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Peer Advisors

Study Abroad Peer Advisors
2014-2015

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 at ga_studyabroadpa@bentley.edu. Our selected PA Coordinators for 2014-2015 are Alanah Jones and Radhika Bansil.

Are you interested in becoming a Peer Advisor?

Bond University, Australia

Stephanie Costello, 2016
Email: costell_step@bentley.edu
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. 

Aaron Naft, 2016
Email: naft_aaro@bentley.edu
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.

WU Wien, Austria

Melissa Clauss, 2016
Email: clauss_meli@bentley.edu
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
Email: gorski_mere@bentley.edu
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
Email: wong_nico@bentley.edu

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.

London School of Economics, England

Christopher Volberg, 2017
Email: volberg_chri@bentley.edu
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.

Royal Holloway University of London, England

Christina Kohlhoff, 2016
Email: kohlhof_chri@bentley.edu
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. 

Audencia School of Management, France

Mohit Bhatia, 2016
Email: bhatia_mohi@bentley.edu
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. 

Grenoble Ecole de Management, France

Nicole Lee, 2016
Email: lee_nico@bentley.edu
Studied at: Grenoble Ecole de Management, Fall 2014
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance & Accounting, Health and Industry LSM
What was your favorite local gem to go to? The French Coffee Shop- they make wonderful coffee/chocolate drinks and they have free wifi. I went there every week to study and have a large cup of "ChocoSpeculoos", basically hot chocolate infused with flavors of the Speculoos cookie, topped with speculoos cookies and homemade chantilly (whipped cream). 

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Kevin Diefenbach, 2016
Email: diefenb_kevi@bentley.edu
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.

Rachel Wong, 2016
Email: wong_rach@bentley.edu
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. 

University College Dublin, Ireland

Erin MacDonald, 2016
Email: macdona_erin@bentley.edu
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.  

IES Milan, Italy

MacKenzie Klarsfeld, 2016
Email: klarsfe_mack@bentley.edu
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. 

John Cabot University, Italy

Peter Taglino, 2016
Email: taglino_pete@bentley.edu
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

Meredith Hart, 2016
Email: hart_mere@bentley.edu

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. 

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Emily Mertz, 2016
Email: mertz_emil@bentley.edu
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
Email: hager_meli@bentley.edu
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
Email: martine_jaso@bentley.edu
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.

ESADE, Spain

Celine Fort De Madalengoitia, 2016
Email: fortdem_celi@bentley.edu
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 Pontificia Comillas, Spain

Devin Koss, 2016
Email: koss_devi@bentley.edu
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. 

Semester at Sea

Victoria (Tori) Hancock, 2016
Email: hancock_vict@bentley.edu
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
Email: reed_hann@bentley.edu
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.