Former Featured Bloggers: Fall 2016
University of Denver
Hey everyone! I’m a junior at the University of Denver studying International studies and Gender Women’s studies. I was born and raised in Colorado. The beautiful mountain scenery has been in the corner of my eye since I could remember. Now as I set off to Spain, I can always keep in mind the love that I have for my home, and the excitement that I feel as I set off to uncharted territory. The history and the richness of the Spanish culture is what I aim to experience through my love of writing, reading and exploring new places.
Lewis-Clark State College
I am a very open minded and adventurous individual who would love the opportunity to share my experiences in Ireland. I am consistent in journaling and find it relaxing and therapeutic to write down all that I learn and grow from in life. Due to my love of writing, adventurous personality and the desire to grow as an individual, I feel like I would be a great asset to the ISA Student Blog. I am planning my life around what matters most to me and traveling is just that. Having the opportunity to study abroad and write about my experiences in Ireland would allow me to start pursuing what I aim to do for the rest of my life.
My ability to think of the world as a whole has always been there; I’ve always been able to see myself as part of a world rather than just a town or a school. I graduated high school with 28 kids, which most people find laughable.I wanted to get out and see something different; Peru is my new chance. I can learn about how people outside the U.S. live. I can learn about myself and learn to appreciate different perspectives on the world. Plus I’ve heard the soccer players are pretty good.
Kansas State University
At two, I was diagnosed with a degenerative pulmonary disease called Cystic Fibrosis, requiring hospitalizations each year and shortening one’s lifespan to 30 years. I have been extremely healthy—making my life with CF much higher quality than it could be. Because of this, I am studying abroad as a challenge to myself: to live to the fullest as a reminder that every day is a gift, to experience and learn as much as I can, and to challenge myself to live not just a normal life, but a life full of both risks and seized opportunities.
University of Houston
Seoul, South Korea
I’m a senior at the University of Houston studying communications. I was born in Venezuela and moved to Houston in 2008, exposing me to meet people from all over the world. From the time I moved to United States I realized that I loved learning about cultures and I became interested in East Asia, reason why I chose South Korea to study abroad. During the time that I’m abroad I hope to learn more about the Korean culture and the some of the language. I love writing and traveling, which makes this opportunity to study abroad is extremely exciting!
University of Texas at Dallas
Seoul, South Korea
I’m a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in Communications and minoring in Asian Studies. I love photography, performing theater, writing, trying new foods, meeting strangers and new friends, and exploring new environments. I am studying abroad to expand my world. I have already studied abroad once and have already had my perspective on life flipped on its’ head, and it’s the best most humbling experience I think we as people can go through. To be a stranger, an adventurer in a new place, there’s no feeling quite like it.
Northwest Nazarene University
I’ve called Idaho home since ’95 so I’ve grown up with corn fields always in sight and a small-town mentality. As the youngest of four kids, I’ve learned to be very competitive, extroverted, and ambitious. From the moment I dissected a trout in the 6th grade, I’ve wanted to be a doctor. I’m hoping to explore the world a bit before diving into medical school. I’m a lover of hiking, Jesus, candy, volleyball, science, skiing, giraffes, and roller coasters. I’m a constant seeker of adventure and learning, both of which I hope to obtain in a semester in Seville.
University of Oklahoma
My name is Kyndall Doughty; I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, but attend the University of Oklahoma. I spend my free time hiking and camping with my best pals. If I could spend everyday lying in my hammock with a big bag of M&Ms I would be content. I love all types of movies, but thrillers hold a special place in my heart. If I can do one new thing everyday for the rest of my life, I’d consider my life a success!
I’m a wrestler at a small, private school in Kansas called Baker University, but I’m originally from Alaska. I am incredibly excited to explore a new area of the world and make lasting friendships with people of different cultures. Hobbies and interests include: peanut butter, weight lifting, corgis, and fine adult beverages of the most mediocre quality.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Prague, Czech Republic
I have always dreamed of being able to travel the world. I embarked on my travels when I graduated high school and I left for Europe for a month. Shortly after stepping foot on the airplane, I fell in love with the thrill. While I study abroad, I hope to embrace different cultures, learn about historical sites and figures, taste new foods, and meet new friends. I am from Huntington Beach, CA, I live in a beautiful city but for some reason I am always craving the beauty of other places. On my spare time I love to share my adventures through my Instagram. I take a lot of photos; whether it be with my cellphone, my Canon, or my film Nixon camera. I dream of being able show others the beauty of the world through words and photos.
Boise State University
Hi, I’m Jordan. I am the product of several generations of impassioned travelers, foodies, animal lovers, go-getters, joke-tellers and goofballs. I am a chaotic juxtaposition between bubbly extroversion and raw social incompetency, and I’m known for thinking my jokes are funnier than they actually are. I’m majoring in Journalism and International Relations, while minoring in Arabic and Spanish at Boise State University. I believe in the power of living a life of zeal and exploration, and that mindset is what is pushing me across the globe from Idaho to Morocco this fall.
Ohio State University
In college, I have focused on cultural theory in hopes of learning more about the forces that shape and mold cultures around the globe. During my stay in Paris, I hope to immerse myself in a new culture so that I might be given a new perspective on cultures in general. Personally, I am most excited about the food. While studying abroad, I plan on eating out at the local restaurants and learning about the history and disciplines that have shaped the food of France. Along with this, I am an art history major, and I plan on spending much time in all of the great art museums of Paris. I am a fitness fanatic. Each day, I lift and run for about two hours. I am looking forward to jogging through the Paris streets in the mornings.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Meknes, Morocco (ISA Service-Learning)
The most important skill I have learned so far at University is the importance of stretching myself beyond my comfort zone in order to grow. I hope to learn more Arabic and explore the Moroccan dialect Darija, make lasting friendships with other students and consequently realize greater personal goals for myself that I hope to achieve through study abroad. As a biracial American I feel I have a unique culture to share, yet I’ll always have more to learn. Formerly a chemistry student, I was drawn to social sciences because I love finding similarities between cultures and people.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
While in London, I hope to grow as a writer and explore the rich history of the UK as a whole. My family’s history is tied to England and Ireland which is common for a lot of Americans, so being able to learn more about these countries is an exciting prospect. I love to write just about anything and was a staff writer and Senior News Editor of my college’s newspaper. I also enjoy reading, crafting, baking, trying new foods and exploring. I love to try new things and am excited to have a whole continent to explore!
University of Idaho
I am a rising Junior at the University of Idaho who is double majoring in International Studies and Political Science, as well as minoring in Spanish and Economics. In my spare time, I love to be active. I love playing soccer, hiking, and trying new things (especially food). During my time abroad, I am looking forward to learning about the culture and history of Peru, and hope to explore Peru’s impact in the International System. I believe that to travel is the best way to learn!
The College of Idaho
I enjoy skiing, kayaking, live music, and traveling in my free time. Growing up, my parents took me on several trips abroad and I became addicted with the idea of constantly moving around and experiencing new places. This year I have traveled to Japan and Central America and figured I might as well find the most culturally unique and exciting place I could think of and move there for a semester. This place turned out to be Thailand and I cannot be more excited to sample the food, visit the temples, and meet the people in my new home.
Middle Tennessee State University
I am a 20 year old from a quiet suburban neighborhood outside of Nashville, TN. I am in love with learning languages and about cultures. I am a vegetarian, and yoga is my favorite thing to do. I am intensely interested in how others find their individual happiness in life, and hope to gain some insight on that while in Colombia. I look forward to discovering more about myself and who I am as I discover a new community, culture, and place!
My name is Julia Grief and I am a third year Cultural Anthropology student at Seattle University. This area of study has helped me pursue my passion and interest in how cultures impact the narrative of an individual. Apart from immersing myself in the Spanish culture while abroad, I also hope to experience many of these narratives by meeting new people and exploring the beauty of Spain! I love to travel, mainly because I have a slight obsession with airlines, and I also enjoy reading and baking.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
I am a visionary at its truest form. I am a Computer Science student that has a love for writing and photography. In my free time I love to blog, take photos, and do Do It Yourself (DIY) activities. I love using my natural talents and things that bring me fulfillment to serve individuals. At my core I am a communicator and it’s what I get energy from doing. I am driven by purpose and that’s what keeps me full of joy.
University of South Carolina Honors College
Opera, Business, Travel, Spanish, and Medicine…what do these subjects have in common? They are my passions, interests, and pursuits. As a student of the USC honors college, I’ve never wanted to only study one thing. My days consist of chemistry, economics, Spanish, and voice lessons: everything I crave. Travel is exploration, and I want to see the world. Spain is just the beginning of my lifelong cultural exploration. People and their stories are fascinating because learning about others allows me see my life and country in new ways I’d never imagined before.
The College of New Jersey
Living in China is the fulfillment of a life-long dream. Traveling and living in a foreign culture has been my insatiable desire as long as I can remember. During my time abroad I am eager to immerse myself in the Chinese culture, become conversational in Mandarin, and gain a truly global perspective for my future studies. After graduation, I hope to utilize the skills I garner through this experience to launch a career in international development – to mitigate poverty in the world’s most impoverished communities. For fun I enjoy cooking, hiking, and playing sports.
After growing up in a town with more cows than people (probably), I knew I needed to learn about other ways of life. I craved more after my month-long study abroad in Argentina, and what better country to spend a year in than Spain? In school, I’m studying Global Studies, Spanish, and French, so basically stick me on a plane and I’ll be happy. I’m a professional pet selfie taker as well as an embarrassingly huge gymnastics fan. Somehow I’ve traveled to more countries than US states, so I’m thrilled to add to the list this year.
Grand Valley State University
Growing up, my dad worked for the American Embassy. My family and I traveled while living in Germany and Peru. Seeing the world with those I’m closest to has been an amazing experience, however, I am anxiously awaiting to do it on my own. I think I can bring a unique perspective because I have been to places such as Peru, Germany, and China and I can compare my previous experiences to the new ones.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Bienvenidos! My name is Sarah and I’m going on an adventure to the Spanish Mediterranean coast. This is not my first adventure; I turned 18 while in transit from Paris to Barcelona on a night train! Answering the basic question, “What’s your major?” has never been simple for me: I started out as a Theater Major, switched to English, tried to switch into Engineering but it was very strict, added Economics, added a film minor, a Computer Science minor, a Spanish minor, and a Vocal Music minor, and here I am ditching senior year to graduate early and spend my last semester in Malaga. It’s been quite the ride, and it’s barely begun.
University of New Hampshire
I am a junior at the University of New Hampshire and I am from Bedford, New Hampshire. I am a double major in Economics and History. I have an identical twin sister, and a younger sister and brother. Building and maintaining strong relationships is very important to me, and I have a passion for helping others. Different cultures, music, and experiences are all things that greatly interest me, and sharing these experiences with others is equally important to me. I love literature, art, and history, and I have also always been athletic and very involved with sports, so I hope to continue that involvement while abroad. My family also just got an Irish puppy! He is a Wheaten Terrier named Finley, and I am very in love with him.
Middle Tennessee State University
Constantly curious and anxiously awaiting adventure, I’m a dreamer that seeks out inspiration in anything from the subtle to the superb. I see my time abroad as an open door to wonderful possibilities. Majoring in Global Studies and Spanish has been pretty awesome, but when not busy with classes, I volunteer as a teacher’s aid at my old elementary school. Working with these kids, seeing their smiles, and gaining such invaluable insight from their imaginations and constant flow of creativity is truly rewarding! Also, I really adore crystals, tea, Swedish Fish, The Walking Dead, bookstores, baking, and Cillian Murphy. Cheers!
Born and raised in Hong Kong, spent most of my High School years watching movies (rather than studying), so I thought I’d try my hand at creating my own. Packed up, moved to California, still haven’t met Tom Cruise yet, but never say never…
Have you ever woken up one morning and thought, “Man, I wish could just go, travel, see the world.”? I did this on a daily basis and here I am! I’m a true believer in turning dreams into a reality and doing what makes you happy. I’m a mountain lover, chance taker, adventurer, old soul, lover of the sea, and major foodie! My dream job would be to fly my own plane to different cities, write about the food, and be paid to do it! Here I get to write about my travels, so at least I’m getting closer!
The College of St. Rose
My name is Brittany Mettrick and I’m from Rochester, NY. Language and music are my passions. I enjoy spending time outdoors, especially in places where there’s water and lots of green. Back in the states, I study at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where my major is Communication Sciences and Disorders. My ultimate goal is to become a bilingual speech-language pathologist and work with bilingual (Spanish/English) children. During my time abroad in Barranquilla, Colombia, I hope to get closer to my language goal and broaden my perspective of the world through the various people I meet and places I experience.
University of Denver
My name is Rory Moore and I am a rising senior at the University of Denver. I missed the opportunity to attend a study abroad program my junior year because I was still on the pre-med track. After fall quarter last year, I decided that pre-med was not for me and I wanted to explore my strengths.I was tired of PUSHING myself through something that I didn’t even enjoy. This is when I realized that I loved to write creatively. I love writing personal narratives and sharing my story, but I like to do it through different forms such as poetry. So, I decided to become a Creative Writing major and was able to fit studying abroad in another country as part of this new journey. I am African American and I have Spain roots in my family and no one has ties to our Spanish relatives and that made me want to travel to Spain! I didn’t know exactly which city I wanted to go in Spain but I knew that I wanted to immerse myself deeply into the Spanish culture. I wanted to see how Spain culture differed from American culture. As a social butterfly, I wanted to meet a lot of people and I saw that Madrid had the biggest population in Spain. So, this year I confided in myself to apply to go Madrid, Espana at La Universidad Antonio de Nebrija: Spanish Language, Liberal Arts, and Business. Somethings you should know about me are that I love singing and playing piano. Also, I love to hike, run, and spend time with friends.
Michigan Technological University
Seoul, South Korea
I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and had never been outside the Midwestern United States until I was 18. This sort of sheltered life left me with a thirst to see as much of the world and experience as many cultures as I possibly could. I left the country for the first time when I was 20 while studying abroad through ISA in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This was my first taste of being in a culture completely foreign to me, and I can’t wait to have those feelings replicated while in Seoul, South Korea.
Maria Elena Pakulis
Arizona State University
My name is Maria and I am a junior at Arizona State University majoring in women and gender studies. I’m passionate about sex and healthy relationship education and love working to educate my peers on campus through different campus organizations. Besides that, I spend a lot of time cooking, eating, and rereading Harry Potter! I’ll be spending a semester in Galway, Ireland and during that time I look forward to trying new foods and seeing real castles!
Bridgewater State University
My name is Michaella, better known as Mae by many, and I am going into my senior year at Bridgewater State University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Culture. I choose to study abroad in Morocco to experience life outside of a Westernized setting and ignore the many stereotypes that many revolve around the Middle Eastern Culture. I enjoy participating in cultural events on campus and community service. I am a member of a female support group on campus called Sister Scholars and a co- founder for a multicultural dance group on campus called Urban Renegades.
University of Idaho
Wellington, New Zealand
I spent the first 21 years of life in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho. I believe the pure size of my town alone differentiates me from many other ISA students, as it seems a majority come from larger cities in states such as California, Colorado and the northern east coast. The lack of cultural diversity in Moscow had a major influence on my desire to study elsewhere and meet people from various countries. In the past few years I’ve developed a strong appreciation for nature and the outdoors, which holds true for the entire country of New Zealand.
University of Minnesota Duluth
My professional goal is to move Silicon Valley and help launch a product that changes the world. I have a list of 44 technology companies with whom I want to contribute. I believe that increasing cultural IQ can help me get a better understanding of the world.
University of Kentucky
I’m Jeremy, and I’m an accounting/international business/Spanish student at the University of Kentucky. I crave learning about language, history and other cultures so I believe the study abroad experience is perfect for me. My hobbies in the States include singing (I’m in an a cappella group at my university), spending time in nature (which I do as often as I can), exploring the world around me with my beautiful girlfriend and family and friends, Jeopardy, learning, reading, and just generally getting to know this incredible world.
St. Edward’s University
Hey there! I’m a junior at St. Edward’s University studying psychology and minoring in Spanish. I was born in the beautiful country of Venezuela and moved to Texas in 2008. I chose Madrid because it seemed like the ideal place to finish off my minor and I really wanted to immerse in a culture that would in some ways remind me of my own home. I have never been to Europe so I am excited to step outside my comfort zone, travel, try new things and become more educated on other parts of the world outside the U.S.
Santiago, Dominican Republic (ISA Service-Learning)
During my time abroad I really hope to encourage and promote diversity and civic engagement . I want to not only continue my studies, but make an impact on others so that they too may become catalysts for social change or any passion they may have. I want to further myself as a young woman as I strive to become a well-rounded and cultural individual. I have pursued my passion for the Spanish language and carribean culture by traveling to 3 countries by myself starting at the age of 14. I love to dance, cook, and travel. It’s a great feeling as the eldest of six children to know that I am a good role model. In life you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable, which is how I survive wherever I go!
I am currently a senior at Towson University pursuing a degree in Journalism with a minor in Environmental Science. I have been a staff writer and columnist for my university newspaper “The Towerlight” as well as a writer and editor for the online publication “The Odyssey”. While in Fiji, I hope to soak up the history of the island as well as experience all the adventures it has to offer. I am unique because I chose Fiji, a place where many people never think to study abroad or consider it an option. Blogging while I am there will give future students another country to consider when deciding where to study abroad. Some of my background includes being vice president of Students Helping Honduras at Towson University, for which I travelled to Honduras five times to help construct schools. I am also a certified SCUBA diver, third degree black belt in karate, and kickboxing instructor.
I am a junior studying finance at Bethel University in Minnesota. While abroad, I want to see and do all that I can. I am especially interested in experiencing the history that surrounds London, which is a dream for history buffs like me. I love watching basketball (go Timberwolves) and I can whistle the socks off of just about anybody. I have a black belt in karate, but I’d rather make you laugh than get into a fight with you. The easiest way to befriend me is to feed me or to let me talk about Star Wars.
My name is Olivia Schmidt and I am an introverted extrovert. The idea of studying abroad in a foreign country absolutely terrifies me but it also excites me unlike anything else. I have been to Europe twice; once to Spain, Italy and France and another to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. I want my study abroad experience to give me the confidence to travel on my own (even if its just to the nearest cafe), to meet new people and to eat, sleep and breathe (but mostly eat) the Spanish culture!
Seton Hall University
Meknes, Morocco (ISA Service-Learning)
My name is Lindsay Smetanka. I am an International Relations student with a double major in Modern Languages and minor in Catholic Studies. I am a small town girl with big city dreams. During my study abroad and service learning program in Morocco, I hope to increase my speaking ability of the French and Arabic language. I view the service learning component as an opportunity to gain insight into true Moroccan life. My hobbies include running, writing and laughing with friends. Every day is a chance for a new adventure and life is too short to not be a foodie.
Univeristy of Missouri Kansas City
San Jose, Costa Rica
I am an incoming Junior this year. Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine. It is very uncommon for a nursing major to study abroad, so I held off applying to the nursing program to take healthcare courses in Spanish and English in Costa Rica. I hope to get a better understanding of Latin culture and volunteer in the community. Being an African American female student makes me unique because it allows me to encourage other minorities to take advantage of this opportunity and have an open mind when it comes to new cultures.
Though I have traveled to Africa twice, all over the US, and into Canada multiple times, I have never been to Europe, and I am thrilled for this opportunity to study my passion in the beautiful land of my heritage. My desire is to sharpen my critical thinking skills, expand my scholarly horizons, and immerse myself in learning the ways of a different culture. Honing these areas will provide me with valuable skills that will enable me to better not only my life, but the lives of others as I strive to use my talents to help those around me.
University of Utah
My name is Alyssa Smoot and I am coming up on my senior year at the University of Utah. I am studying International Studies and Global Health and LOVE every minute of it. Words to describe me – avid adventurer, travel enthusiast, health nut, bookworm, shopaholic, and occasional yogi. I’ve been in love with the Spanish culture for as long as I can remember and a study abroad to Spain specifically has been on my bucket list since the day I started college. Not only am I counting down the days until my time abroad for the good food, amazing scenery, and captivating vibes but I am extremely excited for the language, the people, and the vibrant culture. I can’t wait to get there and continue learning something new every day and wander the hills of Granada in awe. With love, your meditative, open-minded and people-loving amiga nueva.
Arizona State University
Living overseas molded me into a more cultured, open-minded individual. The world looks much bigger when you’ve lived on three continents, in five countries and have visited over 30 more, knowing that each of them offer a vast amount of new knowledge, experiences and opportunities. I’m excited to see what Morocco will teach me, what I can learn from North African culture and society, and how it compares to the multitude of others across the globe. Traveling has never frightened me – but rather challenged me to become more malleable during unprecedented circumstances, open to unfamiliar events, and thankful.
University Of Central
London, England (ISA Internships)
I am an artist from the American Midwest, looking for adventure. I will be starting a new experience amidst the bustling London life working with the creative team at Module Media, a small graphic design firm looking over the River Thames. The growing excitement is almost to bare, I can’t wait to walk to work exploring a new realm, contributing to innovation of business advertising, and the new people I will befriend as well as learn from.
Missouri State University
I am a senior at Missouri State University. I was in the military for the past five years and was able to travel around the United States and to some countries overseas. I am now out of the military and finishing up a degree in Psychology with a minor in Biomedical Sciences. I think I’m unique in the sense that I’m a bit older than the traditional undergraduate. I’ve been out in the “real world” for a few years before returning back to school, so I have experiences and a mind set that is potentially different from the rest of the participants.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Hello! As a junior social work major with a Spanish minor, I discovered my love for Spanish in high school, through the exuberant and supportive tutelage of my teacher. Becoming fluent in Spanish is a dream of mine, not only because it is fun to speak, but because it opens doors to new relationships and opportunities. Thus, in waffling portions of terror and excitement, I am studying abroad in Costa Rica! I can’t wait!
Having been homeschooled k-12, my family is an integral part of my life, encouraging me to be the best that I can. I am proud to call Columbus, OH home, although I do enjoy the adventure of travel. I enjoy music and dance, and my faith is an important aspect of who I am.
Northern Michigan University
I am a fun-loving, free-spirited student athlete with a need for adventure. A dedicated yogini, I am committed to living a spiritual and healthy life. I play lacrosse for NMU, but also love to hike, swim, and rock climb! I hope that during my time abroad I will have the opportunity to travel and explore beyond the city of Cuzco, and that my experiences will be positive and eye-opening. I want to dive head first into the cultures around me and bring pieces of them back with me to the states, so that I may embody the spirit of an enlightened global citizen.
North Carolina State University
I am currently a student at North Carolina State University, studying accounting with a minor in journalism. I am not exactly sure what I want to be in the future. I run every day and enjoy yoga. I can (and have) spent hours browsing through music on Spotify. Also, when winter rolls around, I like to knit all day, every day.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
For as long as I can remember, I loved to explore. I was born in Westcliffe a small community nestled between the Sangre de Cristo and Wet Mountain ranges in southern Colorado. Growing up, I developed a strong passion for the outdoors- my two favorite hobbies are fly fishing and backpacking. I have wanted to come to Argentina since I was a little kid to explore its diverse landscapes. Between Iguazu Falls, Patagonia, the Andes, and beyond, Argentina has so much to offer- I plan to see all of it.