Spring 2020 Bloggers

Adriana Asef-Sargent
Eckerd College

Buenos Aires, Argentina (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Hi! My name is Adriana Asef-Sargent. I was born in Washington, D.C, but my home is in Arlington, Virginia. I am currently a junior at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where I am double majoring in Anthropology (cultural) and Spanish. I love to travel and learn about different cultures, and so far I have been to 16 countries on 5 different continents. I am so excited to travel to Argentina, as my father is originally from there. I cannot wait to connect with my heritage, as well as eat all the amazing food which I so love :-)

Julia Barclay
University of Louisville
Valencia, Spain

Hello! My name is Julia Barclay and I am a sophomore at the University of Louisville studying Spanish. I am from a small town but grew up traveling a lot. When I’m not in school, I enjoy running, photography, and hanging out with friends. I believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures is the best way to learn and grow which is why I am so excited to begin my semester abroad! While I am in Valencia, I hope to become fluent in Spanish and immerse myself in the culture. I can’t wait to share my adventures with you!

Linnea Benson
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Seoul, South Korea

Hello! My name is Linnea Benson, and I am a History Major, International Business Minor at UCCS. I am driven to learn what lies beneath the surface of the places, people, and events that have shaped our world. I can’t wait to walk along bustling streets, touch history itself, and breathe in a life I’ve never known! I am passionate about the cultures of East Asia and have long wondered at their truly ancient origins. Being able to travel to Seoul still feels like a dream, and I hope to make it the starting point of a lifelong adventure!

Sophie Brown
University of San Diego

Sydney, Australia

Hi! My name is Sophie Brown. I am a junior at the University of San Diego majoring in International Relations and minoring in Nonprofit management. I’ve lived in California my entire life but try my best to see other parts of the world as well. I enjoy spending time outdoors and solo traveling. After becoming fast friends with a few Aussies on my first solo trip, I decided I wanted to study abroad in Sydney, Australia. :)

Maggie Carroll
University of New Hampshire
Barcelona, Spain

Hi! My name is Maggie and I’m from Milton, Massachusetts. I am currently a junior studying Economics and French at the University of New Hampshire. Taking pictures is one of my favorite hobbies and I cannot wait to capture some of my favorite moments abroad. I look forward to traveling this spring and experiencing a bunch of new cultures!

Alyssa Coley
The University of Alabama
London, England

Hi all! My name is Alyssa and I am currently studying biology and psychology at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide)! As a native of Nashville, aka Music City, I love going to concerts and attending festivals on my free weekends. I’m also a shameless enthusiast of coffee, Harry Potter, and all things enneagram-related. I’ve been obsessed with studying in London since I was fourteen, and I am so excited to finally embark on this adventure of a lifetime. Cheers!

Jared Dawson
University of South Carolina
Valencia, Spain (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

I am a 21-year-old traveler and photographer. I spend most of my time at University studying to become a physician, but I spend the rest of my time pursuing creative interests. While studying in Spain I hope to expand my world perspective and appreciate the nuances of European life through cultural immersion. My main goals while abroad are to meet interesting people, engage with Spanish language and culture, and to see new ways of life.

Sierra DeWalt
Chapman University
Wellington, New Zealand

Hi! I’m Sierra DeWalt and I’m an aspiring travel writer. I hope to make the absolute most out of my semester abroad at Victoria University in Wellington. I will share my adventure as I learn about the food, literature, film, and customs surrounding me! Other than traveling, I am passionate about writing, reading, watching movies, and practicing Martial Arts.

Follow me as I journey into the land of the Kiwi bird!

Courtney Diggs
Howard University

Athens, Greece

Courtney Diggs is a young woman of adventure with a free-spirited lifestyle. From seeking out cute new brunch spots in the DMV to completing freelance social media projects, Courtney keeps her calendar booked and busy. She is studying abroad in order to gain a wider perspective on life experiences to relate more with others. Traveling is a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t miss it.

Francesca Federico-Azad
University of California, Berkeley
Valencia, Spain

Hello! My name is Francesca Federico and I am a third year at the University of California, Berkeley. This semester, I will be furthering my education with ISA in the beautiful Valencia, Spain. As you read my blog you will soon learn that my favorite past time is to talk to anyone and everyone around me. I have plans to meet and befriend as many europeans as possible in the next 5 months and I can not wait to share a little bit about them and our adventures together in this blog :)

Andrea Good
University of Idaho
Athens, Greece

Hello all! My names Andrea Good, but most people know me by Andi. I have grown up in the great city of Boise, Idaho and am currently studying public relations and political science at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. I love to spend my time hiking through National Parks and playing with my two dogs. I have done a decent amount of traveling throughout North America, but I am excited to experience a whole new Greek culture in Athens and I cannot wait to try the amazing gyros.

Dariona Gooden
Wesleyan University
Seoul, South Korea

Hi! My name is Dariona Gooden, and I am from Memphis, TN. I attend Wesleyan University as a Psychology major and CEAS ( Center for East Asian Studies) minor. I am also a first generation college student and will be studying abroad in South Korea my Spring Semester. I have been studying Korean since entering college, so I am excited to actual put what I have learned into practice! I am ,also, excited to write about many of my adventures in South Korea, so that I am able to help give a little more insight about South Korea to travelers who may be interested in going!

Hope you enjoy my blog posts :) !!

LaTierre Hobson 

Jessica Jimenez Arroyo
Western Washington University
Salamanca, Spain (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Hey there! My name is Jessica, I hail from Bellingham, WA, and I’m kicking off the new decade in Salamanca, Spain. I’m hoping to polish up my Spanish while I’m there as well as practice my German and Italian Languages are my passion! I attend Western Washington University where I study all three of these languages. Currently, my program at the Universidad de Salamanca focuses on translation, linguistics, and literature. My life consists of a medley of art, traveling, and collecting postcards.

Michael Larson
Gonzaga University

Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile  (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Hey! My name is Michael Larson, I’m a student at Gonzaga University studying Sociology with minors in Leadership Studies and Social Justice. When you aren’t catching me with a camera in my hand on a photo shoot or filming some interesting and important video, you’ll find me hammocking with friends, playing frisbee, or eating Chick-fil-A. I am stoked to head to Valparaiso, Chile and hope to become more proficient in the Spanish language. As a Sociology major and someone who studies social issues, I am also very interested to learn about the current political unrest in Chile and the history that has been made in these last couple of months.

Ivana Lozano
University of Houston
Salamanca, Spain (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Hi! My name is Ivana Lozano! I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish at the University of Houston. I am Mexican-American and am fluent in English and Spanish. I love anything in a theater like going to concerts, watching movies, and watching plays/musicals. I hope to further my knowledge of Spanish language and culture while studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain as well as give back to the community through Service-Learning.

Grace Meile
University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Heredia, Costa Rica (Castañeda Scholarship Recipient)

Hey! I’m Grace. I’m a sophomore at the University of North Carolina Wilmington majoring in Film Studies with a minor in Spanish and Journalism. I love hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and almost anything outdoorsy. I’ll be studying in Heredia, Costa Rica this spring and am looking forward to practicing my Spanish with the locals and exploring the rainforests!

Jordan Miles
University of Houston

Gold Coast, Australia (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Wassup y’all! They call me Jordan, and I’m a psychology major/sociology minor (essentially criminal justice) studying the University of Houston. I hope to apply my experiences and current knowledge to Gold Coast and further expand other people’s views of any identity I tend to inhabit. I like music, poetry, acting (performance), exploring the world, I can rap pretty well and I can jump rope with my arms (really, its pretty gross). I’m glad to write about my experiences, and hope to learn from doing so in an official capacity. Thank y’all!

Desiree Miller
Stevenson University
Valencia, Spain (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

Hello! My name is Desiree Miller. I was born and raised in Maryland. I attend Stevenson University as a sophomore Nursing Major. Once I finish, I would like to specialize in trauma/emergency medicine. I love to volunteer at the fire department as an Emergency Medical Service aide. There are so many things that do, try, and learn and I would like to do as much as I can. This is what compelled me to study abroad in Valencia, Spain. Continuously learning, adapting, and connecting with people from different backgrounds.

Noé Monarrez
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile (Identity & Inclusion Blogger)

My name is Noé Monárrez and I am a bilingual, first-generation Mexican American! I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee and am double majoring in Child & Family Studies- Community Outreach Program and Sociology: Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Concentration. I have a deep interest in civil and human rights, particularly as they pertain to gender identity, sexual orientation, and racial/ethnic background, which I am planning to study in Chile to focus within Latin American context! Last, I have one cat, Xulú, who’s about 8 months old and that I rescued from a small bush near my neighborhood- he’s my precious son!

Madi Olson
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Heredia, Costa Rica

My name is Madi Olson, and I am in my third year studying Spanish Education at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. I am so excited for my study abroad experience in Heredia, Costa Rica! I can’t wait to learn more about the Costa Rican culture and the Spanish language. I look forward to learning more about myself, and working on maneuvering a new place on my own! I have been taking Spanish classes for many years, and I look forward to furthering my skills as much as possible during this experience!

Robynn Patterson
University of Mississippi
Sydney, Australia (Castañeda Scholarship Recipient)

Hi, everyone! My name is Robynn and I am a business student at Ole Miss studying Marketing, Global Supply Chain Management, and Entrepreneurship.

I am studying abroad at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia this Spring because I have recently discovered my passion for travel and learning about new cultures.

I look forward to meeting new people, taking classes at USyd, and traveling to New Zealand and Fiji during my breaks. I am also a certified scuba diver and I look forward to seeing the Great Barrier Reef!

Gretchen Perlinger
The University of Central Missouri

Malaga, Spain

Gretchen Perlinger is a student at University of Central Missouri who loves participating in the choir, spinning flags and rifles with the marching band, and leading music for on campus mass. She comes from a family of six with her parents and three brothers. In her free time she enjoys writing, playing guitar and ukulele, and being able to share her songs with the world. She is hoping to be fully immersed in the Spanish language. Working towards degrees in Social Work and Spanish, she dreams of traveling and changing the world through The Sacred Sanctuary, which is currently run through a Facebook group.

Emma Pettay
Kansas State University
San Jose, Costa Rica

Hello everyone! My name is Emma Pettay and I come from a small town in good ole’ Midwest Kansas! Studying abroad in Costa Rica will be my first time outside the country and I am so excited to be immersed in a new environment living the Pura Vida life. I’m a double major in Anthropology and Environmental Science, and while abroad will be taking courses focused on sustainable development and climate change initiatives. I hope to return to the states with new ideas on environmental issues and basic fluency in Spanish so wish me luck and ¡Pura vida!

Lindsey Potter 

Brett Restrick 

Lauren Sammons
University of Kentucky
Seville, Spain

Hey Y’all! My name is Lauren Sammons, and I’m a student at the University of Kentucky. I am studying Healthcare Administration and Spanish. While I’ve never left America, I’m stoked to be exploring the beauty and culture of Spain, and to be further developing my skills of the Spanish Language. Despite my diagnosis of Spina Bifida, I am very active and enjoy being adventurous outdoors. I plan to travel to neighboring countries, befriend locals, and try as many unique cuisines as possible. Even with a disability, traveling and experiencing time abroad will no longer be a dream, but my reality.

Lindsay Seier
University of South Dakota
Athens, Greece

Hello everyone! My name is Lindsay Seier and I could not be more excited for this semester! A little about me, art fuels me as a person. There is nothing more I want than to be able to serve others while using my interests. I am currently a student at the University of South Dakota working to complete my Bachelor of Arts in Painting, along with a minor in Art History and Psychology and a Certificate in Arts in Healthcare. My hope for this upcoming semester to immerse myself in a new environment surrounded by so much history to connect to others and learn more about my passions!

Mary Shammas
California State University, San Bernardino

Florence, Italy

Hey there, My name is Mary Shammas and I’m a 23-year-old International Business and Marketing student from San Bernardino, California. My dream is to have a flourishing career in the fashion industry, specifically as a buyer for a department store such as Nordstrom where I currently work! I hope my career path allows me to travel the world and attend Fashion Week’s in fashion capitals like Milan and Paris. 2020 marks the most exciting year of my life as it is the year that I will be finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Florence, Italy with ISA, and I could not be more excited!

Oluwaseun Showunmi
Towson University
Santiago, The Dominican Republic

My name is Seun Showunmi. I go to Towson University, Maryland. I study Pre-Nursing to be a travel nurse. From this experience, I hope to become fluent in Spanish and use service learning to advance my knowledge in my field of work. I also hope to use study abroad to meet new people and explore new cultures. In my free time, I like to write, draw, and go out with friends.

Payton Straub
Belmont University
Madrid, Spain

My name is Payton Straub and I’m a junior from Belmont University studying in Madrid. I’m unbelievably excited for my study abroad experience. I hope to gain a more nuanced grasp of the language and culture. I’ve been studying Spanish since I was 11, and my favorite thing about it is all the doors it has opened for me. I’ve met tons of cool and interesting people that I would never have been gotten to know without speaking a second language. I’m so excited to see what this year will bring, and to share it with all of you!

Miranda Stuart
Michigan State University
Geneva, Switzerland (EuroScholars)Miranda+Stuart

I am a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in elementary education with a focus in English Language Arts, and a minor in TESOL. Both of my parents work for the airlines industry so I have been an avid traveler all of my life! I love to be active, and I am a huge fan of the horror genre and crime documentaries. I am most excited for my study abroad experience because I am looking to gain the language and cultural knowledge needed to better myself as a future educator and global citizen.

Skyler Szot
Trinity College
Leuven, Belgium (EuroScholars)

My name is Skyler Szot and I am a Junior at Trinity College in Connecticut, studying Electrical Engineering. I spent my Summer interning at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and this Fall I interned at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. I am now participating in the Euroscholars program, where I will be conducting signal processing research with Professor Marc Moonen at KU Leuven in Belgium. I’m excited to research abroad and further develop my skills, while also immersing myself in a new culture.

Sarah Urie

Shyanne Vaden
Arizona State University
Barcelona, Spain

Hi! My name is Shyanne Vaden and I’m born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I am a junior at Arizona State University where I study Communications and double minor in Media Analysis and Women’s Studies. I am also a member of Kappa Delta sorority at ASU. What I hope to get out of my time abroad is just experience and amazing stories. There is nothing that can make you richer in this life then traveling and experiences! No one can take them away from you.