Summer 2018

Former Featured Bloggers: Summer 2018

Ikrom Alajoulin
University of Florida
Santiago, Dominican Republic (ISA Service-Learning)
Although I was born in Florida, my family is from the Middle East. Having this background in the Arab culture has given me this fantastic opportunity to experience the traditions of two cultures. I loved using this multi-dimensional perspective to learn about different cultures. I also have a very welcoming personality which helps me communicate with others and their cultures. I have always had many friends from Latin American cultures & through them, have noticed many similarities to Middle Eastern cultures. Studying abroad in the Dominican Republic gives me the opportunity to compare Latin America and the Middle East.

Gil Gerard Austria
Stevens Institute of Technology
Seoul, South Korea (ISA Internships)
I’m a Computer Science Major and Quantitative Finance Minor at Stevens in Hoboken, New Jersey. I was born in Quezon City, Philippines and have been in America since I was three years old. I play for my school’s Ultimate Frisbee Team and play piano and guitar.
I’ve always loved traveling and exploring places I’ve never been before, so I’m excited for my trip! I’m thrilled for this opportunity to share my experiences and the things I learn. Through my posts, I hope to provide an inspiring account of the eye-opening and humbling experience of spending months in another culture.

Emma Burnett
Emporia State University
Galway, Ireland (ISA Service-Learning)
My name is Emma and I a am a 20 year old nursing student from Kansas. I love music, sports and being with friends and family. Studying abroad has been something I have always wanted to do, but never thought I would get the chance. I hope while abroad I get to make lifelong friends and lifelong memories. I am always up for an adventure, and this will be my greatest one yet!

Evan Clark
University of Louisville
Cusco, Peru
A McConnell Scholar and rising junior at the University of Louisville, I grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky. I have loved language learning throughout my life and have always been fascinated by the unique culture and history of Peru. I hope to use my study abroad in Cusco to improve my Spanish skills, immerse myself into the Peruvian way of life, and forge irreplaceable bonds with a Peruvian host family. An avid traveler with a passion for creative writing, linguistics, and international politics, I connect with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. I am excited to use this opportunity to the fullest!

Summer Conley
University of Pittsburgh
Madrid, Spain
Hi, my name is Summer! I am a twenty-year-old incoming junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I love yoga, food and experiencing new places! I am a lover or traveling and I crave new adventures. I am filled with wanderlust and am excited to experience Spain for the first time in my life! In my blog, I will share my experience while abroad here in Madrid and detail my favorite places I have explored. I can not wait to embark on this journey and share all about it!

Eleanor Crymes
Rhodes College
Salamanca, Spain (ISA Service-Learning)
Originally from Athens, Georgia, I am an English literature major at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. My hobbies include cooking, learning about alternative medicine, and yoga. In Memphis, I am fortunate to be part of a service-learning scholarship program; however, my experience would not be complete without an international understanding of social justice issues. During my summer with ISA, I hope to further my interests by learning about how different organizations and communities address social inequity. I am most looking forward to sharing my service-learning experience with my peers as we navigate a summer in Spain’s Golden City!

Jessica Fragnoli
University of New Hampshire
Salamanca, Spain (ISA Service-Learning)
As an avid adventurer and foodie, I am thrilled to take on Salamanca with a hunger for experience and knowledge as well as an ambitious appetite. I am happiest while surrounded by those who are also willing to pick up and tackle rich experiences in the great outdoors and I can not wait to find out what natural wonders Spain has to offer. While pursuing a degree in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire, my senior year has approached all too quickly and I have learned that one of my most prized accomplishments throughout the years has been my writing. Words on a page make it easiest to relive memories and experiences that seem to slip away before we even know they left!

Lauren Gross
Frostburg State University
Athens, Greece
I am currently in my senior year (part 2) at Frostburg State University, studying art and art history. I am an avid fan of Johnny Cash and like to spend my spare time adventuring in the Western Maryland wilderness.

Kathryn Holt
Mississippi State University
Florence, Italy
Hi friends, I am Katie! I am a senior at Mississippi State University. I was born and raised in Florida and love getting to spend time with my family in the Sunshine State. When I’m not playing golf or studying I enjoy going on adventures with my sisters, baking, and writing. I believe that life was meant for adventures and I am so excited to explore Florence and share my adventures with you. Happy exploring!

Abby Jamison
University of Missouri- Kansas City
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Hi everyone! My name is Abby and I’m a creative writing and communications major at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and originally from Fairfax, VA. I love reading novels, shopping, talking about social justice and trying new foods! I’m most excited to learn about different cultures abroad, as this is my first time overseas. My goal abroad is to live like a local as much as I can! I’m so excited to take you guys along for this journey and show you all the wonderful things The Netherlands has to offer!

Madison Kacmarcik
Edgewood College
Dublin, Ireland (ISA Internships)

Colleen Morrissey
University of Northern Iowa
Sevilla, Spain
Greetings! I am Colleen Morrissey from Iowa, where I’ve lived my entire life, just like my father. However, my mother is an immigrant from the Philippines – a previous colony of Spain. I am an only child, but am companioned by my chubby dog Penny and grandpa-like dog Todd. Attending the University of Northern Iowa, I double major in business management and business marketing. In leisure time, I enjoy being outdoors. I’m ecstatic for my summer adventure in Spain because I love learning about different cultures, seeing new sights, and learning more about the wonderful world we live in. ¡Vamonos!

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Abigail Nowell
University of Arkansas
Lille, France
I was born and raised in Little Rock, AR, but currently call Fayetteville home. I’m on the Pre-Med track studying to hopefully become a physician, with a minor in French (still waiting to see when I’ll use that!). When I’m not in the chemistry lab, you can find me baking a new dessert or studying up on the Enneagram. My guilty pleasure is Dancing with the Stars–I hope to be a contestant one day! :)

Natalie Orslene
The Ohio State University
Valencia, Spain
Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Orslene, and I am a rising senior at The Ohio State University, where I study International Relations and Diplomacy and Spanish. I have always dreamed of traveling the world, and my trip to Spain is hopefully the first of many times I get to travel to explore new and exciting places. When I’m not having new adventures, I love to spend time with my family and sorority sisters, binge-watch The West Wing on Netflix and cook as much as possible. I am excited to take you all on this journey with me. ¡Hasta pronto!

Abbey Pignatari
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Dublin, Ireland (ISA Internships)
Hi! I’m an Illinois native and third-year studying professional writing and political science. The opportunity to intern in Dublin is exhilarating because extending my education abroad has always been a dream of mine. Gaining knowledge of Irish history, traditional Irish literature, and current Irish politics are some of my goals while abroad. I want to strengthen my writing skills and use my interest in sociolinguistics to compare the similarities and differences between British and American English. I plan to gain cultural knowledge, enjoy the beauties of a new country, and learn how hobbies I love are enjoyed in other cultures.

Ariella Erin Poon
Nova Southeastern University
Glasgow, Scotland
I’m a proud Shark Talent Scholar from Nova Southeastern University with a major in Biology and minor in Studio Art. I enjoy challenges and going outside of my comfort zone, making life more worthwhile and memorable. I aspire to become an optometrist as well as a freelance artist and novelist, so having the opportunity to study physics in Glasgow, the culture and art capital of Scotland, blends two worlds into one. I cannot wait for the friendships awaiting me and to be inspired by the city’s beautiful architecture and history in which will influence my future novel, comics, and art.

Brooke Purvis
Northwest Missouri State University
Athens, Greece
Join me as I experience many firsts; my first solo flight, first missed flight, first gyro, first dance to greek music…the list goes on. Along the way I am on a mission to do what the locals do, drink all of the Greek coffee, save the nautilus and bring home as much Τζατζίκι as Customs will let me. Lets do this!

Valeria Rubio
Kansas State University
Valparaiso, Chile (ISA Internships)
My name is Valeria, but many people know me as Val. I’m a proud mid-westerner who was born in Texas, and raised in Kansas and Nebraska! I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Spain during my senior year of high school, and now I get to experience South America, where I will be taking classes and doing a business internship in Chile. I’m excited to see the cultural differences between the different Spanish speaking countries and be immersed in the day to day life in Chile.
Follow me along as I venture through South America!

Jaclyn Sherman
Virginia Commonwealth University
Barcelona, Spain
My name is Jackie! I am a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and am an International Studies major with a concentration in Social Justice with a minor in Gender Studies. I’m a foodie who loves to eat, cook and experience culture through taste. Music is another passion of mine and I hope to also explore the sounds of Barcelona.

Krista Simpson
Texas Woman’s University
Galway, Ireland
I am a third-year student at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas! I am majoring in English, and I am the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. I came to study abroad in Ireland because it is a country that is rich in its literature. I hope to become an editor one day, and I love writing poetry!

Katie Smith
Chapman University
Shanghai, China (ISA Internships)

Claire Temple
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Canberra, Australia
My name is Claire Temple, and I’m a rising junior sport management major and Spanish minor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville from Nashville. I cheer for my Tennessee Volunteers and the Nashville Predators. I appreciate puzzles, nature, Motown music, and my dog, Ellie. At any given time, at least one article of my clothing is from a thrift store. In my time abroad, I look forward to being a spectator to Australian sports and to feel their unique excitement. I love how sports are international, yet play a different role in every country.

Jeanne Torp
University of Mississippi
Paris, France
I love to travel not only for the sights but to see how people of other cultures go about their daily lives. I enjoy being reminded of the vastness of our world and the diversity of the people in it, and I believe studying abroad is one of the best ways to truly experience the cultures that make each region so unique.
Besides traveling, I love music, swimming, making the occasional video, stargazing, and cacti. One of my most impressive talents is my ability to rap Eminem’s “Rap God” (almost) flawlessly.

Aubrey Ward
University of Houston
Wellington, New Zealand
My name’s Aubrey Ward. I’m a student at the University of Houston, where I major in creative writing. As a writer-poet, I’m interested in the human condition, and this simply cannot be explored without learning from different people in different places. I’m grateful to spend six weeks in New Zealand this summer as part of Massey University’s Creative Expression and Digital Media National Expedition and Internship. This program includes travel across the country and a four-week internship in Wellington. To read about my adventure and learn about the history, people, art, and culture of New Zealand, check out my blog!