Meet Our 2013 Ambassadors of the Year!

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Anna Egan

IES Abroad is pleased to announce the 2013 Ambassadors of the Year:

Danielle Lichliter and Jose Campos


Danielle and Jose are part of a group of over 900 alumni volunteers known as IES Abroad Ambassadors. These outstanding students are selected by Center staff to become Ambassadors of the programs they recently attended. Their most significant contributions include responding to student questions via phone, email, and Facebook; composing packing lists; and attending study abroad events. To be considered for the Ambassador of the Year award, a nominee must serve as an Ambassador for at least one year and submit a two- to three-page essay.

Danielle is an alumna of the Spring 2011 IES Abroad Granada program and is a senior at Penn State University. Of her experience, Danielle stated, “Before I studied abroad, I never would have had the confidence, let alone the desire, to spend so much time on my own in places I had never been. IES Abroad Granada taught me how to be culturally aware, the importance of cautious, effective communication, and how to embrace and appreciate cultures different than my own.” Her life-changing time in Granada included integrating into life with her homestay family, immersing herself in the nuances of Spanish culture, and a particularly impactful experience on the IES Abroad field trip to Rabat, Morocco. “[The IES Abroad field trip to Rabat] changed my life more than any other experience. I was pushed further out of my comfort zone than ever before and given the opportunity to really embrace a culture so different than my own. I saw extreme poverty with my own eyes, awoke in the middle of the night to the call of prayer while staying with a family in Rabat, and spent hours with local peers comparing and contrasting our worlds.”

Since returning home Danielle has been extremely active in encouraging others to study abroad on her own and through the IES Abroad Ambassador Program. Danielle has shared her experiences at study abroad fairs, student panels, and predeparture orientations, in addition to proactively reaching out to students through phone and email campaigns. “I know just how nerve-racking, overwhelming and also exciting picking a program can be. As an Ambassador, I can help other students feel more confident in their choice before they step on the plane.”
Jose is a Spring 2011 alumnus of the IES Abroad Nantes program and has recently graduated from Southern Methodist University. It was a priority for Jose to study abroad in a location where he could fully engage the language and culture while taking care of all his academic requirements for his triple-major in Economics, Finance, and Political Science. “IES Abroad Nantes seemed to fulfill all my requirements: the deep immersion into French culture and life, the host family, all coursework in French (courses that counted toward my majors), and Nantes, as opposed to Paris, the world’s top tourist destination...In essence, it would throw me out of my comfort zone, and that is exactly what I was seeking.” Jose chose to stay with a host family, and wasted no time in getting to know them. “My French family was, in my biased opinion, the most welcoming, friendly, and gracious of inter-cultural hosts, an opinion my IES Abroad friends would share. They welcomed me as another son, and made me a part of the family gatherings and weekly activities. As I was seeking a full-on immersion experience with anything and everything French, I eagerly participated.”
Back home Jose quickly began sharing his experience with others. “As an IES Abroad Ambassador, I saw myself as the intermediary, the liaison between the students and their potential life-changing experience. I would let them know that leaving the safe haven and comfort of college and the U.S. for the foreign is neither foolish nor bizarre, simply adventurous.” He participated at study abroad fairs, information sessions, and served as a Study Abroad Peer Assistant in his on-campus study abroad office leading talks twice a week on his study abroad experience.
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Anna Egan

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