Every member of our team has studied, traveled, volunteered, interned, and/or taught abroad, and we understand how life-changing an experiential program can be. We’re here to advise you, work with you throughout the application process, prepare you before your program begins and support you while you’re abroad.
Finding the right host organization in another country can be challenging, but our experienced team of on-site staff is devoted to matching you with a host organization that best fits your unique skill set, academic goals, and areas of interest. Our on-site staff provides support from the moment you arrive, helps orient you to your new country and host organization, and ensures that you are successful throughout your time abroad.
Hailing from Knox, NY, Xena earned her BA in media and society from Hobart & William Smith Colleges where she also completed programs in English, aesthetics, environmental studies and leadership. During her junior year, she studied abroad in London and fell in love with the history, culture and countries she explored throughout Europe. She vowed to never stop traveling the world and has since lived on three different continents. Now based in Melbourne, Australia, Xena loves helping students discover the magic that she feels when exploring a new country. She also enjoys reading a good book on the beach, dabbling in creative writing, and eating copious amounts of the delicious food that her chef partner makes.
Program Manager, Ireland, Spain, & Chile
Taylor grew up in a small Pennsylvania town (think: no highway nearby) in an area known as the PA Wilds. Travel has always been an important part of her life, starting when she was younger when she would take family vacations to places including Wyoming, Florida and the Bahamas. She graduated from Edinboro University in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.A. in Communication Studies in 2019, effectively making her a master of communication. Wanting to travel more, during her graduate school career, Taylor expanded her travel experience with an internship in Dublin, Ireland and has since traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and Salvador, Brazil. She has a passion and love for travel and vows to help others feel the same joy and excitement of exploring a new place. Taylor also loves coffee shops, photography, and Penn State Football.
Program Manager, Australia, New Zealand, England, & Global Remote Internships
Veronika is originally from the north of the Czech Republic. As a European located in the heart of Europe, she always had easy access to international travel and has visited most of Europe. Last year she graduated from The University in Sunderland in the UK with a degree in Business and Human Resource Management. Thanks to studying abroad, she undertook a year-long Business and Hospitality Internship in Austin, TX. It was a life-changing milestone that completely influenced her life direction and helped her to permanently relocate across the world to Austin, TX. Outside of Europe, she has traveled to Egypt, the Asian side of Turkey, the USA, and Mexico and would love to explore more places in the United States and nearby countries. Veronika joined WorldStrides in April 2022 as an Executive Administrative Assistant and worked her way up to her current role of Program Manager for International Internships.
Program Manager, South Korea, Japan, China, & Vietnam
Hi! My name is Stuart but feel free to call me "Stu", it's been my nickname ever since I was a kid. I was born in North Miami beach, but I was raised in the city of Pembroke Pines, Florida. When I was a kid, my parents would always take me on trips to Disney World, which first sparked a small flame for hospitality, hotels, and travel of course. Over time, we slowly started to travel to other states, to experience some of our Nation's beautiful history, people, and landscapes. I have seen the White House and visited Times square. I will always remember attending Derek Jeter's last game at Fenway Park in Boston, but most of all taking in the view of Grand Canyon was unlike anything I'd seen before. Even so, something was missing. I recently graduated from Florida International University in December '21 with my bachelor's in hospitality management and a focus on travel and tourism. In my time at FIU, I wanted to learn about international cultures and people so that I could continue learning about myself as an individual. I achieved this goal when I studied abroad remotely as an intern in Vietnam, and it was the best decision I ever made. It will be my pleasure to assist you along your journey in making this dream a reality.
Senior Director, Curriculum & Academic Programs
Hailing from Northern California, Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a BA in English and French and then received her MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. Elizabeth first traveled to Switzerland as a high school exchange student, then studied abroad for a year in Lyon, France, where she enrolled in literature courses with local students and traveled throughout most of Western Europe during long vacations. After graduating from UCLA, she joined the Peace Corps and taught English in Madagascar. Before joining ISA, she taught French language and literature courses at Northern Illinois University and UT-Austin. She loves reading books in their original language (or translations), traveling, camping and going on adventures with her husband and daughter.
Assistant Director, Curriculum and Academics
Born and raised in Central Ohio, Michelle received an Individualized B.A. in Environmental Sociology from Otterbein University and an M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina. Despite being an avid solo traveler, she didn't collect most of her passport stamps until her late 20s. Now a self-proclaimed expert in optimizing 48-72 hours at a destination, she is always planning the next adventure. As an international educator who ""tripped and fell"" into the field, she is passionate about designing experiences that align with students' long-term personal and professional goals. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors (in moderation), supporting local businesses, and conspiring to take over the world with her cat.
Hi! My name is Andrés, and I was born and raised in Merida, a small city in southeast Mexico, filled with places to see, people to meet, beautiful traditions and amazing history. I recently graduated from Law School here in Mexico, and one of my professional goals is being able to combine my legal background and my passion for travel. I’m also a big soccer fan and a history buff, which is one of the reasons I enjoy traveling and learning through traveling. Being born in Mexico, one of Latin America’s top destinations for tourism, I feel really lucky to have so many different places to see so close to me, and I’ve made it a personal challenge to see all of our 32 states before my 32’s. As for my international bucket list, my top destinations would be Norway, Scotland, Austria and Portugal, and I hope to be able to cross out those countries soon. I’m sure this experience abroad will be a lifechanging experience for you and I’m really excited to assist you through the awesome journey you’re about to start!
Director of Operations, Australia & New Zealand
Born in Sydney, Dharma studied Environmental Sciences at the University of Wollongong where he lived with many study abroad students and formed life-long friendships. This led to a career in international education and travel, where he has worked for over 20 years at Australian universities, study abroad companies, and leading educational tours around Australia and Asia Pacific. A dual Australian/American citizen, he has lived in and traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, and is a keen surf and landscape photographer. Dharma has a passion for adventure and new experiences, and enjoys working for TEAN to help others have life-changing intercultural experiences that encourage personal and professional growth.
Internships Program Manager, Australia
Originally from Walla Walla, Washington, Joanna began traveling as soon as she graduated high school – working abroad in Italy, Egypt, and South Korea, and studying abroad in Scotland. She then spent over a decade in New York City working within cultural exchange, international education, and global mobility; followed by a career as an immigration attorney. Having now settled in Melbourne, Australia, Joanna believes life is an adventure – and we should treat it like one. She thoroughly enjoys being able to help students do just that everyday.
Resident Director and Internships Program Manager, Brisbane, Australia
Originally from Rockville, MD, Mark studied Non-Profits Arts Management at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. After 8 years working in music agencies and venues across the continental US, he got bit by the travel bug and ventured to China to work in education. While in China, Mark taught courses in World Cultures and Contemporary Global Issues, sharing his passion for modern anthropology and the movement of culture throughout the globe with his students. In Shanghai, he would start his own teacher placement agency, helping new teachers find work placements and get settled in an exciting, yet very different, culture. Towards the beginning of the Covid-19, Mark found himself stuck in Australia after a motorcycle trip through the Philippines and Indonesia. During the height of the pandemic, he taught International Business English remotely to graduate students at the Shanghai University of Business and Economics. This afforded him the ability to travel up and down the Queensland coast and islands, eventually calling Brisbane home. Mark believes that the education one gets from traveling is like none other. He looks forward to helping students enjoy everything Brisbane and Australia have to offer.
Resident Director, Cairns, Australia
Born and raised in Australia Jayde was born in South Australia but grew up in South East Brisbane. Growing up on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with so many wonders of Australia at her doorstep to explore. Jayde worked in a family business teaching Martial Arts with her father before going on a holiday and falling in love with Far North Queensland. Now living in Cairns, Jayde spent the last 2 years working in tourism to give customers a wonderful experience in Cairns from exploring the Reef to adventures in the Rainforest, even big thrills like Skydiving. Currently Jayde works to support her local community as a business consultant helping others run their business. Jayde loves adventure and helping others, and enjoys working with TEAN to help students on their adventure of a lifetime in Australia.
Resident Director, Gold Coast, Australia
Tiani never enjoyed the cold weather in the city (Melbourne) where she grew up. She left her little bubble when she was 18 to play tennis and attend university in Upstate New York. After graduating with a degree in Psychology, Tiani moved on to Hawaii where she learnt to freedive. She decided to pursue her love for the ocean, a passion which then brought her back to Australia, where she completed a Masters in Marine Biology at James Cook University. She lived in Townsville for many years, but recently moved south and now calls the Gold Coast home. She loves to meet students from around the world and share with them her love of Queensland!
Resident Director, Melbourne, Australia
Julie Sharpe has been entertaining crowds around Australia for over 30 years. In 1999, Julie came across ‘Draculaʼs Comedy Cabaretʼ (Newman Entertainments) and embarked on a 20 year career as head cast member and Artistic Director. She travelled internationally with Newman Entertainments to set up a franchise of Draculaʼs in South East Asia. This spawned a great love of travel and adventure. Working with the people, cultures and wildlife of other countries was something Julie became very passionate about. Julie grew up in a very small country town in central NSW. She always saw herself living in Sydney as an adult after school life, but a fateful trip to Melbourne saw Julie fall in love with the city, and within a few days she knew she wouldn’t be going back! Julie is very excited to be a part of the team and is looking forward to meeting all the students who chose to study abroad in Melbourne. I’m sure you’re all going to find it irresistible!
Resident Director, Perth, Australia
Originally from Chicago, Melissa is passionate about teaching, traveling and learning about the world. She attended James Madison University where she earned her Masters in Teaching and first studied abroad in Florence. After graduating, she spent a few years in Prague, Czech Republic teaching English and learning about life abroad. Her passion for travel then took her to live and teach in Taiwan, where she was able to really get out of her comfort zone and immerse herself in the culture. Her travels continued to Australia, where she lived in Melbourne and the Sunshine coast, but now calls Fremantle, near Perth, home. She continues her work as a teacher at the local schools, enjoys living near the beach and playing soccer. It’s through living and teaching abroad that she has found her passion helping others do the same.
Senior Resident Director, Queensland, Australia, Barcelona, Spain
Originally from Canada, Cole is a graduate of the Bachelor of Communications program at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus. Cole, just like many others across North America, decided to take his education international and start one of the greatest adventures of his life. Cole has been involved in communities around the globe through work within the Not-For-Profit sector, and in his personal time he enjoys travel throughout South East Asia, meeting people from different walks of life, learning about local cultures, and reading any work by Hunter S. Thompson, finding his work to be mind- strengthening through its creativity and realism. Taking on new challenges is something Cole greatly enjoys and is one of the reasons why he thrives being on the TEAN team.
Resident Director, Sydney, Australia
Originally from Boston, Cate now calls Sydney home after a semester abroad at the University of Sydney and falling in love with Australia in 2018. Cate graduated from the University of Miami, FL with degrees in microbiology and public health, but has found her passion in working with students to make the most of their time in Australia. In her free-time you can find Cate hiking in national parks, lost in a book, or chasing around her border collie. As a former exchange student in Australia, she is excited to show students everything Sydney and Wollongong have to offer!
Resident Director, Shanghai, China
Medusa is a native of Shanghai with over 13 years of experience in international education. Having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Language from Fudan University and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Hong Kong, her academic background in international cultural exchange has provided a foundation for a career spent working with top-level universities and organizations from around the world. Prior to joining ISA, Medusa complimented her work with international students by teaching university coursework in English and Chinese Culture and Folklore.
Internships Program Coordinator, London, England
Eloise studied American History at the University of East Anglia which included a year abroad at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Ever since engaging in her own personal abroad adventures, Eloise has been passionate about getting others involved in pursuing their own study abroad opportunities. Eloise actively tries to visit as many European cities as possible and therefore is a great resource for students as she has lots of travel recommendations. She enjoys making and drinking coffee, as well as watching films and TV. Her favorite places within London are Shoreditch and the Wimbledon Tennis Club, and she has a great list for fun day trips outside the Capital as well.
Assistant Resident Director, London, England
Marina joined ISA in 2010 after graduating from King's College London with a degree in International Commercial and Financial Law. Marina has traveled extensively throughout Europe and believes that study abroad is essential to personal growth and offers fantastic opportunities to discover the world at large. Among her favorite places in London are the River Thames Embankment, Tower Bridge and Greenwich Park. Marina is very excited to show the ISA students London's diverse cultural and historic heritage.
Resident Director, London, England
Born and raised in Malaga, Spain, Antonio attended the University of Malaga, where he obtained his degrees in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Passionate about cinema, photography and arts in general, he also taught himself graphic & web design. His curiosity and enthusiasm for other cultures led him to explore, and after living and working for a while in different places in Europe, he landed in Barcelona and immediately fell in love with the Catalan Capital and all it had to offer. In 2008 Antonio started to work with ISA, first in Barcelona for 8 years, then in Florence for a year and a half, and since 2017 he has been the Dublin Office's Resident Director. Antonio finds study abroad to be one of the best ways to “open minds” and is always happy to share tips about the places he has visited.
Student Services, London, England
Joseph studied Business Information Technology at Kingston University, including a study abroad year in Hong Kong, which is when he discovered his passion for study abroad. Upon graduating he began working for ISA’s London team. As a London native, Joseph enjoys sharing the city’s culture with students and helping them achieve their study abroad goals. Joseph is a keen traveler and loves exploring different cultures. Some of his other interests include football, technology, and photography. His favorite places in London are Richmond park and the British Museum.
Resident Director, Dublin, Ireland
David was born and raised in Dublin with an immense passion for the city. He has recently completed an MSc in Digital Marketing, which was studied in Berlin, Germany, Prior to this David had completed a Bachelor of Business Studies in Dublin. David possesses a fervent love for traveling and has spent extended periods backpacking across Europe, Australia, and Asia. He has also had the privilege of participating in a study abroad program based in Florence, Italy, during his undergraduate studies. David firmly believes that traveling is a vital component of personal development, nurturing essential social and self-awareness skills that prove valuable in all aspects of life. His previous work experience encompassed sales, marketing, and event management, collectively shaping him into a sociable, fun-loving, and adventurous individual.
Student Services Coordinator, Dublin, Ireland
Originally raised in Malaga, Spain, Noemi attended the University of her city where she studied Primary Education Teaching. She also holds a professional Music degree in violin and has completed a Master of Educational Leadership and Management in the Catholic University of Avila. Noemi’s interest in international education started when she first visited Cambridge and Hamburg on exchange trips, and grew as she went on Erasmus to Bologna, and later settled in Dublin teaching in a Montessori School. Experiencing the highs and lows of international living has positively changed her way of seeing things and she loves being part of an company that gives this same opportunity to students.
Student Services Coordinator, Tokyo, Japan
Leina was born in Japan but spent her early years living in other countries like Singapore, France, Romania, and Thailand. She came back to Japan at the age of 10 and then studied in New Zealand during high school to learn English. After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Japan, Leina worked at a local company for two years before joining TEAN. During her free time, she loves singing, playing the guitar, and watching anime. Leina is enthusiastic about sharing her study abroad experiences and supporting TEAN students during their time in Japan.
Student Services Coordinator, Tokyo, Japan
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Riki returned to Japan when he was 18 years old to attend university in Japan. After graduating with a degree in Tourism, he worked with a travel agency for three years. His experience in the travel industry has driven Riki to be very passionate about intercultural excursions. Riki is excited to share his passion for travel and Japanese culture with TEAN students. In his free time, Riki enjoys outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, camping, and hiking.
Internships Program Coordinator & Resident Director, Auckland, New Zealand
With a tertiary background in business, accounting and commercial law, I have been working in the successful delivery of global internship programs for the last five years - managing study abroad, internship and e-service learning portfolios in the Pacific, Asia and North America. At WorldStrides my greatest contribution was leading the Pacific team to establish a loud and powerful market presence in the education sector. This was achieved through proactively identifying and fostering a vast network of meaningful partnerships with local authorities and institutions, community champions, startup communities and non-profit organizations. All things related to bringing about a unique and memorable internship experience is our mission here at WorldStrides.
Resident Director, Auckland, New Zealand
Ketaki grew up moving cities every two years in India and loved it! As a young adult she travelled across Asia representing Team India Women’s Rugby 7s for five years till 2012, and then helped set up a BBQ cafe in Djibouti and visited nearby Ethiopia and Kenya. She worked for Sri Lanka Rugby for a year before moving to New Zealand in 2013 to play rugby, fell in love and called it home! With a Bachelor of Sport & BA Sociology, and over 7yrs experience working with diverse communities and running programs for rugby unions, international students, and refugee youth; Ketaki is passionate about growth through travel and immersive experiences. She is excited to be a part of TEAN students’ journey as they are touched by Aotearoa’s breath-taking beauty, its rich culture and diversity.
Assistant Resident Director, Auckland, New Zealand
Kia ora! I’m proud to say I was born and raised in Auckland and I’ve been part of the WorldStrides team since 2018. While studying at Auckland University of Technology, I had my own study abroad adventure at Cardiff University, Wales and this ignited my passion for international education. After graduating, I was fortunate to start my role as an Exchange Coordinator at AUT, before working in a similar role at Massey University, followed by embarking on another passion: working with indigenous university students. I then moved to London to have stories to tell my future grandchildren and to cure my travel bug. I’ve since returned home and I’m enjoying sharing NZ (Aotearoa) with all TEAN students. Studying abroad is one of the bravest things you can do as a student, so I look forward to being your go-to person and welcoming you all to beautiful Aotearoa soon.
Resident Director, Christchurch, New Zealand
Originally from Canada, Allison graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 2010 with a BA and completed her Bachelor of Honors in Elementary Education with a concentration in Inclusion and Special Needs. After graduation, Allison moved to South Korea where she taught at English language academies for three years. In 2014, she moved to New Zealand as an international student, studying towards an MEd in Inclusive and Special Education, and after six months, began working with international students through the campus halls of residence. Allison has worked in international education in Christchurch, New Zealand for five years. She loves showing off new places in Christchurch and visiting pop-up shops, as well as assisting students in acclimatizing to New Zealand’s unique culture and way of life.
Resident Director, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Dianne is based in Palmerston North where she has lived for many years! Graduating from Massey University with a master’s degree in business studies Dianne went onto work for the university in several roles including admissions, international recruitment and marketing, short course development and education and now part-time as a research administrator. Having travelled extensively through 65+countries around the Pacific, SE Asia, UK, Scandinavia, Russia, and South America and all New Zealand, Dianne has empathy for your challenges and can relate to the experience of living in another country and culture. For many years she volunteered supporting refugees and migrants in their first years in NZ. Still enjoying travelling with her family and free-time maintaining her little patch of self-sustainability in the city growing most of her families’ vegetables and raising hens for eggs. When not gardening, you’ll find Dianne following sports and vex robotics interests of her whanau. Dianne is excited for you all as you start on your Kiwi experience!
Resident Director, Wellington, New Zealand
Originally from the US, Fred worked for Rutgers College Office of Student Support as both a Resident Advisor and a Hall Advisor after finishing his BSc in Primatology and Hungarian. He currently looks after study abroad students and the coordination of ISA’s service-learning in New Zealand. Since moving to New Zealand, Fred has worked at Massey University, Victoria University in Wellington, and the University of Otago in various roles and enjoys working with students, especially those that have also chosen New Zealand as their new, though short term, home.
Resident Director, Barcelona, Spain
Cristina was born in Barcelona and graduated from the University of Barcelona with a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Management. Cristina has been working in ISA for more than 9 years, she is very passionate about her work as she enjoys helping students have the richest experience possible. In addition, Cristina speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, and some French. In her free time, Cristina is passionate about Barcelona, its culture and nature, loves to spend time with her friends, traveling and trying food from all around the world! One of her best experiences was to travel to India with his grandfather and doing volunteering service with Fundación Vicente Ferrer, an NGO that works in Anantapur, the poorest area of the country. Traveling abroad has change her life and the way to see the different cultures.
Student Services Coordinator, Barcelona, Spain
Rossella was born and grew up in Southern Italy. She graduated from the Parthenope University of Naples with a degree in Tourism Economics. After her graduation, she gained work experience in both the tourism industry and the banking sector. In 2013 she decided to move abroad because of her eagerness to face new challenges and enhance her foreign language skills. In London she had the opportunity to improve her proficiency in English and did a short course in International Finance at the City University of London. Rossella has been living in Barcelona for almost eight years. Passionate about languages and cultures, she completed her master’s degree in Translation Studies at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) in 2020. She loves travelling, going to music events, doing yoga and volunteering with asylum seekers. Studying and living abroad represent for her unique experiences that keep adding value to one’s personal growth.
Resident Director, Barcelona, Spain
Daniel grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina with a degree in Anthropology. He has gained a passion for international education, travel, and cultural understanding through his own adventures throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. As a college student, Daniel studied abroad with ISA in Granada, Spain. Later in 2001, he joined the ISA Granada team then in 2008 he became the Resident Director in ISA Meknes, Morocco until 2017. Since then Daniel has been coordinating housing in Barcelona. On his free time he enjoys biking, snorkeling, skating, hiking and yoga, however surfing is his obsession. When there are no waves you can usually find Daniel relaxing in one of Barcelona’s many outdoor cafes.
Student Services Coordinator, Barcelona, Spain
David was born in Barcelona. In 2021 he did his first study abroad in France, where he was also able to work while studying tourism. As a result of that experience he decided to challenge himself to work in different parts of the world. A year later he returned to work in France, for a couple of months. Later he went to Colombia, South America where he worked and traveled around the country. David really likes to give people his best attitude and smile, he is an outgoing and friendly person who believes firmly in teamwork and believes a good work environment is a key to success. He really enjoys making friends, learning new things, traveling and getting to know new cultures, but what he likes the most is cooking and hopes to have his own restaurant in a few years. In the meantime he'll be dedicated to cooking up a flavorful experience for ISA Barcelona students.
Cultural Activities Coordinator, Barcelona, Spain
Judit was born in Barcelona and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations from University Pompeu Fabra. She did an internship in a small NGO in Barcelona, where she stayed as a volunteer for a year. That gave her the opportunity to travel to places like Georgia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Czech Republic, where she had the chance to meet and live with people from other European countries. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, English and some Italian. Judit is also dedicated to creating content for her online community and loves reading self-development books. She has joined the ISA Team in Barcelona for the second time and is ready to work, learn and enjoy this experience once again.
Resident Director, Barcelona, Spain
Born and raised in Madrid, Manuel Urí Martín studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he received his doctorate in Spanish Philology. He has taught as a professor at the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France; at Carleton University in Canada and also at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo in Santander, the Canary Islands and Seville. Manuel started working at ISA in 2008 and has been the ISA Resident Director in both Madrid and Barcelona during this time. His extensive work experience, passionate personality and sincere desire that each one of his students enjoy studying abroad, undoubtedly make him a great member of the ISA team. Manuel and the rest of the ISA Barcelona staff are dedicated to making your experience in Spain an excellent one.
Student Services Coordinator, Madrid, Spain
Growing up with an American father and a Spanish mother in Catalonia, the Spanish northeastern region, Aitana has been exposed to different languages and cultural experiences since an early age which kindled her interest in this field. Having moved to the US when she was 14 where she met people with all kinds of cultural backgrounds and mastered her knowledge of the English language further encouraged this interest. While in the US, she graduated from the University of Florida with a double major in Criminology and International Studies and obtained some experience working in the legal field before moving back to Spain in 2022 to reconnect with her Spanish roots. Since moving back, she has been working as an assistant in exchange programs. This has led her to become a part of the ISA team as of 2023, where she works closely with her colleagues whom she shares this passion for cultures and languages with, to ensure that students have a rewarding study abroad experience in Madrid. In her free time, she really enjoys meeting up with friends, going to restaurants, but also staying home and watching movies. Furthermore, she loves meeting new people and learning about their culture, as well as learning new languages.
Cultural Activities Coordinator, Madrid, Spain
Anna was born in Italy and has loved foreign languages and cultures since she was a toddler. This led her to focus her studies on translation, interpreting, and literature, specializing in Spanish and English. Anna previously worked as an English and Spanish language teacher for many years, with students of all ages and backgrounds. She loves music, dance, sports, and nature. Anna is fond of traveling and meeting new people.
Resident Director, Madrid, Spain
Although originally from Burgos, in Northern Spain, Neftalí has spent most of his life living around Spain and South America. He studied Social Education and Hispanic Studies at the University of Granada, after which he completed a master's degree in Cultural Management and Latin American Studies. He also worked as an educator addressing the needs of disadvantaged adolescents. Neftalí enjoyed his experience in the Andes, working for five years as a literature professor and Academic Coordinator of ISA in Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, and traveling throughout Latin America. After that, he returned to Spain to take over the position of ISA Barcelona Senior Academic Coordinator. In this role, he had the opportunity to interact with students and provide his support across a wide range of issues. Nef is a literature and photography enthusiast who enjoys exploring the wonders of nature and riding his motorcycle across the country.
Assistant Resident Director & Housing Coordinator, Madrid, Spain
A native of Granada, Carlos moved to Madrid in 2002. He studied Business Computer Science in high school and Labor Relations at the University of Granada. He worked at a bilingual (English-Spanish) primary school in Granada. Carlos is also a professional actor and a voice actor. He has participated in various short films, theatrical performances, musicals, and commercials for TV. He loves to travel, meet people, and learn about different cultures. Carlos is a dynamic and extroverted person who is accustomed to working in a team environment. He has been working for ISA since 2004, and is a wonderful addition to the ISA Madrid team.
Academics and Student Care Coordinator, Madrid, Spain
Matthew was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in the Southeastern United States, first in Mississippi and then in the Florida panhandle. The son of a Spanish mother and an American father, he was raised in a bilingual, bicultural home, and developed a love of geography and world cultures from an early age. Matthew earned a B.A. at Florida State University, double majoring in Marketing and Spanish Language and obtaining a certificate in International Business, where he also had his first study abroad experience in Valencia, Spain. He began working in international exchange programs, first as an intern during his summers home from college, and later as a Program Coordinator managing student and adult exchanges through US government programs. In 2017, Matthew moved to Madrid, Spain, where he taught English and began working with ISA in the Madrid Office. He also had the opportunity to live and work in A Coruña, Spain, for a year before moving to Barcelona and joining the ISA on-site team. In his free time, Matthew enjoys reading, swimming, exploring the unique neighborhoods of Barcelona, traveling throughout Spain and Europe, experiencing other cultures, and soaking up new experiences.
Resident Director, Valencia, Spain
Manuel "Manu" Gutiérrez Olavarría began working with ISA in 2001 as a Resident Director in several ISA sites: Sevilla, Santander, Barcelona, and is now in Valencia. Manu enjoys being surrounded by different cultures and believes this aspect of the job is the most rewarding.
Cultural Activities Coordinator, Valencia, Spain
Francesco was born and grew up in the center of Italy. He graduated from the Alma Mater University of Bologna with a degree in Foreign Languages translation. After his graduation, he first worked as a translator and then as a seafarer onboard cruise ships. Thanks to these experiences, he gained new professional skills and strengthened his cultural knowledge. After being at sea for several years, he decided to move back to Italy and joined the education industry by working as Erasmus + Project coordinator. Francesco loves travelling and embracing new cultures. Working in the education industry represents the perfect opportunity to keep widening his horizons and work in an international environment.
Student Services Coordinator, Valencia, Spain
Maria was born in Peru and moved to Spain when she was 5 years old. When she was 13 she took part in an exchange with an Italian School. Later, at 16 years old, she did another exchange with a school in the Netherlands and again at 18 with a school in the United States. After finishing high school she lived in London for 3 years to experience the culture and the lifestyle. She enjoys studying tourism and loves to travel, her latest adventure was a month long solo trip to Thailand. She loves to explore new countries and meet new people, with a burning desire to learn about different cultures and lifestyles from around the world. She is delighted to be working with ISA to give students the best possible experience during their stay in Valencia.
Internships Program Coordinator & Resident Director, Seoul, South Korea
I was born and raised up in Seoul, South Korea. After traveling to Europe during high school, I decided to study abroad for university. I am a graduate SUNY Plattsburgh, majored in Hospitality Management and also participated in National Student Exchange program in Hilo, Hawaii. Following graduation, I went to Tokyo, Japan on a Working holiday to explore different Asian cultures and fell in love with Japan. After my visit in Japan, studying Japanese, watching Japanese drama became of my favorite hobbies and I love to travel hidden part of Japan. I also have traveled to more than 30 countries and am still wanting to see more beauty of the world. Before joining ISA Seoul, I worked in the hotel business in South Korea and Canada for 5 years and it improved my quality of service skills.
Student Services Coordinator, Seoul, South Korea
Born and raised in Seoul, Chowon has always loved meeting new people who have different cultures and experiences. She decided to start a journey in Seattle, Washington, then moved to Portland, Oregon where she earned a BA in International/Global Studies from Portland State University. So far, the journey has made her experience diverse views of global perspectives. Chowon is very excited to share her experiences and knowledge of Korea with TEAN students.Born and raised in Seoul, Chowon has always loved meeting new people who have different cultures and experiences. She decided to start a journey in Seattle, Washington, then moved to Portland, Oregon where she earned a BA in International/Global Studies from Portland State University. So far, the journey has made her experience diverse views of global perspectives. Chowon is very excited to share her experiences and knowledge of Korea with TEAN students.
Student Services Coordinator, Seoul, South Korea
Surim’s curiosity filled her with energy which she spends on personal and professional adventures around the world. Independence has always been a priority for her. Right after graduating Bachelor of Classic Piano in Seoul, She decided to experience the reality of earning money and learning a foreign language by living in Paris with a working holiday visa. This experience became considerable momentum in her life. After coming back to Korea she decided to work in a positive environment where her personality and experience can serve and create values. she is excited to endorse the role of that coordinator who will help to transform students’ experience in Korea. Reading is a magical place where she likes to evade to receive new knowledge, and furthermore, she spends her free time cooking with her friends, playing piano, traveling, and hiking!