aspire to start my own international non-profit organization promoting human rights. I am excited for this incredible opportunity to blog about my experiences while studying abroad as I jump headfirst into Jordan to experience the unknown!

McFarland CCydney McFarland
Arizona State University
Meknes, Morocco

I’m Cydney, with a C. I grew up in a spattering of small towns near the Puget Sound in Washington. For three years I’ve been studying at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix. However, due to my insufferable wanderlust I have decided it’s time for a bit of an adventure. So I’m leaving the States behind, and I am off to Morocco for the spring semester. I’ll be sharing plenty of stories of cultural immersion, language barriers and the various mishaps and mayhem that are bound to ensue. Also, there will be much talk of food, because no adventure is complete without food.

McPherson PPhoebe McPherson
University of New Hampshire
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

Hola! I’m Phoebe, a sophomore who relocated from outside of Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia to the University of New Hampshire to study journalism and Spanish. I’m temporarily relocating again to explore and experience life 5800 miles south in Viña del Mar, (and Valparaíso) Chile. I’m Mexican and British and have had a travel bug implanted in me ever since I was a child. I’ve been to England and the United Kingdom many times, but now it’s time for me to embrace my Latina heritage. Chile grabbed my attention from its fame in the snowboard world, and I was hooked. I’ve mastered Spanglish but am eager to master Spanish. My favorite Spanish-language book is Rosaura a las Diez. I’m used to filling my schedule to the brim with running, yoga, reading, editing, and writing articles; but for the semester I’m putting my busy lifestyle aside. I believe in smiles and positivity, and can not wait to see all that the country has in-store for me.

Mehl MMikayla Mehl
Point Loma Nazarene University
Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am currently a Junior at Point Loma Nazarene University. I started in Fashion Merchandising and have recently added a Spanish major. I am so excited (and nervous!) to practice my Spanish in the beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina! Growing up in Oregon and taking Spanish in high school, I never expected to love the language or culture so much. I continued taking Spanish classes at my university and decided that I didn’t want to be done with them. Thanks to my wonderful teachers and professors along the way, I am now considering teaching high school Spanish and hope that studying in Buenos Aires will improve my fluency, confidence, and passion for Spanish. Five months in Argentina sounds daunting since it will be the longest I’ve ever been away from home, but I am looking forward to the adventures, new places and people, as well as the many mistakes am sure to make along the way!

Migdali DDanya Migdali
California Lutheran University
Florence, Italy

Ciao! My name is Danya Migdali and I am from Newbury Park, California. I am an English major completing my final year at California Lutheran University. I chose to study abroad in Italy because I’ve never been there and have always wanted to. I want to experience the culture, and the people, and who am I kidding, they have gelato! I hope I get to really see what different cultures are like. I’ve traveled places before (both my parents are from different countries), but I’ve never been fully immersed in a culture for four months, and I can’t wait to see how that changes and inspires me as a person. Additionally, I can’t wait to try all the new things that Italy has to offer, including all the flavors of gelato.

Miller LLeah Miller
Westminster College
Málaga, Spain

Minnesota, Utah and now…Malaga! When I am not hiking, running and biking, I spend my time studying Communication, Sociology and Spanish at beautiful Westminster College in Salt Lake City. I have always wanted to be fluent in Spanish and what better way to do that then move to Málaga to focus my studies solely on the Spanish language? By the end of this experience, I plan to have gone on some amazing adventures that allow me to have a greater understanding of the Spanish language and culture.

Miller MMichaela Miller
Metropolitan State University
Cusco, Peru

Hey guys! I’m Michaela Miller from the mountains of Summit County, Colorado. I am currently attending Metropolitan State University in Denver, pursuing international studies and anthropology. I love adventure, drinking coffee, hiking and climbing. I chose to study in Cusco because I want to learn Spanish and explore the colorful culture and the amazing archaeological sites. I’m excited to meet new people, get to know Peru as a local and gain new perspectives. I’m grateful for this opportunity to write for the ISA blog and share my experiences with everyone!

Mizell DDaniel Mizell
Arizona State University
Paris, France

I’m a junior studying Biology at Arizona State University. My whole life has been spent in Arizona, so of course I’m at that point where I want to get away for a while. I’ve wanted to study abroad in France since I was in high school, so finally getting that opportunity is a bit surreal. While in Paris, I want to improve my French and see as much of Europe as possible, but mostly France, Germany, England, and Ireland. When I’m not doing biology or French-related things, you can find me either watching TV, reading, or writing. I’ve got a bit of an obsession with stories. If I’m not doing any of those, I’m probably yo-yoing. I’m the 2012 Arizona State Yo-Yo Champion, so I need to keep practicing.

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.

Ovian, MaggieMaggie Ovian
James Madison University
Sevilla, Spain

I’m from Madison, Connecticut and am a junior at James Madison University in Virginia where I major in Spanish and minor in Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies. Studying abroad has been an experience that I’ve wanted since high school, and I can’t believe I finally get the chance to live my dream! I will be studying in the beautiful city of Sevilla for the fall and spring semesters. After spending the majority of my academic life studying Spanish in a classroom setting, I can’t wait to fully immerse myself. I’m looking forward to flamenco, fast-paced Spanish conversations, and FOOD! A year’s worth of adventure is waiting for me, and I’m so excited to experience it!

Pelaez MManuela Pelaez
University of Georgia
Salamanca, Spain

My name is Manuela Pelaez and I am a third year at the University of Georgia double majoring in Advertising and International Affairs, with a minor in Portuguese. I was born in Bogota, Colombia but I have lived in Georgia most of my life. After growing up in a unique blend of Southern charm and Latin American flavor, I’m ready for something completely out of my comfort zone. I’ll be making my way over the pond to the wonderful city of Salamanca, Spain! I was immediately drawn to the city because of its intimate size and the prestige of studying in la Universidad de Salamanca. By taking courses with locals, I hope to fully immerse myself into the Spanish student lifestyle, while improving my writing and reading skills along the way. I’ve dreamt of travel since I was little and I hope this is my first adventure of many more to come

Pond KKatie Pond
University of California, San Diego
Madrid, Spain

I’m a junior studying Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution at UC San Diego. I’m from Sebastopol, a little town in Northern California, and I’m really excited to be studying abroad in Madrid this Spring! It’s always been my dream to travel, so I can’t wait to meet new friends, try new food, and explore as much as I can in my time there!

Reicks MMariah Reicks
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Valencia, Spain

I am a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying Spanish, English, and Pre-Occupational Therapy. I’m passionate about discovering and exploring the different ideas, customs and traditions of other cultures. I love reading anything from Jane Austen’s Persuasion to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind and much more! I’m an amateur hiker, as well as an antiquing enthusiast! I’m a huge fan of Johnny Cash and anything vinyl that I can get my hands on. Growing up on a small farm in a rural community, I’ve never left the country, so I am looking forward to any and all adventures that await abroad in España!

Ruiz MMaria Fernanda Ruiz-Pineda
The University of Texas at El Paso
Seoul, South Korea

My name is Maria Fernanda Ruiz-Pineda. I am 19 years old and a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso. My major is Anthropology and my minors are Economics and Spanish. I plan to work in an area of Global Health when I graduate. I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain through ISA last summer, and I loved it so much that it motivated my to try something more exotic like Seoul, South Korea. Traveling and learning about different cultures, ways of life, and people fascinates me, which is why I am thrilled for this new experience.

Schulz MMegan Schulz
Colorado State University
Sevilla, Spain

My name is Megan, and I am from the small town Mead, Colorado. I go to Colorado State University where I study history with a concentration in social studies teaching, and Spanish as a minor. I love reading, a good cup of coffee, and learning! Originally, I looked at Spain as a study abroad location so I can gain a greater understanding of the Spanish language while learning about Spain’s rich history. I was drawn to Sevilla because it looked like a beautiful city and ISA offered the Education in a Multicultural Context program there. I was thrilled that I could continue my passion of working with students while in Sevilla. At the end of my spring semester, I hope to gain new perspectives through living in another culture. To do this, I want learn from new people and step out of my comfort zone!

Sharon AAmanda Sharon
Saint Anselm College
Sevilla, Spain

My name is Amanda Sharon and I am from the small town of Berlin, Massachusetts. Currently, I attend Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. I am a junior International Relations major with a minor in Communication and Spanish. I always knew I wanted to study abroad and have the chance to travel. In high school, I traveled to Madrid, Spain for a class trip and fell in love with the country and culture. I chose Seville because it is a smaller city in the South of Spain with a rich history and beautiful architecture. I hope that studying abroad will bring me out of my comfort zone and teach me to look at the world from a different perspective. I hope to meet new people while abroad, explore Seville, and improve my Spanish speaking skills too. I look forward to the many adventures that lay ahead of me during my time abroad!

Slaymaker RReina Slaymaker
College of Charleston
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

I’m a junior studying Arts Administration, International Studies and Spanish as part of the Honors College at the College of Charleston. I grew up in a k-12 Spanish Immersion Program known as the International Spanish Academy where half of my classes, including math and science, were taught in Spanish by native speakers from all over the world. My semester in Chile will be my first experience taking classes in Spanish and learning the language in-depth in a natively Spanish-speaking country, where I’m sure I’ll quickly go from feeling “fluent” to completely novice–but I’m excited for all the wonderful things I will learn! I was born in Japan and lived there for a short time during my childhood, though I never learned to speak the language. Aside from this amazing experience, Chile is the only country other than the United States where I will be completely immersed in a culture. I chose Chile because after learning from teachers who originated in different parts of South America, where I have never been, I’ve heard that Valparaíso is one of the most beautiful and wonderful cities to live in, especially at a college age. I’m also looking forward to venturing to several other nearby places while I’m abroad and explore as much as possible!

Stallbaumer AAbbey Stallbaumer
University of Central Missouri
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hi, I’m Abbey. I’m 20 years old, originally from Kansas, USA. I attend school at the University of Central Missouri where I am studying Spanish and International Studies. As I studied Spanish speaking countries in the classes at my university, the interesting history of Argentina and the vibrant culture of the Argentine people quickly caught my eye, which made my decision to study abroad in Argentina easy. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires this spring. Through this experience I hope to not only gain cultural awareness, but also to challenge myself and learn what it truly means to be an Argentine.

Tanner EElise Tanner
University of Utah
Barranquilla, Colombia

I’m a Junior studying Psychology and Latin American Studies at the University of Utah. I’ve always been drawn to all things Latin American including food, culture, people, and most of all the music. I enjoy many different kinds of music and in my free time I like to play bass, guitar and drums.

Tella MMary Tella
Rider University
Granada, Spain

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but I am currently a junior at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I am double majoring in Journalism and Global Studies and minoring in Political Communications. I chose to study abroad for the Spring semester in Granada, Spain because I want to experience a Spanish city that is less metropolitan than the other cities that I researched. For the next five months I hope to get a few things out of my experience in Spain and the rest of Europe. The one thing I really hope to experience is culture shock. I want to be engaged in a culture that is so different from mine that every moment that I am in it is spectacular. The next few months will be magical, spontaneous, and exiting.

Tracey MMorgan Tracey
Huntington University
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

I’m from New Haven, Indiana. I am currently a junior psychology student at Huntington University. I’ve wanted to go to South Africa ever since high school, when I met someone from there. The way they spoke of the country was so beautiful, and I’ve been dying to experience it ever since. I want to learn how other people live, and live like them. I want to gain a new perspective on the world.

Van Ert C

Colin Van Ert
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Florianópolis, Brazil

I’m a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and occasionally learn things about International Communication and the portuguese language. I grew up in Milwaukee, I was born there, I love it to pieces, but now it’s high time to take this show on the road. I’m very much looking forward to spending this coming spring semester in Florianópolis, Brazil, a place which is renowned for its natural beauty. It will be an invaluable opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and take a second look at the world. Some of my most favorite pursuits include playing the guitar, snowboarding, getting outdoors, and I also have a minor love affair with capoeira, a brazilian martial art that blurs the lines of fight, dance, and music. Things I look forward to from this experience? Finding myself on a surfboard waiting for the next wave to break, late nights with friends I have yet to meet, falling in love with a people and culture I’ve never known, and returning home to friends and family with a renewed global mindset.

Vutech AAnna Vutech
DePaul University
Paris, France

My name is Anna and I am from Columbus, Ohio. As much as I love my hometown, I craved the city life so I recently moved to Chicago. I am a junior studying at DePaul University, majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in art history. It has been a dream of mine for some time now to study abroad in Paris with the hopes of expanding my knowledge of Parisian culture and the French language. While I want to see as much of Paris as possible, I am also looking forward to traveling outside of France and sharing the experiences of my travels along the way.

Wasko SStephanie Wasko
Old Dominion University
Sevilla, Spain

I have grown up in the same house situated in Virginia Beach, VA with my parents and three younger sisters. I am currently a sophomore at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. I am pursuing a double major in Journalism and Spanish. Even before I made my college decision, I knew that I wanted to spend a semester in Spain. Adding a Spanish major made La Universidad de Sevilla the perfect study abroad location. As a dancer, I am eager to learn more about the birthplace of Flamenco and experience the rich culture associated with it. Despite the many years of Spanish language classes in high school and college, I have never had the opportunity to become fully immersed. Returning fluent in Spanish is on my bucket list. I am excited to experience the Spanish way of life in contrast to the familiar rhythms here in the US. I look forward to the tapas bars, Flamenco performances, classes on the beautiful campus in Seville, and the many travel adventures I will have. I look forward to the many writing inspirations and stories to share. I hope that others will get a taste of Spain through my posts.

Willoughby, RussellRussell Willoughby
University of Alabama
Paris, France

My name is Russell Willoughby, though I compulsively add my middle name, Jane, for clarification. I’m currently a junior at the University of Alabama, where I am majoring in English and minoring in French. Though my mom is Canadian and my father was born in Panama, I have lived in Alabama for my entire life, and the opportunity to spend a year in Paris, a cultural capital, feels right in my bones. I chose a year-long program BECAUSE it scared me, and I wanted to start saying “yes!” to the scary things early in life. While I’ll be trading football for French lessons and queso for quiche, I hope to present a melding of perspectives in my blog posts, an openness and eagerness that will hopefully translate on and beyond the page.

Woodhouse AAllison Woodhouse
College of Charleston
London, England

I am currently a sophomore at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where I am an early childhood education major. Originally from the unremarkable town of Clarksville, Maryland, sometimes I stretch the truth and tell people I’m from Washington, D.C. because really it’s close enough. I will be spending my spring 2014 semester in London, England, a city I visited once at the age of eleven and have been mildly obsessed with since. I am incredibly excited to be able to live in my favorite city and fully immerse myself in the culture, even though while I was there I saw the queen and she waved in my general direction, thus basically making me a native Brit (that’s how that works, right?). I see my time abroad as an opportunity for adventure, to explore Europe, and to expand my knowledge of suitable breakfast teas.

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