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Student Bloggers

Summer 2017


Kasey Altman
AIFS Program: Salamanca, Spain
Home University: University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

My name is Kasey and I’m a native of San Diego, CA. My college experience has been rather nontraditional. I played volleyball for three years at two universities, one in Montana and one in Tennessee. I recently transferred to Penn State University to finish up my degree online, so that is likely what most would consider my home university! Upon being freed from the constraints of collegiate athletics, I decided to travel. I chose Spain because of the immersion program that was offered and my desire to become (legitimately) bilingual.

Alexandra Bishop
AIFS Program: Paris, France
Home University: Lafayette College

My name is Alexandra Bishop and I’m a rising junior at Lafayette College. I am a double major in English and Psychology, with a concentration in writing. When I was 16 I embarked on a 10-day Europe trip, and I’ve wanted to go back to Paris ever since. I absolutely love France, and I’m so excited to explore and experience the culture. Along with my love of traveling and school, I’m also a competitive equestrian, classical singer, and coffee addict! I can’t wait to share my experiences with everyone through my blog, and hope you all enjoy!

Rebecca Calloway
AIFS Program: Athens, Greece
Home University: Washington State University

My name is Rebecca Calloway. I am an upcoming senior at Washington State University pursuing a degree in Communication, specifically public relations. I enjoy basketball, trying new foods, working out, reading, and traveling. I chose to study abroad in Athens, Greece, this summer because I have always thought of Greece as one of the most beautiful and historic places in the world. I am excited to share my journey with you!

Jacqueline Casner
AIFS Program: Prague, Czech Republic
Home University: University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Ahoj! My name is Jacqueline Casner and I am studying abroad at Charles University in Prague this summer! My home university is the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I am majoring in Sociology and International Studies. I was born and raised in North Carolina and traveled out of the country for the first time three years ago. I visited Greece and Italy in May of 2014 and so started my love for traveling. I have chosen Prague, Czech Republic as my home for the summer because the beauty of Eastern Europe is quite unlike anywhere else! I could not be more excited to explore all it has to offer and share those experiences with everyone! Užívat si!

Brigitte Collado
AIFS Program: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Central Florida

My name is Brigitte Collado and I am a sophomore at The University of Central Florida. I am Spanish on my father’s side and I have been to Spain multiple times. Most of my family lives in Southern Spain and I always loved going because of the culture and scenery but never could speak the language. I decided to study abroad in Spain in order to finally learn Spanish and be able to communicate with my family as well as others and I couldn’t be happier. Fun Fact: I am in Zeta Tau Alpha.

Katherine Edmonds
AIFS Program: Salzburg, Austria
Home University: Berry College

Katherine is a senior student from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina triple majoring in English, German, and International Studies at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Having never been abroad before, Katherine is excited to experience a new land, language, and culture. She chose to study abroad in Austria for the opportunity to improve her German language skills and experience the beauty of the Alps. With only one month to absorb as much European history, cuisine, sights, and style as she can, Katherine expects she’ll be very busy, but hopefully will get to do the thing at the top of her study abroad bucket list: relax and enjoy ein Tasse Kaffee mit Schlag at a café in Salzburg.

Joselyn Estrada
AIFS Program: Multi Country, European Art and Architecture
Home University: University of Colorado Denver

Bonjour! My name is Joselyn Estrada and I will be  participating in the European Art and Architecture program this summer. I currently attend the University of Colorado Denver focusing on a Public Health major with an emphasis in Pre-Nursing and a minor in Photography. I choose this program because I am really interested in European architecture and I will be able to walk among living history. A lot of the buildings in Europe date back to around two hundred years, which is very fascinating to see history in the form of art. I also chose this program to get out of my comfort level and to experience new cultures, scenery, and food of course. I am also a photographer, going to several cities and countries in this program will help me capture the beautiful scenery and architecture Europe has to offer.

Andrea Fernández Velázquez
AIFS Program: Paris, France
Home University: University of Houston

My name is Andrea Fernández Velázquez. I am a senior at the University of Houston pursuing dual degrees in Journalism and World Cultures and Literatures with a concentration in German, and a minor in French. I am fluent in Spanish, English and German, and I have been learning French for more than two years. I believe learning and improving the knowledge of a language cannot be done better than through an immersion program. For this reason, and because I would love to become fluent in French, I decided to do an study abroad in “La Ville-Lumière,” — Paris. I love laughing, and I have two types of laughs: the silent one, and the laugh that sounds as if I were coughing — the latter one sometimes ends up being funnier than the actual joke/funny moment.

Andy Flores
AIFS Program: San Jose, Costa Rica
Home University: Ball State University

My name is Andy Flores and I go to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Here, I study International Business with a minor in Marketing. I chose to study in Costa Rica due to the unique combination of paradise and business. Not only is the location ideal, but the business culture of this nation is up and comming. I look forward to studying Latin American history, culture, and language while abroad, and sharing my experiences with everyone I meet. Other than having a passion to see the world, I also enjoy writing anything I can, including music.

Marlen Garcia
AIFS Program: Florence, Italy
Home University: University of Florida

My name is Marlen Garcia and I live in the sunny state of Florida. I’m studying nutritional science with a minor in chemistry at the University of Florida. I’m a pre-med student seeking to enrich myself with new life experiences before medical school starts. I enjoy reading classical books, playing soccer, and going on medical mission trips. Fun fact: I have a husky puppy named Max. Follow me as a struggle to learn a new language in the culture of Italy!

Jocelyn Hall
AIFS Program: San Jose, Costa Rica
Home University: Ball State University

My name is Jocelyn, and I am from a small town in Indiana. I attend Ball State University in Muncie, IN, where I am majoring in telecommunications, Spanish, and minoring in marketing. I obviously had to attend somewhere where Spanish was spoken for my major, and I love the natural beauty of Costa Rica. It was an easy choice! Fun Fact: I am addicted to working out and dessert, so it really evens out in the end.

Alaina Hay
AIFS Program: Rome, Italy
Home University: College of Charleston

Hey, it’s me, Alaina Hay! Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to reside in one of America’s gems: Charleston, SC, where carraiges stroll the streets and the smell of southn cuisines waft through the city. I’m setting my next destination toward Rome, Italy – “The Eternal City.” As I embark on my Roman holiday, I hope to grasp the understanding of my Italian way of life and witness the beauty Italy holds. Don’t worry, my taste buds will also be leading me on my journey by sipping on the most delicate cup of coffee, tasting savory pastas, and velvety gelato. As for a fun fact, I love anything that makes me laugh, especially “The Office.” Ciao!

Samantha Hoagland
AIFS Program: Barcelona, Spain
Home University: Manhattan College

My name is Samantha Hoagland and I attend Manhattan College. I chose Barcelona because I want to improve my Spanish and I love the coastal location. A fun fact about me is that I run cross country and track at my home university and I plan on exploring Barcelona while training for my fall season.

Kayla Klaus
AIFS Program: Berlin, Germany
Home University: Texas A&M University

Hey y’all! My name is Kayla Klaus and I am a senior International Studies and German double major at Texas A&M University. A few interesting facts about me are that I was born in Tokyo, I play piano, and I am an Irish dancer. I also love traveling and ever since living in Germany as a child, I have wanted to return. This upcoming summer I will be studying abroad in Berlin for 10 weeks and could not be more excited to explore the city as well as other parts of Europe. I really look forward to blogging about my study abroad experience so stay tuned!

Lily Klootwyk
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: University of Alabama

My name is Lily Klootwyk, and I just finished my freshman year at the University of Alabama! Fun fact about me: I hiked a mountain in Hawaii while wearing crocs when I was 9 years old.  I am excited to share my travels in London, England.  Ever since I was a little kid, I was intrigued by British culture, including the accents and lingo, so I am thrilled to finally visit the British capital. Thanks for reading about my journey, and as always, Roll Tide!

Allison Lewis
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Hi friends, I’m Allison. I’m studying Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, right outside of St. Louis. A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to start traveling and see as many new places as I can, which is why I’m studying abroad. I’ll be spending six weeks in London this summer. I’m so excited to explore this city that has so much history and so much to offer, and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you.

Iulia Lupse
AIFS Program: St. Petersburg, Russia
Home University: Seton Hall University

Hi! My name is Iulia Lupse and I am a student at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. I chose to study abroad in St. Petersburg this summer because amidst all that is happening in the world, I feel that it is important to immerse yourself in another culture in order to see the world through different eyes. I hope that will lead to more understanding and better decision-making skills in the years to come. A fun fact about me is that I am an old soul who favors rock music above all else, especially bands such as Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Julie Masterson
AIFS Program: London – Internship, England
Home University: Mississippi State University

Hey there! My name is Julie Masterson and I am a senior Communication major with a double concentration in Public Relations and Journalism at Mississippi State University. Hail State! My love for both big cities and historical places led me to choose London to study and intern abroad for the summer. I love everything from the food, the beautiful scenery, to the markets, to the accents! I love traveling, binge watching TV series’ on Netflix, reading, and all things Tom Hanks! Fun fact: I collect coffee mugs.

Mikayla Monroe
AIFS Program: Maynooth, Ireland
Home University: Western Washington University

Mikayla was born and raised in Washington State and currently attends Western Washington University. Growing up, she loved reading books on Irish history and for years has wanted to study abroad in Ireland. Her dream has come true—and she’s earning credit toward her Marketing degree! Some fun facts about Mikayla: over summers she works at OceanGate, Inc., a private submarine company that will be diving to the Titanic in 2018 and provides solutions for industry, research, and exploration; she was on the radio as a kid; and her family loves rescuing senior dogs.

Inga Parkel
AIFS Program: Berlin, Germany
Home University: California Lutheran University

My name is Inga Parkel, I am a current junior at California Lutheran University, majoring in journalism. I chose Berlin as a study abroad location because I had studied abroad for a semester in Berlin last semester, and fell in love with the city. Also, I wanted to continue with my quest to master the German language. I hope to graduate a year early and would love to do something in international journalism.

Samantha Patterson
AIFS Program: Maynooth, Ireland
Home University: Western Washington University

My name is Samantha Patterson and I attend Western Washington University. I chose to study abroad because I love traveling and exploring new places. I particularly chose Ireland because it’s part of my heritage (which may be slightly evident by my red hair). My favorite activity is running marathons and half marathons.

Nathan Perkins
AIFS Program: London, England
Home University: Champlain College

Nathan Perkins, your local aspiring late night talk show host, with a soft spot for law and men’s fashion. I’m all over the place. A jack of all trades. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They’d ask. “Everything.”

Imani Pressley
AIFS Program: Granada, Spain
Home University: Rowan University

Hello! My name is Imani Pressley and I am a Senior at Rowan University, majoring in Early Childhood Education and Writing Arts. I am extremely excited about having this opportunity to study abroad through AIFS! I look forward to this experience being the beginning of a lifetime experience of traveling the world. I’m most excited about experiencing different cultures and connecting with others along this journey! Fun Fact: This will be my first time in Europe!

Chloe Richardson
AIFS Program: Multi Country, European Art and Architecture
Home University: Western Washington University

I’m Chloe, I go to Western Washington University, and I will be doing a multi-country program in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, and Rome. I chose this program because I wanted to be able to experience all of these places within one program and because it focuses on European Art & Architecture, which these locations are known for. A little fun fact about me is that I have a bunny named Katana (who will unfortunately not be joining me on this adventure).

Amy Robertson
AIFS Program: Florence, Italy
Home University: Auburn University

Hi! My name is Amy, I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina and I am a rising senior at Auburn University. I love to travel but I’ve never been to Europe, and what better place to start than Italy? The way to my heart is through my stomach, and with the pizza, the gelato and, most importantly, the wine, Florence was my perfect fit. The rich history and charming beauty of Florence have completely captivated me, and with trips to Cinque Terre, Venice and Rome planned, I can’t wait to explore the rest of Italy!

Elise Snyder
AIFS Program: Florence, Italy
Home University: Grand Valley State University

Hello! My name is Elise Snyder I am 21 years old and a Senior at Grand Valley State University. I am pursuing a major in Marketing with an international business minor. I will be studying Fashion Marketing in Florence, Italy through AIFS this summer. I chose Italy because of the shopping, food and vino. A fun fact about me is I also have a personal/fashion/lifestyle blog where you can check out more of my abroad adventures at elisemarie.co. Ciao!

Elizabeth Vasquez
AIFS Program: Granada, Spain
Home University: University of Florida

Hi, my name is Lizzie Vasquez and I’m a journalism student from the University of Florida. I chose to study abroad at the University of Granada because I dream to one day be fluent in Spanish. I am working toward a minor in Spanish language, and this program will help me achieve that. A fun fact about me is that I can do a head-stand.






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