Ambassador Program Testimonials

Apply to be an Ambassador!

Now is the time of the year where students can apply to the CIE Ambassador Program! Applications are due July 1st. Check out some testimonials below of previous Ambassadors, and get an idea of what it’s like to be an Ambassador at SSU!

Spring 2017 Ambassadors

To apply, review the program description and complete the application at the link below. You will also need one recommendation; instructions are included in the application. APPLICATIONS for FALL 2017 ARE DUE JULY 1ST!
Program Description and application:
https://goo.gl/forms/WYJT4rvDAjqNs2AH2

*Please note that the comments below were all provided anonymously in the end of the year Ambassador Program Evaluation. Photos included are not connected to individual quotes.

“I love being in a community that promotes global perspective and celebrates international relations. I feel that being a part of the Ambassador Program has better helped me to assimilate back into American culture and society.”

Fall 2015 Ambassadors

“Wonderful program linking study abroad alumni with international students, and creating a fun international spot on campus. Many students have said that our office is their favorite place to hang out on campus.”

Event – BBQ & Hike, 2017

“My greatest skill acquired would either be public speaking from doing Info Meetings and Classroom Presentations, or computer programming, from using FileMaker Pro Database, Excel, etc.”

Cooking & Movie Night, 2017

“Because I’m an international student, I’m so glad to share my experience to students, and make them interested in studying abroad! CIE Ambassador program is an amazing opportunity for me.”

Volunteering, 2017

“I was able to meet and understand people from all over the world. It helped me to see the bigger picture rather than just studying for getting a job for monetary purpose in the future.”

International Fashion Show, 2016

“I think that learning how to manage your time appropriately is a skill that we are all continuing to develop, this job has helped me to strengthen this skill.”

Tabling, 2016

“My communication skills have had the most improvement since I became an ambassador.”

“Learning how to email, make phone calls, and talk professionally. What I learned in the ambassador program was the stepping stones to what I practice in my job today, and I am so thankful for the opportunity!”

Cabin Trip, Spring 2016

“Studying abroad and the ambassador program were both huge parts in my college career. I am SO thankful for these opportunities and all that I have gained. The ambassador program is a great program to keep study abroad alumni (in my case) to stay involved in the community after returning, as well as learning and practicing for a future career.”

Pack the Den, 2015

 

Here are some non-anonymous testimonials!

“Being a part of the ambassador program has allowed me to get involved in the international community at Sonoma, meet new people, learn new cultures/share my culture and help those to experience the awesomeness of going on exchange and getting out of your comfort zone.” – Cody, NSE Student from Hawaii

Epic Center, 2017

“This program has enabled me to network and learn about more cultures than I could have as a regular student at Sonoma State. I’ve met the most wonderful people because of it!” – Diana, Study Abroad Alumna – Paris, France

Lagunitas, 2017

“The Center for International Education has enabled me to be part of a organization that welcomes diversity. Through the ambassador program I’ve grown as an individual and expanded my horizons to the vast cultures represented around the world. I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing people and share my experiences, while also learning theirs. Oh, I can’t forget about the amazing food I’ve been introduced too!” – Tyler, NSE Student from Iowa

Bowling, 2017

“Being part of the Ambassador program has made me feel exclusive in that I get to be a part of a close knit community of like minded people and get to have fun while learning so much about studying aboard and other ways of traveling that I can carry with me all my life. The Ambassador program has made me feel inclusive because we have a mission to our SSU Community so open doors for them to the outside world, and help them further grow as a person on their Study Aboard & NSE experience.” – Bonnie, NSE Student from Minnesota, SSU Study Abroad Alumna – Ghana

Chinese New Year in SF, 2015

“Being a student ambassador has been a great opportunity to stay connected with the international community at Sonoma State and to give back to the office that helped me study abroad in the first place.” – Michelle, Study Abroad Alumna, London, England

International Education Celebration, 2017

“Being apart of the Ambassador program at CIE has given me the opportunity to meet with other liked minded individuals who have also studied abroad and have experiences that let them see things differently. Being able to come together, discuss what we learned and be able to grow from each other experiences really highlights the strengths of this program so far. While also being apart of the NSE program and a past participant of studying abroad I am able to meet people who come into the office and really understand why it is they are choosing to study abroad or do NSE. The Marketing & Outreach group is then able to produce marketing materials like social media posts targeting their fears or further encourage new members to look into studying abroad or NSE. Being an ambassador has been a wonderful opportunity so far and I am very happy I am apart of it!” – Sara, NSE Student from Iowa

Cheese Appreciation, 2016

“Coming back from my study abroad year was a bit hard for me. When I learned about the Ambassador Program at the Center for International Education, I knew I had to apply. Being an Ambassador has given me a chance to work with others who had similar experiences as I did.” – Kathryn, Study Abroad Alumna – Sweden

Giants Game, 2015

“Being a part of the Center for International Education is a great and fun way to be a part of the community and give back. It is a great way to gain leadership and responsibility for the future.” – Kate, NSE Student from Montana

 

Meet the CIE Ambassadors!


What is a Student Ambassador?  This group of individuals have each studied away or are currently on exchange at Sonoma State University. They are dedicated to answering questions, sharing experiences, and helping students make the most out of their college experience.  Come visit us at The Center for International Education -Room 107- International Hall for more information on Studying Away.

This semester we are welcoming many new ambassadors to our team!

Amira – Lead Ambassador – Spain

imageAmira was born and raised in Fresno, California and is now a Senior here at Sonoma State. She is Mexican and Costa Rican and speaks both Spanish and English. She is a Spanish major, which helped influence her decision to study in Spain. Amira studied in Granada, Spain for the 2015-16 academic year, and loved every second of it! In her time abroad, she was able to finish the entire Spanish major and will be receiving a Bachelor’s degree in 3 and a half years. From improving her Spanish to encountering and learning about new languages and cultures, studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime for her and one she will never forget. It gave her the opportunity to broaden her horizons and have a completely new outlook on the world. Living in a foreign country was a big step for her, but ultimately is one that paid off. She is eager to travel and learn more about the world and help others do the same. After she graduates she will begin teaching, and hopefully it’s abroad!

Countries visited: Morocco, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Italy

Simone Landis – Marketing & Outreach Chair – Spain

Simone is originally from San Francisco, California but considers herself to be a woman of the world. For the past two years her parents have lived in Tianjin, simoneambassadorpicChina and just recently they moved their life to Kuwait in the Middle East. Simone has family all over the world and for this reason she has grown up with the incredible opportunity to travel to many remote locations beginning when she was only months old. She is currently a Senior Communications student at Sonoma State University also pursuing a Spanish minor. She studied abroad this last year in Jaén, Spain and traveled all over Europe and to Asia as well. Her favorite part about studying abroad was the the chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world. Her opportunity to immerse herself into a new culture and learn from people from many different backgrounds has given her a new perspective on life and the world as a whole. She plans to do her Masters abroad and then pursue a career in Public Relations. If she could, she would spend all her time traveling the world and eating different cuisines. Simone hopes to spread her passion for traveling to as many people as possible through the Student Ambassador program.

Countries Visited: Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Morocco, Costa Rica, Panama, India, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Aruba, +

Diana D’Alessandro – Community Engagement Chair – France

dianaambassadorpic

Diana D’Alessandro is currently a senior at Sonoma state university. She is studying communication studies in hopes to enter the marketing/ PR world and recently picked up a French minor while studying abroad in Paris. She has a knack for languages and enjoys learning about different cultures and music. While in Paris, she was able to attend a French University and live in the center of the city. Living there made her realize how much of a city girl she truly is and motivated her to want to move back after graduating. She aspires to travel the world one day and meet inspiring individuals along the way. The city became her favorite place in the whole world and through the ambassador program she wants to ensure that other students are prepared and love their experience just as much!

Countries Visited: Venezuela, Canada, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Scotland, England, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Morocco, France, Portugal, The Netherlands, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, and Haiti.

Bonnie Betts – Student Ambassador – Minnesota

Bonnie is an NSE alumni from Minnesota who recently transferred to Sonoma State University after her year of NSE at SSU. She is an Environmental Studies & City bonniePlanning major, that would like to specialize in sustainable development and waste management. After college she plans on applying her major to work for a government, consulting firm, or an environmental non profit. During her time at Sonoma State for NSE she got to explore many aspects of California such as the desert climate of Southern California, and the lively streets of San Francisco during the Chinese New Year Parade. She got to hike and be outside year round which is a luxury compared to life in her native Minnesota.She hopes to one day travel to the Middle East and Italy.

Countries Visited: Mexico, Austria, Germany, and the Islands of the beautiful Bahamas.

Lauren Stafford – Student Ambassador – U.K.

Lauren Stafford is a fifth year biology student at Sonoma State. Living and growing up in five different states gave Lauren the desire to travel and see the world. Last year she studied laurenambassadorpicin the outer borough of London at Kingston University. Living in England, she fell in love with the people, culture, and the cold pints of beer. As she travels, Lauren has an obsession of collecting postcards and buying country specific Starbucks mugs. Her favorite country (outside of England) is Italy where she has traveled to seventeen cities there while abroad. She believes the food and scenery is beyond perfection. Lauren aspires to one day live in Europe and hopes to go across the pond in the near future.

Countries Visited: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

Connor Black -Student Ambassador – France

Connor is senior at Sonoma State and is double majoring in Communications and French with a minor in Global Studies. He spent his Junior year studying in Paris, 13775769_1232593390093351_3639299508646451243_nFrance at Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense where he studied French literature and media law. He knows where all the best clubs are in Paris and is an expert at riding the subway for free. Connor’s hobbies include yoga, learning new languages, exploring nature and independent dance music. After graduation he plans on spending a year teaching English on Martinique in the French Caribbean before returning to California for graduate school.

Countries Visited: France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Antigua, Barbados

Tyler Koehler – Student Ambassador – Iowa

unnamedOriginally from Dubuque, Iowa, Tyler studies Human Resources with a minor in Psychology at The University of Northern Iowa. He currently is participating in National Student Exchange at Sonoma State University, and with this being his first time in California he hopes to make life long friendships while having an unforgettable experience. Thus far, Tyler has become a student assistant and ambassador at the Center for International Education. One day he hopes to study abroad in Europe and South Korea.

Chika Koiwa – Student Ambassador – Japan

Chika is an international student, originally from Japan. She is a junior here at SSU and studying English but she also minored in Communications in Japan. Now she’sfullsizerender currently studying Music and Art as she wanted to do something that she could not do in Japan and become immersed in what she was interested in. Being in California, Chika really enjoys American life such as eating American food and Ghirardelli chocolate, and going to new places to look for a nice café. She also likes to sing along playing the guitar in her free time. The CIE ambassador program is very appealing to her because she can connect with international students from all around the world and interact with diverse cultures. Chika’s also happy to talk about Japan if you’re into Japanese culture and aspire to go there. Feel free to talk to her!

Countries Visited: America, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong.

Cody Kojima – Student Ambassador – Hawaii

img_3567Cody is a sophomore NSE student studying at Sonoma State University from Hawaii.  Being born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii and being surrounded by nothing but water his whole life, he decided to move out to Rohnert Park to be near San Francisco and get out of his comfort zone. He is currently studying Physics and is working on his Philosophy minor. He loves the ocean, being in warm weather and eating Jack in the Box.  Some of his hobbies include playing basketball, fishing, body boarding, golfing, star gazing, and hiking to waterfalls. He hopes to help and encourage anyone who is interested in participating in any of the exchange programs.

Sara Brown – Student Ambassador – Iowa

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Sara is on the far left of the photo with her friends Arthur from France and Rachel from China. This is where they were exploring the area near Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Sara was born in Bakersfield, California and later moved to Des Moines, Iowa for schooling and eventually to attend Iowa State University. Her majors are Apparel Merchandising along with Art and Design. While she was growing up she was enthralled by travel TV shows like Anthony Bourdain’s: No Reservations along with the long road trips up and down the California coast to Oregon, she was soon determined to travel and see new things. She would express her desire to travel the world but others would express what a horrible dangerous idea that was and that she couldn’t do it. So after just turning 20 she bought her first international plane ticket to Thailand and stayed a whole month with her twin sister, Emily. Sara is now attending Sonoma State University while on a National Student Exchange for the semester from her home University. She is really glad to be a part of the CIE Ambassador program and to attend SSU. After Sonoma she plans on attending graduate school abroad in either Scotland or London with a focus on International Fashion Marketing or something similar in a creative industry.  While there she plans on visiting Iceland as quickly as possible!

Studied Abroad:  Florence, Italy (1 semester) / Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong (1 semester) / Tokyo, Japan (1 year)

Countries Traveled:  11 total.  Thailand, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Denmark, Germany

Beverley Saechin – Student Ambassador – Denmark

12400540_1077669015598046_2618189870391370335_nBeverley spent the 2015-16 Academic Year studying abroad in Denmark in the Child Development and Diversity program at DIS. She is also a SSU tour guide and works in JUMP!

Jason Brigel – Student Ambassador – South Africa

Jason is a new Student Ambassador, but has been a student at Sonoma State since 2013. He is a 4th year Sonoma State Psychology student who spent 2016 studying and traveling abroad in South Africa, where he traveled through six different countries and volunteered for 3 different programs. While traveling, Jason was screenshot_2017-01-30-10-33-28-1fortunate enough to skydive, pet cheetahs, feed and walk elephants, bungee jump off a bridge, scuba dive with great white sharks, and visit 2 of the 8 wonders of the world. Aside from the traveling, Jason’s favorite aspect about studying abroad was developing friendships with people from all over the globe. Because of these new friendships, Jason plans on backpacking through Europe this upcoming summer and staying at his international friends houses. He considers his year abroad as his favorite year of university by a large margin. He now interns at the Center for International Education, in hopes of inspiring more Sonoma State students to spend time abroad.

Meet the New CIE Ambassadors!

Fall ’16 Ambassadors

What is a Student Ambassador?  This group of individuals have each studied away or are currently on exchange at Sonoma State University. They are dedicated to answering questions, sharing experiences, and helping students make the most out of their college experience.  Come visit us at The Center for International Education -Room 107- International Hall for more information on Studying Away.

This semester we are welcoming many new ambassadors to our team!

 

Max Kohl – Lead Student  Ambassador – Germany 

Max is a senior at Sonoma State and is currently studying business with a focus in marketing and is working on a German minor. Being born in Florida, but raised in California, Max has grown to love living by the ocean, though he is deathly afraid of sharks and giant squids. Max’s hobbies are playing musical instruments such as guitar and drums, exercising, jazzercising, eating, watching moviMaxes and long walks on the beach. Max also loves traveling and has been to 15 countries including places like China, Hungary and Spain. Max also spent his junior year of college in Germany, where he fell in love with the German culture and the German chocolate. Now that he is back in California, he spends his free time binging on Taco Bell and watching reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Countries Visited:  Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, England, Scotland, Italy, Belgium Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Slovakia

Stephanie Hand – Special Programming Committee Chair – Wales

Stephanie is a senior this year at Sonoma State studying Criminal Justice with an American Multicultural Studies minor. She just returned from the CSU IP program in SwanseStephaniea, Wales. At Swansea University she studied the UK’s Constitution and their approach to controlling crime. Her favorite part about studying abroad was interacting with students from all over the world. She also really enjoyed adapting to and living the Welsh lifestyle, from customs to foods and sport. The whole experience changed the way she approached life and thought about the world. She is now almost ready to graduate from SSU. After graduation she plans to find a way back to Wales through either graduate school or working abroad. In her free time, Stephanie loves watching and going to Bay Area sport games, trying new local food places, a bit of banter with her mates, and going to new places. She is excited to share her experiences and have the chance to help others see how beneficial studying away can be.

Countries Visited: Canada, Mexico, Wales, England, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands and France

Demarcus Luckett – Community Engagement Chair – Germany

Demarcus

Demarcus Luckett is a senior here at Sonoma State. He spent his junior year not only studying abroad in Germany but he also had the opportunity to teach English at an Elementary school. He volunteered with the Germany American Institute to help educate high school students on American lifestyle and culture. Currently he is the WIVA Programs Assistant. Meeting with students and helping them find different opportunities abroad is his passion! He is also a new CIE ambassador this semester and looks forward to once again working with international students and people from all cultural backgrounds and experiences.

 Andrew Pickett – Marketing & Outreach Chair – Germany

andrewambassadorpic

Andrew is a German Major, Business Minor from sunny San Diego, California. He studied in Germany for the 2014-2015 academic year, taking classes at a both Tuebingen and Reutlingen University. He returned to Germany in summer of 2016 to intern at MODE Media, a marketing firm in Munich.  Andrew’s time abroad has greatly enriched his education and work ethic. Andrew has studied both German and French and is somewhat capable in both depending on the day.

Countries Visited: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, England, Mexico, and Canada

Kaitlin Tucker – Student Ambassador – U.K.

kaitlinambassadorpic

Kaitlin is a fourth year student at Sonoma State University and is studying Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies and Planning. She studied abroad her junior year in the town of Kingston Upon Thames in Greater London. At Kingston University she studied political theory and British life and culture. Her favourite thing to do on a weekend in London would be to go into town to get coffee, walk along the Thames and have brunch with friends (then the pub later on!). What she misses most are the fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. During her time abroad she loved to learn about other countries and their cultures. She encourages everyone to travel whenever you find the opportunity or to just create the opportunity!

Countries visited: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Bonnie Betts – Student Ambassador – Minnesota

Bonnie is an NSE alumni from Minnesota who recently transferred to Sonoma State University after her year of NSE at SSU. She is an Environmental Studies & City bonniePlanning major, that would like to specialize in sustainable development and waste management. After college she plans on applying her major to work for a government, consulting firm, or an environmental non profit. During her time at Sonoma State for NSE she got to explore many aspects of California such as the desert climate of Southern California, and the lively streets of San Francisco during the Chinese New Year Parade. She got to hike and be outside year round which is a luxury compared to life in her native Minnesota.She hopes to one day travel to the Middle East and Italy.

Countries Visited: Mexico, Austria, Germany, and the Islands of the beautiful Bahamas.

Tiana Barrios – Student Ambassador – Hawai’i

Tiana Barrios studied away through NSE at Univeristy of Hawai’i at Hilo. There she became very involved by tianaambassadorpicjoining a dance team, interning for the UH Recreation Center, and working as a student assistant on a research project for the Deparment of Psychology. Her favorite thing about her experience away was becoming immersed in the very rich  and diverse culture Hawai’i had to offer. Next spring she will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. After graduation she hopes to get into an Entry level Masters Program in Nursing, and to eventually become a Nurse Practitioner.

Diana D’Alessandro – Student Ambassador – France

dianaambassadorpic

Diana D’Alessandro is currently a senior at Sonoma state university. She is studying communication studies in hopes to enter the marketing/ PR world and recently picked up a French minor while studying abroad in Paris. She has a knack for languages and enjoys learning about different cultures and music. While in Paris, she was able to attend a French University and live in the center of the city. Living there made her realize how much of a city girl she truly is and motivated her to want to move back after graduating. She aspires to travel the world one day and meet inspiring individuals along the way. The city became her favorite place in the whole world and through the ambassador program she wants to ensure that other students are prepared and love their experience just as much!

Countries Visited: Venezuela, Canada, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Scotland, England, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Morocco, France, Portugal, The Netherlands, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, and Haiti.

Rosa Serrato – Student Ambassador – Spain

Rosa is a senior here at Sonoma State University. She spent her junior year exploring Spain and learning Spanish as her second language in the CSU IP rosaambassadorpicJaen: Learn Spanish Program. Not only was she learning a language or becoming familiar with a new culture, she also spent part of her year teaching English at a local elementary school and an English learning academy. During her time abroad she was lucky enough to travel to Holland, France, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Morocco. Now that she is back, she loves sharing her stories and encouraging others to study away.

Simone Landis – Student Ambassador – Spain

Simone is originally from San Francisco, California but considers herself to be a woman of the world. For the past two years her parents have lived in Tianjin, simoneambassadorpicChina and just recently they moved their life to Kuwait in the Middle East. Simone has family all over the world and for this reason she has grown up with the incredible opportunity to travel to many remote locations beginning when she was only months old. She is currently a Senior Communications student at Sonoma State University also pursuing a Spanish minor. She studied abroad this last year in Jaén, Spain and traveled all over Europe and to Asia as well. Her favorite part about studying abroad was the the chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world. Her opportunity to immerse herself into a new culture and learn from people from many different backgrounds has given her a new perspective on life and the world as a whole. She plans to do her Masters abroad and then pursue a career in International Public Relations. If she could, she would spend all her time traveling the world and eating different cuisines. Simone hopes to spread her passion for traveling to as many people as possible through the Student Ambassador program.

Countries Visited: China, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Morocco, Costa Rica, Panama, India, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Aruba, +

Lauren Stafford – Student Ambassador – U.K.

Lauren Stafford is a fifth year biology student at Sonoma State. Living and growing up in five different states gave Lauren the desire to travel and see the world. Last year she studied laurenambassadorpicin the outer borough of London at Kingston University. Living in England, she fell in love with the people, culture, and the cold pints of beer. As she travels, Lauren has an obsession of collecting postcards and buying country specific Starbucks mugs. Her favorite country (outside of England) is Italy where she has traveled to seventeen cities there while abroad. She believes the food and scenery is beyond perfection. Lauren aspires to one day live in Europe and hopes to go across the pond in the near future.

Countries Visited: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

Courtney – Student Ambassador – France

Courtney is a senior here at Sonoma State studying psychology with a courtneyambassadorpicFrench minor. Originally from San Francisco, she spent her year abroad in the picturesque city of Aix­-en­-Provence where she ate her weight in bread and cheese and drank her fill of wine. After Sonoma, she hopes to go to graduate school abroad and continue traveling. If you are ever looking for her, she’s probably eating or daydreaming about her next adventure.

Countries Visited: Portugal, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Morocco

Melissa – Student Ambassador – Mexico

melissaambassadorphoto

Melissa Cardoza is a Senior here at Sonoma State with a major in Kinesiology, and two minors in Spanish and Biology. Her plan is to finish school the following year and attend graduate school to get a degree in Physical Therapy. In addition to being a Student Ambassador in the Center for International Education, she also plays on the Women’s Club Soccer team at SSU and coaches gymnastics. The past year she studied abroad in Mexico and finished her Spanish minor. In the future she would love to travel to Europe and Asia.

 

Countries visited: Mexico and England

Amira – Student Ambassador – Spain

imageAmira was born and raised in Fresno, California and is now a Senior here at Sonoma State. She is Mexican and Costa Rican and speaks both Spanish and English. She is a Spanish major, which helped influence her decision to study in Spain. Amira studied in Granada, Spain for the 2015-16 academic year, and loved every second of it! In her time abroad, she was able to finish the entire Spanish major and will be receiving a Bachelor’s degree in 3 and a half years. From improving her Spanish to encountering and learning about new languages and cultures, studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime for her and one she will never forget. It gave her the opportunity to broade

n her horizons and have a completely new outlook on the world. Living in a foreign country was a big step for her, but ultimately is one that paid off. She is eager to travel and learn more about the world and help others do the same. After she graduates she will begin teaching, and hopefully it’s abroad!

Countries visited: Morocco, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Italy

Meet the Student Ambassadors

ambassadors


What is a Student Ambassador?  This group of individuals have each studied away or are currently on exchange at Sonoma State University. They are dedicated to answering questions, sharing experiences, and helping students make the most out of their college experience.  Come visit us at The Center for International Education -Room 107- International Hall for more information on Studying Away.

This semester we are welcoming two new ambassadors to our team!

Camille Cheze – Student Ambassador – France

Camille

Camille is a 21-year-old French international student here at SSU, currently enrolled in her first year of MA in Linguistics. This is her second year abroad, after spending one in Dublin, Ireland, four years ago. When she is a grown-up, she would like to work in Ireland, playing with language (French or English) for a living – working as a teacher or in communication. The year she spent in Ireland triggered the curiosity to discover the world, which led her to work a lot in order to finance multiple travels throughout Europe. Her favorite things in life include going to concerts, dreaming about George Ezra, eating oriental pastries and fresh croissants, re-reading her favorite books and backpacking around. The things she is not fond of are Brussel sprouts, being stuck at the same place for too long and ironing. Her favorite place on Earth in county Wicklow in Ireland and she hopes to live there someday with at least a sheep and a trampoline in her backyard.

Countries visited: France, Spain, England, Indonesia, Ireland, Finland, Hungary and the United States (only four of them)

Demarcus Luckett – Student Ambassador and WIVA Programs Assistant – Germany

Demarcus

Demarcus Luckett is a senior here at Sonoma State. He spent his junior year not only studying abroad in Germany but I also had the opportunity to teach English at an Elementary school. He volunteered with the Germany American Institute to help educate high school students on American lifestyle and culture. Currently he is the WIVA Programs Assistant. Meeting with students and helping them find different opportunities abroad is his passion! He is also a new CIE ambassador this semester and looks forward to once again working with international students and people from all cultural backgrounds and experiences.

And welcome back to our returnees!

Max Kohl – Lead Student  Ambassador – Germany 

Max is a senior at Sonoma State and is currently studying business with a focus in marketing and is working on a German minor. Being born in Florida, but raised in California, Max has grown to love living by the ocean, though he is deathly afraid of sharks and giant squids. Max’s hobbies are playing musical instruments such as guitar and drums, exercising, jazzercising, eating, watching moviMaxes and long walks on the beach. Max also loves traveling and has been to 15 countries including places like China, Hungary and Spain. Max also spent his junior year of college in Germany, where he fell in love with the German culture and the German chocolate. Now that he is back in California, he spends his free time binging on Taco Bell and watching reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Countries Visited:  Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, England, Scotland, Italy, Belgium Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Slovakia

Anna Vatuone – Marketing & Outreach Chair – Italy1378635_10205172465535149_33911746780458692_n

Anna is 21 years old, she is from small-town Gilroy, California where everyone knows one another and probably always will.  Anna started at Sonoma State University during the fall of 2012 with a strong intent to study or work abroad during her college career.  After thoughtful consideration, she chose Italy, the country in which all of her relatives are originally from, to study literature.  As Italy captures many hearts, Anna fell certain to this, as she began to understand the Italian culture while meeting new people, and studying the politics and society of the nation.  Italy gave Anna a sense of direction, as she discovered her passion for chronicling and journaling her adventures through different countries.  After returning to the United States, Anna has one year left at Sonoma State and will graduate in the spring with a Liberal Studies degree.  She hopes to further her love for travel, study and people by moving back overseas and teaching English as a second language to adults.  Wherever life may take her, she hopes to give back to the world as much as it has given her to see and explore.

Countries Visited: Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Morocco, Monaco

Angie Durkee – Community Engagement Chair – SpainIMG_3537_2

Hola! Angie Durkee welcomes you to the Center for International Education! Angie was born in Stanford Hospital on November 7. She was raised in Redwood City, California by her beloved parents and grandparents. She speaks advanced Spanish and English with her parents, which influenced her decision to want to study abroad in Spain. Angie went to Madrid for the Spring 2015 semester through NSE Study Abroad and had a magnificent experience. She claims it was the best five months of her life! She hopes to graduate Spring 2016 so she can return to Spain next summer to teach English, spend time with her host family, and visit her colleagues in Europe. Angie enjoys dancing Zumba in her free time because the Latin rhythms remind her of the music played in Spain. She welcomes you to join her whenever (preferably Wednesday mornings at 9:30am in Santa Rosa)! She also enjoys long romantic walks on Sonoma State campus – especially after Sonoma aroma has been unleashed… Get to know her! She’s pretty cool.

Countries Visited: Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, and Denmark

Kiera Anderson – Student Ambassador- GermanyKiera

Kiera is a senior Liberal Studies major and German minor from Cool, California. She studied in Tübingen, Germany for the 2014-15 academic year, and thoroughly enjoyed her time traveling Europe, learning a foreign language, meeting people from all over the world, and having an excuse to wear a Dirndl. The experience gave her the opportunity to connect with her German heritage, visiting family in Nordrhein-Westfalen that she had not seen for many years and eating too much homemade Käsespätzle. Now as an alumna, CIE student ambassador, and Ryanair aficionado, Kiera hopes to further her understanding of various cultures and lifestyles and encourage others to look into their study away options.

Countries visited: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, U.K., Ireland, Italy, Belgium

Meredith Watkins – Student Ambassador – England 

Meredith grew up in Vallejo, California, a city not all that well known, but a city noted for its diversity. The cultural diversity she experienced from her home town has always pushed her to seek out new places with new people and experiences. Having spent most of her childhood and teenage life exploring and travelling throughout the United States with her family, traveling internationally and experiencing life in another country had always been a goal she was determined to achieve. Studying abroad was at the top of her list when she entered Sonoma State as a freshman. Eager to start the process of studying internationally, she attended information meetings and spoke with advisors during her first year to make sure she could make her desire to study internationally a reality. As a political science student interested in international relations, Meredith chose to study in England at the University of Hull in order to gain knowledge of the British political system. Her semester abroad exposed her to so many cultures she had never experienced befedinburgh castleore firsthand, forming friendships with English, Brazilian, Romanian, Australian, German, French, and Italian students. Living in another country helped her to realize what she was truly capable of when given the opportunity. Her time spent living and traveling in England and Scotland has only fueled her desire to pursue international travel in the future. Meredith wants to now help others have the opportunity to live, work, study, or travel internationally or around the United States. She believes the opportunity is out there for everyone no matter what their circumstances are! After graduation she hopes to attend graduate school or gain work experience in health policy at both a domestic and international level.

Countries Visited:  England, Scotland, and Ireland

 

 

Stephanie Hand – NSE Student Assistant – Wales

Stephanie is a senior this year at Sonoma State studying Criminal Justice with an American Multicultural Studies minor. She just returned from the CSU IP program in SwanseStephaniea, Wales. At Swansea University she studied the UK’s Constitution and their approach to controlling crime. Her favorite part about studying abroad was interacting with students from all over the world. She also really enjoyed adapting to and living the Welsh lifestyle, from customs to foods and sport. The whole experience changed the way she approached life and thought about the world. She is now almost ready to graduate from SSU. After graduation she plans to find a way back to Wales through either graduate school or working abroad. In her free time, Stephanie loves watching and going to Bay Area sport games, trying new local food places, a bit of banter with her mates, and going to new places. She is excited to share her experiences and have the chance to help others see how beneficial studying away can be.

Countries Visited: Canada, Mexico, Wales, England, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands and France

 

Amy Weald – ISA Student Ambassador – England

Born as a duel citizen and raised in San Jose, California to British parents, Amy had a passion for travel. Competitive hockey throughout much of her childhood enabled Amy to travel to over twenty of our fifty states. But to Amy the world was so much larger than just America. Each summer upon her family’s return to their beloved England Amy would dream of a day when she could finally live in the gorgeous, rolling countryside of England laughing and playing all day with her cousins. As Amy grew older she yearned for more excitement in her life. All throughout high school she contemplated the idea or attending university in the United Kingdom, or at the very least studying abrAmy Wealdoad there. Freshman year at Sonoma Amy attended her first info meeting for study abroad and from that moment on the decision was made that she would be studying abroad in the United Kingdom. Flash-forward to junior year and Amy spent the Spring 2015 semester living in London doing new and exciting things every week. Study abroad was everything she hoped for and more. Upon her return she could not wait to somehow incorporate her experiences and love for study abroad into her daily life back home. Amy now makes it her every day goal to step outside of her comfort zone, encourage people to travel, and say yes to more opportunities. Amy is an ISA (International Studies Abroad) Global Ambassador.

Countries Visited: England, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Prague, Amsterdam, and throughout the Untied States.

Sean Person – Student Ambassador – Korea 

IMG_3774This is a biography about Sean Person (his last name is Person, like a people). He was born as a man to his parents Sandy and Jack and as a younger brother to Tanner. Sean was given the opportunity to travel to France, Italy, and the United Kingdom when he was twelve years old, and that is when he started to develop an appreciation for travel. After recently returning back to the United States after spending a year in South Korea and Japan, Sean hopes to continue spending time with international students. Sean was born in 1994 with straight blonde hair, blue eyes, and a nose, but when Sean went through puberty, his hair became curly and wavy. He is still unsure why this happened. Now Sean is a twenty-one year old man, and he still cannot grow a mustache or beard. Sean has worked as a private tutor for middle school students and also as an editor for a self-study language book that allows Korean students to learn conversational English. He is now excited to begin this year as an international ambassador for Sonoma State University. His interests include: snowboarding, eating, cooking, photography, playing the drums, watching movies, bicycling, surfing, and traveling.

Countries Visited:  Mexico, France, England, Italy, South Korea, Japan

Michelle Perez – Student Ambassador – Florida Michelle

Born and raised in Miami, FL, Michelle Perez is currently a National Exchange student at Sonoma State University. She exchanged from Florida International University in Miami where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources Management and a minor in Computer Science. She is an avid pizza lover and loves to seek the thrills our world has to offer. Michelle has visited Colombia, EL Salvador, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. She is extremely proud of her Hispanic heritage and enjoys talking about it. Her goal in life is to bring down discrimination in the workplace against minorities as well as raise a beautiful family in California. A Woman on a mission.

Countries Visited: Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico

Katie Busch – Student Ambassador – England

KKatieatie Busch is a southern California native but is a senior sociology student at Sonoma State University. She studied this past school year in Brighton, England and presumably became obsessed with tea and scones. Katie is a self-professed cat lady and vegetarian. She enjoys playing Frisbee, long boarding, hiking, camping… basically anything outdoors and she will be there! She is keen on going to the pub with her friends to grab a pint and bite to eat. She loves to travel and experience new things and is always itching for a new adventure. She hopes to create her own non-profit organization someday and maybe even expand abroad!

Countries Visited: Costa Rica, India, England, France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Germany, and Ireland.

 

Paige Cummings – Student Ambassador – Italy

PaDSCN0828ige is a senior in the Liberal Studies department here at Sonoma. She is a Northern California Native, having grown up in the East Bay. Paige moved to Sonoma State in order to pursue a career in teaching but discovered her true passion in the Center for International Education. She just returned from her year abroad in Florence, Italy. There she immersed herself in the language and culture and made many lifelong friends and memories. She hopes to help other students pursue their own travels this year as a Global Ambassador.

Countries Visited: Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Hungary

 

Meet the New Student Ambassadors!!!

Lead Ambassadors

Milan Morales

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.

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Dae-Sung Kim


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.

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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.

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Dulce Preciado

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.

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An Okada

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

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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.

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Katelyn Granger

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

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Lauren DiPeppe

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.

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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.

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Kio Crosby

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.

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Michelle Welling

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.

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