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Student Bloggers

Spring 2018


Madeline Anderson
AIFS Program: England – London
Home University: Ohio State University

Madeline Anderson is a junior at Ohio State University, studying English. In addition to writing and traveling, she loves to sing and is in an a cappella group at Ohio State. This semester, Madeline is studying at Richmond University in London. She’s always wanted to experience her love of books and history firsthand in this literary, historical, and iconic city. Maybe she can also find an a cappella group to join!
 


Natalie Calandro
AIFS Program: France – Paris
Home University: Drake University

Bonjour everyone! My name is Natalie Calandro, and I’m currently a second-semester senior at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. This Spring, I’m studying abroad with AIFS in Paris, France, and I couldn’t be more excited to share my adventures with the world! Aside from studying French language in middle and high school, it has always been my dream to travel to Paris because of its rich cultural history and breathtaking sights. Additionally, a fun fact: I’ve been a ballet dancer since age three, and ballet terminology is in French, so naturally, I have to go to France! Au revoir!
 


Morgan Chavez
AIFS Program: England – London
Home University: Saint Michael’s College

My name is Morgan Chavez and I am a junior at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont! I am currently studying abroad in London at Richmond, the American International University. I chose to study here because I always felt a surge of passion when in Europe, but had never been to England before! I wanted to experience a new way of life that is bold and exciting, while complementing the English portion of my education & English double-major. A fun fact about me that I collect pens and am using 7 different journals at the moment!
 


Sabrina Clarke
AIFS Program: France – Paris
Home University: Carnegie Mellon University

I’m Sabrina Clarke from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. I’m studying abroad with AIFS in Paris this spring semester and I’m most excited to get a first-hand look at the French culture from the student perspective. I chose Paris because I love French and city life, and it gives the perfect blend. While I’m abroad, I intend to try out as many different Parisian cafés as possible because I absolutely adore those vibes. I can’t wait to be immersed in Parisian lifestyle and I’m even more excited to bring you all with me! Keep an eye out for all of my café recommendations in case you’re travelling and are just as obsessed with cafés, travel, and style as I am.
 


Laura Gottfried
AIFS Program: Germany – Berlin
Home University: Liberty University

Hello, my name is Laura Gottfried. I am student at Liberty University and am majoring in Human Services with a minor in Digital Media. My great-grandfather was an immigrant from Germany and for years I have wanted to visit the country of my heritage. I am excited to have that opportunity now as I study in Berlin! It is important to me to understand other people and cultures and I look forward to this opportunity to experience the German way of life.
 


Latisha Jensen
AIFS Program: Spain – Granada
Home University: Washington State University

My name is Latisha and I am a junior studying journalism and Spanish. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to study abroad in Spain. I chose Granada for a few reasons. It’s a walkable college-town, rich with history and is absolutely breathtaking. The Spanish language gives me a unique feeling of happiness when I hear it and speak it; so while I am here I plan to do anything I can to become fluent. I feel incredibly lucky and proud to be here every single day and I look forward to sharing and documenting my experience while abroad.
 


Aidan Keys
AIFS Program: Spain – Granada
Home University: Howard University

Aidan Keys is a Junior English/Spanish double major at Howard University from Takoma Park, Maryland. She is currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain, to learn all she can about Andalusia and soak up some sun too.
 


Gracie Koch
AIFS Program: England – London
Home University: Ball State University

Hello! My name is Gracie Koch and I’m a junior studying Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. Back home, I attend Ball State in small-town Indiana, so I’m excited to be spending the semester in London at Richmond’s Kensington campus! I have always adored British fashion, music, and culture, so coming to Richmond felt like the perfect fit. I’m excited to be in one of the fashion capitals of the world since the fashion scene is pretty nonexistent back home. My fun fact is that my favorite place to adventure stateside is California and last summer I hiked to the Hollywood sign!
 


Paige Kocourek
AIFS Program: Italy – Rome
Home University: University of St. Thomas

My name is Paige Kocourek, and I am a student at the University of St. Thomas. I am absolutely ecstatic to study in Rome! I desired to study in this vibrant city for many reasons; it is full of life, culture, and adventures down every beautiful cobblestoned street you explore! I can’t wait to be instilled with vast historical knowledge and make incredible global connections (hopefully some of these connections can teach me how to make some authentic fettuccine alfredo). I live to travel and immerse myself in new experiences. Because of this, I have gained the nickname Portable Paige!
 


Zachariah Kunz
AIFS Program: Czech Republic – Prague
Home University: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

My name is Zach Kunz. I’m a Lutheran from Nebraska who is roughly 25% Czech, which is a large part of why I decided to study abroad in Prague. I am a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Advertising and Public Relations. Since I am part Czech I have a great desire to learn about my heritage and the culture that I come from, so what better way to discover and learn than to be there and experience it all in person? I love traveling and my favorite part of traveling is getting to try new foods, which inspires me more and more to start my own restaurant someday.
 


Sanya Lakhani
AIFS Program: South Africa – Stellenbosch
Home University: The University of Texas at Dallas

Hello! My name is Sanya Lakhani. I am studying Emerging Media and Communications at The University of Texas at Dallas. I am motivated to work towards causes that benefit our society; due to this, I chose to go to Stellenbosch, South Africa to take part in the Service Learning Program. My friends often call me Sun because I love acting like a goofy ball of light and spreading positivity when anyone needs some sunshine in their day.
 


Lindsay Langstaff
AIFS Program: Argentina – Buenos Aires
Home University: University of Evansville

Hello everyone! My name is Lindsay Langstaff and I am a junior double major in Global Business and Spanish at the University of Evansville. As a Spanish major and a lover of culture and food, I figured that Argentina would be a great place to go to improve my command of the Spanish language, learn about culture, and eat a lot of great food. Fun fact: I cannot snap my fingers or whistle!
 


Kendall Lindstrom
AIFS Program: Austria – Salzburg
Home University: Ohio State University

My name is Kendall Lindstrom, and I am a junior at Ohio State University studying English and business. I chose to study in Salzburg because of my German heritage and language experience, but mostly to indulge my childhood dreams of being the eighth von Trapp child from The Sound of Music. I’m looking forward to this semester and hopefully lots of schnitzel with noodles!
 


Jasmine Liu
AIFS Program: Italy – Florence
Home University: Chapman University

I’m Jasmine Liu, a sophomore from Chapman University located in sunny Orange, California! I’m very excited to study abroad in Florence, Italy this spring. I’ve never been to Europe but I understand that Florence is home to the Renaissance so it’ll be filled with enchanting views from the architecture to the thousands of museums. Not to mention, my love for pizza is undying. A fun fact about me is I love acting in student films in my spare time, it allows me to live my childhood dream!
 


Matea Manterola
AIFS Program: Spain – Salamanca
Home University: Oklahoma State University

I am from San Antonio, TX and attend Oklahoma State University. Am currently studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain. I have chosen this beautiful city to perfect my spanish and because the atmosphere here is fantastic. I love doing anything adventurous and meeting new people! A fun fact about me is I love music festivals!! p.s. this picture was taken at Austin City Limits which is one of my favorite music festivals!
 


Natalie Marratto
AIFS Program: South Africa – Stellenbosch
Home University: Stevenson University

Hi! My name is Natalie Marratto and I attend Stevenson University in Baltimore County, Maryland. I enjoy exploring cities, spending days at the beach, as well as the hiking up mountaintops. This Spring, I am studying abroad at Stellenbosch University in South Africa! As an Elementary Education major, I am excited to be a part of the LSCE Service Learning program, where I will be volunteering in a school while immersing myself in the beautiful country of South Africa. This will be my first time traveling by myself, but I feel ready to take on this new adventure!
 


Maiya Mindoro
AIFS Program: Spain – Barcelona
Home University: Drake University

My name is Maiya Mindoro. I am from Boulder, Colorado and go to school at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I am a marketing major with a concentration in management, I am also an Alpha Phi. I picked Barcelona because I had never been to Spain, I wanted somewhere warmer than Iowa and I wanted to be able to travel.
 


Erin Murphy
AIFS Program: Austria – Salzburg
Home University: College of William and Mary

Hi there! My name is Erin Murphy and my home university is the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I chose to travel to Salzburg, Austria to completely immerse myself in a new culture and explore a new country. I’m so excited for all the adventures to come, and to explore my new home away from home! A fun fact about me is that I hope to work as a Journalist one day!
 


Ilona Nakshun
AIFS Program: Argentina – Buenos Aires
Home University: University of Maryland

My name is Ilona Nakshun. I’m a junior at UMBC. I chose to study abroad in Argentina because I am a Linguistics major with focuses in Spanish and Chinese. I’ve never been to South America and after doing some research about different countries, I was very intrigued by Argentina (particularly Buenos Aires). The culture, food, and the different way that Spanish is spoken (which I’m not used to in the US) is very interesting to me. A fun fact about me is that I participated in an exchange program in China 4 years ago. It was an amazing experience!
 


Sloan Nickel
AIFS Program: Austria – Salzburg
Home University: Drake University

Hello! My name is Sloan Nickel and I am a sophomore International Relations major from Drake University. I will be studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, which you may know as Mozart’s birthplace, or the setting of the popular film, The Sound of Music! I chose to study abroad in Austria because of the centrality of the country (making travel to other European countries easier) and the beautiful scenery. A fun fact about me is that I (obviously) love to travel, and just got back from Cyprus and Greece. I’m looking forward to more travel, and to sharing my adventures with all of you!
 


Megan Rushing
AIFS Program: France – Cannes
Home University: Southern Utah University

Hello, my name is Megan and I am a student at Southern Utah University. I chose to study in Cannes, France because I would like the opportunity to study French and to attend the film festival held there. A fun fact about me is that I grew up about 30 minutes from the Sundance Film Festival and have always enjoyed the excitement and interesting people that it attracts.
 


Hannah Ryans
AIFS Program: Italy – Florence
Home University: High Point University

Hi! My name is Hannah Ryans, and I am a junior at High Point University in North Carolina. For as long as I can remember, Italy has been a country I have dreamed of visiting. After a family vacation to Rome, I knew I needed to spend more time there to get to know a way of life different than my own. One of my favorite things to do is compare gelato spots throughout a city, so I hope to find and share the best!
 


Anais Sawyer
AIFS Program: Spain – Granada
Home University: California Lutheran University

My name is Anais Sawyer and I am currently a sophomore at California Lutheran University. I chose to study abroad in Granada, Spain because of the rich history and culture that fills the city. A fun fact about me is that my first name means ‘Grace’ in French, which also happens to be my middle name!
 


Anna Stember
AIFS Program: South Africa – Stellenbosch
Home University: Gonzaga University

Hi there! My name is Anna Stember and I am a Junior at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I am venturing down to South Africa for the spring semester to explore a new culture, teach English to elementary schoolers, and continue my studies at Stellenbosch University. A fun fact about me is that I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was little, so continuing that passion in a foreign country is just the thing for me!
 


Elizabeth Wenger
AIFS Program: Russia – St. Petersburg
Home University: University of Kansas

My name is Elizabeth Wenger and I attend the University of Kansas. I chose to study in St. Petersburg because I have long been intrigued by its literary and cultural history.
 


Eliza High
AIFS Program: Italy – Florence
Home University: Drake University

Hello everyone! My name is Eliza High and I am spending this semester exploring (and studying) in Florence, Italy. I’m a Colorado native and a sophomore Marketing & Public Relations major at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. I chose to study abroad in Florence because of its rich history, the opportunity it gives me to travel around Europe, and the food, of course! A fun fact about me is that I love elephants; I have an elephant tattoo and foster a baby elephant in Africa named Kuishi! Ciao!
 


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