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UHart Global Peer Advisors

We've created a new Global Peer Advising (GPA) program!  This year's group of GPAs spans across UHart colleges, majors, study abroad programs (semester and short-term), and study abroad locations.  We've found in the past prospective students really benefit from speaking with students who have already studied abroad, and we hope you will stop by the International Center (GSU 327) to speak with these study abroad alumni!

Our advisors will share their overseas experiences with you, and help you figure out which program you should do.  Already know your program?  Come speak with our students to learn more about what it's actually like as a UHart study abroad student!

Below is the list of Fall 2017 GPAs, their majors and program locations, and a short biography, as well as their weekly office hours.  Feel free to stop in and met with our alumni whenever you'd like - no appointment needed!

Monday

  • 1:00-2:00pm: Paige Bestle (Spring 2017 Semester in Rome, Italy) & Erin Sussmann (UHart 2017 Short-Term Spring Break in Hungary & Italy)
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Kayla DePara (Spring 2017 Semester in Limerick, Ireland), Reggie Dormelas (Spring 2017 Semester in Auckland, New Zealand) & Leah Doty (Spring 2017 Semester in Kathmandu, Nepal & UHart 2016 Short-Term Summer in Ireland)

Tuesday

  • 9:30-10:30am: Sara Kohut (UHart 2017 Short-Term Spring Break in England & Spain), Maria Melgar-Garcia (Spring 2017 Semester in Seville, Spain & UHart 2016 Short-Term Summer in England), & Cody Welti (Spring 2016 Semester in Rome, Italy)
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Mitchell Brown (Spring 2017 Semester in Seoul, South Korea) & Jesse Collins (UHart 2017 Short-Term Summer in Ireland) 

Wednesday

  • 10:30-11:30am: Noah Brown (Spring 2017 Semester in Rome, Italy & Spring 2016 Semester in London, England) & Gabriella D'Arco (Spring 2017 Semester in Gold Coast, Australia)
  • 11:30-12:30pm: Allison Bueche (UHart 2017 Short-Term Spring Break in Hungary & Italy), Kayla Indomenico (Spring 2017 Semester in Sydney, Australia & Spring 2016 Semester in London, England), & Kelly Tischbein (Spring 2016 Semester in Barcelona, Spain)
  • 12:00-1:00pm: Shannon Connolly (UHart 2015 First Year London Experience & UHart 2017 Short-Term Spring Break in Hungary and Italy & UHart 2017 Summer in Ireland) & Jessica Goul (Spring 2017 in Madrid, Spain)

Thursday

  • 11:00-12:00pm: Katey Curran (Fall 2016 Semester in Cork, Ireland), Gabrielle Gutierrez (Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 Semesters in Vienna, Austria), & Megan Sharsky (Spring 2017 Semester in Gold Coast, Australia)

Friday

  • 10:00-11:00am: Chanel Thomas (Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 Semesters in Leeds, England)
  • 10:30-11:30am: Guojun Johnson Ao (Spring 2017 Semester at Sea) & Julianna Eddy (UHart 2017 Short-Term Summer in England)

Interested in becoming a GPA?  We'll have a new application period during summer 2018.  Check back for more details!

Guojun Johnson Ao: A&S, Hillyer - Political science & criminal justice; Semester at Sea - Multi-Coutry, spring 2017; friday, 10:30-11:30am

Hello everyone my name is Guojun Ao and you can call me Johnson. I am currently a junior studying Criminal Justice and Government & Politics in College of A&S. In Spring 2017 I did study abroad program called Semester At Sea. I spent 4 months on a ship and visited 10 countries (Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and Germany) . I was able to meet and study with employees from State Department and Department of Defense. The experience I received was no way to compare staying on Campus. On the ship I also meet people and make friends from all over the world. Able to study and sail around the world is once of a life time opportunity. I’m happy that I was able to meet the requirement and this will be the highlight of my college years. If you are thinking about SAS program I will do my best to help you with information and requirements. Welcome Aboard!

paige bestle: a&s - Communications; AIFS - Rome, italy, Spring 2017; monday, 1:00-2:00pm

Buonasera! My name is Paige and I’m currently a senior majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Media and Journalism and minoring in Photography. I went abroad for the first time in my life for the spring of my junior year and it was the best decision I’ve solely made on my own. I knew I would never have an opportunity like this again and I had to take it. I studied abroad in Rome, Italy and by the end of the semester I was communicating with locals, memorizing the bus system, and a world traveler. I was also able to travel to other cities in Italy through the AIFS program; Pisa, Venice, Sicily, Siena, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Spello, and Assisi. However, on my own and with friends I traveled to five other different countries in Europe; London, Greece, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Spain. I went abroad by myself and left with four new lifelong friends that I got to share this life changing experience with. Going abroad not only helped me become more independent, but helped me figure out what direction I want to take my life after college.

Mitch Brown: A&S - Psychology; TEAN - Seoul, South korea, Spring 2017; Tuesday, 2:00-3:00pm

Hey everyone!! I’m Mitch Brown and I’m a senior this year. My major is psychology with a focus in counseling young adults. In Spring 2017, I spent the best 5 months of my life in South Korea! I was so lucky to find that the University of Hartford had a program for Seoul and I had my mind set to go as soon as I found out. I’ve been interested in Korean culture and entertainment for a couple of years and I thought it would be great to experience it all by immersing myself within the culture. I studied at Korea University which is 3 miles away from the center of Seoul and go to spend the semester hanging out and going on trips with Korean buddies that I was paired up with prior to arrival as well as many other international students. Seoul is such a vibrant city full of advanced technology with a mix of tradition. There are various palaces and villages to visit within the city as well as fun places to go for an outing with friends. Some of the highlights were going to see some of the unique cafes (the dog and cat cafes are the cutest!!), seeing some of my favorite singers live in concert (Any K-pop fans? Come talk!!), wearing traditional Korean clothing at one of the palaces, and meeting life-long friends. My hope is to go back after I graduate and teach English in Seoul because I just loved Korea so much. Traveling changed my life! If you have any questions about studying abroad or even just about traveling in general please don’t hesitate to come in and talk!

Noah brown: barney - management; regent's university, london england, Spring 2016 & API - Rome, italy, spring 2017; wednesday, 10:30-11:30am

Hi! My name is Noah Brown and I’m a senior majoring in management with a marketing minor.  I have completed two semesters abroad.  The first was a direct enroll at Regent’s University in London, England during the Spring of 2016.  The second was through API at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy this past Spring 2017.  Having gone abroad twice I feel that I have a unique perspective on the whole experience, and can offer great advice because both programs were so different.  Study abroad is an amazing opportunity that should not be passed up if you have any sort of desire to do it.  It gives you the chance to change your surroundings while experiencing new cultures and people on a global scale.  While completing my studies I met people from all over the world, not just Americans that were studying too.  Throughout both semesters I traveled to many countries, my favorites being Spain, Switzerland and Croatia.  I’m excited to be a GPA and am looking forward to speaking with other students about the opportunity that awaits. 

ally bueche: has - undecided; uhart global trends - budapest, hungary & rome, italy;   Wednesday, 11:30-12:30pm

Ciao! My name is Ally Bueche and I’m a sophomore in the Hartford Art School. This past spring break, I studied Global Trends in Education and went to Budapest, Hungary and Rome, Italy through UHart and CIEE. This was the first time I went abroad without one of my family members so this was a really exciting trip. I’ve always wanted to go to Rome since I was little so it was a dream come true. Budapest was somewhere I’d never imagined going to, but now I can’t wait to go back one day! Since we were studying education, we visited a school in each country and by doing this, I discovered that I want to be an art teacher. I was pushed out of my comfort zone by trying new foods and learning languages that were completely new to me. I learned a lot by meeting new people who grew up in different cultures than I have, which has simultaneously opened my eyes up to new perspectives and made me grateful for what I have. Even after spending only a few days in each country, I was able to really soak up the cultures and it has made me want to study abroad for a whole semester even more.

Jesse collins: hartt - performing arts management; UHart irish experience, summer 2017;  tuesday, 2:00-3:00pm

Hey there! My name is Jesse Collins and I am a sophomore studying Performing Arts Management in the Hartt School! In June 2017, I took a short-term study abroad trip to Ireland for two weeks and decided to become a Global Peer Advisor just so I could talk to you about it! Even though Ireland was my first study abroad trip, I have also visited Switzerland, France, and England (many times!). You may have seen my face around campus as I am also a part of the Phi Gamma sorority and Red Tail Records. If you'd like to talk about traveling, stop by and let's chat!

shannon connolly: a&s - criminal justice & psychology; uhart first year london experience, summer 2015 & UHart global trends - budapest, hungary & rome, italy, spring 2017 & UHart Irish Experience, summer 2017;  Wednesday, 12:00-1:00pm

Hi! My name is Shannon Connolly and I am currently a senior triple majoring in Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Arabic Language & Culture! I first traveled abroad to Australia when I was fourteen, ever since have been looking to travel as much as I can and college was the perfect opportunity to do so! Since I have a busy schedule at school, short-term programs made more sense for my schedule. So far I have travelled on three different trips with the University of Hartford Study Abroad Program. I attended my first program in the summer between my freshman and sophomore year on the First Year London trip. While there we got to travel around the city of London seeing landmarks like Big Ben and the London Tower Bridge while learning about the vast history of the city from locals and guest lectures. On Spring Break of my junior year I traveled to Budapest, Hungary and Rome, Italy on the Global Trends in Education program. On this trip I got to learn the cultures of two different countries that were very foreign to me. Touring sites like the Colosseum along with other Roman ruins and getting to swim in the one of a kind Szechenzi Thermal Baths, all while visiting local schools and getting to interact with the school children learning how their education systems differ from those around the world. My most recent trip was this past summer, I traveled to Dublin, Ireland on the Irish Experience trip. On this trip I got to travel around Ireland seeing the Cliffs of Mohr and dancing in the streets of Temple Bar, while learning the cultural background and history of the country through the study of literature by local Irish writers. All of these places have taught me so much about travel, culture, life, and even helped me find myself! Although I’ve been to all these locations so far, I’m definitely not done traveling! While I’m busy looking for my next adventure, I’m eager to help you find yours too!

Katey Curran: ceta - Civil Engineering; API - Cork, Ireland, Fall 2016;  thursday, 11:00-12:00pm

My name is Katey Curran and I am a junior studying Civil Engineering. I spent the Fall 2016 semester studying at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. I've learned how difficult it is to describe how much my experiences in Ireland mean to me and chose to become a Global Peer Advisor to help guide prospective students to their own indescribable memories. I will never forget the beautiful places I saw, the diverse group of people I met, and the valuable lessons I learned along the way. Studying abroad was truly a life changing adventure; I traveled 3,000 miles to a country I had never been, yet I had never felt more at home. Slán go fóill!

gabriella d'arco: barney - business management; tean - gold coast, Australia, spring 2017; Wednesday, 10:30-11:30am

Hi everyone! My name is Gabriella D’Arco and I am currently a senior majoring in business management. I studied abroad in Gold Coast, Australia at Griffith University! I went for a full semester in Spring 2017 through The Education Abroad Network. During my time abroad I was able to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, and Thailand. Each place I went to was amazing in its own way and during my time abroad I learned a lot about pushing myself out of my comfort zone to try new things that I never would have had the courage to do in the past. I was also able to take classes that aren’t offered at The University of Hartford, make friendships that will last a lifetime, and make connections that will help me with my career. I want to be a Global Peer Advisor because I want to encourage people and be a resource for anyone who has any questions about studying abroad! 

Kayla depara: a&s - mathematics & pre-dental; aifs - limerick, ireland, spring 2017;  monday, 3:30-4:30pm

Hi! My name is Kayla DePara and I studied abroad for a full semester, spring of my junior year at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland through AIFS. Deciding to study abroad at UL has been the best decision of my life so far. I have created so many memories and friends that will last a lifetime. Studying abroad has taught me so much about myself and what I can accomplish. I was able to break through my comfort zone and take risks that I would have never imagined I could do. I have been lucky enough to travel to five different countries while studying in Ireland; England, Italy, Albania, Greece, and France. All have been amazing experiences for me! I have found a new love for traveling during my time in Ireland and I am just getting started. Going abroad is a once in a lifetime experience and I want to be a resource for anyone who has questions about being abroad. It is crazy to think that being thousands of miles away in a country that I have never been to before, I felt right at home and I cannot wait until I get to return to Ireland. I am very excited to share my experiences and all of the great craic (fun) you can have while abroad!

reggie dormelas: barney - accounting; Tean – Auckland, new Zealand, spring 2017; Monday, 3:30-4:30pm

Hello, my name is Reggie Dormelas, junior majoring in Accounting. I studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand at AUT university in the spring semester of 2017 through The Education Abroad Network. Studying abroad was something I spent my entire freshman year thinking about doing but never had the courage to actual do. My experience in New Zealand couldn’t have gone any better, I learned a new culture, easily adapted to the living style there and made life long friends and memories. I also visited Australia during my time abroad. I took classes with American students and kiwi students (New Zealand students). My flatmates were all kiwis so that helped me out even more because whenever I had a question or problem they were more than willingly to help. Also living with them helped me adapt to the culture better and learn so much more than I would ever learn in the classroom. The majority of my study abroad experience went really well but there are always some difficulties and as a Global Peer Advisor I plan to help and guide students in any way I can, being a GPA also gives me a reason to talk about my abroad experience so this works out perfectly. Sweet as!

leah doty: a&S - journalism & media; sit study abroad – kathmandu, nepal, Spring 2017 & UHart Irish experience, summer 2016;  monday, 3:30-4:30pm

Hey! My name is Leah Doty and I am currently a junior, majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and Media and a minor in Marketing. I have studied abroad two times so far during my college career. The first time was a short-term program in Ireland, the second time was a semester abroad in Nepal. I was able to live both in dorms abroad and with host families, emerged in the culture. Both experiences were amazing and unique in their own way. I made amazing friends and was able to see and experience things I would never have imagined before college. I am an extreme advocate for taking advantage of the study abroad options we have at UHart, it’s an amazing once in a life time opportunity! I can’t wait to talk to talk to everyone about their study abroad plans!

julianna eddy: has - photography; uhart first year london experience, summer 2017; friday, 10:30-11:30pm

My name is Julianna Eddy. I am a sophomore studying Art with a focus in Photography at the Hartford Art School. This past June, I went on the First-Year London Experience. This 8 day faculty-led short term study abroad trip taught me about not only the culture that is seen throughout London but also the beautiful sights that are throughout this amazing country. This trip is focused on culture and to show you the similarities and differences between London and the U.S. Throughout your stay, you will be able to see landmarks such as the Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and many other amazing attractions. One of my favorite experiences I had was going to the London Zoo. I was able to see tons of animals such as giraffes, zebras, warthogs, lemurs, penguins, reindeer, and many others. I also found that my love for traveling the world grew and led me to wanting to see more of the world. I am so excited to meet all of you and answer any questions or concerns you have. Whether you are interested in a short term or a full semester don’t hesitate to stop in.

jessica goul: enhp - elementary & special education; api - madrid, spain, spring 2017;  Wednesday, 12:00-1:00pm

Hi! My name is Jessica Goul and I am currently a Junior majoring in Elementary and Special Education Integrated. I studied abroad last semester, Spring 2017, in Madrid, Spain (the best place on the planet!). I went with the program API, which set me up with an American school there in Madrid to attend called Suffolk. Going to an American school there allowed me to take all the courses I needed for my major to avoid falling behind. Although I did miss out on the experiences of being in class with students from Spain, I still had plenty of those interactive opportunities in my residencia. This was a dorm-like set up where I lived with other students from all different parts of Spain where I met amazing people and friends. With the API group I had lots of opportunities to travel and take part in cultural activities, such as going to the Spanish movie theaters, cooking classes, salsa dancing, and flamenco shows. While in Europe I made sure to take advantage of the proximity and traveled to other countries, such as France, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, United Kingdom, and Ireland. Before going abroad I was fairly shy and lived in a protected bubble. This experience completely changed my life! I know this sounds cliché, but it absolutely opened my eyes to the rest of the world, pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to really develop into an independent outgoing person who now loves traveling. I cannot wait to graduate and return immediately! I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience this life changing time and there is no better way to do it than studying abroad. So, if you are interested or have questions or any doubts about making your trip happen ask away because it is 100% worth it. 


gabrielle gutierrez: hartt- vocal performance; ies – vienna, austria, Fall 2016 & spring 2017; thursday, 11:00-12:00pm

Hi I’m Gabby! I am a Vocal Performance Major at The Hartt School of Music. The year of 2016-2017 I lived in Vienna studying abroad for the academic year. While abroad, I travelled to many different countries and experienced a ton of different cultures. Vienna has some of the best food because the city is so diverse but one thing I loved the most was BALL SEASON. Basically for Americans it is an adult prom…but better. It also helps that Vienna has been voted every year FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS as one of the world’s top city for quality of life. One of my favorite countries I travelled to was Scotland. Visiting there helped me realize that I want to move to Scotland. As a result of living in a German speaking country I often find myself speaking in German instead of in English. I firmly believe that everyone should study abroad! I am even an Ambassador for IES Abroad (the program I went through in order to study abroad) so I know a lot specifically about this provider. If you are a music (or not!) you should definitely go to Vienna.

kayla indomenico: a&s - communications; regent's university, london, england, Spring 2016 & TEAn - sydney, australia, spring 2017; wednesday, 11:30-12:30pm

Hello! My name is Kayla Indomenico and I am a current senior in the communications program. I had the absolute amazing opportunity to study abroad twice in my uhart career. During the spring semester of 2016, I studied across the pond at Regents University in London, England. While studying in London, I was able to visit 7 different countries including; France, Spain, Amsterdam, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, and Italy. Studying abroad the first time changed my life for the better. It made me a more confident and outgoing person. During the Spring 2017 semester, I studied abroad with TEAN in Sydney at University of New South Wales. While studying in Sydney, I traveled up and down Australia’s East Coast, New Zealand and Thailand. During my two study abroad experiences I grew as a person, I became more independent and found out a little more about myself. Studying abroad has giving me more of a purpose in life and helped me choose a career path. I want to become a GPA because I want to help you, the people who are thinking about studying abroad experience the amazing opportunities studying abroad gives you.

Sara Kohut: enhp - Prosthetics & orthotics; uhart exploring creativity - london, england & barcelona, spain, spring 2017; tuesday, 9:30-10:30am

Hi! I’m Sara and I’m a junior studying Prosthetics & Orthotics. Last spring break, I went on a short-term study abroad to Barcelona and London. This was my first time going abroad let alone leaving the country, saying I was nervous was an understatement. There was so much to see and do and everything we did was a new adventure. Going abroad not only opens the door to new and exciting opportunities but it opens your eyes to many different experiences you may not have known existed. Not only did I learn about other cultures and ways of life, but I learned about myself and how to rely on myself more. I learned how to communicate better with people and learned how to keep an open mind when trying new things. I never get tired of talking about Barcelona or London, so if you’re interested, stop by and let’s talk!

maria melgar-garcia: a&s - Psychology; API – seville, spain & UHart first year london experience, summer 2016; tuesday, 9:30-10:30am

¡Hola! My name is Maria Melgar and I am currently a junior, studying Psychology, with an Education minor. I went abroad in Seville, which is the heart of Southern Spain, sophomore year for spring semester. I also studied abroad with the First-Year London Experience, during my freshman year. To say my abroad experience was the best four months of my life is an understatement! I had an amazing time, met incredible people, and ate so much great food! I visited different parts of Spain, Portugal, France, Morocco, Germany, and Ireland, all of which were super great! Although there were many ups, there were also some downs. I missed my flight, had my wallet stolen, and got lost in the heart of Berlin. Going abroad can be a little scary, but don’t let that stop you! I am more than happy to help guide you to have the ultimate experience. I look forward to meeting with you! “¡Quien no ha visto Sevilla, no ha visto maravilla!“

megan sharsky: a&s - Criminal justice & sociology; tean – gold coast, australia, Spring 2017; thursday, 11:00-12:00pm

Hello! My name is Megan Sharsky and I am currently a senior double majoring in criminal justice and sociology. I studied abroad at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia during the spring 2017 semester through TEAN. Studying abroad was truly a life changing experience for me. Australia has many beautiful places to see, along with some truly awesome people. During my time abroad, I went to Byron Bay, Cairns, Sydney, and I was even able to travel to Bali. TEAN was an amazing program with a lot to offer. One of my most memorable experiences from my time in Australia is snorkeling and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, which I would not have been able to do if it wasn’t for the amazing orientation that TEAN had provided us with. Spending a semester in Australia has taught me how to be more open minded, independent, and most importantly, how to leave my comfort zone. Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made, and if I could do it again 100 times over, I would. I am looking forward to working with anyone who may have questions or need help with their preparation to go abroad!

erin sussmann: ceta - electrical engineering & computer science; uhart global trends - budapest, hungary & rome, italy, Spring 2017; Monday, 1:00-2:00pm

My name is Erin Sussmann and I am a Sophomore studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Hartford. I studied abroad in Spring 2017 on a short term program to Budapest, Hungary and Rome, Italy. I have always wanted to study abroad, and even with a crazy double major, I have been able to fit an international experience into my schedule with the short term programs offered by the University. Spending spring break in these two countries was such an amazing experience. I would love to talk to you about my experiences and help you shape your own adventure!

Kelly Tischbein: Multi-Media Web Design and Development; API – Barcelona, Spain, Spring 2016; wednesday, 11:30-12:30pm

Hola! My name is Kelly Tischbein and I am currently a senior attending to the University of Hartford as a Multi-Media Web Design and Development major with a minor in Spanish. I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain for the full Spring of 2016 semester. This was truly a coming of age experience for me. My study abroad experience has impacted my life in such a positive way from the time I was there till now. I learned so much about myself and how I interact with the world. I loved that I was surrounded by people who shared my passions about travelling. This study abroad experience taught me to appreciate not only my own culture but different ones as well. I was also learned how to balance travelling and studying in Barcelona which has greatly improve my study habits back at my home University. Studying abroad will teach you so many new things that your home University can't teach you. Now it's your turn to step out of your comfort zone. Go! 

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry

chanel thomas: A&s, Hillyer - mathematics; api – leeds, england, fall 2016 & Spring 2017; friday, 10:00-11:00am

Hello! I’m Chanel Thomas and I studied abroad for a year in Leeds, England via API (Academics Programs International). Study abroad was my first opportunity to leave the United States and I don’t regret leaving. I wasn’t nervous about going abroad, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it (especially the food), if/how I was going to make any friends, how university is over there, etc. It is easier than one expects and I loved my time in England with API. I loved it so much I decided to stay another semester. One of my favorite parts of studying abroad in the England was going to Scotland. I got to go all the way to the top of Edinburgh Castle and see all of Edinburgh city centre. The year abroad has given me an opportunity to explore outside of my cultural norm, expand on my skills/learn new ones, as well as make some awesome friends within the program, the local British, and even outside of the UK. Now England is literally my home away from home!

Cody Welti: barney - Marketing; API – Rome, Italy, Spring 2016; Tuesday, 9:30-10:30am

Ciao! I’m Cody, a senior at the Barney School with a Major in Marketing, Minor in Management. I went abroad to Rome, Italy through the API Program in Spring 2016. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Being able to study abroad for a semester you get to immerse yourself into the culture, language, and (my favorite) the food! Choosing Rome as my host city was more than I could have hoped for with all of the history, architecture, and art that is only a 15 minute walk from my apartment. Would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who has even the slightest want to go.