Study Abroad Peer Support

Looking for some guidance when it comes to study abroad? Want to talk to someone who's been there, done that? Your Wesleyan peers are here to help!

As study abroad returnees, Study Abroad Ambassadors and Peer Mentors are eager to show you the ropes of finding a program, applying, navigating life abroad, and more. When it comes to your success and wellbeing abroad, there's no such thing as a silly question, so reach out to an Ambassador or Peer Mentor today. You'll be glad you did!

Interested in becoming an Ambassador or Peer Mentor after your study abroad experience? Learn more about these student leadership opportunities here.

Study Abroad Ambassadors

Study Abroad Ambassadors are current Wesleyan students who are employed by the Office of Study Abroad. The Ambassadors are ready to support you before, during, and after your study abroad experience through one-on-one student support, campus events, and more.
  • Rhea Aggarwal

    Study Abroad Program: Seamester Voyage: Tahiti to Australia (Summer 2019)

    Major: Anthropology

    Email Rhea

    Learn more about Rhea
    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?
    • Experiencing micro-aggressions abroad 
    • Taking care of your mental health abroad 
    • Figuring out visa requirements 
    • Navigating a new environment

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    I wanted to attend a program that would challenge me and push me beyond my comfort zone through exposing me to new places, and new academic disciplines. Academically, the program focused on oceanography and marine biology - disciplines that I had no previous experience in. I was excited to supplement my learning in the classroom with real-world experience that I gained through scuba diving and maritime training.

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    I enjoyed the combination of pursuing certification in scuba diving alongside gaining college credits through academic classes. The combination of the two learning programs allowed for our academic learning to be enriched through real life experience. As part of my marine biology class, I would create ID books for the fish I saw while underwater, and study the properties of the sea creatures we encountered. Marine Biology was probably my favourite class since I could identify many of the fish underwater and see them existing in their natural habitat, while also learning about them in the classroom. 

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    While we were at sea, outside of class time was usually taken up by our duties aboard which included being on the wheel, helping out with sails, cooking meals and cleaning. Life at sea was extremely structured, and as you can imagine, very different from most study abroad programs. While we were docked, time outside of class could be used to go scuba diving, swimming or going onshore to visit the islands on which our boat was docked. 

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    Do it! Prepare to be challenged in ways that you never expected, and learn new things about yourself and the world around you. While abroad, push yourself beyond your comfort zone whenever possible!  

  • Tracy Cui

    Study Abroad Program: The Swedish Program, Sweden (Fall 2019)

    Majors: Psychology, Sociology

    Email Tracy

    Learn more about Tracy

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • How to be by yourself for the first time 
    • Mental/physical health while abroad

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    The Swedish Program was the first study abroad program that I had applied to in early November. Even though the decision to attend the Swedish Program was made prior to my application to all other programs in mind at the time (as it released its acceptance letter in early January), I was very excited to live in a continent that I did not get a chance to live in during my childhood. The Swedish Program seemed like the perfect place as it combines a liberal arts education with a big national university’s curriculum where the students had the freedom to select their courses. It was also the perfect opportunity for me to challenge myself by being alone with no support in a foreign country for the first time in 20 years.  

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    My favorite class must be the Swedish Crime Fiction class I got to take with four of our classmates. It was a very intimate class, just like Wesleyan. The course structure was very different than all other classes and we were given the opportunity to read, for the class but also for pleasure, 10—13 crime fiction novels written by Swedish authors. You may know the most famous one: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was an amazing way to learn the country’s history and political changes in the 19th and 20th century.  

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    The program offered many opportunities for us to travel with classmates. Traveling with local Swedish tour guides and our professors was a great way to appreciate Sweden’s culture, food, its people, and the country. I also signed up for a contact family where I would meet with them once a week to integrate myself into the Swedish way of living. I had the honor to join the University’s volleyball team and played competitively with its rival schools.  

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF THE LOCALS! Make sure you make local friends and take classes that are for local students. Take all the opportunities in the University and the program to socialize and make the best out of it! 

  • Rebecca Downer

    Study Abroad Program: SFS: Wildlife Management Studies, Tanzania (Fall 2019)

    Major: Earth and Environmental Sciences 

    Email Rebecca

    Learn more about Rebecca

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • Being LGBTQIA+ abroad
    • Taking care of your mental health abroad
    • Experiencing culture shock
    • Re-entry experience and post-abroad
    • Creating and sticking to a budget

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    I had always wanted to study abroad in East Africa, and found that Wesleyan had some approved abroad programs there centered around ecology, which is a main interest of mine. Ultimately, it came down to two programs in Tanzania, one that was a more culture-based experience, and one that was a more research-based experience. I ended up choosing the program that was more research-based, but found that the culture component was still present--which I very much appreciated.

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    During the second half of the semester, I participated in Directed Research. This was a class where I was able to conduct my own research with a professor. For this project, I studied the relationship between ants and acacia trees, where acacia trees supply ants with nectar and a structure to live in exchange for the protection that ants can provide. These ants are able to protect the trees from animals even as large as elephants. I loved being able to work in the field and see this interaction in person, and it also gave me my first exposure to writing a research paper.

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    Outside of class, I was able to take short excursions around our nearby village, where I would walk around markets. Our group took a larger trip to Kenya for two weeks. I also went to many national parks in the region.

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    Speak to previous students of the abroad program--research is important, but hearing about personal experiences from past students is really valuable. My program had a list of the student alumni, and I was able to contact them, and that was helpful for me in choosing my program.

  • Kennie Etienne

    Study Abroad Program: Trinity in Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago (Spring 2020)

    Major: African American Studies

    Email Kennie

    Learn more about Kennie

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • The petition process 
    • Sticking to a budget 
    • Traveling locally 
    • Healthcare and health insurance abroad 

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    As an AFAM major with a concentration in anthropology, I have developed a deep interest in Afro-Caribbean contributions to literature, art, and to the field of Black Studies. Since my initial conversation with Emily about wanting to study abroad, I was sure that I wanted to study in the Caribbean and knew that I had to petition for a program that was the right fit for me. I chose the Trinity in Trinidad program because of its hands-on and grassroots approach to familiarizing students with the local culture. Classwork coincides with weekly field trips and students are taught to place every popular event and attraction within the context of Trinidadian history. 

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    My favorite class while abroad was Carnival Arts and Performance, taught by the late Tony Hall, a famous Trinidadian playwright. Professor Hall regularly challenged my cohort by introducing us to professionals in various fields related to Trinidadian cultural traditions who facilitated hands on activities like calypso song writing and even traditional stick fighting known as Calinda.  

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    My favorite activities outside of class were Jouvert morning and Carnival Monday & Tuesday. I also enjoyed seeing the annual Canboulay play, which is a reenactment of the Canboulay riots. These riots by the descendants of freed slaves on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago were in response to efforts by the British police to crack down on the celebration of Carnival. Tony Hall was instrumental in reviving the commemoration of the Canboulay Riots in the 1990s. 

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    I would suggest that you begin researching programs early. You want to be prepared to possibly change your mind about which program to apply to and be able take your time on your application. 

  • Rose Griffin

    Study Abroad Program: DIS Copenhagen, Denmark (Fall 2019)

    Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 

    Email Rose

    Learn more about Rose

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • Living with a host family 
    • First time traveling internationally  
    • Studying abroad as a pre-med student  
    • Taking care of your mental health abroad 

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    I chose my study abroad program because of the classes offered, the option to live in a homestay, and the balance between structured programming and time to freely explore. DIS allowed me to both take classes towards my major and classes geared towards pre-medical students. I also got to live with a lovely host family just outside of Copenhagen and knew I would have lots of time to travel throughout Europe during my semester.  

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    My favorite class abroad was called Medical Practice and Policy. Our class met at a local hospital, where we were taught by residents about human anatomy, disease, and treatment. We also traveled to different cities and towns in Denmark to learn more about the Danish healthcare system and took a weeklong trip to Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria to learn about health policy in different parts of Europe. We toured hospitals, talked to doctors in every field of medicine, and even got to observe a surgery. It was very exciting to get more specific experience in the medical field to confirm my intention to go to medical school.  

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    Outside of class I played ultimate frisbee, baked cookies and cakes with my host sister, went running with my host mom, and took a lot of pictures. I was in a photography class, so would have my camera in my backpack wherever I went, whether I was walking around my neighborhood before class or traveling to another country on the weekend.  

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    Take the time to consider what aspects of studying abroad are important to you. Your experience can vary widely depending on how you prioritize opportunities for cultural exchange, learning a new language, or academics, as a few examples. Then, it is easier to narrow down all of the exciting but different options available to you.  

  • Gem McHaffey

    Study Abroad Program: IFSA: University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Fall 2019)

    Major: English

    Email Gem

    Learn more about Gem

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • Studying abroad with disabilities 
    • Making friends abroad 
    • Academic differences abroad 
    • Cultural immersion 
    • Traveling out of the United States for the first time 

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    I had never really left the country before study abroad and thought it would be a great opportunity to get some experience in a different culture. As an English major I picked studying at Edinburgh because I was interested in learning about how English literature is taught and conceived of differently. Scotland also has a vibrant culture and a fascinating relationship to the English language.  

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    I took a course called Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding at the University of Edinburgh Divinity School, which focused on the use of religion to help facilitate peace in conflict and post-conflict zones. I had an amazing professor who taught me so much and made me want to pursue more religion classes at Wesleyan. It is still one of the best classes I've ever taken. 

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the University of Edinburgh Curling Team. It helped me to make friends and learn more about this Scottish sport. I also took weekly ballet classes through one of the dance societies.  

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    My advice for students considering studying abroad is to not be afraid to immerse yourself in the culture and ask questions. I found that the memories I have from study abroad are all related to times when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made friends with people abroad. It is easy to isolate yourself with other American study abroad students in your program, but it's also a great idea to get to know some locals! 

  • Langston Morrison

    Study Abroad Program: Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris, France (Spring 2019)

    Majors: College of Letters, Economics

    Email Tracy

    Learn more about Langston

    What areas of the study abroad experience can you help other students navigate?

    • Experiencing racism abroad 
    • Living with a host family 
    • Language and immersion  
    • Making friends 

    Why did you select your study abroad program?
    Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in languages and international education; I always saw myself as a global citizen. So, whenever I have the chance to learn a new language and travel abroad to a country where that language is spoken I am excited. Prior to enrolling at Wesleyan, I was doing a lot of research on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its complex economic relationship with Belgium; but, to my dismay a lot of the information that I wanted was only available in French. Consequently, when I arrived at Wesleyan I pursued study in French language. I ultimately chose to study in Paris, France, with the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris because it provided me with the best environment whereby I could pursue my dreams of exploration, study, and research.  

    What was your favorite class from your term abroad?
    My favorite class taken abroad was called Francophonie du Sud or Southern Francophone. In the class, we discussed linguistics and the histories of different places in this area. It was amazing! We discussed the complex origins and socio-political realities of creoles, pigdins, patois, and dialects in these places.

    What activities did you participate in outside of class while you were studying abroad?
    I served as an English and Spanish teaching assistant at a primary/middle school in central Paris. This was a tremendous opportunity because I had a chance to improve my teaching and interpersonal skills.

    What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
    Make sure you reflect on what you want to get out of your study abroad experience. Also, don't stress over all the required pre-departure paperwork; just organize and prepare for the séjour of a lifetime. 

Study Abroad Peer Mentors

Study Abroad Peer Mentors are current Wesleyan students who recently returned from a study abroad experience and work with the Office of Study Abroad on a volunteer-basis. They are ready to mentor you through any of the study abroad questions or challenges you may be facing.
  • Liana Biasucci

    Study Abroad Program: University of Sydney, Australia (Fall 2019)

    Majors: Economics, Environmental Studies

    Email Liana

    Learn more about Liana
    Hi! My name is Liana and I am currently a senior majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. I studied abroad in Fall 2019 at the University of Sydney in Australia with the IFSA-Butler Partnership. I took courses counting towards both of my majors, primarily in the field of political economy. I also worked as an intern at a green finance and sustainability consulting firm, which was one of my favourite parts of the program! 
  • Emily Burstein

    Study Abroad Program: BU London Internship Program, England (Spring 2020)

    Major: English

    Email Emily

    Learn more about Emily
    Hi! My name is Emily, and I am a senior English major. I studied abroad with Boston University on their London Internship Program. The opportunity to intern in an international workspace allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I was hesitant to study abroad, but am so glad I did. I could not recommend a study away experience more emphatically! 
  • Jamie Cheng

    Study Abroad Programs: DIS Copenhagen, Denmark (Fall 2019); CIEE Arts + Sciences in Legon, Ghana (Spring 2020); National Taiwan University, Taiwan (Fall 2020)

    Majors: Psychology, Education Studies

    Email Jamie

    Learn more about Jamie
    To begin with, the U.S. is actually the first country I studied abroad in during college years—I’m an international student from Taiwan. For me, studying abroad means much more than traveling around the world, exploring the vibrant life of cities, cultivating cultural competency, and forming international friendships; more importantly, it has been a stimulus for self-growth and opportunity for deeper self-understanding. Therefore, I decided to study abroad “abroad” in Denmark and Ghana for a semester each during my junior year. Then, unexpectedly, I came back to Taiwan due to COVID-19 and ended up studying “abroad” at National Taiwan University during Fall 2020. Anyway, with my diverse cross-cultural experiences across all four continents, I hope I can be of any help to you if you are thinking about studying abroad any time soon! Feel free to email me with any questions on culture, housing, traveling, things to consider when choosing programs or literally anything!
  • Akankska Kalasabail

    Study Abroad Program: IFSA - Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (Fall 2019)

    Major: English

    Email Akanksha

    Learn more about Akankska
    Hello! I'm Akanksha and I am an English major with a concentration in Race and Ethnicity studies. I went abroad with IFSA Butler to Wellington, New Zealand, and had the best time of my life! I am also a Global Ambassador for IFSA and would love to talk about traveling to Oceania or with IFSA! 
  • Tina Omoeva

    Study Abroad Program: Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris, France (Fall 2019)

    Majors: History, French Studies

    Email Tina

    Learn more about Tina
    My name is Tina Omoeva, I’m a senior at Wes majoring in History and French, with a minor in Economics. In my junior year, I had the incredible experience of going abroad with the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris. As a double-major, it was somewhat tricky for me to organize my courses in a way that enabled me to study abroad, and I would love the opportunity to help other students plan their courses, as well as share general tips that I wish I would’ve known while I was in France. Though it wasn’t without its challenges, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, and I want to do all I can to help other students participate in this opportunity. 
  • Kiyo Saso

    Study Abroad Program: Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid, Spain (Spring 2020)

    Major: Romance Studies

    Email Kiyo

    Learn more about Kiyo
    My name is Kiyo and I am a romance studies major from the class of 2021. In the spring of 2020, I studied abroad through the Vassar-Wesleyan Madrid program, an experience which was unfortunately curtailed (for obvious reasons) but nonetheless great from start to finish. I can offer plenty of insight into the chaotic student visa process, as well as making friends while abroad - talk to me! 
  • Quentin Tan

    Study Abroad Program: Kansai Gaidai University, Japan (Spring 2020)

    Majors: College of Letters, College of East Asian Studies

    Email Quentin

    Learn more about Quentin
    Hi! My name is Quentin and I studied abroad in Osaka, Japan at Kansai Gaidai University during Spring 2020—that's right, in the middle of a pandemic. While the coincidence of my study abroad with the outbreak of COVID-19 certainly gave it an unprecedented twist, my experience in Japan at the time of Corona was just as challenging as it was exciting! National lockdowns, protests, and unforgettable friendships—my study abroad in Japan is my best "Wesleyan decision", and I'd be more than happy to talk to you about it!