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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.

2014-2015 Peer Advisors

Mimi Alford

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): International Business/Spanish and Hospitality & Tourism Management 

Email: alfordmh@g.cofc.edu 

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

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, ISA Madrid, Spain

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to be a peer advisor because I had such an amazing experience studying abroad and I want to be able to share that experience with others, and hopefully persuade more people to study abroad as well. 

International Experience:

I have been to Costa Rica, Japan, London, Paris, Italy, and of course Spain.  


Diana Devine

Class Rank: Junior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Psychology and French

Email: devinedm@g.cofc.edu 

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Abroad 101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, Universite Catholique de Lille - France

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I know how many questions about everything I had when I was getting ready to study abroad, so I figured that now that I've gone through the whole process, it's time to help other people figure out what's going on. 

International Experience:

I spent three weeks in France the summer after I graduated high school, to visit a friend who had stayed with me during the previous year; during spring break my freshman year, I went on an Alternative Spring Break to Costa Rica; and I just got back from a semester in Lille, France, where I got to take weekend trips to visit 13 different countries. 


Rebecca DrewryDannielle Hobbs

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Communication/Leadership, Change, and Social Responsibility

Email: drewryrc@g.cofc.edu 

Study Abroad Program: Affiliate Program, ASA London, England

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor right after I came back from London. I learned so much while being abroad, not only academically and culturally, but also about myself. I want to be able to get other CofC students excited to study abroad while having all of the information needed in order to be successful before, during, and after studying abroad. Studying abroad certainly was the best semester I had, and I hope many many more students have the opportunity to have this once in a life time opportunity!  

International Experience:

During my semester abroad, I was able to live in one of London's biggest parks, Regents Park, while learning more about my major, other courses, and British and international culture. Living in London was unbelievable. From the many historical sites to the many markets, there was always something to do. While being in London for a semester I was able to travel to 8 different countries and 11 different cities including: Ireland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and France! I also have been on a 10 day academic trip in high school to Italy and London. I hope to continue my love of traveling after graduation! 


Ariail HarrisonOlivia LaRussa

Class Rank: Junior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Mathematics/French

Email: harrisona@g.cofc.edu 

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm for Abroad 101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, Universite Catholique de Lille - France & University of Tartu - Estonia

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor because I know how helpful it is to have a student come alongside of an exchange student who is experiencing a lot of new things all at the same time. I also wanted to continue the experience of being around students from a variety of cultures. 

International Experience:

My current list of visited countries is 21 countries from North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The trips varied from service trips to vacations to studying abroad.


Cailin JohnsonHannah Polakowski

Class Rank: Junior

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

Email: johnsonca1@g.cofc.edu

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

Study Abroad Program: CofC Faculty-Led Program - United Kingdom: Affiliate Program - USM London, England

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I became a Peer Advisor because I honestly love hearing about where other students have studied abroad in the past and where they want to go in the future! I think living and learning in another country and culture are so vitally important to a well-rounded education and life experience, so helping someone plan their academic adventure is something I'm really passionate about!

International Experience:

Besides studying abroad twice with a main base in England, I've also traveled to Scotland, Wales, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Croatia.


Olivia LaRussa

Class Rank: Senior

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

Email: larussaom@g.cofc.edu 

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30 pm - 3:30 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 highlight of my college career. I loved meeting new people and learning about interesting cultures. When I returned from Italy, I knew I wanted to help other people have an amazing experience abroad, too. It is the best feeling to hear about someone’s time abroad after I encouraged them to go.

International Experience:

During the spring of my sophomore year, I studied in Viterbo, Italy. It is a small medieval town located about an hour north of Rome. The city is surrounded by quaint walls and local cafes.  I took classes in Renaissance Art (and was actually able to see the pieces in person), Italian Culture, and language. Also, I was able to travel to Greece, Spain, and Hungary. Every place I went, I tried local cuisine and saw as much of the city as possible. Studying abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my life.


Keighty Noreen

Elizabeth Ross

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): French/Linguistics

Email: noreenkg@g.cofc.edu 

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: CofC Faculty-Led Program - University of La Rochelle - France; Paris, France

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

My time abroad has taught me invaluable lessons that you can't learn in a classroom. It has helped me to not only appreciate foreign cultures, but also to reflect on my own. I want to make sure that everyone who is considering studying abroad can have an equally positive experience! Because I have participated in different styles of programs, I can offer insight to help students choose a program that best fits their interests and preferences. By providing information, I hope I can help students navigate the application process smoothly.

International Experience:

In high school I participated in an exchange program in Angers and Paris, France. After graduating, I completed a trip throughout France tailored to art and photography students. After arriving at the College, I studied in Paris for a 3-week summer program and in La Rochelle for a semester. I have also traveled within France twice with my family. From resorts to hostels, from host families to renting apartments, I have had a variety of unique experiences. In addition to my time exploring France, I have visited Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, England, and Mexico.


Kayleigh RemavichGina Strickland

Class Rank: Junior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Spanish/Political Science 

Email: remavichka@g.cofc.edu 

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm for Abroad101 Advising Session

Study Abroad Program: CofC Faculty-Led Program - Trujillo, Spain

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

Once starting college, studying abroad was always the one experience I wanted to have and couldn't wait to go abroad. I would love to help others have positive experiences abroad that are truly once in a lifetime. While it’s a great experience, it’s easy to be nervous or anxious before going abroad, I know I was, but it’s also worth every single minute. Because of my recent experience abroad, I remember what it’s like preparing to go abroad and the questions you don’t even know you have until too late. I would be able to help students prepare and help them figure out what to expect before departing.   

International Experience:

My study abroad experience in Trujillo, Spain was actually my first, and only, international experience. I stayed with a host family in Trujillo, Spain for 5 weeks during the summer, while taking two classes with professors and students from the College of Charleston. Staying with a host family was one the most eye opening experiences as you were afforded a glimpse of what the daily culture was really like. We had excursions to other parts of Spain as well. We went south to Andalucía, where we saw the Mezquita (Mosque) of Córdoba, the Alhambra in Granada and the cathedrals in Sevilla. We also spent some time in Madrid stopping in Toledo and Segovia along the way, and saw beautiful Spanish architecture and toured museums. I was able to put the Spanish language, culture and history I had learned in my classes to use. While this has been my only international experience to date, I am looking forward to my next adventure!


Benjamin Storey ThompsonCarrie Weber

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Communication/Health 

Email: thompsonbs@g.cofc.edu 

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

Study Abroad Program: Exchange Program, UNISUL - Florianopolis, Brazil

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor to encourage younger students to explore, travel, and study abroad. There are options for every taste and budget. Is there a better time in your life to travel? 

International Experience:

Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Alaska (it counts). 


Mariel Thottam     christine weiler

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Psychology/Neuroscience

Email: thottamma@g.cofc.edu 

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

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

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I wanted to become a peer advisor because once I returned from being abroad in England, I had a desire to help other students receive the same incredible experience I did. The process of all the paper work and questions can be daunting and I wanted to help alleviate that for students so they can focus on the excitement that goes along with getting ready to go abroad. My time in the UK changed my perspective for the better and any chance to help others experience that as well is something I now strive after.

International Experience:

Growing up I was lucky enough to have traveled with my family to Italy, Spain, France, and India. While studying in Nottingham I traveled to to other various cities in England, as well as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands! 


Victoria Ward    

Class Rank: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): International Business/French & Economics

Fall 2014 Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30 - 3:30 pm for Affiliate Advising Session

Email: wardvb@g.cofc.edu 

Study Abroad Programs:  Exchange Program, EDHEC - Nice, France; CofC Faculty-Led Program - Paris, France, United Kingdom

Why did you want to become a peer advisor?

I had the most incredible experience of my life when I was in France and I hope that by being a Peer Advisor I can help and inspire other people to have the same opportunity and joy. 

International Experience:

I've had the opportunity to go abroad with CofC several times. As a freshman I traveled to Paris for a week with my First Year Experience course and then again as the Peer Facilitator for the same course as a sophomore. I spent the Fall of my junior year in Nice, France along the Mediterranean and then I spent my spring break in London, Liverpool and Manchester in the United Kingdom. My time in Nice was most significant because I was there for a full semester; this really allowed me to assimilate myself to French culture and take the time to explore my surroundings. It also allowed me to develop lifelong friends with people from all over the world!

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