Growing up behind the sheltered Redwood Curtain of Northern California, Milan always wondered about the outside world. When her family starting hosting high school exchange students, her curiosity blossomed. She knew as soon as she got into high school that she, too, wanted to live abroad in another country, so she began taking French classes to prepare. When she attended SSU Freshman Orientation in 2010, she went straight for the study abroad office on campus, knowing that however scary an entire year abroad might seem, it was something she yearned for. The next August she was on a plane headed for Aix-en-Provence, France to spend the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters, not having any idea what this year would bring. She immediately fell in love with the small city and realized she’d been bitten by the travel bug. Throughout the year she gained new perspectives on even her own life, and found a new appreciation for tradition and conservation of a centuries-old culture. As bittersweet as returning home was, she knew she had to encourage and help other students have a life-changing experience like her own. When she’s not suggesting studying abroad to other students, she’s taking classes for her double Bachelor’s degree in French and Global Studies, as well as planning on graduating in Spring 2015. In her free time, Milan loves cooking, exploring nearby small towns, and camping. Milan is also the International Education Exchange Council Domestic Co-Chair.
Milan has visited France, Denmark, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Finland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, England, Belgium and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Office Hours: Tuesday 9am-12:30pm, Wednesday 2pm-4:30pm, Thursday 9am- 12:30, Friday 11am-4:30pm.
Born and raised in Gyeongju, a small coastal city in the far southeastern corner of South Korea, Dae-Sung always dreamed about studying in the United States. When he was eleven years old, his passion about studying overseas grew even stronger when he visited his uncle in Marin County near San Francisco. He fell in love with the culture and the people. He patiently waited for his time to go to America to study. The new chapter of his life started in the winter of 2005. He moved to a good old town called Santa Rosa, and he started going to high school in the United States. He has been studying here ever since. It wasn’t easy for him at the beginning, but he made lots of friends and has created great memories. Currently, he is pursuing his academic goals at Sonoma State University, majoring in Accounting and Financing. He loves meeting new people and becoming friends with them. He also enjoys driving and going to places with his friends. He really wants to visit Sydney, Australia after his graduation next year. He is also the IEEC Treasurer.
Office Hours: Monday 2pm- 4:30pm, Tuesday 1pm- 4:30pm, Thursday 1pm- 4:30pm.
Engagement and Community Building Committee
Committee Chair: Paige Drake
Paige grew up in San Jose, a city known for technology, but she enjoys a slower pace of life. Her experiences abroad really shaped her international perspective and made her begin to see the world differently. Paige began to feel a call to do overseas service work through being a teacher at an expat school in Africa. Studying abroad was a way for Paige to practice living overseas, away from her family, in a different culture, in an unfamiliar city in preparation for tentatively moving to Africa. She chose to study at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia fall of her junior year through the NSE Study Abroad program. . Throughout her semester, she had to learn many new things about herself and Australian culture, like how their medical system works, how to get around town on a bus/train, how to entertain herself with no TV, how to understand all the Australian lingo, and more. Her confidence grew, and she came back knowing that she has what it takes to leave everything she knows and move to a foreign land. Though Africa will be a lot different than Australia, Paige is excited for what that future holds. She is in her senior year at Sonoma State, finishing her degree in Liberal Studies and minoring in Business. From there, she plans on attending Biola University to get her teaching credential (and do her student teaching at an expatriate school in Africa!). In her free time, Paige enjoys baking, cooking, hiking, photography, going on adventures, and just hanging out with friends.
Paige has traveled to Egypt, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, England, Malawi, Thailand, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
Office Hours: Monday 9am-12pm, Thursday 12pm- 1pm.
Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Dulce Preciado migrated into the United States at a very young age with her parents due to economic reasons. While in California, Dulce has lived in the Napa Valley/Bay Area and loves it. However, her curiosity intrigued her to know and experience for herself deep into the reasons why her parents had to migrate. “The study abroad experience in Mexico provided me a greater understanding of my family, my local and global community, and myself.” One of Dulce’s dreams is to travel the world. Dulce knew very well that in order to travel the world she had to first travel into the place that saw her born but not grow up. The necessity to know and understand what it means to be a young Mexican woman living in Mexico in 2014 was as great as to knowing and understanding the reasons why her parents as well as many other migrants around the world leave their home country. “I never imagined how much I was going to learn about the world, about the person sitting next to me at the Café, and most gratefully, about myself—the experience is so humbling.” Now as a returning study abroad student at SSU, Dulce is excited about her senior year of college as a Global studies major! Dulce plans to graduate from undergrad in May of 2014 and pursue a grad school program in Journalism. College graduation is a huge stepping stone for Dulce since she will be the very first person in her family to ever attend college and graduate! “İGracias a la vida! Luz, paz y amor.”
Office Hours: Monday , 10am- 12pm and 2pm- 4pm.
My name is An Okada from Yokohama, Japan. I transferred from Lakeland College Japan to SSU this semester. Two years ago, I studied abroad as an exchange student at Linfield College in Oregon because I just wanted to do something in my college life. After I went back to Japan, I decided to enter SSU because I really liked environments of studying in US, and I thought SSU was the best for me. Before I came to SSU, I worked at Starbucks, and still love it. I want to make many friends, and interesting events as one of CIE ambassadors!
Office Hours: Wednesday 12pm- 2pm, Friday 12pm- 2pm
Special Programing Committee
Committee Chair: Tera Hoover
Tera Hoover is a senior this year at Sonoma State University studying Human Development with a Business minor. She just returned from a year abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in the Child Development and Diversity program at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS). Her favorite part of my year abroad was gaining a second family who hosted me for the year, and also having new and different experiences every single day. She was born in Seattle, Washington but spent most of her life growing up in Monterey, CA. In her free time Tera loves to be around the water: swimming, sailing, rowing or just hanging out with friends. She is very excited for this new ambassador program and is interested in pursuing a career in the International field.
Tera has traveled to Sweden, Italy, England, Ireland, Turkey, Norway and Estonia.
Office Hours: Monday 10:30 am- 1:30am, Tuesday 12pm- 2pm, Wednesday 9am- 12pm.
Katelyn is an exchange student from Montana, and studied at the University of Montana, Missoula. She is a biochemistry and pre-med major, and wishes to continue on to get her doctorate of medicine and become a veterinarian one day. She hopes to gain leadership skills and experience while studying at Sonoma State University as well as become involved in the community here. She would like to go out and explore the Sonoma area and see new things. She also wanted to come here to thaw out from the cold Montana weather! She loves to ski, snowboard, and dance!
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30pm- 3pm, Friday 2pm- 4pm
Lauren returned from the CSU IP program in Florence, Italy. There, she studied history and the classics, including Italian history, Italian language, and classical Roman literature. She is currently a senior in the Hutchins program for Liberal Studies. After graduation, she wants to be a teacher for kindergarten or preschool, but is also thinking about teaching abroad or even joining the Peace Corps. Needless to say, Italy was an incredible experience. She never felt so immersed in a culture until she actually was a part of it. Everything in Italy was wonderful; the food, the architecture, the scenery, the people… everything. At first I was so amazed by the sheer beauty of Italy that I was enamored with studying abroad. Eventually, when the humdrum routine set in of going to school, going shopping, then going home set in, Lauren felt like she needed more adventure so she traveled to more countries! By the end, Lauren had grown fondly accustomed to the Italian lifestyle, especially since the Italian side of her family was so welcoming, it felt rather surreal when it was time to leave. After everything, Lauren feels like a different person. It was such a positively life-changing experience, and she am so grateful that she was able to be a part of it. Now, she wants to help others realize the benefits of studying abroad and is always happy to share her experience with others.
Lauren traveled to England, Spain and Portugal.
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:30pm- 4:30pm, Thursday 9am- 11am, Friday 9am-11am.
Marketing Outreach Committee
Committee Chair: Kacey Chapin
Kacey is from Bakersfield, CA. She is a senior at Sonoma State majoring in Communication Studies. Kacey studied at Uppsala University in Uppsala Sweden for the 2013-2014 school year. While there, Kacey traveled to many places, but was very glad to call Sweden her home for the year. Her favorite part about Sweden was how beautiful the nature was. Sweden is made up most of forest and she loved to go to all the different hiking spots. She loved the swedish culture and made a lot of new friends. Kacey had never been out of the United States and was ready to see different parts of the world. Studying abroad for a whole year was a life changing experience and she cannot wait to do it again. Kacey hopes to do some volunteering abroad once she graduates and hopes to see and experience even more of the world.
Kacey has traveled to Denmark, Italy, Scotland, Estonia, and Germany.
Office Hours: Monday 12pm- 2pm, Wednesday 9:30am- 2pm, Thursday 3pm- 4:30pm, Friday 9am-11am.
Kio’s home is in a town in southern California called Reseda. It is in an area outside of downtown Los Angeles and is referred to as the “valley”, but Kio does not consider myself to be a ‘valley girl’. She considers myself to be more of a nature girl, which is a phrase she coined for herself once she realized that being around trees, dirt, and fresh air are elements that bring peace into her life. Her heart will always be connected to her home down south, but during this past year, a Kio’s heart became connected to another place: Florence, Italy. As a Liberal Studies major, known at Sonoma State as Hutchins, Kio was able to go abroad and study Italian literature as well as the Italian language. That year did so much work in opening up her eyes to the world, into how similar people are across cultures and into showing her who she was and who she was not. Kio spent most of her days alone, as she got lost in a foreign country and then found her way back on the right path. “It is true that losing yourself helps you find yourself because, when you get lost, you see how you react under pressure and learn what you are capable of.” Kio also learned the importance of allowing her experience to be her own experience, not someone else’s. She became open to trying things that were new and things that were not so popular to other people. Doing things added to her over all experience abroad. When she looked back at her experience, the times she spent alone trying to figure herself out, did not compare to those simple moments she spent with people. Simple moments with good friends and strangers were the moments that took her breath away. People are so important. Kio believes in the importance of living away from what you call your home and she plans to share her enthusiasm with anyone who is willing to listen. Kio loves blogging/ writing, dancing, singing, cooking, hiking, biking and learning new languages.
Office Hours: Tuesday, 10am- 12pm, Wednesday 1:30pm- 3:30pm, Thursday 12pm- 2pm, Friday 12pm- 1:30pm.
Michelle is a Communication Studies student with a Geography minor. Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Michelle was always drawn to colder climates and adventures beyond her hometown. This desire to travel came from her Grandmother, a London native, whose vigor for life and thirst for experiencing new places has been a life-long inspiration to Michelle. She has seen the Galapagos Islands, cruised along the Danube River, hiked in Nepal, traveled to Australia and New Zealand, and just about everywhere in between. During her time at Sonoma State, Michelle realized the travel gene was hereditary. During her junior year, Michelle was offered the opportunity to study abroad at Kingston University in London, England. For Michelle, London is a place with endless possibilities, a place of self-expression, and a place she could call “home” for a year. Living in a place that is famous for its rain made time spent with friends especially valuable. While at Kingston, she met people from all over the globe – some of whom she even got to travel with, or stay with during breaks from term. London, and each place she was fortunate enough to see, opened the doors to a world that existed previously only in her dreams. “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,” Samuel Johnson. This sentiment certainly rang true for Michelle. After graduating from Sonoma State, Michelle hopes to return to the United Kingdom for her Master’s Degree, and pursue future international work opportunities
Michelle has traveled to Scotland, Italy, Spain, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Office Hours: Wednesday 10am- 1pm, Thursday 12:30pm- 1:30pm.