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Study Abroad Peer Advisors

Was your study abroad program a memorable and rewarding experience?   Want to share that experience and serve as a resource for future College of Charleston study abroad students? Apply to be a Study Abroad Peer Advisor!

Job Description

The College of Charleston Study Abroad Peer Advisor program provides former study abroad students with an organized outlet for discussing and promoting the College’s study abroad offerings.  You are trained to work and engage with prospective study abroad students and assist the Center for International Education with study abroad recruitment efforts.   This is a volunteer position consisting of approximately 1-5 hours per week during the 2014-2015 academic year.  The schedule will vary on a weekly basis depending on the Center for International Education’s need.

The following is a list of duties expected from Study Abroad Peer Advisors:

  • Conduct general information sessions for prospective study abroad participants and guide prospective students as they begin researching study abroad options
  • Present study abroad options to classes, residence halls and student organizations
  • Assist with study abroad fairs, pre-departure orientation and re-entry programming
  • Attend all training sessions and meetings set by Center for International Education staff

Desired Qualifications

Applicants must be College of Charleston students in good standing (GPA: 2.5+) who have studied abroad at least once on a program approved by the College (CofC, exchange, or affiliate) while pursuing their degree. You must have at least two semesters remaining in your degree to be eligible for the program (i.e. graduate no earlier than May 2015).

Applications

All peer advisor applicants for the 2014-2015 academic year must submit an online application form and upload a current résumé by February 28th, 2014.  Please note that you cannot save this form and come back to finish it later.  Therefore, please be prepared to complete the entire online application in one sitting.  In order to prepare for the application, you can refer to this PDF version of the application as a reference.  Only online submissions will be accepted. 

Students who also wish to apply for the Cougar Ambassador program must complete the Cougar Ambassador application.  See the Cougar Ambassador information for more details.

Below is a timeline for the 2014-2015 application cycle:

  • Applications due: Friday, February 28th, 2014
  • Group interviews of select candidates: March 13th-21st
  • Selections made by: March 26th
  • Training: 3-hour block during the week of April 7th 

Contact

For more information on the Study Abroad Peer Advisor program, please contact: Gabriela Peschiera, Assistant Director of Study Abroad, Center for International Education.

2013-2014 Peer Advisors

Chantelle BermanChantelle Berman

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science/International Studies 

Email: csberman@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, Interstudy University of Cape Town - South Africa

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor because I had the most unbelievable time during my study abroad experience. I was in love with every moment of it, and want to share that passion and enthusiasm with students considering study abroad. I wanted to become involved so that I could assist potential study abroad students in deciding to study abroad, how to begin the process, help them along the way, etc.

International Experience:

My international experiences include my study abroad program to Cape Town, South Africa this past semester and a school trip to Israel several years ago. Both experiences truly impacted my life in profound ways that I am so grateful for. Studying abroad in Cape Town was the perfect mix of study and pleasure and allowed me to reconnect with family members, as well as the place I was born. I was fortunate to be exposed to the most most country, as well as the most amazing experiences and people. Studying abroad in South Africa gave me the independence I was seeking, as well as taught me valuable lessons about the things that are important in life. 


Corey HeywardCorey Heyward

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Archaeology and Art History/Geology

Email: caheywar@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, University of Groningen - Netherlands

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

My study abroad decisions (where I would go, if I even wanted to do it) were incredibly influenced by a friend who had just happen to take that same exchange. Being there, I know the little things that get lost in the emails, the little to-do's that sometimes you're not told. Also, I've experienced the process, and can advise good time frames for everything. And looking online is one thing, hearing first hand why Groningen was my place, is much different.

International Experience:

I did the exchange to the University of Groningen, Netherlands in the fall of 2012. I went there for Archaeology. I took Mediterranean Pre- and Proto- history; Christian Art; Art and Roman Impact; and the Dutch Studies Lecture Series. I stayed in International Student housing near the city center. I traveled to Brussels, London, and Bremen. Within the Netherlands, I took many trips with my classes--the ones that stick out to me are: Amsterdam, Limbourg, Valkenburg, Maastricht.   Before I studied abroad, I had been to Costa Rica with a church group for 10 days. I then did another 10 days through Greece and Turkey with a few students for high school (a kind of spring break thing through the school). I then went to Ireland with my parents for 10 days the summer of 2012. 


Dannielle HobbsDannielle Hobbs

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Historic Preservation and Community Planning/Art History

Email: dnhobbs@g.cofc.edu

Study Abroad Program: CofC Faculty-led, Rome - Italy

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Wednesdays 11 am - 12 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I want to become a peer advisor so I can help facilitate fellow College of Charleston students who are curious and/or interested in studying abroad by providing them with insight and information about the different ways in which they can pursue their desire to study abroad. I want to give students valuable information that will help them make a decision 

International Experience:

I traveled to Italy and studied art and archaeology in ancient Italy and classics in ancient Rome. My study abroad experience taught me the value of international education and cultural exposure. Living and learning in a different country was an eye opening and enriching experience that added significant content to my undergraduate education. I also traveled throughout Japan while I was visiting with my older sister. She was an English teacher hired by the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) Program. During my stay I lived with other Japanese speaking people and learned Japanese traditions and customs. 


Olivia LaRussaOlivia LaRussa

Class Rank: Junior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology/Italian Studies 

Email: larussaom@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Mondays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, USAC Viterbo - Italy

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

Studying Abroad was the best experience I have ever had in my life. I would love to help other people have adventures like I did. I really feel that traveling opens up your mind, and I hope i can get as many students as possible to explore other cultures and customs. Plus, I feel that I can be very helpful to students who need to study abroad on a budget. 

International Experience:

I studied in Viterbo, Italy. It is a small mountain town north of Rome surrounded my medieval walls.  I experienced small town life and got to know the people in my city. The culture is beautiful. I’m so glad I could learn so much about it through my studies in Italian language, culture, and art. I also had the opportunity to volunteer as an English teacher with fourth grad students. They were so eager to learn and I loved teaching them. I was able to travel all over Italy from Bolzano to Sorrento. I also went to Spain, Greece and Hungary. I loved everyday of my trip abroad. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me. 


Hannah PolakowskiHannah Polakowski

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): English/British Studies 

Email: hspolako@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, University of Nottingham - United Kingdom

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I want to become a peer advisor to help prepare students to have an experience abroad that was as amazing as mine was. There is so much planning and paperwork that goes into the entire process and I want to help make that easier to students before their trip. Before the paperwork even starts it can be difficult choosing which program to pick and I would like to help guide students towards the program that suits them best.

International Experience:

I studied abroad at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England during the Spring 2013 term. During that time I not only made friends from around the world but also got to experience a different way of learning/teaching and saw so many amazing sights across Europe! Going abroad allowed me to further my love for travel and visit Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and many cities throughout England. I loved my time abroad and wish I could do it again!


Elizabeth RossElizabeth Ross

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Elementary and Middle Grades Education

Email: ekross@g.cofc.edu

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, CEA Paris - France

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I had an amazing experience abroad and felt that I took advantage of all of the opportunities that were offered. I was able to become a part of the Parisian culture, while also creating friendships with fellow Americans. I learned so much from the experience and wanted to chance to share any helpful information with others who are interested in the study abroad experience!

International Experience:

I traveled to Paris, France through an affiliate program CEA (Cultural Experiences Abroad). While I had traveled to Europe several times with my family, it was less about becoming part of the culture or adopting a new lifestyle and more about the tourism aspects. After studying French for eight years, I wanted to be able to not only become well versed in the language, but also become part of the culture. For instance, while I loved a good French coffee (cafe au lait), I enjoyed the way the Parisians never took a coffee to go, but used the chance to be social with others and sit in a cafe. I also loved the dedication and loyalty towards their beloved city, one that I began to call home after just a few short months. While Paris served as a home base, the easy access to other cities, enabled me to broaden my horizons and visit even more new places. The experience is truly life changing and eye opening; to become a part of a new culture changed my perception completely. As an education major, I value the importance of understanding different ways of life and diverse cultures. I realize how important it is to reach outside of one's own comfort zone and discover something unimaginable. 


Gina StricklandGina Strickland

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): International Studies/Hospitality and Tourism Management 

Email: gestrick@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Wednesdays 11 am - 12 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, Management Center Innsbruck - Austria

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to be a peer advisor because I believe living in another culture is a life changing time that everyone should experience. I had the most incredible time abroad and would love to help my classmates to challenge themselves and have their own opportunity to explore the world.   

International Experience:

I studied abroad in Innsbruck, Austria for a semester in college. I also studied abroad in Berlin, Germany for 2 months in high school. I have traveled to Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Jamaica.


Carrie WeberCarrie Weber

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Anthropology and Archaeology/British Studies 

Email: caweber@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, CEA Goldsmiths University - United Kingdom

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor for a number of reasons, with the foremost being that I believe that every person should have the opportunity to study abroad during his or her college experience. I think that by studying abroad, a person can learn to grow outside of his comfort zone, through experiencing a different culture, a new country and customs, a group of people that differs from ourselves, and perhaps, even have to use a different language than his native one. This experience can only help a student in his college career and will better prepare him for life outside of college, by opening the world to him through his study abroad experience.  

International Experience:

My experience in London can hardly be summed up in a short paragraph, I doubt I could even sum up one day there in a paragraph, but I can try. While studying abroad, I meet some of the best people, both natives of England, as well as Americans and other Europeans, a number of whom I still communicate with almost a year later. I was able to experience life in a city filled with history and culture that still exists as one of the utmost important capitals in the world. I was able to fully immerse myself in a culture rich with influences from around the world. I was able to see some of the most famous glamorous structures in the world, as well as those of lesser fame that have just as much, if not more, importance. And I was able to have an experience that I still think back to everyday and will never forget. 


Christine Weiler     christine weiler

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): International Studies/Sociology

Email: cbweiler@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, ISA Meknes - Morocco

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor mainly because I am a HUGE advocate for all things related to international education. I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to help someone start their journey to study abroad because it truly is the experience of a lifetime. I also really love working with and helping people in any way that I can, so being able to combine my love for study abroad with helping students accomplish their goals is super exciting for me!

International Experience:

My study abroad program was to Meknes, Morocco with ISA in the Spring of 2013. I can whole-heartedly say that I could not have had a more memorable and wonderful experience. Everything from start to finish was incredible and I will never forget the experiences I had during my time in Meknes. I got to do things that some people only read about or see on TV and meet people that I have forged friendships with that I know will last a lifetime. I was able to learn and grow not only as a student, but as an individual. I have also traveled to Spain, Dominican Republic, Ghana, and I lived in Cote d'Ivoire for two years from 2002-2004.


William Wright    

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Email: wewright@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Programs:  Exchange Program, University of Carlos III Madrid - Spain; CofC Faculty-led, Havana - Cuba


Emily WycheEmily Wyche

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): History/Philosophy

Email: ecwyche@g.cofc.edu

Spring 2014 Office Hours: Mondays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, University of Carlos III Madrid - Spain

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

My semester abroad truly changed my life and I would love to do everything possible to continue to stay involved with the international community.  I would love to encourage fellow College of Charleston students to participate in and enjoy study abroad programs, help the international students at College of Charleston feel at home (as I did in Spain), and do everything possible to help the international education department at College of Charleston.

International Experience:

I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain.  During my semester I not only became well acquainted with Spanish culture, but I also traveled all over Europe, as well as Morocco.  Prior to my semester abroad I traveled with a group called People to People around Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France.  I have also traveled around Spain and the UK with my family.

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