Go Global! Newsletter 02/ 13

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Welcome to the official newsletter of the Center for International Education, informing you about everything regarding CSU IP, National Student Exchange, International Opportunities, and International Education Exchange Council events!

Hey Seawolves!

This week in the Center for International Education…


IEEC Goes Ice Skating

This past  Friday, February 10th, IEEC went to a fun filled ice skatiice-skatingng event held by one of our student ambassadors! They had fun skating around the ice rink and getting to know one another over some ice. Great way to get off campus and see a new side of the Rohnert Park area. 

Join IEEC next time for another fun filled event!


IIEC Goes to Lagunitas Brewing Company

(1280 McDowell Blvd, Petaluma)

This coming Friday, February 17th, come join the IEEC and meet other interesting students while tasting different beers and a being apart of a tour! Please remember that this is a 21 year and older event for the beer tasting portion. But after the tour food is available at the Lagunitas Restaurant and chat, no age requirement there!

We will have a few volunteer drivers, but more would be fantastic! We will be meeting at the SSU Flagpole at 2:30. Come to the Center for International Education, located in International Hall to sign up/ask any questions!

This free event will fill up soon so check it out on facebook on SSU International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) page!




Follow us on our Instagram and Snapchat!


Follow us @ssustudyaway on Instagram to see pictures from alumni and currently abroadstudents. Tag your photos with #ssustudyaway to have a chance to have your own photos featured.

Our Snapchat is full of exciting takeovers by Sonoma students who are currently   studying abroad, NSE, and even our own SSU Campus!



 FEBRUARY IS NSE MONTH! comfort-zone-2

Be sure to check out your opportunities to study away through National Student Exchange! You can choose from almost 200 universities to study at throughout the USA, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands! You can event study in Canada! Through this program students are able to study for one semester or the year while using financial aid, paying in-state tuition, and all of the units are guaranteed to count! Come into the Center for International Education for more info and to meet NSE student ambassadors!

Priority Deadline is Approaching for NSE and NSE Study Abroad! 

Don’t miss your chance to slash $25 of your application fee for either NSE or NSE Study Abroad for this coming year ! Due date for priority deadline is February 24th, and all domestic NSE applications should apply by March 1st which is the normal deadline so no discount is applied then! Save some money,stop worrying and apply early!

Study Abroad Informational Meetings are Happening Now!

Did you know it’s still not too late to study away Spring 2017?! Interested in studying in another country or another state? Your first step is to come to an Info Meeting! Come sign-up in the Center for International Education for the time that works best for you!
Meeting Days and Times For This Week:
MONDAY @ 3:00- 4:00 PM
TUESDAY @ 3:00 PM- 4:00 PM
THURSDAY @ 11:00 AM- 12:00 AM

Classroom Presentations

If you are a professor or a student who would like their class to learn more about different study away opportunities, you can request a classroom presentation! All of our Go Global Ambassadors are either study abroad alumni, international students or NSE students and would love to talk about their experiences! Click here to request a presentation and allow at least one week ahead of time before the day of the presentation.



Interested in studying abroad in the beautiful island nation of NEW ZEALAND?? This semester long program offers $15,000 that goes toward tuition and and accommodation stipend. Click the link for more information about this huge scholarship opportunity!


Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship

Applications are now open for Summer 2017 and Fall/ Academic Year 2017 – 2018 ! Deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, March 7th by 11:59 pm central time.gilam-scholarship

Any U.S. citizens undergraduate can apply for this grant program if they are of limited financial mean which limits them to study and/or intern abroad.

Check out the official site for more information: http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program#.WKHuO28rLs0



 Need a Car?

Sonoma State is now providing Zipcar services to students. This allows students to reserve a vehicle through the app and use the provided vehicles when needed. Internatiozipcar-logo-1140x407nal students are also qualified to participate in the   program. Follow this link for more information and to get started on using this service!

Puppies + Valentine’s via  SHAC “Puppy Love” Day

SHAC will be hosting its first annual Puppy Love event Tuesday, February 14th, from 11:30-1pm on the Darwin and Stevenson quad. So come out, pet some puppies and find your valentine!

6 Running Havanese puppies of 9 weeks!




Join lEEC!

For just a $3 lifetime membership fee, you can get connected to the international and education exchange community on campus! Talk to students who studied abroad! Meet international students studying at Sonoma State! Get discounts on the awesome events that IEEC hosts every semester! Join the Facebook event!

Coffee and Culture Meetings

Join us at our weekly Coffee and Culture Meetings! IEEC holds Coffee and Culture every Thursday from 12 – 1 PM. What is Coffee and Culture you may ask? Coffee and Culture is a weekly event where we get together and share cultures, life experiences and just a place to hang out. We always meet in International Hall 107. For more information on activities and themes of each meeting, join the IEEC Facebook page.

This week during Coffee and Culture we are celebrating Valentines Day! This lovely theme is sure to be a hit so make sure to drop on by! 



Happening at SSU

SSU Seawolf living and SSU are hosting Lobofest all this week! They have a variety of events this week including magic shows, funny skits, Spring Club Fair, and other fun events that should not be missed!

Free movies are being offered on campus in Ives 101 at 9pm, starting on Saturday February 11th with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

All inMotion Classes are now free at SSU! The first session is today January 30th and ends March 9th. Click on this link to check out the great 10 different options of classes :  http://www.seawolfliving.com/health/2017/1/19/all-inmotion-classes-are-now-free

Check out the IEE Interactive Newsletter for resources and news on Study Abroad opportunities!

  Center for International Education
International Hall 107
(707) 664 – 2582

Follow us on twitter! Visit us on Facebook!  Sonoma State IEEC on Facebook   

SSU Study Away Instagram

SSU Students to Receive Study Abroad Scholarships!

Sonoma State University students are receiving scholarships to study abroad! The Center for International Education is excited to announce the recipient of the International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) Study Abroad Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year is Kiara Anderson. Additionally, two Sonoma State University students are receiving the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad for the 2014-15 academic year!


Elizabeth Pettit and James Smith are two of over 800 American undergraduate students from 330 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship. The program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.


Elizabeth Pettit, a returning student at Sonoma State University, will be studying abroad to University of Hull, England through the CSU International Programs and received a Gilman Scholarship award of $5,000. Elizabeth has worked in the field of education for many years as a tutor. Her passion, of fostering a love of reading and increasing literacy, is what motivated her to return to school in 2011 to receive her teaching credential. While continuing her education, she became increasingly aware of the diversity within classrooms and the necessity for a global perspective. This coupled with her major in English Literature, prompted her to apply to study abroad in England. Together with her nine year old daughter she will continue her education, gaining an international perspective for both of them. As a part of the Gilman scholarship program, she will create a connection with students in Healdsburg, CA to students in York, England. Just as her professors at SSU reference their experiences abroad, she too will be able to apply her experiences to the subjects she is teaching with her students long after she returns from her time abroad. The addition of the Gilman Scholarship offers the opportunity to visit other countries beyond the study abroad program. Elizabeth feels that the opportunity, to be completely rooted in another lifestyle, is priceless and extends beyond its intrinsic value.


James Smith, a communications major, will also be studying through CSU International Programs to Yonsei University in South Korea and will be receiving a Gilman Scholarship award of $2,500. James states studying abroad in South Korea will be like living for a year without his glasses where he “wants to explore the world without holding on to what he views as clear and true.” He is looking forward to removing his metaphorical “western and North American glasses” 10542067_10203817476013841_1123675569_nthat he has grown into. He hopes to become a global citizen, trying to develop the most objective way of thinking while creating the most effective way to communicate this objectivity. James is also excited to feeling vulnerable as well as being open to the experiences of another culture and another way of life. Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, James has been given a new opportunity which is helping in his venture to explore a new world, and it provides security when the path ahead blurs or becomes uncertain.   The Gilman Scholarship program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and country of study, is available on their website: www.iie.org/gilman. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries.  It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”



224600_114148325337897_2464943_nThe International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) is also excited to announce they have selected Kiara Anderson as the 2014-15 award recipient. The IEEC Study Abroad Scholarship is granted to a Sonoma State University student who will be studying abroad for the next academic year and has participated in IEEC events and activities, in part to help prepare them for their time away. Kiara will be studying through the CSU International Programs in Germany.kiara Raised in a small town, Kiara is eager to experience life in a new setting and meet people from different backgrounds. She hopes her time at the University of Tübingen will allow her to learn more about her German roots, improve her fluency in the language, as well as make new and interesting friends throughout her travels. The scholarship award is raised by SSU students in the IEEC student organization and granted Kiara $200 to help with her expenses as well as an award of an additional $100 when she returns to SSU with her promise of giving back to the program by helping other students considering studying abroad.   Studying abroad can be affordable! “We want all students to study abroad, so we have to make it affordable for all students to study abroad,” Hope Ortiz, International & Exchange Programs Advisor at Sonoma State University. Students can choose study abroad programs that are more economical, in program costs and/or the cost of living in the host country, as well as apply to scholarships and grants to help with their expenses. There are many opportunities for students to raise funds to study away, and the Center for International Education enjoys helping students find their way with workshops in addition to one-on-one advising. For a list of resources in raising money to study away, visit the SSU Center for International Education Facebook page and scholarships tab.



The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.  Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.  For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit http://eca.state.gov.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (http://www.iie.org), publishing the Open Doors Report and operating www.IIEPassport.org and www.studyabroadfunding.org  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.  For more information, please contact Lindsay Calvert, Assistant Director, Gilman International Scholarship, at 832-369-3481 or lcalvert@iie.org.

30 SSU Students Accepted to Study Away through National Student Exchange!

International Services, (soon to be the Center of International Education,) is happy to announce that this was a big year for National Student Exchange at Sonoma State University with an all time high of sending as well as receiving students on exchange. If you are not familiar with the National Student Exchange (NSE) program, NSE is a domestic exchange consortium with over 200 universities in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and Canada. Almost 2000 students from these 200 campuses applied to participate in NSE  this year.


The group of SSU students who applied to the NSE program this year were so great, that all 30 who applied to study away during the 2014-15 academic year were accepted into NSE, and 27 of those students were accepted to their first choice! SSU students will be heading out to University of Washington, University of Hawaii – Manoa, University of Georgia, West Virginia University, and many more!

Within the National Student Exchange program, SSU also participates in NSE Study Abroad, where students apply to study abroad programs of schools participating in National Student Exchange. Through this program more than 10 students will be studying abroad during the next academic year to locations all over the world! Some of these locations are Germany, Australia, Japan, Costa Rica, and more!

International Services is also happy to welcome the 23 students who will be on exchange at SSU during this academic year! Over 100 students indicated Sonoma State University on their NSE application, with these 23 being accepted from locations such as, Maine, Georgia, Minnesota, Hawaii, Texas,Guam, and Canada! These students will be studying at SSU during the fall and/or spring of next year to take classes in business, biology, art, psychology, communications, general education courses as well as other major courses.

Do you or someone you know want to apply to National Student Exchange for next year? It’s not too late! Many locations will still accept late applications with a final deadline of April 1st! (The deadline to apply for Spring 2015 only is October 1st.) If you are interested in applying to NSE or NSE Study Abroad, visit the International Services office in Salazar 1070, check our information page, and ‘Like’ our Facebook pages!

SSU National Student Exchange:
International Services:
International Education Exchange Council (IEEC):

Excellent Numbers for SSU Students Applying to CSU International Programs!

SSU student, Elizabeth Lemus, who studied abroad in France last year.

Sonoma State University, International Services of the School of Extended and International Education, has been working hard assisting SSU student to apply to the California State University, International Programs (CSU IP) to study abroad for the 2014-1015 academic year. CSU IP is a program offering many study abroad opportunities to students from all CSU campuses. (For more information on CSU IP, please visit their webpage: http://calstate.edu/ip/)

We are excited to announce that this cycle Sonoma State University students have submitted 73 applications to the CSU International Program! (Applications were due December 15th, 2013.) This means that SSU has the highest per capita of CSU IP student applications, for the 6th year in a row! This also has ranked Sonoma State University 2nd highest state-wide in number of applications submitted, following San Francisco State University which has 110 submitted applications. In 3rd place was Chico State University with 61 applications.

The most popular locations that SSU students applied for were Spain (14), France (12), and Germany (11), which aligns with data from previous years. SSU also saw a significant spike in applications for typically underrepresented locations, such as Mexico (6) and Korea (6).

State-wide, the locations that received the most applications were Spain (109), Italy (106), UK (85), and France (82). The grand total for all applications received within the CSU system was 718.

Early Spring 2014 semester, International Services will make a push for students to submit late appeal applications for countries that can accommodate new student applications. Previous years’ late application countries have included the following: China, France (Paris), Ghana, Israel, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Mexico, and Korea. Students interested in applying as late applicants should visit International Services for more information. The deadline for this late appeal application is March 15, 2014.

Additionally, students can also apply to the southern hemisphere countries, (Australia and South Africa,) which operate on a southern hemisphere academic calendar (Spring – Fall). The priority deadline to apply to Australia or South Africa is April 15th with a final deadline of May 1st. The first step to studying abroad is to attend an Information Meeting! These meetings are held multiple times each week throughout the Spring semester.

Students interested in submitting a late application, applying to Australia or South Africa, interested in applying to National Student Exchange or NSE Study Abroad, or in getting involved in our student organization, the International Education Exchange Council (IEEC,) are welcome to visit SSU International Services (Salazar 1070) right away! Follow the links below to stay up-to-date on all of the exciting happenings, events, deadlines, and achievements made by our students!

Weekly Newsletter: https://sonomastateinternational.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SSUInternationalServices
IEEC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SSUIEEC
National Student Exchange Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SSU.National.Student.Exchange
How to participate: https://sonomastateinternational.wordpress.com/participate-in-student-exchange/

SSU Student to Receive Scholarship from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Anna Cheban Wins Gilman International Scholarship for Spring 2014

Studying abroad is, undeniably, an amazing opportunity for all college students. International exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Additionally, having the opportunity to study at a university in another country allows students to boost their resumes, have access to classes not offered at Sonoma State University (SSU), possibly learn a language, in addition to learning more about themselves and discovering their future goals in life. Unfortunately, many students and parents have the misconception that studying abroad is too expensive. We at International Services hope that everyone knows that studying abroad is more affordable than you think! (In fact, some students save money studying abroad!)

It is organizations like California State University International Programs (CSU IP) and U.S. Department of State that help provide students with affordable study abroad opportunities. Through CSU IP, students pay the exact same fees as they would attending SSU, and all of their financial aid applies, (with the exception of work study.) So the only real variable as far as price is the difference in cost of living in that country. For some countries, such as Korea, Mexico, Sweden, and South Africa, students can actually save money by studying abroad! Then there are the plethora of scholarship opportunities available to students, one of the most prestigious being the Gilman International Scholarship.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. This scholarship program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad as well as the regions where they go. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare. Scholarship award amounts generously range from $1,500 to $8,000. Each year about 8,500 students apply for the scholarship with 2,000 receiving the award. With this 23.5% acceptance rate, Sonoma State University is honored that one of our own was selected to receive the award for her time studying abroad in Australia Spring 2014.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetAnna Cheban is a third year student of Sonoma State University. She was born in the small country of Ukraine and came to Sacramento, California at the age of 4. Growing up as the eldest of eight children helped her establish skills of leadership and an eagerness to help others. After entering SSU, she found her passion within the field of Psychology. Her love for the field strengthened as she explores the different avenues psychology has to offer through jobs and volunteering experience. During her sophomore year, Anna decided to expand her experience and applied to study in Australia through CSU International Programs. Her hopes are to explore the course of study towards becoming a licensed counseling psychologist. Her choice of university was largely based on a desire to study an internationally diverse campus. Macquarie University, her study destination, is impressively 25% international students.

As part of the scholarship, recipients are required to organize a service program that reaches out to other students. Upon returning from Australia, Anna plans to spread awareness about the possibilities of studying abroad to underrepresented groups. One of her target groups will be the students of her home community in Sacramento. She hopes to increase knowledge about opportunities such as the Gilman Scholarship to students who speak Russian and have a low family income in hopes that they too will be able to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

If you are interested in studying abroad, the first step is to attend an Information Meeting in International Services! To stay up-to-date on opportunities and deadlines, “Like” our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SSUInternationalServices

Meet the New International Services Staff!

International Services would like to introduce the new office and student staff to the internationally minded and Sonoma State community! Please come visit us during our work hours to talk about studying away and our experiences!

Hope Emry Ortizhope

International & Exchange Programs Advisor

Work hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30AM  – 4:30PM

Hope Rayne Emry Ortiz was born and raised in Humboldt County, CA. She attended Sonoma State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While attending SSU, she studied abroad in Mexico for one year, completing a minor in Spanish. This experience along with the many other student leadership positions that she held at Sonoma, including EOP Summer Bridge Peer Leader, Orientation Peer Leader, and Freshmen Seminar Peer Mentor, lead her to pursue a career in student affairs. After graduating from SSU, she attended and graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters of Arts in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Student Affairs. It was there that her interests in social justice, multicultural competency, assisting Veteran students, and increasing retention in underrepresented students thrived. She has now returned to Sonoma State and is excited to share her passion of education abroad with SSU Seawolves as the new International & Exchange Programs Advisor.


nicoleNicole Voorhees

WIVA Programs Assistant

Work hours: Monday 12:00PM – 4:30PM, Tuesday 1:00PM – 4:30PM, Wednesday 12:00PM – 4:30PM, Thursday 10:00AM – 3:00PM

A native of Oregon, Nicole loves adventure. After earning her BA in Education and Sociology from the College of Idaho, Nicole traveled and hiked for 4 months in New Zealand. She then joined the Peace Corps as a Health and Community Development Volunteer. She served almost 3 years on the banana producing island of Saint Vincent in the West Indies…where!?! She said the same thing when her assignment came and is happy to show you on the map… It’s tiny! After her return, Nicole was hired on by the San Francisco Peace Corps Office and worked almost five years as a Regional Recruiter and Recruitment Coordinator. As she neared her 5 year limit with Peace Corps, Nicole and her husband decided to continue the adventure and moved to Santiago, Chile. In Santiago, Nicole taught business English to Chilean mining professionals and worked at an international language school. Nicole is now back in Sonoma County and starting her first year of graduate school with the Organizational Development program. She will be working as the WIVA (Work, Intern, Volunteer Abroad) Programs Assistant and is excited to talk about her experiences abroad and the array of international opportunities available to students. She is an avid cyclist, mountain biker, hiker and yogi. Nicole and her husband will be adding a new adventurer to their family this December!

Milan Moralesmilan

IEEC Domestic Co-Chair

Work hours: Tuesday 2:00PM – 4:30PM, Wednesday 12:00PM – 2:00PM, Thursday 2:00PM – 4:30PM

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 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.


daeDae-Sung Kim

IEEC International Co-Chair

Work hours: Tuesday 9:00AM – 10:00AM, Thursday 9:00AM – 12:30PM

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.


Will Smitheywill

IEEC Treasurer

Work hours: Monday 10:00AM – 12:30PM, Tuesday 12:30PM – 2:00PM, Thursday 10:00AM – 12:00PM

From Sacramento, California, Will was inspired to travel the world by his older brother who lived and worked in Asia. Unsure of where he wanted to live in the world, he sorted out his options by contacting the study abroad office on campus. Finally, Will decided on Brighton, England and his year adventure was underway. Will spent the 2012-13 academic year overseas and embraced this chance to travel visiting any country he could get a cheap flight to. Will visited Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. He has also traveled to Japan, Canada, and extensively throughout the United States. Will is studying Marketing and is planning on going into International Business when he graduates. Will enjoys playing and watching basketball and football, riding his bicycle, traveling, exploring, and having fun.

Countries visited: Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Japan


Yvette Rangel

IEEC Secretary/Membership Coordinator

yvetteWork hours: Tuesday 12:30PM – 2:00PM, Thursday 12:30PM – 3:00PM

While double-majoring in Spanish and sociology, Yvette decided to take her studies abroad to Madrid and focus primarily on her BA in Spanish. Having never left the states prior to her departure, she took a leap of faith and hopped on a plane to Spain. While studying abroad, she encountered a newfound passion for travel and cultural experience. Prior to her return home, Yvette moved down to Tanzania to work with a non-profit organization to teach English in the local school of the village she was living in. A year later she is finishing up her last couple of semesters at Sonoma State and focusing on her submission of grad school applications with a focus in social work.

Countries visited: Spain, France, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, and Germany.

Cesar Cruzcesar

IEEC Liaison

Work hours: Monday 9:00AM – 12:30PM, Wednesday 10:00AM – 12:30PM

From the heart of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, Cesar has always had interest in film and producing media. He was inspired by an older sister to venture out into the wild. Later on he was able to go abroad to the Caribbean in Puerto Rico, and studied at  Universidad de Puerto Rico Rio Piedras. The experience has enriched every part of what makes him so creative today. Now, it has encouraged him to step out of any comfort zone and embrace the ability of exploring and discovering new worlds; which will soon appear in his motion pictures with MoonMan Productions. He has a clear goal of one day becoming an anchorman hosting his own variety show and taking his audience on a journey of discovery, to get out into the world, and see what life is all about. While being abroad has also been a challenge of adaptation and endurance, it was a moment of clarity that every student should pursue because the world is much more than what we can ever imagine and priorities become evident. He enjoys hiking, cooking Latin cuisines, filmmaking,  taking photos, dancing, fashion, Futbol, traveling, and most of all, entertaining the crowd. He is currently a Communication Studies major as well as Philosophy and Spanish minor and will graduate spring 2014. Soon he will attend graduate school in the bay area with a focus in Journalism. In the future, he plans to work a year abroad in Barcelona as a media producer, which will be the opportunity of a lifetime. So far he has gone to Mexico, France, Spain, and Puerto Rico.

lauraLaura Ibsen

IEEC Mentor Program Coordinator

Work hours: Monday 12:30PM – 2:00PM, Tuesday 10:30AM – 12:30PM, Wednesday 9:00AM – 11:00AM & 3:30PM – 4:30PM, Thursday 12:30PM – 2:30PM

Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. Laura loves cultures and languages. The culture and history of France caught her attention her freshman year of college. The French culture was something that Laura loves and wanted to discover more. Laura saw many of her friends going abroad and having amazing experiences. The person that inspired her to go abroad was her best friend who is French/American. Then she decided to start looking into the study abroad program that changed her life completely. By attending the informational meetings and talking to alumni, she was helped through the study abroad process.

“I thought you had to be rich to go abroad?” But she found out that financially studying abroad was the same as if she was at Sonoma State for a year! She was so happy to be able to do it. She studied in Aix –en-Provence, France 2011-2012 where she learned a third language, met new friends, and traveled to many other countries. Experiencing the global perspective gave her a better idea of many diverse cultures and how people are different but equal. Different behaviors to customs and food are fascinating to her. Laura studies Human Development and Women’s and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University. Being able to understand humans from other cultures has helped her to answer many questions on human behavior in dissimilar societies. Studying abroad was a dream that came true. Traveling has been thus far her best gift in life. Thanks to a year abroad she has a better idea of what she wants to do with her career and her life goals. It’s a life changing experience where not only she learned more about herself but also about people surrounded her. Now she shares that experience with others because is not impossible; it is all about reaching the resources and making it happen!!!

Laura has travel to: Japan, France, Morocco, Ireland, England, Italy, and various states in America. She enjoys cultures, dancing, biking, rock climbing, discovering, exploring, and always trying to learn a new language.

Korie Layne Lafondkorie

IEEC Table Coordinator

Work hours: Monday 2:00PM – 4:30PM, Tuesday 10:30AM – 12:30PM

Born and raised in the South Bay Area, Korie learned early on that she became restless easily and quickly decided that studying abroad would be a perfect option to change up her routine. After only a semester at Sonoma State, Korie began researching and planning a way to not only explore more of the world, but also improve her French-speaking and dive into her family’s French-Canadian background. After an academic year studying at Concordia University in Montreal, Korie gained a more worldly perspective and a knack for comparative politics, literature, and philosophy between the United States and Eastern Canada. Korie has traveled to France, Australia, Canada, and countless states in the U.S. After finishing her undergraduate studies, Korie hopes to earn a teaching credential to teach high school level French, or work as a tour guide in a French-speaking country. When she’s not planning her next getaway, Korie enjoys reading French literature, swimming, studying philosophy, and watching football, hockey, and baseball.

mackMack Cooper

IEEC Events Coordinator

Work hours: Monday 12:30PM – 2:00PM, Wednesday 11:00AM – 3:30PM

Born and raised on the inland side of Caldecott Tunnel in the East Bay Area, Mack was exposed at an early age to the wonders of the world. His father had traveled all over, and he made it a life-long goal to emulate that worldliness. Upon hearing of a friend studying abroad while still in high-school, Mack immediately understood how he could achieve his dream. After visiting the International Services office his sophomore year, he found the concrete path to Europe. Before he knew what hit him, he was on a plane to Florence, Italy for a year abroad. Always somewhat reserved and aware of his comfort zone, Mack was able to push his boundaries and found that in doing so, he was having the time of his life! While in Florence, Mack studied Classical Literature and Ancient History. His time there would also instill a deep appreciation of art, architecture, food, people, traditions, and getting out and enjoying himself. Among the places that Mack has visited are France, Turkey, England, Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Upon his return, he has resumed his study of History and plans on graduating (hopefully) in the Spring. In his free time, Mack enjoys playing and watching basketball (GO WARRIORS), playing video games, watching movies, doing yoga, rock climbing, and making up words.