Alumni

AIFS Alumni Ambassadors – 2016-2017

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.

AIFS Alumni Ambassadors – 2015-2016

A I F S ambassador Marrian Zhou
  • Marrian Zhou
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Rome - Italy, London - England
  • Fall 2014 Spring 2015

My name is Marrian Zhou and Iím currently a senior at California State University, Los Angeles. I have spent an adventurous semester in Rome, Italy, and a very beneficial semester in London, U.K. The friends I have made along the way and the memory we have shared together have become my most important treasure. Even now I often dream about drinking wine and share fresh baked pastry with my buddies in front of the Pantheon, or meeting a friend from the neighbor college in a lovely little tea room as the London rain sprinkles outside. Everything in this studying abroad experience helps me to interact with distinctive cultures and even more, it provides me a profound understanding of who I am in this world. Salute! (or) Cheers, mate!

A I F S ambassador Molly Davies
  • Molly Davies
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Fall 2014

Hola! My name is Molly Davies and I am a senior International Development major with a minor in Spanish at Loyola University of New Orleans. I am originally from Annapolis Maryland but decided to go to New Orleans to experience a new city and different culture. I traveled to Buenos Aires the summer after my sophomore year and into the fall semester of my junior year. It was experience of constant learning, whether it was a new Spanish slang word, new food, or a new favorite part of the city. Traveling to Argentina, I learned a lot about myself and fell in love with the Latino culture while I was at it. It confirmed my curiosity in studying International Development and I can't wait to be able to travel more!

A I F S ambassador Conor Jordan
  • Conor Jordan
  • St. Maryís College of Maryland
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall 2014

I am a senior at St Maryís College of Maryland where Iím a history major with an education minor. I am also a captain on the varsity lacrosse. Last fall I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria where I stayed with a host family. I have always loved to travel with my family, but being abroad allowed me to experience travel on my own and with the friends that I met abroad. Salzburg was a central location and it allowed me to make the most of my experience as I travelled to 11 wonderful countries. While I was abroad I spent more time on the train than I could ever hope to remember, but it gave me the best way to see the countries I was travelling in. As an Alumni Ambassador I hope I can share my experiences to help encourage more people to go out and experience more of the amazing world we live in!

A I F S ambassador Taylor Ollari
  • Taylor Ollari
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall and Spring 2014-2015

Hi! My name is Taylor and I am a junior at the University of Rhode Island, where I am majoring in History and also study German language. I was so blessed to study in beautiful Salzburg, Austria for the 2014-2015 full academic year. My experience in Salzburg is hard to put into only few sentences, but ultimately the memories and friendships I made abroad will stay with me forever. Living and studying abroad made me a better person and I am so excited to be working with AIFS as an ambassador to promote global education in my community. Because I lived and studied abroad for two semesters, I have a very unique perspective on life abroad and am so excited to share my experience in the hopes that I can inspire other students to get out of their comfort zones and experience the world. Besides history and languages, my interests also include international relations, art, and naturally traveling! I hope someday I can return to work and live abroad, but for now when I am not planning and dreaming up my next travel plans you can find me at the beach.

"Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love." ~ Rumi

A I F S ambassador Alba Quezada
  • Alba Quezada
  • Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall 2014

Hey there! I am a San Diego native and currently a senior at Vanguard University of Southern California. In the fall of 2014 I took a leap over the Atlantic to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria. I fell in love with the beauty all around me and met a cool group of people to experience it with. Immersing myself in a new culture was an incredible experience that really opened my eyes to little things I had never been exposed to and allowed me grow. Every day was a new adventure. With camera in hand to the nine countries visited during my semester, I was able to freeze memories I will remember forever. Almost a year ago of having boarded my plane into the greatest semester of all, I can say that I left a piece of my heart in the little town of Salzburg, Austria.

A I F S ambassador Griffin Uthe
  • Griffin Uthe
  • The University of Alabama
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Spring 2015

GrŁŖ Gott! My name is Griffin Uthe and I am a junior aerospace engineering major at the University of Alabama, although I am from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In spring of 2015 I spent the semester studying in Salzburg, Austria, a city and country I immediately fell in love with. While there, I learned German, climbed mountains, learned to ski in the Alps, and had the opportunity to travel to several countries in Central and Eastern Europe. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to study abroad, and hope to help others do so as well. In my free time I enjoy running, traveling, and volunteering around campus.

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." ~ Lao Tzu

A I F S ambassador Mollie Wheeler
  • Mollie Wheeler
  • Drake University
  • ViŮa del Mar, Chile
  • Spring 2014

My name is Mollie Ann Wheeler, and I was born and raised in Des Moines, IA. I will be a senior this year at Drake University, also located in Des Moines, studying International Business, Marketing, and Spanish. I love dogs, soccer, and the beach. I don't know how to ride a bike (yet), chocolate is kind of my thing, and I am currently in recovery from a coffee addiction. I studied abroad in ViŮa del Mar, Chile, last year and loved every second of it. I met some amazing people and learned a ton about both myself and the world around me. Can't wait for my next adventure!

"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A I F S ambassador Mackenzie Hudson
  • Mackenzie Hudson
  • Saint Michael's College
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Spring 2015

Hi! My name is Mackenzie Hudson and I am a senior at Saint Michael's College in Vermont but studied abroad at Veritas University in Costa Rica during the spring semester! I can't believe this is my last year but studying abroad made my time fly by even faster. I will graduate with a major in biology and in Spanish while being a part of the pre-health program and a Division II athlete for the St. Mike's Field Hockey team. I've always been busy but that's how I like things. Living in Costa Rica was an unforgettable experience and taught me to slow down to enjoy and appreciate life even more. Becoming part of my host family was extremely rewarding and I am already planning on going back to visit. I am a complete beach bum, love the ocean and all things that have to do with the ocean like paddle-boarding and kayaking. Field hockey is also a very large part of my life. My study abroad experience left me with a thirst to travel more, learn more languages, and continue to learn more about cultures all around the world. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad and get out of their comfort zone. I hope to share my experiences from studying abroad and look forward to working with AIFS as an Alumni Ambassador!

A I F S ambassador Laura Richert
  • Laura Richert
  • St. John Fisher College
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Fall 2014

Ahoj! My name is Laura Richert and I'm a Buffalo, NY native currently in my senior year at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I will be graduating next spring with a BA in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. Choosing to study abroad was by far the best decision I could have made. From castles and horse drawn carriages to the beautiful red rooftops, living in Prague was about as close to a fairy tale as one can get. Not only did I learn about Czech culture and the language, but I made some great friends, both American and European. One of my favorite parts about being abroad was the ability to travel just about anywhere. I was in a new city nearly every weekend and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. When I'm not reminiscing on my past (and future) travels and adventures I'm most likely at the gym, reading a book, or obsessing over any and all dogs.

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." ~ Gustave Flaubert

A I F S ambassador Suzanne Rismiller
  • Suzanne Rismiller
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2015

Hey yaíll! My name is Suzanne and Iím from Texas (in case you couldnít tell). Iím a senior pursuing a major in International Relations with a minor in business and French at the University of Texas at Austin. On the weekends you can find me supporting my UT sports teams, attempting to hike, or spending time with my cat Greta or my two little sisters (Greta preferably). I am also a proud Texas Kappa and a traveling addict (I mean Iím writing this right now on a cruise traveling to Russia, how cool is that?!). I have spent the last five months studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic and proudly consider myself a study abroad enthusiast; I loved it SO MUCH. I donít want to spoil the fun by telling you exactly how incredible it was, but I will tell you something. You can expect to learn a lot, eat a lot (YUM Czech goulash), meet a lot of great people, and have the TIME OF YOUR LIFE. Convinced?

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory." ~ Dr. Seuss

A I F S ambassador Elissa Wollins
  • Elissa Wollins
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2015

Dobrż den! My name is Elissa Wollins and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh (originally from Rockville, MD) majoring in accounting. I spent an incredible semester in Prague, Czech Republic during the spring 2015 semester. Studying abroad forced me to get out of my comfort zone, allowed me to meet people from all over the world, and encouraged me to try things I would have never considered before. I wrote a study abroad blog during my trip which allowed me to reflect on my experience and re-live my amazing trip. If you study abroad, youíll come home with a new outlook on life, a few more pairs of shoes, and endless stories about castles, cliff-diving, and what happened on the night tram. I hope to travel more once I graduate and canít wait for my next adventure!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." ~ Neale Donald Walsch

A I F S ambassador Taylor Armstrong
  • Taylor Armstrong
  • University of South Carolina
  • London, England
  • Spring 2015

Hello! I am a senior Management and Marketing major at the University of South Carolina. Last spring I decided to take my education to Europe where I studied in London (despite my minor in Spanish) to pursue my obsession with all things British. During my time abroad I was exposed to unique opportunities that fueled and broadened my passions for travel, the bridal industry and music. Since my return home I have been constantly exploring ways to return to the city that has taken over my life and has given me lasting memories, learning experiences and friendships. I look forward to serving as an Alumni Ambassador for the organization that opened up the world to me and offered me the experience of a lifetime!

A I F S ambassador Marissa Berggrun
  • Marissa Berggrun
  • Ohio State University
  • London, England
  • Spring 2015

Hi everyone! My name is Marissa Berggrun and I am an upcoming senior studying Strategic Communication and business and The Ohio State University. I am from Cleveland, Ohio and before studying abroad I had never been to Europe. This past semester, Spring '15 I was able to study and explore in the most amazing place, London, England. I had the most incredible experience and hands down the best four months of my life thus far. Traveling the world, tasting foods from all different cultures and making lifelong friendships are just a few of my favorite memories from my trip. I am already planning on going back to Europe next May and will without a doubt go back to London. It has become my favorite city and would love to potentially live there again one day. I have learned so much about myself from studying abroad and I truly think that it's an opportunity that every student should experience.

A I F S ambassador Michelle Henning
  • Michelle Henning
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • London, England
  • Summer 2014

Hello my name is Michelle Henning. I'm currently a senior communication studies major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Born and raised in Lincoln, NE makes me a big Nebraska fan. The summer of 2014, I got the incredible opportunity to study abroad in London for three weeks. It was the most rewarding experience of my life. Then in the spring of 2015, I took at semester long class on international communication and at the end, I had another great opportunity to travel to London for two more weeks. From these experiences, I have gained an international network for my future career as well as lifelong friends. I am currently an intern at my university's study abroad office. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my sorority sisters, cooking, and taking long walks. I am excited to return to London in the future and do more exploring throughout Europe.

A I F S ambassador Barry Rothstein
  • Barry Rothstein
  • University of St. Thomas
  • London, England
  • Fall 2014

My name is Barry Rothstein, and I am a senior accounting major at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the fall of 2014 I studied abroad in London, England. As a kid I had a great passion for Harry Potter and I dreamt about traveling to England. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad because the places I traveled, and the people I met truly changed my life. I became an AIFS Alumni Ambassador to share my experiences with other students who are thinking about studying abroad. I've learned that traveling opens you up to a new world of people, places and ideas. I encourage anybody thinking about studying abroad to just do it, because studying abroad was the best decision I've ever made and I want to help others to make that same decision. Cheers!

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

A I F S ambassador Savannah Bowen
  • Savannah Bowen
  • Howard University
  • Paris, France
  • Spring 2015

Salut! I'm Savannah, a senior, English major from New York. I had the privilege to study abroad in the most romantic city in the world--Paris. Along with many breakthroughs in my French language skills, during my studies I learned how to be a more confident individual, how to be more humble, and how to appreciate every moment for the beautiful learning experience that it is. I made lots of mistakes and embarrassed myself daily, but my trip was a refreshing journey of personal growth for which I am grateful. Now that I'm stateside, I hope to apply what I have learned to my life and also impart whatever wisdom I can to other study abroad candidates. When I'm not wrapped up in schoolwork, you can find me scrolling through the blogosphere, scribbling (not-so-great) poetry, or snuggling up with science fiction novels.

A I F S ambassador Pilar Martinez
  • Pilar Martinez
  • Seton Hall University
  • Grenoble, France
  • Spring 2015

Hi all, My name is Pilar. I am a senior Marketing major with a minor in International Business studying French. I love exploring cultures and experiencing new things. With that being said, as I chose to study in France, my goal was to push myself out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. I did not speak the language at the time, I did not know anyone else who was going, it was just me, and everything I would make of it with the resources I used and the help of AIFS to match me with my incredible host family. Traveling is my passion. In my short four months in Europe, I visited 12 countries and about 36 cities. It was the most incredible experience of my life and plenty of memories and international friends to continue reminding me of the great times shared. I am family orientated, enjoy community service, and love the outdoors. My bucket list continues to grow but I have plenty of places to go and things to do to occupy myself for the rest of my life of adventure.

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return" ~ Leonardo da Vinci

A I F S ambassador Batol Radwan
  • Batol Radwan
  • Texas A and M University
  • Paris, France
  • Spring 2015

Howdy! My name is Batol Radwan and I'm from Houston, TX. I am a senior at Texas A&M University, majoring in International Studies and minoring in French and Business. I plan on attending law school after and working with the United Nations after I graduate. My love for traveling and languages started at a very young age. I vowed to become fluent in French and Spanish when I was in 7th and have been working on that ever since! Studying abroad in Paris has been the greatest part of college so far! Being able to immerse yourself in a completely different culture, where everything about your everyday life is completely out of order, is such an eye-opening and life-rewarding experience. You learn about the different ways that people live and start to notice and appreciate the simpler, beautiful things in life. But you also realize just how inherently similar we all are as human beings, no matter where we come from. Living in Paris has allowed me to expand my horizons and step out of my comfort zone to realize how much greater the world is and how much there is still left to learn! I cannot wait to share my unique traveling experiences and visions with other students!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Plato

A I F S ambassador Kara Sangree
  • Kara Sangree
  • Liberty University
  • Grenoble, France
  • Spring 2015

Salut! My name is Kara and I am from Boca Raton, Florida. I am a junior at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and I love everything about it. I studied abroad in the south of France, the gorgeous city of Grenoble during the spring 2015 semester. My time in France, regardless of my French background, was even more than I imagined. Being abroad is a rewarding experience that I would encourage everyone to take advantage of. Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, as well as athletics, hiking and crafty projects.

"Be an imitator of Christ, in all you do." ~ Garth Sangree

A I F S ambassador Emily Cole
  • Emily Cole
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Summer 2014

Hey y'all! My name is Emily. I'm a senior English major and Art History minor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I hail from a small town which means I've always had a hankering for discovering bigger, more fascinating places. I spent the summer of 2014 in Berlin, Germany immersing myself in the culture, the language, and most importantly, the food. Being abroad opened my mind and led me to learn a lot about myself and the people around me. I miss that city every single day. When I'm not fantasizing about my next trip abroad you'll find me attending any and every concert in my area or at the nearest art museum. In addition to working as an Alumni Ambassador on campus, I'm also a member of the Art History Club and the Comedy Committee. I adore encouraging people to take adventurous risks and believe study abroad to be one of the best adventures of my life!

A I F S ambassador Nicole Hafkemeyer
  • Nicole Hafkemeyer
  • Bethel University
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Summer 2014

My Name is Nicole Hafkemeyer and I am an Animal Science with Operations Management minor at Missouri State University. I am originally from Springfield, Missouri. I have a pet cat and a pet pig. My cat's name is Ton Ton and my potbelly pig's name is Colonel (but he really only responds to ďpigpigĒ) I am a Senior this year, and I am hoping to work my butt off to try and finish this year. I am hoping to end up being a zookeeper or some other career that deals largely with animal husbandry. I also have a dream of owning my own hobby farm that also doubles as a teaching farm. The end goal would be to have a facility that would allow anyone of any age either how to garden, how important farming is, and where their food comes from. I would also love to possible breed exotics and rescue native species so that are the people who come to the farm learning about live stock but about other species as well. I am also an MSU Ice Girl. We support the MSU Ice Hockey team through fan engagement and community involvement. We make sure the fans know that there is a game and that it's one worth going to. Hockey is hands down my favorite sport. Go Blues! Last summer I went to Berlin for four weeks and Prague for one weekend. It was by far the best experience that I have ever had. I miss the food, being surrounded by the language, and being able to walk or ride public transportation anywhere. The first chance that I have, I going back to visit it again.

A I F S ambassador Jared Dineen
  • Jared Dineen
  • Eastern Washington
  • Spain, Granada
  • Spring 2014

I'm a marketing major at Eastern Washington University. I studied in Granada, Spain, in the spring of 2014. I knew nothing about the city before I arrived, but I fell absolutely in love with Granada. Studying in Europe was an amazing experience; the history there is absolutely extraordinary. Ever since I studied abroad, I have been trying to figure out where I can go next!

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list" ~ Susan Sontag

A I F S ambassador Joanna Flanagan
  • Joanna Flanagan
  • University of Hartford
  • Limerick, Ireland
  • Spring 2015

Hello! My name is Joanna and I am a senior at the University of Hartford majoring in Sociology with minors in Gender Studies and Communication. I love animals, talking to new people, and visiting new places! I am very active on my campus as an orientation leader, tour guide, and member of Women for Change, a campus activist organization. I am also a member of Uharmonies, an all-female a cappella group. During the spring of my junior year, I studied abroad at the University of Limerick, Ireland with AIFS. My experience abroad changed my life in so many ways and I am so excited to work with AIFS to help other students have the time of their life abroad!

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open" ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

A I F S ambassador Julia Franzosa
  • Julia Franzosa
  • Duquesne University
  • Maynooth, Ireland
  • Summer 2014

Hey guys! My name is Julia and I'm a senior Biology and Health Sciences double major at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. I made the best decision of my life last summer when I chose to spend a month in Maynooth, Ireland. At their incredible Hogwarts-styled campus, I took a class on the history of the Great Irish Famine! Studying abroad gave me the chance to meet some wonderful people from all over the country and have tons of craic (that's Irish slang for fun). You wouldn't really expect it, but going abroad changes your outlook on just about everything you do. When I become a physician's assistant, I would like to travel and provide care for people all over the world. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I strongly encourage all of you to consider. I know it's a leap of faith, but you won't regret it! SlŠinte!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." ~ Neale Donald Walsch

A I F S ambassador Megan McNulty
  • Megan McNulty
  • Xavier University
  • Limerick, Ireland
  • Fall 2014

Hey there! My name is Megan and I am a student at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio as an Occupational Therapy major with a Gender and Diversity Studies minor. On campus, Iím a member of the Crew/Rowing Team and the Irish Dance Team. My favorite hobbies are yoga, skydiving, binge-watching Netflix, and (of course) traveling. In the fall of 2014, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. Being of Irish heritage, I loved every minute of this adventure. Not only was I able to see Dublin, the Aran Islands, Croagh Patrick and the many other beautiful sights of Ireland, I was fortunate enough to see where my grandparents grew up and meet family I did not know I had. I was also able to see other European cities like Berlin, Milan, and Barcelona, to name a few. This experience made me further realize my passion for traveling the world and experiencing different cultures. Because of my newfound passion, I am already planning my next adventures!

"Traveling Ė it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." ~ Ibn Battuta

A I F S ambassador Bianca Durant
  • Bianca Durant
  • Miami University (OH)
  • Florence, Italy
  • Summer 2014

Hey y'all! I am Bianca Durant, I'm from Atlanta Georgia and a senior Strategic Communications major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I had the amazing opportunity to spend five weeks living in Florence in the summer of 2014. I took two great classes, Florentine Art History and History of the Italian Mafia. While I was there I traveled to Tuscany, Venice, Amsterdam and so many other amazing places. I made tons of lifelong friends from so many different universities and I wouldn't trade my time there for anything! Since I've been back on campus I am involved in Greek life, President of our student ambassador organization, Community Service Coordinator and a university tour guide.

"The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an education southern woman" ~ Sir Winston Churchill

A I F S ambassador Bridgette God
  • Bridgette God
  • University of Michigan
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2015

Hi! I am currently a senior studying chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. On campus I am involved with mentoring first year students and tutoring in physics. I also play many intramural sports. I love playing basketball, reading and hiking. Many students describe their semester abroad as ďthe best experience of their livesĒ but no one can truly understand the sincerity and power of this statement until he/she studies abroad himself/herself. Studying in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy last semester was beyond incredible. I lived with a wonderful host mom, met fantastic people, visited 10 different countries, and came away with beautiful memories and a life-long best friend. Studying abroad gave me an enormous feeling of wanderlust and I am desperately trying to travel any chance I can get. The experience also helped me to become more independent, open-minded and adventurous. I am thrilled to be an AIFS ambassador and have an opportunity to share my experience and memories with students who are looking to start the adventure of a lifetime.

"You will never feel completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." ~ Miriam Adeney

A I F S ambassador Nathan Herman
  • Nathan Herman
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Rome, Italy
  • Spring 2015

Hi! My name is Nathan Herman and I am a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I am double majoring in Financial Markets and Economics with a minor in Political Science. I am extremely outgoing and love meeting new people. On a typical day, you'll find me catching up on the latest TV series, working out, or planning and preparing for my next trip! I spent my spring semester abroad when I lived in the amazing city of Rome for 4 months. Those four months were the best of my life, where I had some great experiences and met some awesome people along the way... and of course had some delicious pizza too. Whether it's visiting a new city for the day, or flying across the ocean to visit a new country, I'm always looking for the next adventure in this amazing world of ours. Ciao!

"The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask" ~ Rick Ridgeway

A I F S ambassador Ariel Riggio
  • Ariel Riggio
  • Regis University
  • Rome, Italy
  • Spring 2014

Ciao! My name is Ariel Riggio and I am a senior nursing student at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. I am a Colorado native and I love to hike, bike, paint, and practice yoga. I spent the spring of 2014 in Rome, Italy where I had the most amazing adventure of my life. I would spend my days site-seeing, wandering the cobblestone streets, painting, eating gelato, and practicing my Italian. I am already planning a trip to return back to Europe and cannot wait to help other students embark on their journey of a life time.

"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us." ~ Anonymous

A I F S ambassador Jordan Serpentini
  • Jordan Serpentini
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2015

Ciao! I am going into my senior year as an International Business major and minor in Studio Art at Hawaii Pacific University. I took the courageous route as I always try to do, and decided to take the opportunity to live where I always have wanted to. I discovered my Italian roots in Florence Italy for a semester living with an Italian host family. With their help, and the help of the skateboarding community I was able to become fluent in Italian in a little over one semester. Beyond that, I was able to further my life goal of experiencing as many different perspectives as humanly possible. In my free time you can catch me skateboarding, surfing, doing art, playing guitar or studying other languages. I am set on finding a way to mesh my business degree with my passion for skateboarding and art. Through this study abroad I actually picked up more than the local dialect, but a new board sponsor also and am part of the LaFabbricona skate team and family for life.

"We donít travel to escape life, we travel to not let life escape us." ~ Anonymous

A I F S ambassador Katie Schwalen
  • Katie Schwalen
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Spring 2015

Hi! My name is Katie Schwalen and I am a senior at Randolph-Macon College majoring in International Studies. I spent the spring of 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia and loved every second of it. I am so glad that I chose a challenging country, both culturally and linguistically, for my study abroad experience because it made me grow so much as a person and gave me memories I will cherish forever. I came back to America more independent and with a greater perspective of what the rest of the world has to offer. In my spare time, I play on the womenís soccer team at my college, go to the beach, drink way too much coffee, and spend time with my best friends. I hope that one day I can return to Russia and explore even more of the country that stole my heart!

"Personally, I like going places where I donít speak the language, donít know anybody, donít know my way around, and I donít have any delusions that Iím in control. Disoriented, even frightened, I feel alive, awake in ways I never am at home." ~ Michael Mewshaw

A I F S ambassador Pat Bollinger
  • Pat Bollinger
  • Towson University
  • Salamanca, Spain
  • Spring 2015

Hola! I'm currently a Junior at Towson University pursuing a double major in Economics and Spanish. I had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Before my travels I had never even been off the east coast of the U.S. Now that I have seen the world my mind has opened tremendously. I met some of the smartest and nicest people abroad that I will have a lifelong friendship with. Studying abroad was the greatest thing to ever happen to me and I hope you all get to experience it as well!

A I F S ambassador Lauren Jillson
  • Lauren Jillson
  • Clemson University
  • Granada, Spain
  • Summer 2014

°Hola! I'm a senior at Clemson University studying Genetics and Biochemistry with a minor in Spanish, and I traveled to the beautiful city of Granada, Spain! Having lived in the Carolinas all my life, this was my first trip abroad, but it certainly won't be my last. During my month in Spain, I took Spanish language classes and lived with an awesome host family. I probably learned more Spanish in this time than I have in years of classes in the states. After my month abroad I backpacked around Western Europe with my mom, and now I have hopes of experiencing the wonders of even more places with a friend after graduation! I love trying new ice cream flavors, watching movies, camping, and rowing with my teammates on the Clemson Crew team. It's impossible for me to pick a favorite day, photo, or experience from my time in Granada because I loved every minute of it! It changed how I look at the world, and I hope to help many other students find an experience they will also remember forever!

A I F S ambassador Kimberly Johnson
  • Kimberly Johnson
  • Mount St. Mary's University, Los Angeles
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2015

Hola! Me llamo Kimberly and I'm a senior at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles. I am studying sociology with a minor in ethnic studies. I spent my spring 2015 semester in the breathtaking city of Granada. Not only was I able to explore the world but I was also able to make lifelong friends and create a bond with my host mother. I've been introduced to cultures that have added to my knowledge of the world and have intensified my passion to help others in need. As a student ambassador I aim to assist others in having an experience as amazing as I did or possibly an even better one.

A I F S ambassador Malorie Kroeger
  • Malorie Kroeger
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Granada, Spain
  • Summer 2014

Hola! My name is Malorie Kroeger; Nebraskan born, Michigan raised, and now living in Florida. I am going into my senior year at Florida Gulf Coast University, where I am pursuing a degree in communication studies with a minor in Spanish language. I spent a summer abroad in Granada, Spain: a city that stole my heart. Iím an avid coffee drinker and lover of all dogs with an enormous desire to travel the world. My time abroad could easily be one of the best experiences Iíve had in life thus far. It gave me a new perspective on the world we live in and I want to encourage others to do the same.

"Not all those who wander are lost" ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

A I F S ambassador Katrina Laffoon
  • Katrina Laffoon
  • Southwest Baptist University
  • Granada, Spain
  • Summer 2014

The summer of 2014 I had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad in Granada, Spain with AIFS. I loved learning Spanish and about Spanish culture in class then stepping outside and experiencing it. This was my second time studying abroad; my senior year of high school I was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Ecuador. I fell in love with both of these countries and have been bitten by the wanderlust bug. I am studying Education and Spanish at my university, and I hope to teach overseas at some point in my life. Iím actively involved in International Club at my school and in my multicultural church. I love learning about different cultures (both domestically and internationally), going on adventures with friends, and reading.

"Still round the corner, there may wait a new road or a secret gate." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

A I F S ambassador Nora Rich
  • Nora Rich
  • College of Charleston
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2015

Hola! My name is Nora Rich and I am a senior at the College of Charleston where I am studying Spanish and Linguistics. I just finished a semester in Granada, Spain, where I had the most incredible time and had the opportunity to become acquainted with the Spanish culture and travel throughout Europe. The entire experience was eye-opening to me and sparked my interest in the study abroad field as a whole. I canít wait to share my stories with others! I already miss my travels and cannot wait to get back to it as soon as possible.

A I F S ambassador Shannon Rooney
  • Shannon Rooney
  • Virginia Tech
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Spring 2015

°Hola! My name is Shannon, and I'm currently a Junior at Virginia Tech. I absolutely love to travel and experience different cultures, so studying abroad was a dream come true for me. With a minor in Spanish, it was obvious that Spain would be my abroad destination! I had an amazing experience living with a host family. While there, I took international business classes along with the local language course. Besides exploring the world, my passions include the environment, food, animals, and exercise. My travel goals are Australia and Asia, as well as visiting my host family back in Barcelona.

"You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences." ~ Thomas Gilovich

A I F S ambassador Aysel Angelina Demirbag
  • Aysel Angelina Demirbag
  • University of San Francisco
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Summer 2014

Hello! My name is Aysel Angelina Demirbag and I am a senior at the University of San Francisco majoring in International Studies with an emphasis on peace and conflict in the Middle East. I feel blessed to have been born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. Being raised in Hawaii, I have developed a strong affinity for the ocean and nature and I try to spend as most time as possible enjoying nature and all its beauty! Last summer, I studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey and I can honestly say it was the best summer of my life so far. I had great academic experience, made amazing friends, travelled the country and, most importantly, ate delicious food! After graduating next year, I hope to meet up with all my amazing friends from my study abroad experience and start the next chapter of my life by going to graduate school abroad.

AIFS Alumni Ambassadors – 2014-2015

A I F S ambassador Demetrius McClay
  • Demetrius McClay
  • Howard University
  • Perth, Australia
  • Spring 2014

Gíday mate! I am a senior, Sports Medicine major from Chicago, Illinois. I spent five months in the wonderful "land down underĒ (Australia)! Talking about my abroad experience in a summary is impossible. However, I can express that this experience was remarkable and had a major impact on my life that I will cherish forever. Traveling abroad allowed me to become more opened minded and ambitious. I met amazing people, explored many incredible places, and became more knowledgeable about cultures throughout my adventure. During my spare time, I enjoy being physically active, reading, and watching movies while eating popcorn. Traveling gave me a better insight into the world. Now that I have the ďtravel bug,Ē Iím excited to see what my next adventure entails! Cheers!

A I F S ambassador Mollie Ann Wheeler
  • Mollie Ann Wheeler
  • Drake University
  • Vina del Mar, Chile
  • Spring 2014

My name is Mollie Ann Wheeler, and I was born and raised in Des Moines, IA (insurance capital of the world). I will be a junior this year at Drake University, also located in Des Moines, studying international business and Spanish. I love dogs, soccer, and the beach. I don't know how to ride a bike (yet), chocolate is kind of my thing, and I am currently in recovery from a coffee addiction. I studied abroad in ViŮa del Mar, Chile, this past spring and loved every second of it. I met some amazing people and learned a ton about both myself and the world around me. Can't wait for my next adventure!

"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A I F S ambassador Jennifer Kvigne
  • Jennifer Kvigne
  • Augustana College
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Spring 2013

Hi! I'm Jen, an Alumni Ambassador for AIFS. I am currently a senior at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but I spent the spring semester of 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Because I'm a Spanish and education major with an endorsement in English as a new language, it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn the language and experience a different culture. Now that I'm back on campus, I'm involved in cheerleading, choir, and various other clubs and activities. I hope to someday teach in a bilingual classroom, helping both Spanish and English students learn a new language, and be an agent for change in the lives of students.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

A I F S ambassador Taylor Cline
  • Taylor Cline
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Fall 2013

Iím a Spokane, WA, native, currently in my senior year at Seattle Pacific University. I ventured to Prague in the Fall of 2013 and had the most amazing semester imaginable. I saw a stunning corner of the world and developed relationships that quickly turned into lifelong friendships. I think about my experience abroad every single day, and I know it will continue to impact me for the rest of my life. Iím a Psychology major with an interest in a career in Human Resources (after I take off after graduation to do something adventurous abroad, of course). In my spare time you can find me binge-watching whatever Netflix series I'm currently interested in or spending the majority of a paycheck on concert tickets.

Words I live by: Eat well, travel often.

A I F S ambassador Natalie Floreani
  • Natalie Floreani
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2014

Ahoj! My name is Natalie Floreani, and I am a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, during the spring 2014 semester, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. From this amazing adventure, I gained a new network of friends from all around the world. Iím already planning my next big trip after graduation because my time abroad fostered my love to travel. In my free time, I love to cook, go to Husker football games, read, work out and volunteer.

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." ~ C.S. Lewis

A I F S ambassador Mary Margaret Kidnay-Rouse
  • Mary Margaret Kidnay-Rouse
  • Regis University
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Fall 2013

My name is Mary Margaret Kidnay-Rouse, but I prefer to go by Maggie. I spent a fantastic semester in Prague, Czech Republic in the Fall of 2013. I am a senior at Regis University and an English major with a Business minor. I am currently doing an internship at my universityís study abroad office and believe in the unique earning opportunities that studying abroad offers students. I enjoy volunteering for different organizations, reading, and having new experiences.

"I am not a great cook, I am not a great artist, but I love art, and I love food, so I am the perfect traveler." ~ Michael Palin

A I F S ambassador Bianca Auriemma
  • Bianca Auriemma
  • Towson University
  • London, England
  • Summer 2013

Hi! I am currently a senior at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland (born and raised), majoring in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. My plan is to attend graduate school for a Master's Degree in Social Work. I can usually be found with my nose in a book or my eyes behind a camera. I cannot stay in one place for a long time, hence my great desire to travel. I spent July 2013 taking a photography class in London, England, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I am always up for trying new and adventurous things, seeing places I've never seen, and eating authentic and exotic foods. I have a great love for Siberian Huskies, sea turtles, fancy coffee drinks, and pretending I'm a blogger. I am excited to one day return to London and eventually explore the rest of this vast and beautiful world.

"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." ~ Henry Miller

A I F S ambassador Adrienne Aldridge-Kiner
  • Adrienne Aldridge-Kiner
  • St. John Fisher College
  • Grenoble, France
  • Spring 2014

A senior at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, Iím wrapping up my studies in international studies and French. Iíd describe myself as an outgoing person, eager and willing to learn, teach and meet people and hear their stories. In my free time, I play volleyball, study languages and reminisce on my time abroad (it went by too fast!). Last semester I had an absolutely amazing experience studying abroad in France. I had a wonderful host family and met life-long friends in the absolutely breath-taking city of Grenoble. My favorite part of the trip, besides traveling all over Europe, was the almost total language immersion in which I had the opportunity to improve my French immensely. I look forward to going back soon. Studying abroad gave me great insight into what I might want to do with my future. I came back to the United States more independent, determined and open-minded. Iíve learned that language is very powerful and has the capability to bring people from different nations and cultures together. I hope to return to Europe soon to teach English and continue improving my French, and even my German (my first language-love). I cannot express how amazing the program in Grenoble is or even study abroad. I hope I encourage students to take the plunge and go abroad!

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." ~ Pericles "

A I F S ambassador Andrea Reith
  • Andrea Reith
  • Christopher Newport University
  • Limerick, Ireland
  • Fall 2013

I am a senior at Christopher Newport University, where I major in economics and double minor in psychology and leadership studies. At school I am involved in several music ensembles, dressage club, crew club, and this year I am absolutely thrilled to be an AIFS Alumni Ambassador as well. In fall of 2013 I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Ireland, where I studied at the University of Limerick. In addition to my love for travel, I like watching The Office, eating ice cream, and reading Ken Follett novels.

"I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

A I F S ambassador Gabi Forgione
  • Gabi Forgione
  • West Chester University
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2014

Hi, my name is Gabi! I am a Communication Studies major at West Chester University and I am currently a senior. I enjoy traveling, so I decided to take a huge leap and study abroad in Florence last semester. It was the best jump of my life because I instantly fell in love with Italy. I left half of my heart, and my favorite pair of worn-out boots, in the ďboot.Ē I am very independent and creative. I have a knack for naming almost any song within twenty seconds, and I love to dance. I hope to travel more in the future and share some of my incredible experiences as an Alumni Ambassador!

"People don't take trips, trips take people."

A I F S ambassador Catherine Harger
  • Catherine Harger
  • University of Hartford
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2014

My name is Catherine Harger, and I'm an Art major at the University of Hartford. To try to recount my whole experience studying in Florence in the Spring of 2014 would be like trying to describe someone's life story in a span of two minutes; it'd be impossible. However, I can attempt to communicate how the people I met, the knowledge I accumulated, and the different perspectives I was exposed to changed my life forever. Sometimes I still can't believe I took that leap of faith and joined the wonderful AIFS Florence program, but I am infinitely grateful that I did. Since coming back from Italy, I still love to swim, dance, read, and create; all of those hobbies have a new meaning and light because of my experience abroad. I'm excited to keep sharing that light with the world.

"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." ~ H. Jackson Browne

A I F S ambassador Megan Harris
  • Megan Harris
  • College of Charleston
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2014

Ciao a tutti! Though I originally hail from the greater Philadelphia area, I traded in Pennsylvania farmlands for South Carolina coastline for college and found a home-away-from-home in the ever-charming city of Charleston. Currently, Iím a senior at the College of Charleston, where Iím a double major in Arts Management and Art History and a Theatre minor. Quite obviously, I live for all things artistic - and for that reason alone, I couldnít think of a better place to spend my Spring 2014 semester than the world-renowned art mecca of Florence, Italy. My study abroad experience left me with amazing lifelong friends, a new perspective on the world, and the discovery that art, my greatest passion, can open doors and expand my horizons in ways I never dreamed possible. I look forward to working with AIFS - the organization that made it all happen - as an Alumni Ambassador this year!

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you. Those who donít believe in magic will never find it." ~ Roald Dahl

A I F S ambassador Jessica Hartmann
  • Jessica Hartmann
  • California State University, San Marcos
  • Florence, Italy
  • January Term 2014

Hey, I'm Jessica! I live in San Diego, and I love it. I have been blessed and have traveled to over 30 countries! I am double majoring in Communications and International Business. I have decided that I will spend my whole life traveling because that is what makes me the most happy. I recently lived and studied in Florence, Italy. Being Italian, I ate pasta every single day, along with gelato! I cannot encourage you enough to go out and see the world, and studying abroad let me fully immerse myself in Italy! Other things I do with my life include working as a waitress, going to the beach all the time, and shopping. I cannot wait to see where my next adventure is in life! Ciao!

Quote/ Motto I live life by: Every day is an opportunity to experience an adventure.

A I F S ambassador Sarah Massie
  • Sarah Massie
  • Bethel University
  • Rome, Italy
  • Fall 2013

Iím senior Organizational Communication major with an emphasis in Marketing and Public Relations at Bethel University. While thatís a mouthful of a major, I simply love learning how organizations communicate with their employees and their consumers. Iíve always wanted to travel, so I studied abroad in Rome in fall of 2013, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I am a die-hard music and movie fan. I love reading and exploring new cities with my closest friends. Traveling gave me such a new perspective on how diverse and colorful the world really is.

"Leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition." ~ Alan Alda

A I F S ambassador Rachel Mihulka
  • Rachel Mihulka
  • University of South Dakota
  • Rome, Italy
  • Fall 2013

Ciao a tutti! My name is Rachel Mihulka. I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and I cannot believe I'm already a senior in college! I love being involved on my campus. I'm the president of Student Ambassadors, while being an active member of my sorority and USD's orientation team. I have a huge sweet tooth and am addicted to coffee. I could watch Disney movies all day and love the thrill of speaking in front of large crowds. My passions include blogging about my adventures, watching history documentaries, enjoying the outdoors, and, of course, traveling! I am studying the fast-paced industries of Public Relations and Advertising, and I can't wait for my future European dreams to become my reality!

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

A I F S ambassador Michelle Wass
  • Michelle Wass
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Rome, Italy
  • Spring 2013

Ciao! I am a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh, working to complete a Biology major, Italian minor, and Global Health Certificate. I made the best decision of my life to study abroad in Rome, Italy, in the Spring 2013 semester. As a result of this experience, I now have a network of friends and family all over the globe, and endless desire to travel! Thanks to my wonderful host family I have become fluent in the Italian language, and I've gained invaluable multicultural perspectives. I insist on finding a way to incorporate my passion for traveling into my planned profession as a Physician Assistant. Now that I'm back in the US, I devote most of my time to my studies and staying involved on campus, but moments in between you might find me playing guitar, drinking a vanilla chai tea latte, or watching stand up comedy of some sort.

Words I choose to live by: "Don't settle."

A I F S ambassador Lidia Gregg
  • Lidia Gregg
  • Texas A and M
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Spring 2014

Howdy! My name is Lidia Gregg, and Iím a senior International Studies major from Plano, Texas. More importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the fightiní Texas Aggies class of 2015! With the help of AIFS, I was able to study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the spring of 2014. I had such a great time traveling to neighboring countries, making new friends and learning everything that makes Russia different from the rest of the world. As a result, my language skills and knowledge of Russiaís culture have improved immensely. I love to read, listen to music, go to football games, and plant trees with my organization on campus.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt

A I F S ambassador Leah-Marie Duran
  • Leah-Marie Duran
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2014

I am going to be a senior this year at the University of Texas at Austin. I had the greatest opportunity to study abroad in the spring of my junior year in Granada, Spain. Being abroad was the most eye-opening experience, and I am eager to share my experiences with others as an Ambassador! I was able to finish my Spanish degree while in Spain, and I will be finishing my Psychology degree this year in the U.S. In my spare time I enjoy cycling, yoga, reading, and planning my next traveling adventure.

"Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond whatís right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in." ~ Andrew Zimmern

A I F S ambassador Hayley Humen
  • Hayley Humen
  • Miami University in Ohio
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2014

Hi! My name is Hayley Humen, and I am a senior International Studies major at Miami University in Ohio, but originally hailing from Libertyville, IL. I spent the spring of 2014 in Granada, Spain - my new favorite place in the world. I was so grateful for my time abroad and knew I wanted to find a way to continue this experience, so the Ambassador program was a perfect choice for me. My time in Spain and traveling through Europe opened my eyes to the rest of the world, and now all I want to do is share that vision with other students.

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." ~ Henry Miller

A I F S ambassador Jennifer Rivera
  • Jennifer Rivera
  • Mount St Mary's College
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2014

Hola!! My name is Jennifer, and I am a senior studying social work and criminology at Mount St Mary's College in Los Angeles, California. I spent four amazing months in the beautiful city of Granada, the city that stole my heart. Traveling has become one of my greatest passions, and I hope to one day step foot on all the continents. I enjoy listening to music, cooking, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made, and I want to encourage others to make that same decision.

"La vida no se mide por las veces que respiras, sino por aquellos momentos que te dejan sin aliento."

A I F S ambassador Jared Dineen
  • Jared Dineen
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2014

I'm a marketing major at Eastern Washington University. I studied in Granada, Spain, in the spring of 2014. I knew nothing about the city before I arrived, but I fell absolutely in love with Granada. Studying in Europe was an amazing experience; the history there is absolutely extraordinary. Ever since I studied abroad, I have been trying to figure out where I can go next!

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." ~ Susan Sontag

AIFS Alumni Ambassadors – 2013-2014

A I F S ambassador Richard Suarez
  • Richard Suarez
  • St. John Fisher College
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall 2012

I am 21 years old and studied abroad with AIFS in Salzburg, Austria during the fall of 2012. This year, I'm a senior at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I'm from the Bronx, NY, in New York City and am currently an AIFS Alumni Ambassador, Diversity Ambassador, Diversity Senator, and intern at the Democratic Legislature's office at Monroe County within the Rochester community.

A I F S ambassador Erin McHenry
  • Erin McHenry
  • Drake University
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fall 2012

I'm a senior studying journalism at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. I'm a die-hard Harry Potter fan and enjoy reading, running, playing soccer, and (of course!) traveling. I spent fall semester of 2012 in Salzburg, Austria, with AIFS and can't wait to go back and visit my host family. My next destination: either Thailand or Alaska, unless I manage to snag a spot on the ďAmazing Race.Ē Then I'd just go everywhere!

ďLife loves the liver of it.Ē - Maya Angelou, OR: There's always room for dessert. Because trust me, you never say no to a slice of homemade apple strudel.

A I F S ambassador Jacy Schwager
  • Jacy Schwager
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Spring 2013

My name is Jacy Schwager, and I am currently a Senior History Major at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I grew up on a ranch outside of the small town of Chambers, Nebraska, before moving to Lincoln to attend Cosmetology School. I then worked as a hair stylist in Norman, Oklahoma, for a year before returning to Nebraska to become a Husker. I can usually be found with my nose in a history book, working at my salon, or talking to people about my wonderful experience studying abroad with AIFS. I am a firm believer in the power of laughter, kindness, and black coffee. If ever I find myself in need of motivation, I watch ďLegally BlondeĒ and channel my inner Elle Woods. In my free time I enjoy eating pizza, wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble, and Googling my future travel adventures and images of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

"You can never be overdressed or overeducated." - Oscar Wilde

A I F S ambassador Jennifer Kvigne
  • Jennifer Kvigne
  • Augustana College
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Spring 2013

Hi! I'm Jen, an Alumni Ambassador for AIFS. I am currently a Junior at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but I spent last semester in San Jose, Costa Rica. Because I'm a Spanish and education major with an endorsement in English as a new language, it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn the language and experience a different culture. Now that I'm back on campus, I'm involved in cheerleading, choir, and various other clubs and activities. I hope to someday teach to children who are learning English and be an agent for change in the lives of students.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

A I F S ambassador Megan Ling
  • Megan Ling
  • University of Michigan
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Spring 2013

My name is Megan Ling and I'm currently a senior at the University of Michigan. I studied abroad in Prague in the Czech Republic during the spring 2013 semester, where I met some of my best friends and fell in love with a city more than I thought was possible. At Michigan, I am studying Psychology and Public Health and would like to pursue a career in Global Health and Education. I chose this career path because it combines two of my passions, improving the lives of others and traveling this beautiful world. I'm a happy girl anytime that I'm playing soccer, skiing, reading a book, with my family, or spending time on the water. Studying abroad taught me to appreciate the little things in life and left me with a strong desire to see the world. I'm constantly daydreaming about the day that I'll return to Praha, the city that stole my heart.

A I F S ambassador Nicole Pirrella
  • Nicole Pirrella
  • West Chester University
  • London, England
  • Summer 2013

Hello! My name is Nicole Pirrella, and I am 22 and beginning my graduate degree in English Literature at West Chester University. I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to encourage others to study abroad while obtaining my masterís degree. When I was a senior in college, I studied in London, UK. The opportunity was once-in-a-lifetime and I seized it with both hands. During my time abroad, I studied Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre, watched plays performed on that very stage, toured the sights of the iconic city, ventured to Paris and stood beneath the Eiffel Tower as it glowed in the moonlight, and most importantly, studied in the land in which my degree is grounded. It was such an unforgettable and life-changing experience in so many ways. I, thousands and thousands of miles away from my home, found myself. I found so much of myself between Britain and France that I returned only eight short months later. It has become, since my time abroad, a great passion of mine to travel. I hope to encourage others to break their boundaries and expand their perception of the world as I did. And it all began by stepping on that plane over a year ago.

"My Dear, find what you love, and let it kill you." ~ Charles Bukowski

A I F S ambassador Mikayla Reid
  • Mikayla Reid
  • University of Rhode Island
  • London, England
  • Spring 2014

Iím a senior at the University of Rhode Island, studying fashion and theater and hoping to be a costume designer in the future. On campus I am in a sorority and part of our Dance Company. I also love soccer, art, and the outdoors. I studied in London last semester where I had an internship with couturier Suzie Turner, and loved every moment there. I plan to continue traveling for the rest of my life; there is so much beauty and culture only a plane ride away!

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

A I F S ambassador Teyonna Ridgeway
  • Teyonna Ridgeway
  • Howard University
  • London, England
  • Spring 2013

I am a communications gal and southern belle who loves to write, read, and travel. As a public relations major, I hope to blend my love for communications and philanthropy by working in the community relations sector of a major media company. I am an avid ďScandalĒ watcher, a camel lover, and a dreamer. I have a passion for mentoring and inspiring others to follow their dreams. One day I hope to travel to every continent, become a motivational speaker, and join the Peace Corps. But until then, I plan to finish my senior year at Howard University in Washington, D.C. strong! May 10, 2014, is right around the corner!

A I F S ambassador Nupur Gambhir
  • Nupur Gambhir
  • Ohio State University
  • London, England
  • Summer 2012

I am a senior and Economics major at Ohio State University. I spent one of the most amazing summers of my life in London, England, and love to travel all over the place. There is nothing better than meeting new people, experiencing new things, and always being taken by surprise in life- at home and abroad. Though I'm currently not traveling in order to finish my education, I'm always planning a trip and I satisfy my wanderlust by discovering all the hidden nooks of Columbus. My passions include development and sustainability, an uplifting yoga class, chocolate cake, late night runs, and of course, traveling the world.

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.

A I F S ambassador Megan Lewis
  • Megan Lewis
  • Stonehill College
  • London, England
  • Fall 2012

I am a senior at Stonehill College who studied in London for the fall semester of my junior year and credit this for greatly impacting my life. I'm a communications major and journalism minor who tries my very hardest not to flood my friend's social media feeds with my article finds about the "best new jackets for fall" or basically anything concerning dachshunds. A pretty well traveled 21-year old, with just about 12 countries under my belt, I am anticipating that my time in America post-graduation will be short, and hoping some traveling will be in the immediate future.

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." - Hillare Bolloc

A I F S ambassador Corianna Lehrman
  • Corianna Lehrman
  • College of Charleston
  • Paris, France
  • Spring 2013

I am originally from Washington, D.C. and am a senior at the College of Charleston studying Communications with a specific interest in Public Relations. Last Spring, I studied abroad in Paris, France. Backpacking various European countries, taking multiple wine classes, and eating authentic food in every destination fueled my love for travel, food, and the wine industry, something she hopes to pursue after graduation.

"L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux," or "What's essential is invisible to the eye." - Antoine de Saint-Exupťry

A I F S ambassador Mary Fox
  • Mary Fox
  • Clemson University
  • Paris, France
  • Summer 2012

I'm Mary Fox, I'm from Blythewood, South Carolina, and I am currently a senior at Clemson University. I'm a genetics major and I hope to go to medical school one day. At Clemson I'm a campus tour guide, I'm in a sorority, I do student government, and I have my own radio show every week! I love to stay busy doing things around campus and go to Clemson football and baseball games.

"We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde ... I've loved this quote ever since I first saw it written on Oscar Wilde's grave in the PŤre Lachaise cemetery in Paris!

A I F S ambassador Caroline Meintzer
  • Caroline Meintzer
  • University of Alabama
  • Cannes, France
  • Spring 2013

Hailing from Tuscaloosa, I am currently finishing up my senior year at the University of Alabama as a journalism major and French minor. I spent a semester abroad in the spring of 2013 on the French Riviera in Cannes. Highlights of my semester included traveling around Europe, teaching French people the correct way to sing ďSweet Home Alabama,Ē and interning at the Cannes Film Festival. I hope to save a few pennies and head abroad again one day soon, but in the meantime, I enjoy writing, baking, obsessing over my dog Teddy, and quoting Pixar movies way too much.

A I F S ambassador Kellie James
  • Kellie James
  • Texas A&M
  • Paris, France
  • Spring 2013

Howdy! My name is Kellie James, I am a Senior International Studies major from Austin, Texas, but, more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the fightin' Texas Aggie class of 2014! I studied abroad in Paris, France with AIFS in the spring of 2013. I had such an AMAZING experience traveling the world and making a place like Paris my home that I decided to dedicate my time to students at Texas A&M. I want to make sure others have the opportunity to study abroad like I did!

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris...then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." - Ernest Hemingway

A I F S ambassador Tova Miller
  • Tova Miller
  • University of Florida
  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring 2013

I am a 22-year-old University of Florida college senior majoring in journalism with a concentration in art and art history. I am a music-loving, dance-around-the-room, go-to-concerts type of gal. But for me that is not where the excitement ends. It is where it begins. I am a writer. I am a coffee addict, who sits at the computer for hours to write. I am a designer. I am a photographer. I am a culture freak. I am an art enthusiast. I am social a media junky. I am a trendsetter. I am an animal lover. I am a baker. I am a crafter. Above all else, I am normal person just like you. I meet deadlines. I follow through. I live for interviews. I watch the news. I go to farmers markets. I go to class. I go home. I go to the beach. I go on road trips. And most importantly, I have this unquenchable thirst for travel, a type of wanderlust thanks to AIFS and my semester abroad in Florence, Italy.

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." - Leonardo da Vinci

A I F S ambassador Michelle Wass
  • Michelle Wass
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Rome, Italy
  • Spring 2013

Ciao! I am a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh, working to complete a Biology major, Italian minor, and Global Health Certificate. I made the best decision of my life to study abroad in Rome, Italy, in the Spring 2013 semester. As a result of this experience, I now have a network of friends and family all over the globe, and endless desire to travel! Thanks to my wonderful host family I have become fluent in the Italian language, and I've gained invaluable multicultural perspectives. I insist on finding a way to incorporate my passion for traveling into my planned profession as a Physician Assistant. Now that I'm back in the US, I devote most of my time to my studies and staying involved on campus, but moments in between you might find me playing guitar, drinking a vanilla chai tea latte, or watching stand up comedy of some sort.

Words I choose to live by: "Don't settle."

A I F S ambassador Lidia Gregg
  • Lidia Gregg
  • Texas A and M
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Spring 2014

Howdy! My name is Lidia Gregg, and Iím a senior International Studies major from Plano, Texas. More importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the fightiní Texas Aggies class of 2015! With the help of AIFS, I was able to study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the spring of 2014. I had such a great time traveling to neighboring countries, making new friends and learning everything that makes Russia different from the rest of the world. As a result, my language skills and knowledge of Russiaís culture have improved immensely. I love to read, listen to music, go to football games, and plant trees with my organization on campus.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt

A I F S ambassador Benjamin Melano
  • Benjamin Melano
  • California Lutheran University
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Fall 2012

My name is Benjamin Melano, and I am a senior at California Lutheran University. I am studying Political Science with an emphasis in Law and Public Policy. I have studied abroad in Paris, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia. I love politics, especially international politics, and current events. I immigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii when I was 12. Before studying abroad, I spoke Tagalog, Ilokano, and English. After studying abroad, I have added French and Russian to my vocabulary. I am a big Harry Potter fan. Currently, I am an AIFS Alumni Ambassador and the Student Life Programming Intern.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page." - St. Augustine.

A I F S ambassador Rachel Hampton
  • Rachel Hampton
  • Howard University
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2014

My name is Rachel, and I am currently a Broadcast News Major, Spanish Minor studying at Howard University in Washington DC. Set to graduate in May 2015, I'm currently developing my skills as a multi-media journalist while becoming an influential mentor, role model, community server, and leader. I am a native of Hamilton, New Jersey, a sister to one, and a daughter to a supportive pair of parents. As the first in my family to attend a four-year institution, I have my sights set on continuously growing and improving in every way possible. Studying abroad at the University of Granada, Spain, was one of the best experiences in which I have chosen to partake. I was able to completely immerse myself in a culture unlike my own and learn about others as I continued to learn about myself. I'm a lover of spontaneous exploring, retail therapy (shopping), learning, and serving others. I'm equipped with an energetic personality, adoration of Solange Knowles, and addiction to green tea, and Iím ready to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself!

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. " ~ Maya Angelou

A I F S ambassador Carla Quiroga
  • Carla Quiroga
  • Mount St. Mary's College
  • Granada, Spain
  • Spring 2013

My name is Carla Quiroga, and I am a Sociology major at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, California. One of my hobbies is photography, which I have been doing for about eight years now. I realized early on that I love to photograph landscapes and candid portraiture, so you can imagine traveling abroad gave me an unlimited amount of feed!

"There is nowhere you can be that isn't where you aren't meant to be."

A I F S ambassador Elle Hawthorne
  • Elle Hawthorne
  • Texas Tech University
  • European Art & Architecture, Traveling Program
  • Summer 2012

My name is Elle Hawthorne, and I am a (super) senior at Texas Tech University studying Communication Design. Being a graphic designer and social media intern means I am glued to my laptop 98% of my day, so I try to spend the other 2% doing stuff that won't strain my eyes. I love finding hole-in-the-wall places to eat, people -watching/going to the gym, and reading Harry Potter as if I don't have them memorized by now.

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." - William G.T. Shedd