Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New School Year, New faces, New Opportunities

 Hello again from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Education Abroad Office! Morgan Budde signing in here again for another year as the Professional Writing Intern in the Education Abroad Office. Students have returned to campus for yet another great year and I am so excited to be writing to all of you from the Pioneer Planet blog once again. Many of you are probably thinking, classes already? Is this really September though? Feels more like July! Yes it is that time of the year, no matter what the crazy Midwestern weather tries to tell you. This also means it's that time of year to start looking into when you can study abroad! The office is off to a booming start with countless students already coming in with interest, and I cannot tell you how fantastic that is to see!

I thought I'd start the blog off this year by introducing a few new faces to the office. This year we welcome two new interns to the office as well as two new staff members in the Education Abroad Department.

Sami Sonkowsky- Interim Outreach Specialist 

Sami Sonkowsky is a new addition to the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Office as of June 2015 as the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Interim Outreach Specialist. Sami coordinates, markets, and advises on the UW-Platteville Education Abroad programs for both UW-Platteville and non-Platteville students.

Sami is currently a graduate student at UW-La Crosse and is studying Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. Sami is a 2012 graduate of UW-Whitewater with a B.A. in Spanish with an emphasis in professional business. As an undergrad, Sami participated in a study abroad program through UW-Platteville at the Spanish-American Institute of international Education (SAIIE) during the Spring 2012 semester.

In addition to her degree from UW-Whitewater, Sami is TEFL certified from the TEFL Institute in Chicago, IL and has taught English and Science classes abroad in Madrid, Spain. Sami’s passion for education abroad was ignited from her own experience studying abroad in Seville, Spain and she hopes to share that passion by helping students reach their own study abroad goals.

Alyssa Shaff- Program Coordinator
Alyssa Shaff joined the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Office in July 2015 as the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Program Coordinator. Alyssa advises UW-Platteville students on education abroad options and application procedures, coordinates short-term faculty-led study abroad programs, and oversees the Global Exploration Living and Learning Community.

Alyssa earned her M.Ed. degree in College Student Personnel Administration and her B.A. in English Literature and Spanish from Marquette University, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She has previous experience in international education as the Marquette University Office of International Education Graduate Assistant, Marquette en Madrid Study Abroad Ambassador, and as a study abroad participant at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. Alyssa has a passion for learning about new cultures, languages, and all things international.

Carl Hatfield-Marketing and Outreach Intern
Carl Hatfield is majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy here at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Carl always aspired to live a life full of adventure and meet people from around the world. He first found out about Education Abroad through upperclassmen that had previously gone abroad. Once Carl took a leap of faith and decided to go forward with his dream of traveling the world, his life has been full of successes that he never would have imagined getting out of his education abroad experience.

Carl studied Marine Science at the University of the South Pacific in The Fiji Islands. His time there was well spent in regards to what he experienced. His memorable experiences in Fiji were endless, including having the opportunity to scuba dive with sharks. Meeting students from around the world and creating relationships with the locals was the best part of the adventure. The semester was not long enough, as he began to feel like a local himself.

Carl served as an Education Abroad Ambassador for the 2014/15 academic year and is excited to transition into his new role as Education Abroad Marketing and Outreach Intern. He believes that this positon will produce strong challenges for him in his final year, but more importantly he knows that he will leave with a lifetime full of memories and hopes to play an important role in encouraging other UW-Platteville students to study abroad.

Nicole Maala- Marketing and Outreach Intern

Nicole is an Engineering Physics major and is also pursuing a minor in Spanish. She will be starting her fourth year this fall.

In the fall of 2014, Nicole spent a semester studying engineering at Jönköping University in Sweden. It was phenomenal to learn and experience the Swedish language and culture, and while she was there she was able to travel to visit other locations as well including Norway, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, and even Iceland. The friendships and memories Nicole made with Swedish and other international students alike were incredible, and they will always stay with her. The following semester, spring of 2015, Nicole studied engineering at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. She had an amazing experience taking courses, making even more international and Australian friends, and exploring the beautiful country.

She has previously worked on campus through the DRIVEN Scholars Program, and truly enjoyed helping and connecting with her fellow students. Nicole is very excited to continue to do so through the Education Abroad Office. It is an unforgettable experience to study abroad, and she would like to help others see their dreams to travel and explore the world become a reality.

We have an amazing, talented, creative and driven group of people in the office this year, and it is going to be the best one yet for the Education Abroad Office. The best part? We all love education abroad and are proud advocates with a passion for helping students go abroad. Call, email or just walk in and set up an advising appointment today to learn more about education and to learn when and where you can go! This year we have many new opportunities for students to go abroad. We have added two exchanges to our programs. One will be located in Scotland and the other in Korea. We also have a great list of short-term programs this year around the globe, the perfect way to wet your feet with education abroad. College is a short four years, so the best time to start looking into going abroad is, now! After all, if not now, when?

The link below will take you to our website so you can start your journey with education abroad today!

Let's have a great year and I look forward to seeing all of you around the office!



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