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Peer Advisors

Study Abroad Peer Advisors

Contact these students to find out more about their study abroad experiences!

Our Peer Advisor Coordinators have been selected to coordinate any volunteers and create programming for our Peer Advisors. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact them. Our selected PA Coordinators for 2015-2016 are Emily Mertz and Melissa Clauss.

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ArgentinaIES Argentina
AustraliaBond University
AustriaWU Wein
BelgiumVesalius College
DenmarkCopenhagen Business School
EnglandLondon School of Economics
Royal Holloway University of London
University of Manchester


Audencia School of Management
GreeceAmerican College of Thessaloniki
HKSRUniversity of Hong Kong
HungaryCorvinus University
IrelandUniversity College Dublin
ItalyIES Milan
John Cabot University
Lorenzo de'Medici
JapanCIEE Tokyo
ScotlandUniversity of Glasgow
SingaporeNanyang Technological University

API Barcelona
CIEE Sevilla
ESADE Business School
Universidad de Navarra
Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

World WideSemester at Sea
Washington D.C.The Washington Center
































IES Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marinella Yule, 2016


Studied at: IES in Buenos Aires, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Marketing major, Media Arts and Society LSM

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? A typical day was go to class at Universidad Catolica de Argentina (UCA), which was a 40 minute commute by bus, then have lunch, packed or at a restaurant/cafe. After, I would return back to my home stay and talk with my host mom and complete homework. After, I would go on a run in one of the big parks. I would also go to tango class. Around 6 or 7 at night I would have a snack. I then would rest, study, or talk with my host mom some more. Around 9pm, my host mom and I would eat dinner and watch a soap opera called Esperanza Mia. 

Bond University, Australia

Stephanie Costello, 2016
Studied at: Bond University, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Finance major, Management minor
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Don't follow your best friends. Go somewhere you want to go, don't go somewhere just because all of your friends are going. I remember when everyone was getting their acceptance letters and posting on social media where they would be going, and all of my friends were comparing who would be going to the same places as them. I felt a little left out and sad that I wouldn't have anyone around me. That quickly changed though once I got to Australia and realized how much more meaningful my journey was because of the new friends I met and because of the independent decisions I made. 

Alexandra Lukas, 2017
Studied at: Bond University, Fall 2015
Major/Minor: Managerial Economics, minor in Finance

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One if my most meaningful experiences was the first week abroad and moving in to my dorm.  The whole week was scary for me, I did not know what to expect and not ready to be truly on my own for the next four months.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried to open up to the people around me and made so many friends just in that first week.  I learned a lot about myself in that first week and it made me excited for the rest of the semester.  

Aaron Naft, 2016
Studied at: Bond University, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major
Why should Bentley students study abroad? 

Bentley students should study abroad because it offers a completely alternative experience to university education. For those people who have never been out of the country before, it offers the unique opportunity to mature in an environment where there is no other option other than to branch out and settle into a new culture. I was skeptical when deciding whether or not to Study Abroad because I have already done it twice, but looking back on it now I couldn’t imagine my junior year without the four months in Australia. Bentley students need to realize that this is the most opportune time to chase an adventure across the globe, and they will only leave more mature, experienced, intelligent, well-rounded, and more prepared to face any challenged that comes their way in the real-world.

Erica Tremko, 2016
Studied at: Bond University, Spring 2015
Major/Minor: Management major, Marketing and IDCC minors
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Although I experienced many wonderful tourist activities, the most memorable one was camping with an authentic Australian family. After taking a 3 hour bus/train/ferry ride by myself to Stradbroke Island, I met  up with  my  new  friend, Hannah,  and her entire  family. I only knew  Hannah, but I was  immediately  welcomed with an island  tour followed by a classic meat pie  and  the  most gorgeous sunset. I was the only American  and  thoroughly enjoyed  the experience of  listening to Aussie perspectives, and of course, humor!  When I went back to visit Bond again two months later, I met up with Hannah and her cousin, and I am so grateful  for the newfound friendship!

WU Wien, Austria

Melissa Clauss, 2016
Studied at: WU Wein, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing/Global Perspectives & IDCC
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? A typical day abroad involved waking up, eating breakfast, gathering stuff, and heading to campus – usually bumping into a friend and sharing a conversation on the metro. Campus days involved working on assignments and group meetings with both domestic and international students over coffee and baked goods. Then after classes, I’d meet up with friends and grab a drink on campus, go to people-watch at a café, or grab ice cream and head to the Museumsquartier, and depending on the night, going out for a drink with exchange and domestic students and grabbing a late night Kebab. 

Meredith Gorski, 2016
Studied at: WU Wein, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Finance major, Global Perspectives LSM
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem was to go to a restaurant and bar called 1516 late at night with my friends.  It is a microbrewery in the heart of Vienna with the best beer I have ever had. The restaurant is American inspired so I was able to get a nice taste of home here in Austria.  Also, their burgers are amazing.  And finally I loved just walking through the city with my best friend from Finland.  We liked to explore new parts and have long conversations.  Then we would always end the day with tea and gingerbread cookies.

Nicole Wong, 2016

Studied at: WU Wien, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major, IDCC minor
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? When I was first able to show other Bentley friends who had come to visit Vienna around the city, I loved being able to show pride in Vienna and explain the beautiful wonders that I learned about. It was so exciting to not be seen as the tourist, but to be the local giving insight into such a beautiful and friendly city. It made me feel more confident in my choice to study abroad being knowledgeable about the place I lived and studied in, and it was great to share that experience with others.

Vesalius College, Belgium

Eliza Brooks, 2017

Studied at: Vesalius College, Fall 2015

Major: Economics-Finance and a Ethics and Social Responsibility LSM

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? Who were you with and where did you go? A typical day studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium included a direct tram commute to classes, a bus ride to my internship, a sandwich for lunch and a piece of Belgian chocolate, a commute back home to my neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, and time with my host family before and during a Moroccan or Belgian dinner depending on that night’s cuisine of choice. On the weekends, my time was typically spent visiting the Grand Place area for “frites” and waffles or traveling to a new country throughout Europe.

Kathryn Foley, 2016


Studied at: Vesalius College, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: ISAC major

What was your favorite loal gem to go to? My favorite local gem was a famous French fry stand or “frites” like they call them in Belgium, in small neighborhood in Brussels. It was a tiny stand that always had a line that served the most delicious frites. A huge salty cone of fries covered in andalouse sauce was the best thing after a long day of classes or on a weekend afternoon. Out of all the frite places in Brussels these were the best and I was frequently there!

Erikson Ramos, 2016


Studied at: Vesalius College, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Finance

What do you wish you had done differently? I wish I opened up more in the beginning and made more friends. I was shy towards the beginning and did not want to make new friends, but slowly I opened up and made friends. I just wished I opened up a lot sooner to enjoy the experience a lot more. But overall, I had the time of my life abroad! 



Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Regan Yeung, 2016

Studied at: CBS, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Managerial Economics

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why ?  I was blessed with the chance of knowing more than 25 Danish students before I went to Denmark. It is really difficult to pin point the most meaningful experience for me in particular. I would say my most meaningful experience is just the everyday life I was able to integrate with the local students extremely well as one of their own. I did feel Denmark as a home and a citizen of that country. 

London School of Economics, England

Olga Kosheva, 2016


Studied at: LSE, 2014-2015 Academic Year

Major/Minor: Eco-Fi major

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Joining an extracurricular activity is one of the best advises that I can give. Upon my arrival to Britain, LSE held activities fair where I was introduced to a lot of clubs, sport teams, societies and volunteering opportunities. I explored my options and decided to join the LSE lacrosse team, which is very similar to a club team sport here in America since London is not big on sports. Without a doubt joining LSE Lacrosse was one of the best decisions I made while getting engaged in my life in London because it not only helped me take my mind of academics but also provided me with awesome friends that shared the same drive to learn something knew and have a great time while attending school. We only had practices on Wednesdays because of our rough course load but it was held in one of the most beautiful parks in London. Therefore, I not only learned how to play a new sport, but also explored my local city I studied in and got more engaged with the students that were going to the university or as they call it “Uni” full time. 

Please see Kathryn Mastromarino
Christopher Volberg, 2017
Studied at: LSE, Summer 2014
Major/Minor: Undecided
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of my most meaningful experiences was becoming close friends with two guys studying at LSE. One of them was from Venezuela and the other from Belgium. I learned so much from the way that they acted and viewed the world. It was very interesting to see these different points of views, because in America you rarely see this. This was by far the most rewarding of all that I have done, because it gave me a first-hand look into another culture.
Please see Eva Warburg 

Royal Holloway University of London, England

Melisa Kocarslan, 2016
Studied at: RHUL, Spring 2015
Major/Minor: Management major, CIS minor

What do you wish you had done differently? I wish that I had gotten more involved at my host institution. There were often times quite a few fun things going on that I found out about later. It would have been better to do my research about organizations and activities prior to getting to campus because of how many other things you need to worry about once you get there. If I had a do over, I would take more time to research and attend activities put on by the school's student union. 

Christina Kohlhoff, 2016
Studied at: RHUL, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting major, Global Perspectives LSM
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? I never had a typical day while abroad. On the days that I had classes, I would attend class and spend time with my flat mates and friends at one of the events on or near campus. On the days when I did not have class, I would most often travel into London with my friends to get fish and chips, shop or sightsee something new. Our favorite days were Wednesdays because RHUL students have less classes that day. Thus, my friends and I would plan day trips on Wednesdays where we would go to different cities around England. 

Lauren Rosenfeld, 2017


Major/Minor: Management, Health and Industry LSM/ Psychology and Law minors. 

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: My piece of advice is to not be afraid to talk to people you meet during the semester and to ask the local people questions. Get to know the people you are around! I have met some really interesting people from talking to people on tours, professors, and students at my university. I learned about so many places and learned so much from taxi drivers in England as well as other countries when traveling. Most of all I learned about so many different cultures. 

University of Manchester, England

Alison Wong, 2016


Studied at: University of Manchester, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Accounting major, CIS minor

What was your favorite local gem to go to? I have so many favorite local gems that I can't just recommend one! Not only is Manchester, England well-known for their huge student population and industrial history, but they are well known for their local venues and delicious diverse array of food that can put the best home-cooked meal to shame. Most of my local gems were in one part of the city called the Northern Quarter where you could find anything hipster  - from coffee shops, to restaurants, to local stores. I guarantee that you won't be able to find another venue of its kind outside of Manchester, England! But if I had to choose, my top three local gems would be: Gorilla (British Brunch Restaurant), MyLahore (British Indian Restaurant on the Curry Mile), Home Sweet Home (best British Cafe for those with a sweet tooth) 

Audencia School of Management, France

Mohit Bhatia, 2016
Studied at: Audencia School of Management, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: My advice is to put yourself out of your comfort zone as much as possible. Meet as many new people as you can. Don't let yourself stick to the same group of 5 people because there is a level of diversity abroad that is unmatched by anywhere else. These are people you can learn from. Additionally, you should be out doing things with people more often than sitting alone in your room. This experience is less than four months long. There is a lot to do and see and little time to waste. 

American College of Thessaloniki, Greece

Mateo Henao, 2016

Studied at: ACT, Spring 2015

Major: Marketing

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: The #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad would be to pick a study abroad program that you can have a connection with. Many students choose to study abroad because their friends are studying abroad and they all sign up for the same programs. You will have a great time anywhere you go, but making a personal connection to a program prior will make the experience 100 times more enjoyable. For example, I choose a program that was common among Bentley students, but I was able to enrich myself in my program outside of the Bentley community and that brought me satisfaction. I later connected with the Bentley students in my program and my experience grew to another level. So don’t always choose a program based on your surrounding peers, choose a program that will have a deep connection with you. It can be as simple as learning a language or experiencing the culture, but make a connection that relates to you.  

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Kevin Diefenbach, 2016
Studied at: HKU, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Management (Supply Chain Management) major, Accounting minor
Why should Bentley students study abroad? 

There are so many reasons to study abroad. From learning a new language and experiencing foreign cultures, to making yourself more marketable to employers, studying abroad will change the way you look at the world and yourself. As a business University it’s especially important for Bentley students to study abroad because in today’s economy almost all companies have a global footprint. Lastly, studying abroad is simply an amazing experience; many students say their semester abroad was their most memorable semester of college.

Elyssa Ngai, 2016
Studied at: HKU, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Accounting major, Public Relations minor
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Towards the end of my stay in Hong Kong, a group of locals threw me a surprise farewell gathering. They took me out at night for a dinner and walk along the harbor to see the vibrant city skyline. A lot of them shared their first impressions and other memories of me. It meant a lot because it was unexpected, but made me feel so warm and grateful for having the opportunity to travel and connect with locals from a completely differen culture. 

Rachel Wong, 2016
Studied at: HKU, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Accounting major, Law minor
What was your favorite local gem to go to? I enjoyed doing tai-chi with elderly people at 7am in the local park! I was first into tai-chi after Professor Haselkorn's class so I continued while I was abroad. 

Corvinus University, Hungary

Virginia Duffy, 2017


Studied at: Corvinus University, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Global Studies major

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Perhaps my most meaningful experience was the day I spent at my “tandem” partner’s house in the rural town of Esztergom, Hungary. After a homemade lunch with her family of six, I was taught the Hungarian alphabet by her six year-old brother.  As he flipped through a deck of flashcards meant for a toddler, I would try my hardest to mimic the sounds he was making, my face lighting up probably just as much as his when I would finally pronounce a letter correctly.  After this, I realized that there are some human experiences that transcend location and culture. 

Anya Klionsky, 2016


Studied at: Corvinus University, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Finance major, Global Perspectives LSM, Mathematical Science minor

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Be as open minded as possible! At Bentley, many students find that there is one kind of mindset and it’s easy to forget at times that not everyone is like that. Be open to trying new things, making friends with people who typically wouldn’t be your friends, doing something more adventurous than normal. You only get – normally – one chance to study and live abroad for three to five months so try everything and anything to help enhance that experience. 

University College Dublin, Ireland

Patty Fagan, 2016

Studied at: UCD, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Management major, Health and Industry LSM
What was your favorite local gem to go to? There were a few local gems that took my heart in Ireland. On UCD’s campus, I was a frequent visitor to the two ponds. These ponds often had ducks and swans lying around. Towards the end of the semester one of the swans even had little swan ducklings which were very cute. Spending time near these ponds was just a great way to relax after going to class, the gym, etc. The second local gem I had was within city centre Dublin. It was an old chocolate milkshake shop called “The Sweetest Thing.”  Just around the corner from the Hay Penney bridge as well as O’Connell street, two famous sites within Dublin,  this shop not only hosted great milkshakes, but was a great marker for getting around city centre during my first month or so within Ireland. I often would meet a new person who had never had their milkshakes, and would show them my “secret” small shop. 

Erin MacDonald, 2016
Studied at: UCD, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Finance major
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Part of my choice to go to Ireland was so I could continue competitively Irish step dancing. I have been competitively dancing since I was six years old. I joined the dance society at UCD. That group allowed me to be very social with local Irish students. In terms of competitions, I danced at the All Ireland Nationals and the Leinster Regional Qualifier. At the Leinsters I qualified for the world championships that will be held in April. This is an accomplishment I have been working toward my whole life. This was one of my most meaningful experiences from abroad.  

Alexis Roos, 2017

Studied at: UCD, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Finance/ Supply Chain Management

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of the best decisions I made while abroad was joining the UCD Softball Club. Though it may 
sound silly, one thing I think most students going abroad do not realize is that it is really important to make friends with students from their host country. Joining softball was a way for me to put myself out there and meet new people; it also gave me a place to be every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. From this experience I have made countless memories and gained some Irish and other study abroad friends. 

Remi Claire, 2017


Studied at: UCD, Fall 2015

Major: Managerial Economics

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Write in a journal. Even if you’re not someone who would typically do this, you will thank yourself when you return home. Abroad isn’t just about the trips you take from your host city, it’s about the things you notice on your way to class, it’s about the new dish you tried at a local restaurant, it’s about the stories your cab driver tells you. It is impossible to remember all of these things unless you write them down. Even if it’s just a few sentences, you’ll be able to look back and have an accurate depiction of what your abroad experience really was like. 

Please see Danny Wojtak 

IES Milan, Italy

Joey DeFrancesco, 2016

Studed at: IES in Milan, Spring 2015
Major/Minor: Marketing major, CIS minor

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? A typical day abroad was I would wake up at 8am, eat breakfast, hop on the metro and go to classes in the morning.  Then I would have lunch, and take the metro from school to my internship.  Around 5pm, I would get out of work, go to the market and then come home and cook pasta with my roommates.  After dinner, my roommates and I might go out to the stores and shop in the center of Milan, or meet up with some friends at a peritivo (which is like an Italian happy hour, restaurants have every night).

MacKenzie Klarsfeld, 2016
Studied at: IES in Milan, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major, double minor in IDCC and EEGS
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Participating in an internship was one of my most meaningful experiences. I interned at a start-up e-commerce company, mostly working with the marketing aspects for their English speaking customers. I really gained a lof of perspective and knowledge about working internationally that I think will be invaluable in my career and future work endeavors. Just seeing the way meetings work, relations with clients being very personal, and specifically to this company the pride they have in the Italian design products they sell was fascinating. I also made some great friends with fellow colleagues and learned of many Italian gems from the locals at the company I would not have otherside known about. 

Meilin Zhu, 2017


Studied at: IES Milan, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: CIS/Global Sudies

What do you wish you had done differently? I wish I could've been more proactive in meeting locals. Since I didn’t take classes at partnering universities, I didn’t get to interact with many Italian students. I think meeting more locals would not have only allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the culture but also help me practice the language as well. I stayed with a host family, which was beneficial to those aspects, but having conversations in Italian outside of home would have created an even more immersive experience. 

John Cabot University, Italy

Kristen Baratta, 2016


Studied at: JCU, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Management major, Marketing minor

What do you wish you had done differently? I wish I had kept a journal of my semester abroad.  I took pictures of anything and everything, which was wonderful, but I never took the time to write down how I was feeling, or what I did in a particular day, or what I saw on a particular trip.  I wish I kept a journal, because as time goes on, it would have been a really nice keepsake I could have had from my semester.

Peter Taglino, 2016
Studied at: JCU, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Accounting major, International Economics minor
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? There were so many extremely meaningful experiences during my time abroad that it is difficult to choose just one. However, if I had to choose it would be finishing the original Athens Marathon in Greece. I have been running competitively since middle school and being able to run the first marathon from Marathon to Athens is an experience I will never forget. The course was lined with people proud of their heritage and children handing out olive branches to the runners.  

Lorenzo de'Medici, Italy

Kelly Colleran, 2017


Studied at: LDM, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Accountancy, Global Perspectives LSM

What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem was a cafe called ITIT. It was located in between where I was living and school, so it was a convenient place to hang out in between classes during the week. ITIT serves great cappuccinos, coffees, espresso, yogurts, pasteries, etc. It also has a great ambiance and free WiFi, which makes it a great spot for homework and studying, with lots of chairs, tables, and couches. 

Joe Greeley, 2017


Studied at: LDM, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Economics major/ Finance (Sports Management) minor. 

Why sould Bentley students study abroad? Bentley students should study abroad as it is a great expereince that develops you as a person. College is a time for students to develop themselves as young adults in order to prepare themselves to be sucessful post-graduation. Studying abroad is a perfect opportunity for students to become successful, independent young adults. Students will learn ho to survive, along, in a foreign country while learning about another culture. Business is constantly becoming more global and there is no better way for students to learn about coexisting with other cultures than to live in a foreign city. 

Meredith Hart, 2016

Studied at: LDM, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Managerial Economics, Global Perspectives LSM
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? Each morning I would start my day with a cappuccino and a pastry at one of the many bars in Florence. Classes made up the majority of the day. Mondays were my favorite because I had my photography class. We went on walking trips throughout Florence to take photos for our weekly projects. Monday evenings were dedicated to choir club. We met in our school church and prepared songs for our two performances. Wednesdays were spent at the central market for cooking club where we learned how to prepare traditional Italian dishes. During my free time I would explore the city’s cobblestone streets, its beautiful churches, and its museums and art galleries filled to the brim with stunning masterpieces. I took my camera just about everywhere, and I enjoyed capturing interesting street scenes, local people, and architecture. 

Diana Kil, 2016


Studied at: LDM, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Marketing major, IDCC minor

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Don't expect people to understand your culture but instead be open to understanding theirs'. The point of studying abroad is not about sticking to what you already know. It's about exploring what's out in different parts of the world to broaden your perspective of life. That is why it is so important to immerse yourself in the culture of the area that you are studying in or else you will be restrained from the full abroad experience. This is what's truly going to help you grow and mature as a person. 

CIEE in Tokyo, Japan

Nikki Nguyen, 2016


Studied at: CIEE in Tokyo, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: CIS major, Global Perspectives LSM, IDCC minor

What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem to go to was an all you can eat sukiyaki restaurant called  “Nabezou.” Sukiyaki had to be my #1 favorite Japanese cuisine. I went to Nabezou once almost every week and I never got tired of it. Sukiyaki is very authentic yet somehow it feels Westernized at the same time. Even the process of dipping your meat/ vegetable onto the sauce and/ or raw egg- is an art. I have enjoyed every moment of it. It is also located in the center of Shibuya, so we usually took a stroll to get lost into the crowd, to see beauty of Shibuya’s night light, and to shop with friends. It is a great way to relax after a long week. 

University of Glasgow, Scotland 

Julia Paradis, 2016


Studied at: University of Glasgow, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: IDCC major

Why Bentley students should study abroad? “Why would I leave Bentley? It’s awesome!” While my Bentley friends are correct, that is the point of study abroad; Bentley is awesome, but there are so many other places that are equally or more awesome. Rarely will any of us ever get the chance to pause our lives for 5 months and inhabit another country and get to know another city’s beauty and culture as much as we know Bentley’s. Study abroad gives students a chance to see new, remarkable places beyond our imagination every single day, and it is something every student should take advantage of. 

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Casey Moy, 2017


Studied at: NTU, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Finance major, Mangement and Health & Industry minors. 

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Don’t underestimate the country you’re in. Yes, study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to travel and explore new countries, but sometimes it’s more fun to get to know the country or city you’ll be living in for the next five months. Explore the local neighborhoods and streets that aren’t so touristy or find local events to attend to, like a trade market, performances, or festivals. Study abroad is about immersing yourself into a new culture. You’ll have plenty of time to travel to other countries, so don’t overlook the one you’re living in!

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Meagan Costello, 2016


Studied at: UCT, Spring 2016

Major/Minor: Accounting major, CIS minor

What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem was the Old Biscuit Mill. It’s a neighborhood goods market open Saturdays all year round. You can buy fresh fruits and veggies, as well as grab something for breakfast, lunch, dessert, and anything else you want to take home. You could find me there almost every Saturday having a big waffle sundae or peanut butter ice cream from the creamery. 

Sarah Egner, 2017


Studied at: UCT, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Creative Industries/ Marketing

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? During my typical day of studying, I would have most of my day at school alone. I walk to the “Jammie” Bus stop, which was about a 10 minute walk through my neighborhood. The bus took me to University where I would have usually 2 – 3 classes a day, a mixture of lecture halls and tutorial meetings with smaller groups of students. After finishing class I would again take the “Jammie” home and walk back to my house where I would meet with housemates. We often would go out for dinner together to a nearby restaurant we would walk to. 

Emily Mertz, 2016
Studied at: UCT, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major, Media Arts and Society LSM
What do you wish you had done differently? There were moments when I let cultural shock get the best of me. No buildings in South Africa have heat, and when temperatures dip into the thirties and forties at night, it can get quite cold. It took me quite some time to accept this and other cultural difficulties as part of the experience rather than as burdens. I spent too much time in the beginning making life harder on myself by not accepting Cape Town life as it was. Getting around isn’t easy, the internet is incredibly unreliable (especially when you have school work due), and it rains harder than I have ever known it to rain; however, once I accepted these things as part of the experience, I was free to truly fall in love with the city and country as well as my experience.  

API in Barcelona, Spain

Melissa Hager, 2016
Studied at: API in Barcelona, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major, Computer Science minor
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: 

Stop taking pictures. This must sound pretty bizarre but let me explain. In the beginning, I would take about 20 pictures of the same thing. I would be looking at my camera and also how I looked in the picture, but not actually at the beauty of what I was standing in front of. My advice would be to take a couple pictures for the memories, but then stop. Don’t be so concerned about getting the perfect picture. Look around you and take the time to appreciate where you are and all its beauty. You’ll be happy you did it!

Jason Martinez, 2016
Studied at: API Barcelona, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi major, Management minor
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE WITH COMFORT. When we start getting used to a certain type of environment, we quickly become comfortable and blind ourselves from what this world has to offer. Do not do this and miss out on an opportunity to explore or even meet people from the country you are studying at. Now let me put this in college terms: Once you feel settled in your apartment/dorm, don’t spend countless of hours on Netflix with a bottle of wine and some frozen pizza. Get up and do something that you have never done before. Go have a conversation with the owner of the corner store. Plug your headphones in and just take a 45 minute walk and get lost (not actually get lost, but you see where I’m going with this). Basically, LIVE! Make this the best chapter of your book called life and do not get comfortable with comfort.

Tori Rotermund, 2017


Studied at: API Barcelona, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Marketing major/ IDCC minor

What was a tupical day in the life while studying abroad? A typical day for me included attending classes, exploring Barcelona, and trying new restaurants with my four roommates who became my best friends. I love to venture out and visit new places; it was fun to discover the hidden gems of Barcelona, like Parc Cuitadella, Bunkers, and the Born District. I also love to eat out, so experiencing the restaurants was a huge part of learning the culture.  At the end of the day, I usually jotted some notes or organized pictures for my personal blog and my API blog. (I was an official API blogger: 

CIEE in Sevilla, Spain

Brittani Hetyei, 2016


Studied at: CIEE in Sevilla, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Accountancy major, Spanish minor

What do you wish you had done differently? If I had to do one thing differently, it would be getting to know more Spanish university students and other locals sooner. When I first arrived in Spain, I was worried that the Spaniards would be annoyed by talking with me because I didn’t speak Spanish very well, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone I met was eager to get to know me and my culture and patiently encouraged me to keep pushing to improve my Spanish.

Lorena Mejia, 2016


Studied at: CIEE in Sevilla, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: CFA major

What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of my most meaningful experiences was the opportunity to live with a host family. This gave me a genuine experience because I was able to better grasp the culture of Sevilla with their help. I had great host parents who took me in as one of their own and allowed me to be an older sister to their two little boys, Javier y Manuel. There is not a day that goes by since I've been back that I do not miss those two little nuggets. I truly adapted and transitioned well to the way of life in Spain because of these wonderful people who educated me every day on the history, life, food and culture of Sevilla. It meant a lot to me and for that I am forever grateful to them.

Eva Warburg, 2017


Studied at: LSE, Summer 2015, CIEE Sevilla, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: CFA major

What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem was a tapas and cocktail bar called “the second room”. The bartenders were all so friendly and always greeted my roommate and I with a hug and double cheek kiss. We received unbelievable discounts every time we went and had amazing chats with the staff and other regular customers. They truly made you feel at home and special. Whenever we walked by it on the street they would say hello to us by name. When we walked in, we would be surprised with new foreign food and drinks. I can’t wait to return one day in the future! 

ESADE, Spain

Danica Chugani, 2017


Studied at: ESADE, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Eco-Fi major, Entrepreneurial Studies minor

What do you wish you had done differently?  I wish I would have made friends with more local people. I stayed with a group of friends who were mostly other exchange students coming from American colleges. And although I met new people and created new friendships, I wish I would have made a conscious effort to put myself out there and get to know other Spanish students and really broaden my insight on a Spanish person’s views - academically and in a personal perspective.

Celine Fort De Madalengoitia, 2016
Studied at: ESADE, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major
Why should Bentley students study abroad? 

When I got the opportunity to apply to study abroad one semester I asked many of my friends [who are international students] who would want to come with me to study abroad. Although many of them considered the idea, a bunch of them as well responded that they were already abroad studying and living at Bentley. Even though this was true it is not the same. I feel that the experience of studying abroad has given me so much that I could not have gotten out of Bentley. It is more that just learning academically, the cultural take is imposible to describe; its experience only. I believe that I have grown as a person so much by going away one semester and have had the chance to open my scope of friends immensely. Barcelona has opened my eye to so many opportunities and has made me realize how there are so many types of people, types of jobs, hobbies, etc.  

Universidad de Navarra, Spain

Allison Criscenzo, 2017


Studied at: Universidad de Navarra, Fall 2015

Major/Minor: Economics, Ethics and Social Responsibility LSM

What was your favorite local gem to go to? Every Thursday all of the places to eat in the Old Town would lower their prices for the evening so we were always sure to meet up and walk down there. It became my favorite night of the week because the whole school came out and you were sure to see tons of people you knew. We could stay out talking and socializing for hours without realizing the time was passing, and there were so many places open in the area that we all just ate in the streets!! 

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain

Kevin Fitzgerald, 2017


Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Fall 2015

Major: Accounting

What do you wish you would have done differently? If I could do one thing differently, I would have done a home stay. Before going abroad, I had wrote off a home stay because I thought it would be awkward and too restricting. But now looking back, I wish I would have done one because it would have been a great way to learn the language. Also, I feel that a locals are invaluable sources of insight on good places to eat and hang out. I would definitely recommend that anyone studying abroad would do a home stay.

Devin Koss, 2016
Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Management major, Global Perspectives LSM, Spanish and Finance minors
What was your favorite local gem to go to? The Rastro Market. It was only on Sundays from 8am to noon, so there were not many times I was able to make it because I was traveling or simply wanted to sleep in. I only went twice, but I loved it both times. They sell everything you could ever imagine, from trinkets to sunglasses to tshirts to handbags. It is incredibly authentic, and not one person speaks English. You have to do all the bargaining in Spanish, and get to have some awesome conversations. Many of the goods are made by the vendors themselves so you get to know their stories and learn about their trade. Things are relatively inexpensive and I bought things like jewelry, scarves, shoes, and some food. It is always busy, so it is best to go earlier in the morning, but it's worth it. It is a local gem because of the time it takes place and because it is in an area a little off the beaten path. When I return to Madrid, I will absolutely make it a point to visit there. 

Melissa Laffitte, 2016


Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Management major, Law minor

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: DON’T GO TO A PLACE JUST BECAUSE YOUR FRIENDS ARE GOING. Choose a place or university YOU want to go. Don’t be afraid of going somewhere alone. By going alone, you are going to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. This is the best way to understand and become part of the culture of the place you are living in. Also, once you are there, don’t go to the same places over and over again. Take a few minutes to explore and walk through different streets every day, alone or with friends. You will be surprised at how many cool little places you will find. 

Amy Lopatin, 2016


Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Marketing major, Global Perspectives LSM

What do you wish you had done differently? You really do think your time abroad will last forever. I wish that I had taken advantage of my free time towards the beginning as much as I did later on. Also, I wish hadn’t been as hesitant to visit places on my own. If you can’t find someone to explore a new place with, don’t just sit at home and wish you had a travel companion. You’re unlikely to regret it. Every personal challenge is an adventure and you end up learning so much about yourself by taking them on. 

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

Megan Masingill, 2016
Studied at: UPF, Fall 2014

Major/Minor: Spanish and Business major, Global Studies minor

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? A day in the life in Barcelona. I would wake up in the morning and walk to the 5 or so blocks to UPF’s campus (only a short walk from the beach where we often would go during free time). Morning Spanish class, followed by a variety of Spanish culture classes. Due to my course selection I had a few classes with Japanese exchange students and having the opportunity experience how they learn and their classroom dynamic was extremely interesting. Twice a week, I would leave school and walk over to Las Rambas and the Plaza Mayor to Impact Hub Barcelona, the social entrepreneurship company that I was doing my internship with. They allowed me to create my own project and I spent my time research the legal environment and trends within the social entrepreneurship field. Whenever I could I would explore the old parts of the city finding hidden coffee shops or local gems. Once a month or so I would take a long weekend and travel to somewhere on my bucket list. Each day can and should be an adventure. 

Akshar Patel, 2016


Studied at: UPF, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: CIS major

#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Honestly, the one thing I recommend that every student studying abroad does is to create a list of goals that you want to accomplish during your experience. Whether it be to be more of an extrovert or do “X” amount of things that are out of your comfort zone, just having a list of goals will definitely make your experience more rewarding. Personally, I didn’t do this until I was a quarter of the way into my program. I wish I had done it sooner as I strongly believe it would have made the experience even better for me. 

Semester at Sea

Luke Anneser, 2017


Studied at: Semester at Sea, Spring 2015

Major/Minor: CFA major, Global Perspectives LSM

What do you wish you would have done differently? I wish I had done more travel with small groups of friends to less touristy places. Traveling in big groups might seem like a grand plan, but when only one person speaks the language and each person has very specific ideas of what they what to do, the best plan can diminish very fast. In addition, I wish I could have talked more with the crew on our ship, there was lots of diversity among the crew and I wish I had gotten to know them better. 

Carinn Burns, 2017


Studied at: Semester at Sea, Fall 2015

Major: Marketing

What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? The best part about Semester at Sea was that there was no typical day! Every day was different and that was what made my experience as amazing as it was. Waking up in a new country all the time and exploring with different people was incredible and made my semester a constant learning experience as I was being exposed to new things constantly. 

Victoria (Tori) Hancock, 2016
Studied at: Semester at Sea, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing major, IDCC and CIS minors
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Avoid technology. I spent four months with extremely limited access to internet and no phone, when I left the US I wasn’t sure that I could survive. It ended up being one of my favorite things about the voyage. You really get to know people on a personal level in such a short amount of time; I would sit at dinner for hours just talking to my friends. Now that I’m home I find myself forgetting I have a phone and convincing my friends and family to spend more time having conversations away from technology.
Hannah Reed, 2016
Studied at: Semester at Sea, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: IDCC major, CIS and Marketing minors
What do you wish you would have done differently? 

I wish that I had attended more of the talks and seminars put on by Semester at Sea. They put an enormous amount of effort in assembling an outstanding staff with a great deal of knowledge in their respective fields as well as many interesting passions. Every night, a few professors, lifelong learners, or RA’s would present about different topics. All of the ones that I had the chance to attend were extremely interesting, informative, and at times, entertaining. Even some of the presentations that I didn’t think I would like sparked my interest. I wish I had made more of an effort to attend because I feel like I missed out on some great presentations. 

The Washington Center, Washington D.C.

Kathryn Mastromarino, 2016
Studied at: TWC -Spring 2015, LSE- Summer 2015
Major: Eco-Fi major
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? For me, ther was never one defining exprience that I would value over all the others. My experience was the sum of many smaller moments that each helped to make my experience all that more meaningful and memorable. In Washington, I worked closely with former Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham. Wether it was fielding calls from Jeb Bush's camp or coordinating his appearance of Fox Business, the opportunities afforded to me culminated into an experience that went beyond classroom learning and into the realm of high powered politics. In London, I met students from all over the world. I was fascinated to hear their opinions and perspectives, especially as it pertained to my international economics class. As an American, what may have seemed like a straightforward approach to an international trade dispute was looked at and handled differently by students from India or Israel. I would say that my most meaningful take-away from my experiences, is a new global perspective in which I am more cognizant of those who have different opinions and thoughts than I. 

Danny Wojtak, 2016

Studied at: TWC Fall 2014, UCD Spring 2015

Major/Minor: Eco-Fi major, Politics minor

Why should Bentley students study abroad? Study abroad is an experience that is hard to recreate at another time in your life.  During study abroad you will get the opportunity to fully immerse yourself into another culture, travel throughout your chosen area and surrounding countries, and cultivate relationships with people who haven't grown up in the closed off American culture.  While all of these opportunities may present themselves again, never will they be so easy to pursue.  While classes are relevant, the flexibility that study abroad allows is vastly greater than the work filled years of post-college.  Study abroad grants students the ability to set aside the stress of Bentley and focus on developing life experiences and cultural understanding.