Education Abroad, U.Va.

Education Abroad

A Division of the International Studies Office

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Interns & Outreach Liaisons

Our Interns are students who have returned from studying abroad and work with the ISO to promote education abroad. They also provide peer advising services to students who have general questions about studying abroad or want to talk to a fellow student about their experience. Peer advising hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 4-8pm in Room 230 of the Georges Student Center (2nd floor of Clemons). Find each intern’s specific advising hours in their bio below. No appointment required.

Want to be an Intern with the ISO? The application process takes place every summer and students are selected for the following academic year.

Meet the 2018-19 Interns

Hannah Boehlert

My name is Hannah Boehlert, and I'm a third year studying foreign affairs and Spanish with a hopeful minor in public policy. Last spring semester, I studied Spanish language and culture with the spring UVA in Valencia program. Studying abroad was the most terrifying, yet rewarding, four months I have ever experienced, and I would not have it any other way! Thanks to my time in Valencia (and my host mom's encouragement), I improved my Spanish significantly and was able to completely immerse myself in the language. While in Valencia, I traveled to 10 different countries and several other cities around Spain. Although I loved traveling at every possible moment, my favorite part of studying abroad was exploring the city of Valencia and getting to know the local culture. I embraced the relaxed routine of a valenciano, yet still squeezed as much as I could into every day — afternoon beach trips, walking around Plaza de la Reina, going to Valencia fútbol games, stopping for horchata at Mercat Central, or window shopping on Calle Colón. My study abroad experience taught me how to adapt to difficult situations — language barriers, cancelled flights, and not wanting to leave Spain! Now that I’m back in Charlottesville, I am excited to find opportunities to integrate my Spanish skills into my daily life.

Peer Advising: Mondays 6-7pm

Elizabeth Chung

Hi, I’m a 3rd year studying economics and foreign affairs. I first studied abroad the summer after my first year on the UVA in Oxford program, where I studied economics and public policy while having the quintessential European summer, traveling to other places in Europe on the weekends. Wanting to expand on my experience abroad, I went to Shanghai, China on the UVA in Shanghai program the spring semester of my second year where I both studied and interned. While abroad, I was both challenged and in awe of my surroundings at all times. Through challenging myself to take on new tasks I, eventually, became okay with ambiguity and dealing with the unknown. Since returning, I have come back with a renewed sense of drive to push myself out of my comfort zone daily, so I can continue learning and using my newfound skills I gained abroad.

Peer Advising: Mondays 6-7pm

Leah Corbett

My name is Leah Corbett and I spent last spring at JF Oberlin University in Tokyo. As a Japanese Language and Literature major, studying in Japan has been a goal of mine for quite some time now. I was able to practice my Japanese skills and experience what it's like to attend a Japanese university. I made friends with other students and could practice my language skills with them (both spoken and through text message) as well as help them with their own English skills and answer other questions they had about English and America. Looking back, I realize that I got a lot better at general conversation in Japanese, which will help me in my language classes this year. It was also fun to practice reading signs, headlines, and food labels in my everyday life, such as when people at the train stations would hand out newspapers. On top of that, I also was able to obtain more information for possible post-graduation plans involving teaching English as a second language, which I am highly interested in. I am interested in the JET Programme, and when I mentioned this to my host mother (I did a homestay for one weekend) she also mentioned another company for me to look into as well. I also made connections with professors with whom I would like to keep in contact with. Not only was my experience abroad immersive, it helped me to think more about my future and learn about a place other than Virginia, where I've lived my entire life. Overall, I loved living in Japan, and four months went by way too quickly, so I want to go back as soon as I get the chance!

Peer Advising: Wednesdays 7-8pm

Alex De Thier

My name is Alex De Thier and I'm a fourth year studying Economics and Media Studies. Last Spring I studied at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. I am so happy about my choice to do so, as I would have missed out on countless incredible experiences had I stayed in Charlottesville. I would have missed out on seeing ancient Roman ruins, scenic coastlines, Renaissance architecture, gorgeous lakes and countrysides. Milan's central location also allowed me to easily travel to other bucket-list places in Europe like Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and many others. I would have missed out on getting to immerse myself in the daily routine associated with another culture and exposing myself to a foreign language on a constant basis. I would have missed out on some of the best food I've ever had. I would not have had the opportunity to make new friends from both foreign countries and other colleges in the US, many of whom I am still in touch with. I would not have gotten to approach my academic studies from a totally fresh and unique perspective; studying EU economics is a lot different when you are learning from renowned European economists and residing in a country that is still figuring out its role in the EU. Perhaps most importantly to me, I would have missed out on an invaluable lesson in my own independence. With family in Hungary and Germany, I have traveled to Europe before but always with the supervision and company of my parents. There is nothing quite as rewarding as being on your own in a foreign environment. I recommend studying abroad to anyone that can do so, and I would be glad to be a resource in helping you make your decision.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 4-5pm

Susannah Gilmore

Last semester I studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany through UVA Exchange, and also had the chance to intern at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin through the Department of State. While there, I got to take lots of interesting classes, experience a new culture, and learn from new perspectives. I also was able to travel with friends to other countries like Switzerland, France, and the Czech Republic. Studying and interning abroad made me realize how much I like diplomacy and learning about the interactions and history between different countries, and ultimately inspired me to add a second major in foreign affairs. Now I’ve completely changed my career track to something that I never knew I would enjoy - diplomacy! After studying abroad I feel 100% confident that I can live, work or travel in a foreign country and I have close friends and connections from all over the world. Studying abroad really made me realize what I want to do later on in life, and it’s nice to feel like I have a second hometown in Freiburg that I can return to.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 5-6pm

Hayden Jennewein

I participated in the UVA in Sweden program in summer 2017, and last spring I went on UVA in Valencia. While studying in Lund, Sweden, I had the opportunity to explore a new field, engineering, while pursuing an interest in sustainability. Working with systems engineering students and real Swedish organizations allowed me to develop a better understanding of systems thinking and its applicability in the real world. I also learned how to integrate sustainable solutions into an organization, which really opened my eyes to the world of sustainable business. In Valencia, Spain, I studied Spanish while living with a host family. That exposure to a new culture for an entire semester gave me the confidence and understanding to approach sustainability with a global mindset. As a result, I am now looking into opportunities around the world when beginning my job search this year.

Peer Advising: Wednesdays 6-7pm

Devan Keesling

In summer 2017 I went on the UVA in Morocco program and that fall I spent the semester studying in Paris with IES. If I had not participated in education abroad, I would not be who I am today. Going abroad and living in a country not as a tourist gave me the opportunity to assimilate into a culture I never thought I would have been able to be a part of. In France, walking amongst local students and those on their way to work while I was heading to class gave me a sense of being a part of a world bigger than my own. In Morocco, my host sister would take me on a walk through her busy neighborhood every evening after prayer and give me insight into her own sphere from the day-to-day. Both of my journeys abroad, my host families accepted me into their cultures and daily lives with open arms, allowing me to feel welcome in a society where I would ordinarily have been an outsider. Months after leaving both Morocco and France, I continue to stay in touch with my host families and the many lifelong friends I made during my travels. With these unforgettable experiences under my belt, I have grown exponentially as a person and I will forever be inspired to broaden my horizons beyond the ordinary.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 6-7pm

Claire Koeppen

Hi, I’m Claire and I’m currently a second year. I spent my first semester at UVA studying abroad in London with the new London First program. Had I not studied abroad in London, I would have missed out on so many things… countless gelato dates at the Venchi in Covent Garden, long walks through Regent’s Park in autumn, colorful street art in Shoreditch, the beauty of the city after a fresh snowfall, straddling the Prime Meridian, the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted, visiting Shakespeare’s grave, falling in love with 19th-century British paintings, using a Britrail pass to take trains all over the U.K., taking pictures of literally everything… and most importantly, bonding with the closest friend group of my life. I can’t imagine where I’d be now if not for my London experience, and I can’t wait to go back!

Peer Advising: Wednesdays 4-5pm

Michael Lin

Last spring semester I studied in Copenhagen with DIS. If I hadn’t participated in education abroad, I would have missed out on people. A loving and humorous host family wouldn’t be a part of my life right now. I wouldn’t have met a Danish professor who taught me, aside from academics, the importance of a community and culture, as well as being innovative and proactive. I wouldn’t have met fellow hostel-goers and strangers who would become friends -- travelers from Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, etc. I wouldn’t have understood how to communicate to people of another language and way of being. I would have missed out on all the subtleties: the way I ate food would foster laughter from my host siblings… the uniformity and the way Copenhageners dressed and acted made me stand out. I wouldn’t have realized my potential selves. On early Thursday mornings, biking through the winter cold and taking the S-Tog into the city, I would arrive at practicum to experience the life of a Danish pedagogue in a børnehave. Also, I didn’t know that I could navigate a foreign country without speaking the main language or knowing the details of geography beforehand. I took on an explorer’s identity as my anxieties over traveling and logistics disappeared. Finally, I wouldn’t have known how much left there is -- to explore and to appreciate.

Peer Advising: Mondays 7-8pm

 

Saidi Moseley

Hi! My name is Saidi Moseley, and I am a third year studying Foreign Affairs and Sociology. In my second semester of my second year, I hopped on a plane and studied abroad in Havana, Cuba. Quite simply, study abroad was the best experience I’ve ever had at UVA, and it wasn’t even at UVA! Because of my 4-month immersion, I was able to experience life as a true Cuban: little to no Wi-Fi, afternoon talks with friends on our balcony in rocking chairs, speaking only Spanish, and playing street games, like Mar y tierra, with our neighborhood friends after dinner! All of my classes were in Spanish and our host family only spoke Spanish, so it was a great way to develop a proficiency in the language. If I had not studied abroad, I would have missed out on the most genuine experience of my life. I would have not made such beautiful Cuban friends and family, re-developed a love for reading, nor would I have had the opportunity to adventure without Wi-Fi nor phones, but only our feet and gut instincts to direct us. Although I was confused and uncomfortable during many times, uncomfort brings growth, and I am so thankful for my study abroad experience that has helped me grow in many ways!

Peer Advising: Wednesdays 5-6pm

Logan Petkosek

I spent the spring 2018 semester on Washington University in St. Louis' program in Chile. If I had not studied abroad I would have missed out on… getting to know the diversity of Chile. I would have missed out on camping in “La Patagonia” where I hiked for days on end and would eat the simplest meals (eg- just canned garbanzo beans) with the most striking view of the mountains. I wouldn’t have been able to call myself a temporary Santiago resident (“santiaguina”), where I became a regular at my local coffee shop and learned to battle for a spot on the overcrowded metro. I wouldn’t have gone swimming in hot springs and salt baths in the Atacama Desert in the north. I wouldn’t have met the amazing people who made me feel welcome. I wouldn’t have gotten to know my Chilean classmates, who I still keep in touch with, or become a part of my host family’s household. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the Spanish language goal I have had for years… I can now confidently say “I speak Spanish.” Lastly, if I had not studied abroad, I may not have realized how much more there is out there to explore.

Peer Advising: Mondays 5-6pm

Blaise Sevier

Societies around the world are woven together by a multitude of common threads. During my Education Abroad experience, I spun together a unique sequence of these threads in my surrounding community and returned with a new pattern of cultural understanding. My name is Blaise Sevier, and last fall I studied abroad in Tokyo, Japan - a place I would never have imagined spending six months of my life. Through the curriculum structure of the Mobility & Community Forum at UVA, I was inspired to take my learning beyond the classroom and immerse myself into the Japanese long-distance running community. Why? Collectivist values within Japanese society are amplified in the tightly-woven running communities, which serve as a window of understanding for the broader culture. From attending races to interviewing runners and coaches to competing in races ourselves, this interest catapulted us into a novel experience. As an ISO Intern, I am inspired to help other UVA students see the value in cultural orientation, reflection, and engagement with their host country. Interested in learning more about our project, please visit: https://runningjapan.squarespace.com/.

Peer Advising: Mondays 7-8pm

Rita Shoukry

I spent the fall 2017 semester on UVA London First. Education abroad has provided me with the amazing opportunity to explore the world and grow as a person while doing it. If I had not participated in education abroad, I would have missed out on experiencing other cultures and meeting people on the tube who I could get to know during the short ride. Without education abroad, I would not have been able to walk around beautiful cities and experience their different cuisines and traditions. I also would have missed out on getting to see wonderful pieces of art in some of the most famous museums after learning about them in the classroom; I certainly would not have been able to go on private museum tours! Finally, if I had not studied abroad, I would have missed out on the person I have become; I would not be as outgoing and confident in my ability to be on my own as I am today.

Peer Advising: Wednesdays 5-6pm

Molly Tenerelli

Hello! My name is Molly and I am currently a second year majoring in Art History, and I participated in the UVA London First program. I am so grateful to have been able to experience my first semester of university in London, as I know my time in and out of the class has impacted me greatly. If I had not participated in education abroad, I would have missed out on an opportunity for personal growth, as well as the chance to meet a like-minded group of people with an inspiring passion for exploring the world. My time in London helped to push me out of my comfort zone and become more self-reliant in a place where the customs and attitudes are unlike any I was familiar with. Every experience, from navigating unfamiliar neighborhoods to taking weekend trips on my own for the first time, was a chance to explore a world quite unlike what I knew and learn to find my place and thrive.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 6-7pm

Rachel White

I studied at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan during the 2017-2018 school year. I was enrolled in the School of Political Science and Economics and had the opportunity to take courses that are not offered at UVA, which allowed me to learn about politics and economics from a different perspective. While abroad, I participated in job-hunting seminars and learned about Japanese career culture as well as the job application process. Living in Japan for a year made me realize that one of my career aspirations is to work in Tokyo, and I would not have realized this if I had not taken a part in study abroad.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 4-5pm

Hunter Wilson

I spent last spring semester on exchange at the University of Edinburgh. If I had not participated in education abroad I would have missed out on experiencing the world outside of my own American context. I knew how to act in my own world as an American woman. I knew how to talk, dress, behave, and learn at UVA. After three years of practice, I had the system down. I knew where the best places to eat on the Corner were. I had an established group of friends. I knew exactly where to go if I needed academic support. However if I had never studied abroad, I would not have been forced to learn something new in an environment that was completely different. I had to learn my way around a new city without a car, meaning that I relied completely on buses and walking. I made new friends who came from a variety of countries, which meant that I had to learn to communicate across cultures. I learned to advocate for myself in a new school system where I was mostly left to my own devices. While this growth process what difficult at first, it became easier as time went on and I adjusted to my surroundings. Shortly after I got there I began to experience what I called “small victories” where I felt like I had accomplished something major just by navigating the grocery store or walking somewhere without GPS. You don’t experience this sense of elated emotion often at home because everything has become routine and easy. By the end of the term, I was completely comfortable walking around the city and felt like I belonged there. It was so immensely satisfying to discover this accomplishment. If I had not participated in education abroad, I never would have learned any of these valuable real-world skills that make me more mature than I was before I left, nor would I have experienced the emotions associated with moving outside my comfort zone.

Peer Advising: Mondays 5-6pm

Hannah Yang

This past summer I studied at Ewha Co-ed International College in Korea, and in spring 2017 I went on exchange to Seoul National University. If I had not participated in study abroad, I would have missed out on discovering myself. As a Korean-American, identity has always been something on the forefront of my mind. While my other classmates were secure in their identity as American, my identity was a bit more complicated because I was not solely American. I had a whole other part of myself that I never fully had the chance to discover because I was busy trying to be American. If I had never gone to Korea, I would not know what it’s like to feel like the majority rather than the minority. I never would have been surrounded by people who all liked the same foods that I did and knew the customs I knew. I would have forgone the opportunity to learn about my culture in ways I never knew, and experience the history firsthand rather than from a textbook. Without education abroad, I never would have learned from teachers who looked like me and understood me as a Korean. I would have missed out on practicing my Korean everyday with my Korean suitemates and coming home to the aroma of chimaek (chicken and beer) after a long day of classes. However, because I took the chance to study abroad, I DID do all these things and I found myself as a Korean-American.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 5-6pm

Alicia Zheng

I studied abroad with DIS Copenhagen last spring semester. My academic experience abroad was absolutely incredible. What made mine so unique was that I was able to study with and learn from professors who were all professionals in the area that they taught. I was also able to travel to Berlin and Frankfurt with my core course, Game Development. Together, we toured companies like Crytek and Unix, visited video game museums, and even played laser tag! These aspects of the program really helped me learn more about myself both as a student and as a prospective software developer in the real world - a few things I gathered were that I really enjoy front-end work and value team collaboration rather than solo development. However, what truly made my experience unforgettable was Copenhagen itself. One of my favorite parts about going abroad in the Spring was that I got to see the city slowly warm up, both literally and figuratively. The days got longer, the sun finally warmed up the air, and Danes started to come out of their homes and their shells. I truly fell in love; I will never forget the friends I made, the people I met, or the pastries I ate. Many an onsdagssnegl will be sorely missed.

Peer Advising: Tuesdays 7-8pm