Alumni

Meet the AIFS Alumni Ambassadors

Introducing the current AIFS Alumni Ambassadors! These students recently studied abroad with AIFS and are back on campus sharing their experiences and talking to students who are considering study abroad.

If you would like to contact one of the Ambassadors to talk about studying abroad, please email alumni@aifs.com.

Meet Last Year's AIFS Ambassadors

A I F S ambassador Anthony Stewart
  • Anthony Stewart
  • Howard University
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Spring 2016

I am Anthony Stewart, a junior at Howard University from Atlanta, GA. I am a pre-law student with an affinity for travelling and learning languages. During spring 2016 semester, I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was able to improve my Spanish, meet amazing people from across the world, and go on amazing adventures. It was an experience of a lifetime, and I hope others can take advantage of it as well. I my spare time you can find me writing, running, or excessively watching films of all genres from all over the world.

A I F S ambassador Taylor Weigel
  • Taylor Weigel
  • Drake University
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Spring 2016

Hola! My name is Taylor Weigel and I am in my third year at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I study international relations, Spanish, and rhetoric, media, and social change. Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, I am a huge Badgers and Packers fan (sorry Drake Bulldogs!). I play Ultimate Frisbee at my University and I was even lucky enough to play with a team in Buenos Aires Ė international tournaments are so awesome! I have two dogs, Spike and Bleu, and they are my world. Though it was hard to leave the little cuties behind for five months, studying abroad was more than worth it, and I already want to go back to Argentina. I met so many amazing people, improved my Spanish, became more confident in myself, and ate a LOT of empanadas while abroad. I canít wait for my next adventure, and I want to help you figure out yours!

A I F S ambassador Madi Hutchinson
  • Madi Hutchinson
  • Berea College
  • Perth, Australia
  • Spring 2016

Hi! Iím Madi. I am a junior psychology major, biology and chemistry minor, at Berea College in Kentucky. AIFS gave me the opportunity to study abroad in Perth, Australia, where I was able to travel and explore the Great Australian Outback and other iconic areas of Oz (Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef). While abroad, I took classes that would transfer back as general requirements and even one class for my major to stay on track for graduation. After studying abroad, I have been amazed at what I have learned from the Australian society and how different, yet so similar it is to America. Being abroad has made me want to continue traveling, and I even hope to return back to Australia after graduation.

A I F S ambassador Maggie Mae Whittemore
  • Maggie Mae Whittemore
  • St. Michaelís College
  • Perth, Australia
  • Spring 2016

Hey there! My name is Maggie Mae Whittemore and I am a senior at Saint Michaelís College in Colchester, Vermont. I studied abroad at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, during spring semester. I am a media studies, digital arts and journalism major with a theater minor and was able to study both of those subjects while abroad. On campus, I am part of the water polo team, drama club and photography club. I learned so much from my time overseas and now see myself as a more independent, confident and curious person and traveler. I also gained the skills of being able to slow down and take in everything around me and to live life in the moment. I LOVE the beach and got to surf, snorkel in Ningaloo reef and paddle-board as much as I wanted while living near the ocean in Australia. I cannot wait to use my new-found travel techniques to be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of being able to step foot on every continent. I am super excited to be able to share my study abroad experiences with everyone and look forward to working with AIFS as an Alumni Ambassador.

A I F S ambassador Rachel Knowles
  • Rachel Knowles
  • Texas Woman's University
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Summer 2016

My name is Rachel Knowles. I am a senior at Texas Womanís University majoring in psychology. I spent an amazing short Summer semester in Salzburg, Austria. There was beauty around every corner! Along with the additional excursions, I didnít want the semester to end. I was glad to have the opportunity, as a non-traditional student, to experience something like this. I met some of the most amazing people and created a strong bond with many members of my group. I will never forget the time spent learning about Austrian culture as well as learning German. It proved to be very beneficial in some instances. I will never forget this experience. It was completely life changing. I would do it all over again if I could and would encourage anyone with the given opportunity to do so as well! Auf Wiedersehen!

A I F S ambassador Hannah Barner
  • Hannah Barner
  • Duquesne University
  • Argentina, Buenos Aires
  • Spring 2015

Hi! My name is Hannah Barner and I am a senior at Duquesne University where I am pursuing a degree in international relations and integrated marketing communications. In the spring of my sophomore year I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I lived and studied for four months. Whether I was spending the afternoon in a cafe, listening to my host dad tell stories, or traveling across South America with friends, my time abroad was both the most rewarding and biggest learning experience I have ever had. Studying abroad helped me to improve my Spanish, learn a new culture, get over the fear of flying alone, and most importantly helped me to understand who I am and what I want to do in life. I am so excited to be an AIFS Alumni Ambassador so I can share my experiences and encourage others to travel and learn more about the world we all share. In the future I intend to get amongst it and enjoy the moment no matter where life takes me, although I hope life takes me back to Argentina!

A I F S ambassador Emily Eraca
  • Emily Eraca
  • Siena College
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Fall 2015

Hola! My name is Emily Eraca and I am a senior at Siena College in Albany, New York. I will graduate in the spring with a BA degree in sociology while also having a double minor in management and marketing. I was born and raised in a small town in New York called Beacon. I am a very active person and I love getting involved on my campus especially in volunteering programs. I love to swim, golf, and go on as many adventures as possible. My passion for adventures led me to choosing to study abroad in Costa Rica! I studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica during my fall semester of my junior year at Veritas University. I loved every second of it. Every day was a different adventure from exploring the city, to zip lining, to surfing, to swimming in waterfalls or just taking in all of the beauty of Costa Rica. I love the beach and every chance I got I was exploring a new one. My New York life is always very busy and that is the way that I liked it. However, Costa Rica taught me to slow down and enjoy the beauty of life. I have now applied that to my everyday living and it has helped me shape my career and life goals. I plan to go back to Costa Rica very soon. I believe that all college students should study abroad because the experiences and life lessons gained can only be found when stepping outside of your comfort zone and experiencing a whole new world. I am excited to be an AIFS Alumni Ambassador and help other college students find the country that best fits them! Pura Vida!

A I F S ambassador Katie Romano
  • Katie Romano
  • Augustana University
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Spring 2016

Hola! A proud Colorado native, I am pursing a major in biology (with minors in Spanish and psychology) from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As if my transplant into the Midwest wasnít enough of a culture shock, Greece, England, India, Germany, and a semester at Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica have added countless adventures and applications to my education. Study abroad has served as the ultimate opportunity to spring myself from the landlocked states that I call home and has opened my perspective to new cultures, new languages, and (most importantly) new foods! When I am not planning my next trip abroad, I enjoy backpacking, hammocking beneath the stars, and country line dancing with friends.

A I F S ambassador Kendall Wright
  • Kendall Wright
  • Stonehill College
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2016

Hi! My name is Kendall Wright and I am from Marin County, California. I am currently a senior at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and I am double majoring in psychology and criminology. I love anything involving the outdoors including hiking, going to the beach, and walking my dog Wookie. Studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, this past semester was unforgettable. I met amazing lifelong friends, traveled to multiple countries and grew A LOT. I am so happy work as an Alumni Ambassador so I can turn back time and live vicariously through others who chose to travel abroad.

A I F S ambassador Emma Heth
  • Emma Heth
  • Bethel University
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2016

Ahoj! My name is Emma Heth and I am currently a junior at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Thanks to my study abroad experience, I am a recently declared double major in communications and political science. I spent the second semester of my sophomore year, spring 2016, studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Studying abroad in Prague was an amazing, unforgettable experience that I wouldnít trade for the world. I canít wait to go back as soon as possible for another trdelnik! I encourage everyone to study abroad somewhere before graduation, you definitely wonít regret it!

A I F S ambassador Karen Kovalewski
  • Karen Kovalewski
  • Adelphi University
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2016

Dobry den! Iím Karyn, a junior nursing student at Adelphi University in Long Island, NY. Going from growing up in a small town south of Syracuse, to moving twenty minutes outside one of the worldís largest cities, my eyes opened to a whole new domain. With my new found sense of adventure, I wanted to get out and see as much of the world as I can, so in the spring of 2016 I studied in Prague, Czech Republic. Not only did I immerse myself in the amazing culture of my host country, but I was able to explore the cultures of ten other countries and twenty-four other cities. Traveling has become part of who I am, and Iím already planning my next adventure; India! Studying abroad has also made me more aware of my own culture, and encouraged me to explore further within the big, beautiful country we call home. As cliche as it may seem, my experiences in one short semester changed my life forever, as it created a way to see the world from another angle. Prague was just the beginning to my journey, and I canít wait to see where the road takes me!

A I F S ambassador Melina George
  • Melina George
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • London, England
  • January Term 2016

Hi! My name is Melina George, a Pittsburgh, PA native (go Penguins!) and a junior at Miami University in Ohio! I am double majoring in both finance and supply chain management in hopes of working abroad once I graduate. I studied in London, England over the 2016 January term and it completely changed my life. Immersing myself in Londonís way of life was by far the most amazing part of my experience. From over-eating at Borough Market to attending a football match at the famous Wembley Stadium, living in London for the month of January could not have been any more perfect. I met the most fun and amazing people on my trip. Even though traveling alone was concerning for me, making the decision to step outside of my comfort zone was definitely worth it! When I am not reminiscing about my travels abroad, I am either blogging on my personal travel, lifestyle and fashion blog, staying active with intramurals on campus, snuggling up on the couch with a good book, or binge watching my newest obsession on Netflix. I am so excited to be an Alumni Ambassador and be able to share all of my experiences, tips and tricks about studying abroad! Cheers!

A I F S ambassador Jacob Royce
  • Jacob Royce
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

My name is Jacob Royce and I am a senior studying international relations and psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. During the fall semester of 2015 I studied abroad in London, UK. During this time I also had the opportunity to travel to several other European countries including France, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. The friendships and events that I experienced while abroad are like no other. I met individuals from all around the world and am still close with several. As much as I enjoyed the culture and wonderfully diverse people, the courses that I took also proved to be one of a kind. I toured Parliament and all of London for class credit, and that is something you canít find anywhere else. Studying abroad not only changed me for the better, but opened up so many doors to many wonderful career options for the future.

A I F S ambassador Madeleine Tiscareno
  • Madeleine Tiscareno
  • Gonzaga University
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

Hi! I am a senior at Gonzaga University in Washington, where I am majoring in business administration with concentrations in finance and MIS. I am also minoring in environmental studies. I studied abroad the fall semester of my junior year, where I completed an internship for credit in London, UK. Being abroad allowed me to experience a new city and meet some amazing people. Working in London was out of my comfort zone, but made me more confident in myself and my abilities. I am excited to work with AIFS as an ambassador to promote global education in my community and help my peers find new experiences abroad.

A I F S ambassador Emma Whiting
  • Emma Whiting
  • University of Arkansas
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

Hello! My name is Emma Whiting and I am a senior at the University of Arkansas (originally born and raised in St.Louis, MO). I am pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in business management. I recently studied abroad in London, England, for my previous fall semester and found my passion for traveling. During my time abroad, I was constantly learning, exploring, and meeting new people (the delicious food was a bonus). My experience abroad not only helped me get out of my comfort zone, but it also opened my eyes to so many new opportunities for my future career. I hope to share my experiences from studying abroad with other students and look forward to working with AIFS as an Alumni Ambassador!

A I F S ambassador Celeste Gregorio
  • Celeste Gregorio
  • California Lutheran University
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

Hi! My name is Celeste Gregorio and I am a senior at California Lutheran University with a major in psychology. I had the most incredible four months of my life while studying abroad during the fall 2015 semester in London, England. Having never been out of the country or even away from home for a long period of time, I was extremely nervous. Luckily, AIFS was very welcoming and helped make the process of studying abroad easier. I was able to travel to other countries, meet some amazing new friends, and learn life lessons along the way. This experience made me a more independent and confident person with a passion for traveling. I hope to encourage other students to step out of their comfort zone and experience life abroad. It is an opportunity that you will cherish forever!

A I F S ambassador Katie Kreckler
  • Katie Kreckler
  • University of Wisconsin Ė Whitewater
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where I am majoring in public relations with a minor in international business. In fall 2015 I was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in London, England. I immediately fell in love with the city, culture, and the people. Through my studies I learned how to be a more independent, patient and confident individual. Studying abroad has truly changed me for the better and thatís why I became an AIFS alumni ambassador. I want to be able share my amazing life changing experience with others in hope that they too will realize how rewarding it is to step out of your comfort zone and see how much this beautiful world has to offer. Cheers!

A I F S ambassador Jourdan-Marie Mills
  • Jourdan-Marie Mills
  • Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • London, England
  • Fall 2015

Aloha! My name is Jourdan and Iím a senior at Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii majoring in psychology. I was fortunate enough to study in London for a semester and it was the best time of my life. While in London I attended events such as The British Fashion Awards and the BBC Music Awards along with many more. I made sure to make my time abroad one for the books. I spent my fall break in Italy where I visited five different cities and spent it with awesome people. During my time abroad, I made some of the best memories with the most amazing people that I will cherish for a lifetime. My time abroad helped me get a global perspective and experience amazing cultures. I hope to return to London one day as it is truly the city that stole my heart. Studying abroad really did change my life for the better and I would encourage everyone to do it. Iím excited to be working with AIFS as an Ambassador and canít wait to share my experience with you! Cheers!

A I F S ambassador Danielle Pantano
  • Danielle Pantano
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • London, England
  • Spring 2016

Hey guys! My name is Danielle and I am originally from Rochester, NY. I am starting my junior year at Florida Atlantic University, majoring in marketing and advertising. After graduation, I hope to return to London for either work or grad school. When I am not at school or work, you can find me tossing the lacrosse ball around, camera in hand, or cuddled up with a good book/my journal. My mind turned to travel at a young age. My summer job hires loads of international staff, mostly from England, to work in Miami, Florida for a summer. In being around all of them and hearing all their stories of travel and home life, I knew that I wanted to experience life across the pond for myself. I am so glad that I took the leap and studied abroad in London, England. Everything they tell you about travel and study abroad is truer than I can even begin to tell you. While abroad, I made lasting friendships and learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I will forever have study abroad to thank for that. If there is any advice that I could hope to give, it would be to take the leap and study abroad. It is an experience that you will remember for a lifetime.

A I F S ambassador Sidney Cutter
  • Sidney Cutter
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Grenoble , France
  • Summer 2015

Bonjour, mes amis! I am a junior first-generation student at the University of South Carolina majoring in international studies and French and minoring in linguistics. As an international studies major, I knew that studying abroad would be a personal requirement for me. For my first study abroad experience I decided to study in the beautiful city of Grenoble, France. My experiences in Grenoble opened me up to different cultures and people. After my return, it helped open doors to even more opportunities both on my campus and internationally. Going abroad as a student is a completely unique experience from any other kind of travel that everyone should try!

A I F S ambassador Allison Guerra
  • Allison Guerra
  • Towson University
  • Grenoble, France
  • Spring 2015

Salut! My name is Allison Guerra and I am currently a senior at Towson University. I am a double major in international studies and economics with a minor in French. Spring semester my sophomore year I decided to study abroad in Grenoble, France, one of the best decisions of my life. I travelled through Europe and befriended people from all over the world including France, China, South Korea, and Armenia. However, my fellow AIFS study abroaders become some of my closest friends whom I stay in contact with to this day. Immersing myself in the French culture that I only read and learned about at school solidified my passion for the people and country. I cannot wait to go back!

A I F S ambassador Ian Schwenke
  • Ian Schwenke
  • Saint Maryís College of Maryland
  • Cannes, France
  • Fall 2015

Bonjour a tous! My name is Ian and I am going to be a senior at Saint Maryís College of Maryland this upcoming year, to which I have the honor of also being an AIFS Alumni Ambassador! I currently plan to double major in both French cultural studies and international public policy. While I have been fortunate enough to spend many years of my life abroad already with my family, the time I spend in Cannes on the beautiful Cote díAzur, France, was most fulfilling time I have ever spent overseas. I made more friends and saw more sights than I could have dreamed of, alongside improving my French greatly and re-finding my love for travel. I am now becoming certified to teach English to foreigners (TEFL) with the hope of joining the Peace Corps after college to continue my journey. But for now, I cannot wait to help spread the word to fellow students about the amazing study abroad opportunities that our school, and especially AIFS, provide! Leave your comfort zone, the world is waiting.

A I F S ambassador Angelena Castro
  • Angelena Castro
  • North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Summer 2015

Halo! My name is Angelena Castro. I am a student at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC. My major is journalism mass communications. I am also pursuing a Global Studies Certificate through the universityís Office of International Programs. On campus, I work in radio station WNAA 90.1 and host a radio show called the ďTraffic JamĒ. Iím also a member of the WNAA Street Team, where I serve as emcee for station sponsored events in the city of Greensboro. I love to get the crowd motivated and dancing in the street. During the summer of 2015, I had the awesome opportunity to study at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. There, I studied Interreligious Studies in Germany and The Berlin Wall. The classes were filled with opportunities to visit places and interview people that actually were a part of the history that I had only read about until I studied abroad. The friends that I made during the summer of 2015 are still my friends today. Together we also explored London, England and Prague, Czech Republic. In the quietness of the night, I often wish that I could transport myself back to the summer of 2015 and the adventures that we had in Berlin.

A I F S ambassador Darby Joyce
  • Darby Joyce
  • Salisbury University
  • Berlin , Germany
  • January-Term 2016

Hello! My name is Darby Joyce, and Iím currently living in Columbia, Maryland. I am a junior at Salisbury University on Marylandís eastern shore, where I study international relations with a minor in psychology. I developed a love of travel at a very young age, while I was living in Australia, and I often catch myself daydreaming about all the places in the world Iíd like to see. I studied with AIFS in Berlin, Germany, during the winter of 2016, where I learned so much from both the course I took at Humboldt University and the adventures I experienced in the city itself. The time I spent in Germany helped me learn to love being in unusual situations, from trying to break the language barrier to seeing sites I had only ever known from pictures, and I talk about my adventures there fondly to anybody who asks. Iím looking forward to working as an ambassador for AIFS, and getting in touch with other students who are ready to see the world! I canít wait to hear from you and answer your questions!

A I F S ambassador Madison Hornick
  • Madison Hornick
  • St. John Fisher College
  • Athens, Greece
  • Fall 2015

Yasas! My name is Madison Hornick and I am currently a senior English writing major at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Growing up, I always loved hearing stories about ancient Greek goddesses and gods, tragic heroes, and fantastical hands. This early fascination is one of the many factors that led me to study abroad in Athens, Greece for a magical semester. Walking the cobblestone streets to the Acropolis, sitting on the rock where the Apostle Paul taught so many years ago, literally experiencing the history that most people only ever see in text books or through Googled picturesÖ. itís an indescribable sensation thatís difficult to sum in a simple biography paragraph. The best I can put it is that studying abroad opened my eyes to so much of the world in so many different ways, and Iím excited to help others in their search of similar experiences! Whether thatís island-hopping, climbing mountains, strolling through Vienna Christmas markets, or haggling over the price of a tomato in a street market, thereís an adventure out there for anyone willing to leave the familiar behind! Fair warning however, I almost guarantee that you will get a case of the deadly travel bug Ėitís fairly infections and very hard to get rid of (though honestly I havenít been trying that hard).

A I F S ambassador Katarina Lage
  • Katarina Lage
  • Hawaiíi Pacific University
  • Athens, Greece
  • Spring 2014

My name is Katarina, but most people call me Katt. I am a concurrent student at Hawaiíi Pacific University finishing my undergraduate degree in international studies with minors in diplomacy and military studies and history; while starting my Masterís Degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies. I consider myself a modern day nomad that is chasing after my gypsy heart. Since studying abroad in the home of my ancestors, Athens, Greece I have been lucky enough to study abroad two additional times in Quito, Ecuador and Thailand. Along with these three locations I have traveled to thirteen unique countries and find myself always drawn to new locations and societies. Travel is the best way to learn and experience everything the world has to offer and that is why I have constantly pushed past borders to expand my knowledge of this one planet we all call home. I am a strong advocate for studying abroad and believe that nothing else can prepare you better to be a global citizen.

A I F S ambassador Allison Waymire
  • Allison Waymire
  • Bethany College
  • Limerick, Ireland
  • Spring 2016

I am a junior at Bethany College with a biology major and psychology minor. I studied abroad in the spring of 2016 on the Emerald Isle in Limerick, Ireland. I enjoyed getting to experience and become integrated into a new culture. While there I was able to serve on the committee for the International Society. This allowed me to connect with people from all over the world. I kept a journal during my time abroad so that I can now look back and remember all the great adventures I had. My weekends were spent either traveling all around Ireland or to different parts of Europe. Studying abroad made me face some of my fears head-on which was scary, but it made for some great learning experiences.

A I F S ambassador Nicole Carrabba
  • Nicole Carrabba
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2015

Ciao! My name is Nicole Carrabba, and I am a senior public health, pre-med major at the University of Texas at Austin. I love traveling (duh), volunteering, hiking, sports, and art. I studied abroad in the spring of 2015 in Florence, Italy. It was one of the best of decisions of my life! Every single day was a new adventure, whether it be making a new Italian friend, finding secret bakeries, exploring a new country, or trying a new legendary Italian dish. While in Florence, I was also able to give back to the community by volunteering at a kindergarten as well. The challenges and immersion into a new culture broadened my perspective and outlook on life. Traveling helps you see the world from other peopleís eyes. As an ambassador, I hope to help others see that doing something outside of your comfort zone like studying abroad is something that all college students should do!

A I F S ambassador Justine Drewel
  • Justine Drewel
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
  • Rome, Italy
  • Spring 2016

Ciao! I am a junior at University of Nebraska at Lincoln. At UNL I am working on completing my marketing degree. I grew up moving around as a kid, which has made me always want to be on the move and exploring new places. Last spring, I spent the semester and studying and exploring in Rome, Italy. It was a truly incredible time traveling, getting lost a fair share of times (sorry mom), so much food, and being surrounded by so many different cultures. The semester I spent in Europe was more beneficial than I could have ever imagined, the experience, friends, memories, and independence will always be something I remember. I canít wait to share my stories with others that AIFS helped me create as an AIFS Ambassador this next year.

A I F S ambassador Haley Taylor
  • Haley Taylor
  • University of Alabama
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2015

Ciao! My name is Haley Taylor, a rising senior originally from Wisconsin, currently studying chemistry at the University of Alabama and planning on going to physician assistant school. In my free time, you can find me reading any kind of book, watching Netflix documentaries, hiking, cheering on the Crimson Tide in football and googling flights around the world, in hopes of another spontaneous trip. In the spring of 2015, I was fortunate to study in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. I gained so much more than I ever would have imagined while studying abroad for a semester: new friends, new experiences and abundant gelato. This experience helped me develop my independence and sense of self and Iím already planning my next trip back to Florence.

A I F S ambassador Gina Tonno
  • Gina Tonno
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2016

Ciao ragazzi! My name is Gina Tonno and I am going into my senior year at the University of Rhode Island, where I major in marketing and communication studies, and also study voice performance. Last semester (spring 2016) I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to not only discover my ancestry, but to study abroad in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. Through this life changing experience I was able to fully immerse myself in Italian culture, step way beyond my comfort zone, and truly discover everything the world has to offer. I met so many incredible people who contributed greatly to my time abroad, such as my cousin who lives in Italy. I got to travel throughout Europe and experience a different breath-taking country almost every weekend, but by the end of the trip I was ready to go back to Florence because it became my home. Florence will always have a part of my heart and I am grateful for that. Living and studying abroad has shaped who I have become in so many ways. I am very excited to work with AIFS as an ambassador to promote the study abroad experience and the importance of global education. While I am still adjusting to life back home and sincerely missing my life in Florence, I hope through sharing my memories and experiences with others that I can inspire others in my community to follow their dreams like I followed mine. Studying abroad definitely gave me a thirst for wanderlust and now I am extremely addicted to travel and discovering new places! In addition to my desire for travel, I am very passionate about music. I have been singing for about eight years and am still involved as much as I can be at school. I study classical and opera, but also write my own songs and make covers from time to time. One of my absolute favorite things about being abroad was the music was so alive. Europe was rich with music from live shows to street performers! Studying abroad provides something amazing for everyone! I hope that someday I can return to Florence, but for now I am going to treasure my memories and help someone else have an experience they can hold close in their heart for the rest of their life!

A I F S ambassador Erin Renslow
  • Erin Renslow
  • Ohio University
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2016

Ciao! My name is Erin Renslow and I am a senior at Ohio University. I am a retail merchandising and fashion product development and customer service double major with a minor in business. I just spent the most incredible few months in Florence, Italy, and can easily say it was the best experience of my life. I had the opportunity to volunteer abroad in addition to studying and I had the good fortune of becoming a tour guide at Santa Marie del Fiore, more commonly referred to as the Duomo. My semester abroad has opened my eyes to how truly marvelous the world is and how much there is to learn and see. I ended up seeing nine different countries abroad and am excited for the adventures to continue as I backpack across Europe with my family next summer. I look forward to sharing my experience with others and helping students find their own paths to adventure.

A I F S ambassador Caity Cobb
  • Caity Cobb
  • California State Polytechnic, Pomona
  • Florence, Italy and European Art & Architecture Travelling Program
  • January-Term 2014 and Summer 2015

Hello! I am an art history major at California State Polytechnic, Pomona. Having traveled to Florence, Italy in 2014, and with a multi-country class in 2015, I learned more than I ever could have anticipated. Studying in a classroom is one thing, but being able to go visit the art and sites Iíve learned about was life changing. I made life-long friends from both of my adventures abroad, and we still laugh and say "Remember when...?" Going abroad changes how you see the world; studying abroad changes how you understand it.

A I F S ambassador Chrissy Dustman
  • Chrissy Dustman
  • Rowan University
  • Ireland, Maynooth
  • Summer 2015

Hi everyone! My name is Chrissy and I am a senior English literature and secondary education major at Rowan University. In the summer of 2015, I left New Jersey and traveled to the small town of Maynooth, Ireland where I studied anthropology and modern Irish literature. Basically, I found myself studying at an Irish Hogwarts. It was awesome. Whether it was walking counterclockwise around castles, driving through the endless green countryside, trying to make sense of Gaelic, or eating a ton of potatoes (So. Many. Potatoes.), every moment of my experience was deeply lived. Every weekend was spent in a different part of the Emerald Isle. I even spent some time wandering London, England and the most action-packed (mostly eating gelato) 36 hours in Barcelona, Spain. My love of exploring has become a passion. Itís an awfully big world out there and Iím going to experience it!

A I F S ambassador Lisa Sheehan
  • Lisa Sheehan
  • University of Dayton
  • Salamanca, Spain
  • Spring 2016

Hola! My name is Lisa and I am a junior at the University of Dayton in Ohio. I am studying foreign language education along with Spanish and teaching English to speakers of other languages. I had the amazing opportunity of living and studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain, for my spring 2016 semester. Every day I experienced something new and exciting! Whether I was exploring the streets of Salamanca, visiting a new city, or spending time with my host family, I was always learning something new about the beautiful Spanish language and culture!

A I F S ambassador Isabel VelŠsquez
  • Isabel VelŠsquez
  • Mount St. Maryís University, Los Angeles
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2016

Hola Chicos! My name is Isabel and Iím a senior at Mount St. Maryís University in Los Angeles. I am studying sociology with a minor in criminology. During the spring of 2016 I had the opportunity to study in Granada, Spain, which I can proudly call my second home. The entire experience was amazing. From making new friends to traveling on the weekends, studying abroad was the best decision I could have made. Donít be afraid to travel--as long as you are having fun, know you are doing it right. Also remember that alumni are always here to help you and show you how amazing studying abroad can be.

A I F S ambassador Rachel De Masi
  • Rachel De Masi
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Granada, Spain
  • Fall 2015

¡Hola! Iím Rachel and Iím a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Iím studying political science with a concentration in international studies and I have my minor in Spanish. I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I love to go to new places, be outdoors, go to concerts, hike, and cook. I studied in Granada, Spain in the fall of 2015. I absolutely fell in love with Granada and I met some amazing, life-long friends during my time there. I wish I could go back every day. I really concentrated on improving my Spanish speaking skills while I was there and I learned more than I have in all my years of high school and college. I took advantage of my time in Europe and I visited London, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Amsterdam. The study-abroad experience completely changed my life and I want to aid other students with their journey abroad because it is an amazing opportunity!

A I F S ambassador Karlie Malinchok
  • Karlie Malinchok
  • West Chester University, Pennsylvania
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Spring 2016

My name is Karlie Malinchok and I am a senior business management major at West Chester University, Pennsylvania. In my second semester of junior year I studied in the beautiful Barcelona, Spain. My time abroad was filled with amazing adventures, incredible people, and immense growth. My life has been changed by going out into the world and experiencing a new culture. I always think back to days starting at the top of a mountain and ending by the beach with a pitcher of sangria to share with my friends! When I finished studying, I got the opportunity to be an au pair for a family that lives outside of Barcelona. In my 6 months abroad, I was able to experience living on my own and with a family that has a completely different culture than my own. I am so excited to be working with AIFS and encouraging other students to go out into the world and have new, eye opening experiences and see how it changes them like how it changed me!

A I F S ambassador Aimee Nguyen
  • Aimee Nguyen
  • Roosevelt University
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Fall 2015

Hola! My name is Aimee and Iím a senior studying international business and marketing at Roosevelt University. My first time going abroad was when I was six months old and Iíve been going every year since. I absolutely love traveling and Iím super passionate about it. Before even applying to college, I knew I wanted to study abroad. My junior year my first semester I finally got to study abroad with AIFS in Barcelona and it was unforgettable. I met so many people from across the world and have met some of my closest friends. I had great classes and ate some amazing food! When I studied abroad in Barcelona, it was super easy for me to travel to other countries. I was able to go to 11 other countries. I had an amazing time and Iíd do it again in a heartbeat.