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Student Bloggers

Fall 2017


Kyra Armstrong
AIFS Program: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Hofstra University

My name is Kyra Armstrong. I attend Hofstra University and am majoring in Political Science. I will be studying in Barcelona, Spain for the Fall 2017. I chose Barcelona in order to immerse myself in a culture I am completely unfamiliar with and to learn a new language. I grew up in Hawaii so I always enjoy comparing beaches around the world as I travel. I am excited to take readers with me on this journey as AIFS allows me to blog about my experiences.


Brooke Berger
AIFS Program: Paris, France
Home University: Western Washington University

My name is Brooke Berger and I’m currently a junior at Western Washington University. It is a beautiful little campus tucked in the top left corner of Washington, and looks like someone put Hogwarts in the middle of a forest. I was raised in a small town in Northern California, on a farm, with my brother. My grandfather doubled as our babysitter, and instilled in us a pride for our French heritage. Anastasia is my favorite childhood film and that, coupled with my family history, inspired me to make my way to the beautiful city of Paris.


Lyndsey Bradley
AIFS Program: San José, Costa Rica
Home University: Plymouth State University

My name is Lyndsey Bradley! I go to school at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. I chose San José because I wanted to live with a host family in a Spanish speaking country, and I think I’m the only college student in the U.S. who does not like macaroni and cheese, or ramen noodles.

Mia Castelveter
AIFS Program: Salzburg, Austria
Home University: Virginia Military Institute

My name is Mia Castelveter from Moon Township, Pennsylvania (a suburb outside of Pittsburgh). I am a Cadet at Virginia Military Institute. I am majoring in International Studies and Modern Languages and Cultures, specializing in German. I will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in May. I enjoy running, photography, fashion, and event planning. I am studying abroad in order to further my linguistic abilities and indulge into the cultural atmosphere of Europe before I enter into the civilian and military lifestyles.

Madeleine Colbert
AIFS Program: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: UC San Diego

Hi all! My name is Madeleine Colbert, and I am a senior at the University of California, San Diego. I am so excited to be studying abroad in Prague this fall! I picked Prague and the Czech Republic for a variety of reasons, including its incredible beauty, as well as the fact that it’s supposed to be slightly cheaper than other European cities (which, let’s be real, is a huge plus for a broke college student). This is actually my first time traveling outside the United States, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Also, a fun fact, considering my destination: I actually hate drinking (alcohol, that is – coffee is my one true love), and Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other country in the world. I can’t wait to share my experiences in Prague with all of you, though! Stay tuned!

Jordan Cutler
AIFS Program: Salamanca, Spain
Home University: Claflin University

Hey! My name is Jordan Cutler! I am from the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina. I am Junior studying Mass Communications with a concentration in public relations while double minoring in Spanish and Business Administration. Since I attend the oldest HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in South Carolina, it is only befitting that I attend the oldest University in Spain in my efforts to be bilingual. I also am a member of the oldest Black Greek Lettered Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. If you can’t tell yet, I like firsts. My home university is such a diverse campus and I’m super excited to immerse myself in the diverse culture of Salamanca. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!

Victoria DeLisa
AIFS Program: Salamanca, Spain
Home University: Siena College

My name is Victoria DeLisa and my home university is Siena College in Albany, New York. I chose to travel to Salamanca, Spain in hopes to immerse myself in a new culture, and explore life in Spain. A fun fact about me is that I have taken French thus far in my academic career, and am going to Spain with no Spanish background!

Abigail Fluegge
AIFS Program: Grenoble, France
Home University: Concordia University Irvine

My name is Abby, and I am a student at Concordia University Irvine in southern California. The reason I picked to study abroad in Grenoble, France, is because ever since I was little I’ve wanted to learn to speak French, and what better way to do that than living and studying in France! A fun fact about me is that I really enjoy airports and airplanes. I love the vibe that airports give off and with airplanes it just so cool to me to think about how I’m actually in the air and flying..

Jane Greis
AIFS Program: Salzburg, Austria
Home University: Towson University

Hi! I’m Jane from Maryland, USA. I study Anthropology, International Studies, and German at Towson University. I chose to study in Salzburg because it has everything I was looking for in a study abroad program and just seems to be the magical place calling my name. I love studying German, being outdoors, and exploring historical landmarks and Salzburg seems to offer all of that and more. A fun fact about me: I’ve visited 24 countries!

Cassandra Grosh
AIFS Program: Athens, Greece
Home University: Ball State University

My name is Cassandra Grosh, and I am a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I’m choosing to study abroad in Greece through AIFS because I want to learn more about the history and mythology of the Ancient Greeks. I traveled to Greece in 2013, and I am excited to return and learn more. A fun fact about me is that I am triple majoring in English Literature, Classical Culture, and Classical Latin, and I am minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Giselle Guzman
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: The Sage Colleges

My name is Giselle Guzman but mostly everyone calls me Gigi which I very much prefer! I attend an all-women’s college, it’s called Russell Sage College located in upstate NY which is about three hours away from my hometown Brooklyn, New York. I really wanted to go to London to study abroad because I really enjoy the culture and it is a place that is full of such rich history. I’m an English major and my favorite authors are all British! Funny enough, my first language is not in any way English and yet growing up, English was always my favorite subject in school. I loved reading and grammar so much that I decided when I was in the 8th grade that I want to become a novelist and play-wright and that is currently what I am working toward!

Jaclyn Halpern
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: Concordia University – Irvine

Hello! My name is Jaclyn Halpern, but I go by Jacky. I was born and raised in Southern California, and my home university is Concordia University Irvine. I am an upcoming junior, and my major is communications. My first time experiencing travel and all that the world has to offer was last semester. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland and absolutely fell in love with the culture, architecture, and way of life. Some would say I was bitten by the travel bug because the moment I came back to the United States, I knew I wanted to return to Europe. I did everything possible so I could return for this upcoming fall semester and all my hard efforts paid off. I am very excited and blessed that I get to embark on yet another study abroad experience this time in London. As you might be able to tell I love traveling and adventure, but some of my other hobbies consist of photography, festival going, and looking for the best cup of coffee. Cheers!

Caitlin Halpin
AIFS Program: Grenoble, France
Home University: University of Arkansas

Bonjour! My name is Caitlin and I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a Senior at the University of Arkansas, majoring in History and minoring in Anthropology and French. I chose to study in France because immersion is one of the best ways to learn a language. I also think it would be wonderful learning French culture and language side by side. Some of my favorite things to do are visit museums, explore art and architecture, taste new foods, and travel. These are also some of the reasons why I’m so ecstatic to be experiencing Europe up close this semester!

Adam Harris
AIFS Program: St. Petersburg, Russia
Home University: California University of Pennsylvania

My name is Adam Harris and I am a senior at California University of Pennsylvania double majoring in History and Political Science. I am studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia this fall. I chose to study abroad in Russia because I enjoy studying Cold War History and wanted to study abroad in a country not many Americans venture to. Lastly, a fun fact about me is that I spent the summer in Washington D.C. interning. I am looking forward to all that I will experience this semester in Russia!

Makayla Newman
AIFS Program: Grenoble, France
Home University: University of Alaska Anchorage

Hi! My name is Makayla and I study English at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I will be studying in Grenoble, France this fall! Having been surrounded by mountains most of my life, I chose Grenoble (known as the Capital of the Alps), to be near nature and hiking opportunities. Also, of course, to be immersed in French culture, eat the food, and practice my French! I am so excited for this experience and to be able to share it with all of you!

Olivia Norton
AIFS Program: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: Stockton University

Hi all! My name is Olivia Norton. I am a Junior majoring in Economics at Stockton University. However, this fall I will be attending Charles University in Prague this fall. I chose Prague for 2 main reasons, its’ location and size. Fun fact, I have never stepped foot out of the United States! I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to embark on this journey and am honored that I get to share it with all of you! Na zdriaví!

Paige Perez
AIFS Program: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Tampa

My name is Paige Perez, I am a junior at the University of Tampa. I am a Media Studies major with a love for traveling and photography. I will be traveling to Granada to study in the fall. The vibrant culture and history is what ultimately led to my decision to study in Spain.

Wyatt Peterson
AIFS Program: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Berry College

Hey! My name is Wyatt, I am a rising senior studying business management and Spanish at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. However, Barcelona, Spain will be home for the next few months as I will studying abroad at UAB for the fall semester. This will not only be my first time outside the US, but also my first time living in a major city so I am both excited and nervous for what lies ahead. I chose Barcelona for so many reasons, the language, the culture, the food, and of course, the beach. It will be quite an adjustment for me as this past summer I lived and worked in Breckenridge, Colorado. Nonetheless it’d be impossible for me to complain about going from one beautiful place to another. I am excited to make new friends, go to places I have never been, and write about things I have never thought about before. Enjoy!

David Sharif
AIFS Program: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Pace University

My name is David Sharif and I attend Pace University, New York City campus. I chose Barcelona, Spain because I want to improve my Spanish speaking skills, apply my studies to world travel, and learn the history of the Mediterranean.

I was diagnosed with autism when I was four years old. Growing up with autism, my father has given me the gift to be an independent world traveler. I have been traveling the globe ever since I was born and have been to 25 states in America and more than 25 different countries. Traveling the world has taught me patience, flexibility, acceptance, and understanding. I currently study Political Science and minor in Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University pursuing a career in raising autism awareness, and participating in conferences at the UN to reduce inequality.

Fun fact about me: I was valedictorian in High School Class of 2015.

Samantha Strausser
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: The College of William and Mary

Hello! My name is Samantha Strausser. I’m a junior at the College of William and Mary and a Chicago native, but this semester I will be studying abroad in London! I picked London because it’s a great fit for my studies in English and Film and I’ve always secretly wanted a British accent. I’m a twin who loves trying new foods but is a terrible cook. I can’t wait to explore Europe’s culture and food and write about my adventures abroad.

Trevor Tuxill
AIFS Program: Salzburg, Austria
Home University: Grove City College

My name is Trevor Tuxill and I’m attending Grove City College in western Pennsylvania. I’m studying International Business and Accounting. I chose Salzburg, Austria not only because it fulfilled requirements for my major but also because of the opportunity I have to become a part of the city’s culture. Additionally, I have a strong love for music, and after years of playing piano and singing, the birthplace of Mozart sounded like a great opportunity. Lastly, I hope that after several years of classes, immersion in the Austrian culture is able to help with my fluency in German.


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