My name is Esther Appiah, born in Ghana, West Africa but now live in the U.S. I am 22 years old and attend Ohio State University, majoring in Art and Technology. I love trying new things, and because of this, my hobbies keep growing but as of now my favorites are swimming, cooking, baking, sewing, drawing, writing poetry and stories, painting, taking photographs, making jewelry, reading and learning new languages. I love teaching Sunday school at church and I volunteer for the Ohio State ALP conversation partner program. I love to experience new cultures and I believe that understanding a person’s culture and the way they live helps understand that person better. I love to smile, and I love the phrases, “A smile does not cost anything but achieves a lot,” and “It takes more energy to frown than to smile, so smile and your smile can brighten someone’s day.”
Hola todos! My name is Victor Benavides. I hail from Queens, NY and study at the University of Notre Dame, where I am majoring in American Studies. I am of Italian and Peruvian descent. Having already visited Italy, the decision to study abroad in Peru was an easy one! During this trip, I hope to hone my Spanish conversational skills while also engulfing myself Peru’s rich culture. I have a research component attached to trip titled: “Family Dynamics in Peru and the United States: Cultural and Social Patterns in Immigration.” My research will afford me the opportunity to meet what family I have here in Peru and the opportunity to walk the same streets and pass through the same parks in which my dad grew up playing soccer. No words can describe my excitement! I hope that this trip is just the first of many in which I am able to experience a culture foreign to me.
My name is Karen Coates and I am a post-baccalaureate student at Rowan University in New Jersey. My undergraduate degree is in music and I’ve returned to study Spanish and business. Although I’ve always come back to South Jersey, I do love to travel. Until now, I’ve only traveled within the U.S. and Canada. I’m really excited to travel to Europe and explore Spain. I was told that only 2% of college students study abroad, so I’m grateful that I am able to be one of them. When I thought about studying abroad, Spain was an easy choice. In addition to studying the language, I’ve been intrigued by the culture of Spain; particularly of music and dancing. Flamenco, beautiful architecture, Spanish guitar, and amazing food are the things I’m looking forward to most. Of course, the weather is going to be beautiful for all of my adventures. What more could I ask for?
Hello everyone! My name is Krysten Cooper and I am studying Scientific and Technical Communication with a Music minor at Michigan Technological University. As a communications major, I found England was an easy choice for me due to the esteemed writing programs that can be found in universities across the country (including King’s College London, my soon-to-be home). In addition, I’ve always been a fan of literature (British, in particular) and the arts and I am looking forward to experiencing the country that can inspire such magic from the minds of artists. While abroad my goal is to learn how to communicate effectively within an unfamiliar culture and share in a different view of this vast and wonderful world we all share.
My name is Nicole Davidson. I am from Midland, Michigan and live with my mom and two cats. I commute to Saginaw Valley State University where I am majoring in Spanish for Education and Secondary Education. I am minoring in Political Science for Education. Due to my Spanish major and having to obtain a certain level of proficiency for certification, I have elected to study in Salamanca, Spain this summer. During the little free-time that I have I enjoy the following: cooking, baking, music, poetry, camping, politics, and spending time with family and friends. I frequently cook dinner for a small group of friends at home. My travel experience thus far is limited; I have been to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Ontario. I have also spent a lot of time traveling around Michigan with my family and friends—and could go on for several hours about the natural beauty of my home state. Currently I am anticipating many new experiences and adventures in Spain.
Hello All! My name is Clare and I am from the great state of Michigan. I grew up in Grand Haven, but I go to school at Hope College in Holland where I will be finishing out my degree next year in Social Work and Spanish. I am excited to be a featured blogger for ISA and share the Colombian culture with everyone! I have wanted to study abroad ever since I started Spanish my freshman year of high school and now seven years later I am finally getting the opportunity. I love adventuring and I cannot wait to start my adventures in Colombia as I set foot in a city and country I have never been to before. I cannot wait to meet my new family and community to start this amazing process of growth and learning through improving my Spanish and experiencing the vibrant Latin-Caribbean culture that is Barranquilla.
Hola amigos! My name is Alyse Faour and I am beyond excited to be an ISA blogger. I could not be more thrilled to be spending the summer in San Jose as part of the ELAP division! I am about to start my senior year at Florida State University as an Editing, Writing and Media (yes, that is one major) and Spanish double major. I realized that taking classes has given me such a solid foundation in the language, but in order to improve my fluency I really needed to immerse myself. Studying abroad has been on my bucket list since I was in elementary school. I always wanted to go for a semester, but because of other commitments at school it was difficult to get away. I finally realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and that I needed to have this experience sooner than later. I have never been to Costa Rica, but I have only heard wonderful things about the country and San Jose. I cannot wait to meet my host family as well as make bonds that will last beyond this experience. I hope you enjoy the stories I have to share with you and that they will inspire you to study abroad and see the world. LET’S DO THIS.
Hola y Oi! I’m Janey, a rising junior at Washington & Lee University. I’m from Atlanta, but Lexington, Va, my college’s town, is more and more becoming my home. There, I am double majoring in journalism and Romance Languages, with a focus in Spanish and Portuguese. Anything adventurous that does not involve insects or roller coasters appeals to me. When I’m not reading or running, I love hiking, climbing, horseback riding and making fires with my friends. I have always had a passion for learning and travel. Having been to several Spanish speaking countries in South America, I am excited to visit the Lusophone country of Brazil. During my time in Florianópolis, I plan to improve my language skills, immerse myself in a new culture, explore, and share my experiences.
My name is Jennifer and I am from Southern California. I am a graduate student earning my degree in clinical psychology and I currently work as a counselor with children and adults. I love to travel, meet new people and experience new cultures so I could not be more excited about sharing my adventures in San Jose, Costa Rica this summer. One of my life goals is to learn Spanish and I am delighted to finally be able to immerse myself in the language. I also love photography, food, wine, good conversation, adventure, and writing. I have a great interest in psychology, people and making the world a better place one connection at a time so I will be sharing the cultural connections that I encounter during my semester abroad. ¡Pura Vida!
My name is Katie Hayes. I’m going to be a senior communications major in the fall at Texas Tech University, which is about 6 hours north of my hometown, Austin. Originally I started to look into Buenos Aires, my study abroad home for the month, simply because the program here offers a foreign language credit that I needed. However, the more I learned about the capital of Argentina, the more I fell in love with the idea of (re)learning Spanish in a South American country. Now that I am here, there’s no shadow of a doubt that I love this place.
Hello everyone! I’m Lyssa Hoganson, a rising junior at Georgia College where I double major in Theatre and English with a concentration in creative writing. This summer I am extremely excited (read: terrified) to spend two months at Florida State University’s London Centre participating in their Theatre Academy London program. After graduation, I plan to pursue classical acting, and I can’t wait to embrace my passion in the heart of the most historically important city in the English-speaking theatre world. I’ve grown up in a small town and go to school in a small town, so it’ll be a change to live in a big city, especially one in a foreign country. I’m ready to tackle it all (international electrical outlets, the tube, getting lost more than once) not just in spite of my fear, but because of it. I believe in taking risks and in having adventures. I believe I’m not going to do this perfectly the first time and will have plenty of misadventures to share. I believe in tea with milk and I believe in William Shakespeare and I believe that this summer could point me in the direction of my future. My goal is to come home a better person than I left. Keep calm and run away to London!
My name is Chelsea Baez-Johnson and I am from Memphis, Tennessee! I am finally a senior at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. My major is Public Relations and I have a double minor in Spanish and Entrepreneurship. I chose to study abroad in the Dominican Republic because of the internship opportunity as well as to visit the place that my grandparent’s called home for much of their lives. I hope that this experience will be the beginning of me learning to speak Spanish fluently. I also hope to learn a ton about the culture and history (outside of google) and eat as much food as possible!
Hi! My name is Anne Lewis, and I am currently living in Meknes, Morocco for the summer, where I will be writing about my experiences in this amazing country as an ISA blogger! I have just completed my freshman year at the University of Alabama, where I have a double major in Spanish and International Relations with a concentration in the Middle East. This major and my minor in Arabic, along with my love for adventure and different cultures, are what brought me here to Morocco, and I hope to someday become fluent in Arabic! I absolutely love the language as well as learning about foreign languages in general. Although I attend a university in Alabama, I am from the colder state of New Hampshire, where I grew up. I love to travel and can’t wait to share my stories! I will be posting here as well as on my regular travel/adventure blog, which you can visit here: http://www.memoirsofanadventurer.com.
Hola! My name is Sarah Maher, and I’m just a small town girl (living in a lonely world) on an adventure in Peru. I’ve got my whole life packed in a suitcase by my feet (more or less, all the important things). For the next month I will be staying in Cusco, Peru with a host family through the ISA program. I chose this program because of the diversity of the country (and the way in which they speak Spanish- I need all the help I can get). As I said, I am a small town girl, more specifically from central Illinois (fun fact to show how small my town is: my high school graduating class was 42 students). In the U.S. I am a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, studying Radio-Television (yes, that is an actual major; and yes, I no I do not expect to work in fast food after I graduate). I am also minoring in Spanish, which is one thing I hope to gain from this experience (an ability to actually use some of the 6 years of Spanish classes I have taken). Otherwise I just really look forward to having fun and seeing a part of the world that I wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to see!
Ciao! My name is Hannah McDonald and I’m from Kansas City Kansas and I currently attend the school of a small town—the one and only Emporia State University. There I am studying mental health counseling with a minor in psychology, however I am off to Florence Italy to study photography. Photography is something I accidentally fell into my freshman year of high school, and ever since I haven’t been able to put my camera down. I have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity to travel abroad and gain what I believe to be the best art education I can get in the place where it all started. I know a little French, and barely any Italian, so I am in for a big culture shock but most importantly the experience of a lifetime. I look forward to waking up every morning in my homestay and looking at the small café right across the street, walking to the campus, saying hello to the locals on the daily route, shopping the famous Italian leather, tasting the glorious food, and more then anything, growing as a person inside and out.
I am a part-time francophile, blogging out of Paris for the summer. I love Paris for the language, as well as the arts and the bread. When not having a café au lait or wandering in le jardin des plantes, I enjoy rock climbing, awe-inspiring vistas and books. In the United States, I study writing and literature at the University of Pittsburgh.
My name is Jenna Mulligan, and I just finished my sophomore year at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I grew up in southwest Colorado, where a love for the mountains and outdoor activities was instilled in me from a young age. I’m now majoring in Journalism with a double minor in Spanish and English Literature. I am passionately determined to become fluent in Spanish, which is one of the reasons I decided to spend my summer in Valparaíso, Chile. For eight weeks, I’ll be working in an all-girls school through the ELAP program; I’m anxiously excited to meet and connect with the students. I am a huge proponent of education and the opportunities it provides, and I’m really looking forward to contributing to the education of these girls. Beyond that, I love photography and can’t wait to dive into the colorful, artistic community of Valpo. As an aspiring travel journalist, I’ll hopefully be documenting all the incredible people, beautiful still-frames, and ridiculous situations I find in Chile.
Annyeonghaseyo? My name is Gina Marie Munkacsy, I’m 20 years old, and I’m from central New Jersey. I am currently studying Nursing at William Paterson University and will begin my junior year in the fall 2013 semester. When my head isn’t stuck in my advanced anatomy notes, I enjoy spending my time with my beautiful sisters of Theta Phi Alpha and keeping residents safe as a resident assistant. I chose to travel to Seoul, South Korea during the summer because as a nursing major we are unable to study abroad due to our strict class schedules, so the summer session gives me the freedom to travel. I fell in love with South Korean culture during my senior year of high school when I was introduced to Korean Pop music, and it all went downhill from there. I am thrilled to be able to share my experience with everyone, and hope that I can bring a little bit of Seoul to all of you.
My name is Lauren Sharabianlou, I’m 21 years old and a third year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I am thrilled about going to Salamanca, Spain and even more enthusiastic about being a featured blogger for ISA! The whole experience really is a dream for me. My passions include traveling, surfing, cooking, fine dining, making videos, photography and meeting new people. I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled a lot in my past, and I am looking forward to staying in Spain for a longer trip and be able to blog and share my experiences with others. I’m down to earth, very social, and daring. I love trying new things! I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the many wonderful experiences to come, nice to meet you! -Lauren
Ciao, amici miei! My name is Sam Tracy and I’m studying abroad for the summer in Rome, Italy. A senior at UC San Diego, I am majoring in applied math with interests in biostatistics and teaching. On a given day in the States you might find me at work in the office, studying in the library, or layin’ in the grass by the river with a fat grin on my face and hands behind my head. I love food, music, adventures, and the great outdoors. I love people too, which is why I decided to pursue my education. In the future I hope to engage in disease research and education, while currently I am expanding my horizons and building a foundation for that sort of life. I wanted to travel abroad in order to experience different cultures and explore new corners of the world, and as a kid I was a bit obsessed with ancient history, so when I transferred to UCSD and discovered they had a math program in Italy I jumped at the chance of a lifetime. Follow me as I share the sights and feels of this fantastic journey!
My name is Hannah Vance and I go to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. I study Animal Science and Psychology with minors in Business and Spanish. I hope to be come an exotic animal nutritionist. I grew up here in Colorado, and I love adventure. I chose to study abroad this summer in Colombia because I want to improve my Spanish skills. Traveling is my favorite thing in the entire world, and if I could I would do it all the time.
Mucho gusto, amigos, pleased to meet you! My name is Callie, I am student at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), and I’m off to Valencia, Spain! A few years ago, I traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras to tutor English in classrooms as part of a service project. While there, I found myself communicating with the students, taxi drivers, and even hotel clerks in a way that allowed me to be completely involved through invaluable intercultural communication. Since then, the Spanish language has captivated me. Through study abroad, I will expand my understanding and experience of español, which will enrich my travels immensely. This summer I’m excited to explore the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, taste test Valencia’s best paella, and share my adventures with you so the world will know that Valencia is MORE than just a type of orange!
Hola, mis amigos! I have survived into my third year at the College of Saint Rose as a biology major with a public health minor, studying to be a doctor. I am five foot something and am always down to experiment with new things; whether it be countries, foods, or chemicals. I’m from Connecticut which is that state which is next to that other state that people forget about all the time. Something most people don’t know about me is I possess a foreign tongue. I am fluent in Portuguese because I am half Mozambican. The time has come for me to satisfy my international curiosity by embarking on one of the most cultural-rich places in the world, the magical city of Barcelona. Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine, and when I found out about the Barcelona program, I couldn’t resist a six-week lifestyle of tapas, beautiful architecture, and the sunny beaches of Spain. I hope to bring back some of Barcelona within me and be able to apply it to my outlook on life. If you can tolerate my corny humor and an unhealthy number of pictures, I’d love to have you along the ride.
I am a scholar, a traveler, and a foreign language enthusiast from Beaumont, Texas. As a second-year student at the University of Georgia, I am a double majoring in Economics and International Affairs and minoring in Arabic. I have decided to study in Morocco this summer because I believe it will be the perfect way to increase my fluency in both French and Arabic. In addition in increasing my language skills, I hope to develop meaningful friendships with the Moroccans (and Americans) I meet. Marhaban bikum (welcome) to my blog!