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?

IES in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ian Giancursio, 2015
Email: giancur_ian@bentley.edu
Studied at: IES Buenos Aires, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Finance, LSM in Global Perspectives
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why?  One of my most meaningful experiences was my time spent living with my host family. At first, we had difficulty communicating due to the language barrier. However, as my Spanish improved, so did our relationship. I bonded with my host brother, who showed me love and kindness through constant encouragement, even when we could barely speak. Through his actions, he taught me that cultural and language barriers cannot prevent two people from creating an incredible friendship. My host father was diagnosed with cancer the week before I left, and the pain I felt for the family proved to me that I had established the most meaningful relationship with them over the course of my time in Argentina.

Bond University, Australia

Shannon Connor, 2015
Email: connor_shan@bentley.edu  
Studied at: Bond University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting/ Global Studies
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem to go to was the The Hub. It was in Market Square right next to our form. We would always go here to eat really good food and play various board games. This location is perfect because it is right near the lake that I ran around over the semester and people were so friendly!

Alexandra DeLong, 2015
Email: delong_alex@bentley.edu
Studied at: Bond University, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing/ IDCC and Law
Why should Bentley students study abroad? Until being immersed in the everyday culture you only experience from living in a new country, it’s hard to understand what makes our world both large and small. Living abroad facilitates meeting new people, learning to push yourself to explore, and coming upon the realization that the more time spent in a new place, the more your need to travel actually grows. If you want to understand people, essential to the core business education Bentley offers, it is necessary to see all the multitude of ways in which people can happily live their lives. And it is amazing how studying abroad prepares you to be open to all human experiences, a skill useful in the business world. 

Paige Wilde, 2015
Email: wilde_paige@bentley.edu
Studied at: Bond University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting/ Law minor
Why should Bentley students study abroad? Bentley students should all be encouraged to study abroad to increase their communication, navigational, and organizational skills. By being divulged in a culture different to their own, Bentley students are able to learn to adapt to an unfamiliar environment and embrace the cultural differences. While studying abroad students learn to manage their finances in varying currencies and also how to budget their money. All of these skills are skills that can help a student in their everyday life and also help them in the future in the workplace.

RMIT, Australia

Alanah Jones, 2015
Email: jones_alan@bentley.edu
Studied at: RMIT University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi, Minor in Marketing
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? My most meaningful experience while abroad was building my friendships with people who I knew from nowhere but all of a sudden became my family. I was lucky enough to have had formed such strong ties with seven people from four different countries, all with different views and cultures. Of course, it was incredibly eye opening to constantly be surrounded by such diversity. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way because each of these people made a special impact on me and I will do my best to make sure I preserve the bond.

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. 

George Vartanov, 2015
Email: vartano_geor@bentley.edu
Studied at: WU Wien, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting, Global Perspectives LSM
What was your favorite local gem to go to? Apart from the university campus where many of the local students and exchange students hung out, my local gem would be a place called Pizzeria Mafiosi. It was located five minutes from my apartment and was a perfect place to get dinner with my friends. My old friends from Bentley and my new ones from Vienna spent around an hour and a half at least once a week here. Located a little outside the city center, this was my local gem that I introduced to many of my friends and I will surely visit when I return for a trip to Vienna.

Vesalius College, Belgium

Priya Patel, 2015
Emailpatel_priy@bentley.edu
Studied at: Vesalius College, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Finance
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? Some of my most meaningful experiences include the interactions I had with the locals while in Brussels. I was afraid that I would not fit in because of the language and other cultural barriers. I chose to live with a host family and that really helped me assimilate into the culture. Each night at dinner we would have deep conversations comparing the similarities and differences in the cultures. They would tell me which basic mannerisms and other interactional cues were most commonly used along with teaching me some French and Dutch to be able to read signs and understand what others were saying. If I had lived on my own, I would not have become as exposed to the culture nor would I have assimilated as well as I did.

CIEE Sao Paulo, Brazil

Terrance Balkaran, 2015
Email: balkara_terr@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE Sao Paulo, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Science of Sustainability, minor in Economics
What is your #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad? My number one piece of advice is to NOT be afraid to let your experiences shape you. Furthermore, the student studying abroad should not feel as if they cannot make their new country a home. This is the best way to enjoy your experience abroad. You have to be open minded about everything, and try everything. It isn’t worth the travel and the hassle, if you’re not prepared to immerse yourself into the culture, especially if you’re going away to a country where speaking their language is a must. Learning and speaking the language is key to unlocking a greater understanding of the culture at hand, and without understanding the culture and language of a nation, you will feel as if you have lost a key aspect of studying abroad.

Paul Garrido, 2015
Email: garrido_paul@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE Sao Paulo, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: CIS Major
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of my most meaningful experiences abroad was volunteering to teach students from the periphery of Sao Paulo, in the favelas. I was able to understand firsthand what life in these poverty-stricken areas was like and it was unbelievably eye-opening. Many, if not all, had less than what would be considered a necessary for living, nevertheless, these children were ecstatic by this brief amount of time we spent helping and talking with them. This made me realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be a student at Bentley and be able to participate in that study abroad program. Despite it was me helping them, I think what that experience did for me in return was much greater; it facilitated my decision for what to pursue as a career, managing non-profit organizations.

Michael Kahn, 2015
Email: kahn_mich@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE in Sao Paulo, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? A typical day for me was waking up around 10 am and making breakfast, relaxing a bit. I took night classes, so it gave me the whole day to do whatever I wanted, whether that be exploring the city with another abroad buddy, or meeting up with some Brazilian friends at the park to play soccer. Then I would take the metro, which is very safe, from my part of town about 30 minutes to my university, where I’d have class until about 11 pm. After that, if it was Thursday or Friday, I’d meet up with my other abroad friends and we’d find a cool bailada, or samba club.

Alliance in Shanghai, China

Claire Dennis, 2015
Email: dennis_clai@bentley.edu
Studied at: Alliance in Shanghai, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting/Economics, Chinese
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? My roommate and I became pretty close over the course of the semester.  One weekend, she actually took me home with her to meet her parents and see her hometown.  This was awesome because she brought me everywhere and I did things that I might not have been able to have done if I was just a tourist.  I had some really good seafood (her hometown, Ningbo, is famous for its seafood), got to see a beautiful lake, and went strawberry picking (there were the best strawberries I’ve ever had).  It also allowed me to practice my Chinese since her parents did not speak English.  I was really happy to have gotten to go to a city besides Beijing or Shanghai, and get a local tour for a really interesting insight into Chinese culture.

London School of Economics, England

Phurida Asavasatitporn, 2015
Email: asavasa_phur@bentley.edu
Studied at: LSE, 2014-2015
Major/Minor: Marketing/Economics
What do you wish you had done differently? Although I have really enjoyed my study abroad experience, there was one thing that I wish I had done differently, which was to attend more of LSE’s public events.  One of the benefits of being at LSE is that the institution attracts global leaders.  My biggest regret is not being able to attend Malala Yousafzai’s public lecture because I was unable to register early enough to get a seat.  If I could do it again, I would definitely make it my priority to attend these public lectures and not miss out on the chance to hear very successful and influential speakers.
Neha Singh, 2015
Email: singh_neha@bentley.edu
Studied at: LSE, 2014-2015
Major/Minor: Economics-Finance, LSM: Quantitative Perspectives
What was your favorite local gem to go to? I personally enjoyed running by the river Thames. The proximity of my location to the river was incredible. I enjoyed running along the river and seeing other runners also basking in the city’s glory. Rain or shine, there were runners which made me happy. I would run to sites such as the London Eye and Tower Bridge. Along this same path was a Christmas market. I definitely loved all the markets in London (Borough Market, Portobello Market, Camden Market, to name a few) so students should try to visit as many as possible as they are each unique and wonderful. 
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

Michael Andreitchenko, 2015
Email: andreit_mich@bentley.edu
Studied at: RHUL, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting/ CIS
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? On class days, I’d make sure to attend my lectures. Afterwards I would grab lunch in the school’s dining hall with my friends, who came from different locations like, Greece, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Australia, China, Tufts Univ. and other locals. After lunch I would typically either reserve a library room with friends, or relax in a friend’s room. 2-4 times a week we would head into the nearby town, Egham, to grab dinner from the town’s favorite restaurant “Runnymede Chicken and Ribs” or do grocery runs at Tesco. On days where I didn’t have classes, I would head into London early with any other friends that were also free; London is so big that it takes many visits to experience a lot of what the city has to offer. 
Kathlene-Nikki Caprial, 2015
Email: caprial_kath@bentley.edu
Studied at: RHUL, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Finance/ Computer Information Systems
What do you wish you had done differently? Personally, I wish that I had gone out more with my friends that actually would go to University all three years. I found myself staying in more often because I was too tired or had work to do. But at the end of my time there, I felt like I did not go out enough with them to truly make a strong bond. I did have nights in with my flat mates and friends that I made, but I feel I somewhat missed out on a different side of London.
Lindsay Veilleux, 2015
Email: veilleu_lind@bentley.edu
Studied at: RHUL, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi, LSM in Health and Industry
What was your favorite local gem to go to? There was a pub across the street from campus, called the Monkey’s Forehead, where all the students would go on Monday nights. I loved going because it was where I bonded with some of my classmates outside of the classroom and was a great way to meet other students, both international ones and ones from other areas of Great Britain. It definitely made me feel more like a member of campus life and was a nice tradition for all of us to look forward to at the start of each week.

University of Manchester, England

Andrew Cayer, 2015
Email: cayer_andr@bentley.edu
Studied at: University of Manchester, Spring 2014
Major: Finance
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Study abroad students should immerse themselves into the school just as if they were at Bentley.  Meet and befriend people in your hall.  Most of these students are in their first year and seeking the same friendships.  Join clubs and organizations to get expand your circle of friends.  Most of all don’t surround yourself with just Bentley/American students.  Although it seems comforting in a new experience, it hinders your interaction with other international students.  You don’t get many opportunities to be surrounded with these types of people.  You will be surprised by the number of life-long friends you can make.

Audencia School of Management, France

Kelsey Miller, 2015
Email: miller_kels@bentley.edu
Studied at: Audencia School of Management, 2013-2014 Academic Year
Major/Minor: CFA, LSM in Global Perspectives
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: Stay away from Americans. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fellow Americans, but being in an environment where there is very little of “you” and a lot of “them” really pushes you to forge new relationships and to expand how much you know about your life, your country, and how both of those things fit into the world. It will allow you to understand that people are really all just the same, that they want and hope for the same things, despite their little differences. And curiously, by staying away from Americans and all things U.S., you’ll grow to appreciate them even more, so that when you do run into someone from your country, you’ll just be happy, because for at least a little while there’s nothing to explain, no misunderstandings, just someone who gets you. 

The American College of Thessaloniki, Greece

Emily Garcia, 2015
Email: garcia_emil@bentley.edu
Studied at: American College of Thessaloniki, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Global Management/ Psychology
Why should Bentley studends study abroad? A note to Bentley students: Don’t pass up the opportunity to study abroad because it will expand your horizons.  This can be taken in many ways: expand on building relationships, communicating with those of other cultures, and most of all, expand your perspective, attitude, and opinion. Studying abroad will allow you to grow as a person more than you ever thought was possible. Stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you to experience things that you will remember for the rest of your life. 

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Aashna Aggarwal, 2015
Email: aggarwa_aash@bentley.edu
Studied at: University of Hong Kong, Fall 2013
Major: Information Design & Corporate Communication
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? My most meaningful experience came from a class called ‘Principles of Entrepreneurship’. We had to come up with a new venture that realistically could be started by a group of college students. My group and I created a food logistics company that would offer late night delivery of food to students. Having all come from universities where such services are available, the 5 of us were surprised over the lack of such a service in Hong Kong.  The class had the amazing opportunity to pitch these ideas to a Chinese Venture Capitalist. She seemed very interested in the idea, and we were proud to be the group that she admitted she would most likely invest it.

Corvinus University, Hungary

Radhika Bansil, 2015
Emailbansil_radh@bentley.edu
Studied at: Corvinus University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi/ Information Design and Corporate Communications
Why should Bentley students study abroad? Studying abroad is a culturally enriching experience for any student. It provides insight into the lifestyles of different people across the world and broadens the horizons of even the most traveled students. Business students especially benefit from such an experience as we are members of an increasingly global corporate environment. The cultural experience coupled with the unparalleled opportunity for personal growth makes studying abroad a must for Bentley students.

Alliance in Pune, India

Anna Tsaur, 2015
Email: tsaur_anna@bentley.edu
Studied at: RMIT, Fall 2013, Alliance in Pune, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing/Mathematics
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? The beginning of every day in India was very structured – wake up, take a rickshaw to breakfast and classes, have lunch. We were free after lunch and my friends from the program and I would explore. Sometimes we would meet up with our Indian buddies and they would take us to their favorite places – restaurants, parks, shops. Sometimes we would just wander – there was always something new to see, somewhere new to bargain and shop. Before dark we would say our goodbyes and take rickshaws home to our host families for dinner. My favorite part of the day was watching Bollywood movies and Indian soaps with my host mom after dinner. 

John Cabot University, Italy

Ashley Henderson, 2015
Email: henders_ashl@bentley.edu
Studied at: John Cabot University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Finance, Law minor
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem to go to was Café Settimiano.  Every morning and afternoon I would go in and get a cappuccino or espresso before class.  The café was small but the people that worked there were so friendly and helpful.  The best part was their coffee and foods were homemade, delicious and very inexpensive.

Lorenzo de'Medici, Italy

Catie Bello, 2015
Email: bello_cath@bentley.edu
Studied at: Lorenzo de'Medici, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Accounting/Global Perspectives, CIS minor
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local gem is Trattoria Palle d’oro. I frequently visited the front part of this restaurant where they made sandwiches or Panini for lunch. They had an assortment of fresh Italian meats and cheeses and the guy behind the counter would make whatever you wanted for only 3 euro. The best part about it was that it was always flooded with locals. All of the employees only spoke in Italian, but they weren’t rude to me because I was not Italian. I loved this because at most places they would speak English to you even if you were trying to speak to them in Italian. I loved Palle d’oro because I would feel a little bit like a local every time I went.

Olga Frech, 2015
Email: frech_olga@bentley.edu
Studied at: LDM, Spring 2014. Also participated in a Faculty-Led Program to Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore, Jan 2014
Major/Minor: IDCC; concentration: Public Relations/ Psychology
What is your #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad? Carry a journal with you at all times or download a journaling app on your smartphone and jot down any thoughts that come to mind as you visit different countries. Also, organize and categorize your pictures after every trip before you forget the name of the sites or get them mixed up. 
Ashley Peterson, 2015
Email: peterso_ashl@bentley.edu
Studied at: LDM, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Marketing, LSM: Media & Culture
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? During the school week, I would wake and get ready for class much in the way I would at Bentley. But, instead of hiking up the hill to Adamian or Smith, I set out from my apartment along with a housemate to make the daily pilgrimage through the city towards school. Along the way we would pass the magnificent Duomo and its many admirers. Later, after classes were over for the day, I would often read in the park down the street, go with friends to the rose garden, or wander the outdoor markets hunting for deals. 

University College Dublin, Ireland

Claire Corbitt, 2015
Email: corbitt_mary@bentley.edu
Studied at: UCD, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Information Design and Corporate Communication, concentration in PR
What is your #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad? My number one piece of advice for students studying abroad is to go in with no stereotypes. Anything you have heard or read may be completely different from in actuality. The best way to learn about a culture is to find out for yourself, rather than prejudging based on something your friend’s aunts cousin once said. Dropping these connotations attached to societies will allow you to learn so much more about the culture and people around you, and in turn learn much more about yourself and the person you’re becoming.
Sarah Plis, 2015
Email: plis_sara@bentley.edu
Studied at: UCD, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Accounting, minor in Law and Psychology
What is your favorite local gem to go to? St. Stephen’s Green.  It’s a beautiful park in the city center and a really great place to walk through and have lunch outside on a nicer day.  There are also small festivities held there occasionally which provide a great insight into the Irish culture.  It is also located right by Grafton Street which has a lot of great stores and traditional Irish pubs.

CIEE in Tokyo, Japan

Kevin La, 2015
Email: la_kevi@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE at Sophia University, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Eco-Fi/Japanese, CIS
What was a typical day in the life while studying abroad? Who were you with and where did you go? My typical day while studying abroad involves leaving my dorm at 7 to make the one hour journey through the crowded Tokyo train system to the campus. In between classes I would eat lunch with both friends I made from the program and our Japanese friends either on campus or at restaurants in the local area. Depending on the amount of work needed to be done for classes I would either return back to the dorm to do work, or explore the city with my friends. On weekends or extended vacations my friends and I would travel to places outside of Tokyo such as Nikko, or Enoshima to try to explore as many places in Japan as possible.

Semester At Sea

Michelle Cucchi, 2015
Email: cucchi_mich@bentley.edu
Studied at: Semester at Sea, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Marketing, Health & Industry LSM, Psychology Minor
What do you wish you had done differently? One thing I wish I had done differently would be attending the nightly seminars on the ship. I didn’t start going to them until the middle of the trip and I wish I had gone every night. They were extremely interesting, helpful and educational. My experience was enhanced by going to them, and I regret not going to each of them since the beginning. 

Allei Holway, 2015
Email: holway_alle@bentley.edu
Studied at: Semester at Sea, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Marketing, Global Perspectives LSM, minor in Management
What is your #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad? The most important piece of advice I could give a student going abroad, whether on Semester at Sea, or any other program, is to not waste a single second of your time. You are only there for 4 months, and in those 4 months, you have the opportunity to make memories that will last you a lifetime. Meet those locals and make long lasting relationships with them, even if it is awkward at first. 

University of Glasgow, Scotland

Rebecca Hyatt, 2015
Email: hyatt_rebe@bentley.edu
Studied at:  University of Glasgow, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Economics and Finance, LSM: American Studies
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of my most meaningful experiences was when a friend and I decided to take a bus trip of the Isle of Skye. The tour guide wore a kilt on the first two days and was able to provide a lot of history and background into the sites that we stopped at. Most of the stops were on the side of the road, or there was only one road to get there so we were able to see a lot of the landscape and feel the deep rooted Scottish culture. This was the most meaningful experience because I was experiencing what it truly means to be a Scotsman. 
 

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Lily Mangkhalakhili, 2015
Email: mangkha_lily@bentley.edu
Studied at: Nanyang Technological University, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Marketing, Media Arts & Society LSM
What do you wish you done differently? I think I should have tried to develop deeper friendships and relationships with local students and faculty. I think I took the easy way out by spending the majority of my time with other exchange students. It’s nice to connect with people in the same situation as you, but I should have left that comfort zone to spend more time with local people to get more of a holistic understanding of the country and its people.

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jackie Costello, 2015
Email: costell_jacq@bentley.edu
Studied at: UCT, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Accounting/ Global Studies
What was one of the most meaningful experiences and why? There is this place called Mzoli’s that is located in a township. It is a butcher shop/restaurant. This place is always crammed on the weekends and brings many tourists and locals together. Across the street there is a home that sells alcohol from their fridge. While waiting for our food (which takes hours; it is part of the experience), we went across the street to get some ciders. The women who owned the house (three different generations were living there) invited us in to hang out with them. We stayed in their home for about three hours just talking about life in the township, life under apartheid, the president, etc. They opened their home to us for no reason and it was an amazing experience to talk to real people that live in extreme poverty and try to make a living still. There are tours where you can go with a company into a township and talk to specific people but this felt a lot more meaningful and from the heart because they did not have to let us in but they did.

API in Barcelona, Spain

Marina Gallotto, 2015
Email: gallott_mari@bentley.edu
Studied at: API in Barcelona, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Finance/ Global Studies
#1 piece of advice for students studying abroad: My biggest piece of advice to students that are studying abroad is to keep an open mind about the places you will go and the city you are living in. Try to speak the language and learn as much about the culture as possible. I also recommend trying to set goals for yourself before leaving for your program. I went to Spain with the goal to improve my Spanish and learn my way around the city of Barcelona. If students are traveling to Europe, I definitely recommend spending time in your home city as much as possible. Do not get caught up in traveling all over the place – enjoy your home city and try to visit as many places around you as possible. Immerse yourself in the culture and try to learn as much as possible.

Kyle Grady, 2015
Email: grady_kyle@bentley.edu
Studied at: API in Barcelona, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Accounting and LSM in Global Perspectives
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite place to eat in the entire world is called Champagneria. You cannot find this dive bar on google maps, but rather walking the streets of Barcelona. This place is known for the awesome Champagne Barcelona, as well as the bocadillos that fill you up. Its awesome food and an awesome environment.

Peter Koopman, 2015
Email: koopman_pete@bentley.edu
Studied at: API in Barcelona, Fall 2013
Major: Corporate Finance and Accounting
What do you wish you would have done differently? As much as I loved my time abroad and really wouldn’t change it, I would say that I wish I did a homestay. I lived in an apartment and it was great but if I could do it again I would try the homestay because students seemed to be more submerged in the culture and pick up the language faster.

CIEE in Sevilla, Spain

Gabrielle Katz, 2015
Email: katz_gabr@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE in Sevilla, International Business and Culture Program, Fall 2013
Major: Marketing
What is your #1 piece of advice for students studying abroad? My number one piece of advice for students studying abroad would be to keep a journal. Writing in a journal is a great way to record this amazing experience because it helps sort through feelings associated with culture shock, serves as a vestige that you will always have to look back on and reminisce, and is a great travel companion during long bus rides. Whether you write in it once a day, once a week, or once a month, you will not regret it!

Natasha Sankalia, 2015
Email: sankali_nata@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE in Sevilla- Liberal Arts Program, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Corporate Finance and Accounting, Spanish Minor
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? One of the reasons I had such a positive study abroad experience was due to the loving host family I lived with. Although my host mom did not speak one word of English (proving to be frustrating at times when I struggled to find my words in Spanish), she was patient, kind, and treated me like her own daughter. I know that my time abroad would not have been the same without his homestay experience, from the casual dinner conversations to being chased around the apartment by my host mom's grandchildren. I coul dnot have asked for a better family to learn and grow with during my time abroad.

Brandi Segala, 2015
Email: segala_bran@bentley.edu
Studied at: CIEE in Sevilla, Business and Society, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Information Systems Audit and Control, Minor in Spanish
What do you wish you had done differently? I wish I had Spanish friends earlier in the process. It was a goal of mine from the beginning and I did make four really good friends, but I wish I had more time with them at the level of friendship we ended with. I was a little nervous at first and wasn't presented with many opportunities, but I settled with that. I wish I had searched and pushed a little harder to achieve that goal so our friendships could have been stronger and that I could have experienced more with those girls.

ESADE, Spain

Argenis Rojas, 2015
Email: rojas_arge@bentley.edu
Studied at: ESADE, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Finance
What is something you wish you had done differently? The only thing I wish I would have done differently while abroad has to do with money management. I think it is something that didn’t truly resonate with me at the time before departing, but I definitely learned my lesson about the strength of the Euro in comparison to the dollar. I think this is something that I could be of help with in preparing potential study abroad students with. I could share my stories with them and give them warnings on how the conversions work and the major differences in currency strengths. 

Universidad de Navarra, Spain

Billy Fitzhenry, 2015
Email: fitzhen_will@bentley.edu
Studied at: Universidad de Navarra, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Economics-Finance/Spanish
What was one of your most meaningful experiences and why? The most meaningful experience I had while abroad was waking up every day and being able to speak another language.  Living in an English speaking country, it’s easy to forget how powerful a tool verbal communication is.  Trying to learn and speak Spanish while studying in Pamplona was simultaneously the most frustrating and rewarding experience I had in Spain.  Not knowing certain words and being unable to say what I wanted to at times was extremely frustrating.  However, as time went by, I found that I was able to speak more and more fluently and express myself verbally in ways that I couldn’t before.  By the end of the trip, I was able to carry a fairly advanced conversation with a native Spaniard which amazed me.  I never thought I would be able to do something like that which is why learning to speak Spanish was the single most meaningful experience I had while abroad.   

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain

Gustavo Aguilar, 2015
Email: aguilar_gust@bentley.edu
Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Accounting, LSM: Global Perspectives, Minor in Spanish
Why Bentley students should study abroad? Bentley students should consider studying abroad because it is a great opportunity to be exposed to a different environment. The adventures a student does while abroad can be stories that a student can discuss to family member, friends and during an interview. Most of the time a student would have to make executive decisions without the usual family members and friends providing advice due to the hour difference. When you are placed in this situation you are cautious about the decisions you make. Overall, the experience is an opportunity to grow and build character as well as learn more about you. 

Molly Pickard, 2015
Email: pickard_moll@bentley.edu
Studied at: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Fall 2013
Major/Minor: Accounting and LSM in Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability
What was your favorite local gem to go to? My favorite local place to visit was the Rastro Market. In Madrid, the market was held every Sunday. It was a huge market that takes about 2 hours to walk through, and sells everything imaginable. It was so much fun to wake up on Sundays and walk through with friends to see all the vendors and booths.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

Jennifer Prudencio, 2015
Email: prudenc_jenn@bentley.edu
Studied at: UPF, Spring 2014
Major/Minor: Management, LSM in Global Perspectives/Minor in Spanish
What do you wish you had done differently? I wish I spent more time exploring Spain. That is my biggest regret, and it was something I told myself I would not let it happen. My roommates and I spent more time traveling to other countries instead of exploring the beautiful country we were staying in. It was a great experience traveling to so many places and seeing what else Europe had to offer, but I do wish I had travelled more around Spain. That is definitely something I recommend to all students studying abroad, to explore the country they are in as much as they can.