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Smeal Global Representatives

Smeal Global Representatives are returned study abroad students and international students who have a deep appreciation for their cross-cultural experience and would like to encourage others to go abroad. Their stories, advice, and cultural insight are an invaluable resource for prospective study abroad students.

There are over 30 Smeal Global Representatives who are available to answer any questions you might have about their experiences with study abroad in general and the specifics of their programs. Don't be shy -- reach out to them with questions you might have about what it's like to live, study and travel during a semester abroad!

Smeal International Programs Newsletters - Another resource available to you are stories by Smeal students which were published in newsletter format between 2009-2013. You are welcome to peruse them and find out more about their fascinating experiences abroad. 

Africa  --  The Americas  --  Asia  --  Australia/New Zealand  --  Europe  -- International Internships

Country/City2018-2019 RepresentativesImage
The Americas

Lauren Giavedoni
Integrated MAcc, Spanish & IB minors

IES Buenos Aires, Language and Argentine Studies, Summer 2015

During a bike ride vineyard tour in Mendoza my friend almost got hit by our van! I also visited Uruguay during my trip. 

Lauren Giavedoni was a Smeal Global Representative in Argentina.

Bailee Koncar
SC&IS and Spanish majors & IB minor

IES: Buenos Aires, Advanced Spanish Immersion, Spring 2018

I lived and studied in the heart of Buenos Aires. I rode horses through the vineyards of Mendoza. I also sailed through the lakes of Patagonia.

Portrait of Bailee Koncar.
Brazil & Mexico

Ligia Guerrero
Marketing major

International student from Brazil and Mexico

It is called Brasil in Portuguese, the official language spoken in Brazil.

Ligia Guerrero was a Smeal Global Representative in Mexico and Brazil.

Mahala Meinen
SC&IS major & Spanish major

IES: Santiago Internship Program, Summer 2017
  also Spain - CIEE: Alicante, Liberal Arts, Spring 2018

I did an internship while living in Santiago for 2 months with a host family.

Portrait of Mahala Meinen.
Hong Kong

Yuruo Chen
Finance major

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Spring 2017
International student from China


Constance (Yangguang) Yin
Accounting major

International student from China
Non-PSU study abroad in Moscow, Russia, Summer 2017
IES: Rome, Language and Area Studies, Spring 2018
  with part-time internship abroad

In Moscow, Russia, we cooked traditional Russian meals together. They looked bad but tasted great!


Junjia Fan
Finance major

International student from Suzhou, China.

I went to a local Chinese elementary school and a Singaporean-funded middle school and high school. Growing up in an international community in China, I was privileged to acknowledge different cultures and witness their fusion. When multiple cultures blend, food evolves!!!

Portrait of Junjia Fan.

YuShi Hou
Business Pre-major, Japanese minor

IES: Tokyo, Summer 2018
International Student from China

This summer I participated in IES Tokyo Summer study abroad program. During the program, I was able to spend three days with a local Japanese family. When I knew that the father of the host family is a Japanese monk, I was a little bit freak out. I knew nothing about Japanese religions, and thus I was worried about how I should behave in the family. What if I offend them unintentionally? But the truth is that the family members are really nice. They taught me about Japanese culture, religions, and why Japanese monks can get married. They also showed me how to cook Yakisoba, which is Japanese style fried noodles. On the second day, I taught them how to cook Chinese food, and we prepared dinner together. This is an amazing experience for me. I get to know traditional Japanese families' routine, their cultures, and food. I had chances to practice my Japanese speaking as well. I still keep in touch with them. I believe this friendship can last forever.

Portrait of YuShi Hou.

Chiraag Ramchandani
Business Pre-major

International student from Singapore and Malaysia

I have been to every country in South East Asia!

South Korea

Sungwook Park
Accounting major

International student from South Korea


Cuong Mai
Finance major

International student from Vietnam

Kid of many cultures. I grew up in Vietnam, studied high school in Singapore and finally moved to the US for college. I've been to 9 different countries and liked every single one of them. Love eating spicy food and pretty desserts!

Portrait of Cuong Mai.
Australia & New Zealand

Andrea Kalafsky
SC&IS major, ISM minor

IES: Sydney, University of Sydney, Spring 2018
  with part-time internship abroad

I skydived over the Great Barrier Reef!

Portrait of Andrea Kalafsky.
New Zealand

Caroline Gelgot
Marketing major, Spanish & IB minors

Victoria University of Wellington, Fall 2017
  (also Ronda, Spain in Summer 2017)

I went skydiving in Queenstown during my two week road trip around the South Island!

Portrait of Caroline Gelgot.

Global Institutes


Jenny Ho
Finance major

CIEE Global Institutes: Rome, London, Berlin, Spring 2017

I practically "ate my way through Europe" and gained 20 pounds over the course of 19 weeks and also met Daniel Radcliffe while I was studying abroad in London! :-)

Portrait of Jenny Ho.

Rui Peng
SC&IS major

Aix-en-Provence: Business at IAU College, Summer 2017
  Smeal Faculty-led program with Lou Gattis

In France, people take their dogs everywhere and they are allowed in most shops and restaurants!

Portrait of Rui Peng.

Rayna Klingensmith
Marketing major, Theatre & IB minors

Aix-en-Provence: Business at IAU College, Summer 2018
  Smeal Faculty-led program with Lou Gattis & Andy Gustafson

We got a chance to visit Marrakech, Morocco with our program. We got to go to a local village and help prepare a meal, as well as ride camels!

Portrait of Rayna Klingensmith.

Zhiruo Wang
Accounting Major & Computational Statistics Major

Pforzheim University Business Program, Summer 2017
International student from China

Heidelberg is one of the nicest places in Germany.

Portrait of Zhiruo Wang.

Yue Lan
Accounting major

Pforzheim University Business Program, Summer 2017
International student from China

Ride on every rollercoaster in Europapark. Taste the best Currywurst. Enjoy the hot spring in Friedrichsbad. And don't forget to have a beer at the Brauhaus!

Portrait of Yue Lan.

Jahanvi Gupta
Accounting major, Integrated MAcc program, IB minor

Pforzheim University Business Program, Summer 2018

Sundays in Germany were mandatory relaxation and exploration days because all the shops and businesses were closed. It was definitely a lot different from here in the US, but it was a nice change that I quickly got accustomed to. I also quickly became a regular at the local döner place!

Portrait of Jahanvi Gupta.


Libby Kwon
Business Pre-major

Florence: The World of Business and Italian Culture, Summer 2018
   Smeal Faculty-led program with Terrence Guay
International student from Korea

It was a food lover's dream. I took cooking classes, went on class field trips to wineries in Tuscany, ate gelato almost every night, tried the best pizza restaurants around the city, and – not surprisingly – ended up gaining 7 pounds in 6 weeks!

Portrait of Libby Kwon.


Kathryn Vandergast
Risk Management, ERM major; LEBUS & Statistics minor

Florence: The World of Business and Italian Culture, Summer 2018
  Smeal Faculty-led program with Jeff Sharp & Dan Cahoy

Florence became my second home in a matter of days. Florence is rich in food, history, and culture. I had the pleasure of taking of a Business Law course. I got to take a cooking class, visit a winery and castle, and go to a farm. It was the most incredible experience and I would not be the student I am today without this experience.

Portrait of Kathryn Vandergast.

Lauren Spinelli
Finance major, IB minor

IES: Rome, Language and Area Studies, Spring 2018
  with part-time internship abroad

I interned with a company, who was owned by a woman who was originally from the US and moved to Rome at 18. I was able to see cross-cultural business practices, as I learned about running a company in a foreign country for a US audience.

Portrait of Lauren Spinelli.


Maria Tartaglia
SC&IS major, Sustainability Leadership & IB minors

Arcadia: Perugia, Umbra Institute General Studies, Spring 2018

My favorite class I took abroad was about sustainability and food production in Italy where I gained insight about Italy's dependency on sourcing locally grown food.

Portrait of Maria Tartaglia.


Tanushree Branibrata Lahiry
SC&IS major, IB minor

IES: Siena, The Business & Economics of Food and Wine, Spring 2018
International Student from India

Three months in Siena, Italy, taught me that a soy cappuccino is best enjoyed in a ceramic cup on the bar while talking to the barista. Every morning as I entered the local café, Giovanni - the barista poured me a small glass of water, laid down freshly made chocolate pastry and started dancing in front of the espresso machine to make me a soy cappuccino. He knew exactly what I wanted. We did not speak the same language but during those coffee sessions, I learned more about coffee, wine, liquor, food, history, and Italy than I could have ever imagined. When I was leaving Siena, I gifted Giovanni a Chianti wine and he said, "I will wait for you to open this bottle, it was a pleasure serving you!"

Portrait of Tanushree Branibrata Lahiry.

Kate Diveny
Finance major, Economics & IB minors

Maastricht: Doing Business in the European Union at CES, Summer 2017

During my six weeks abroad I was able to visit seven different countries.

Portrait of Kate Diveny.

Jenner Stunkard
Finance major, IB minor

Maastricht: Doing Business in the European Union at CES, Summer 2017

I visited 18 cities in 9 different countries in the span of 8 weeks, including seeing many international business headquarters including Google in London, Deloitte in Amsterdam and others!

Portrait of Jenner Stunkard.

Nicholas White
SC&IS major, IB minor

Maastricht: Doing Business in the European Union at CES, Summer 2017

Maastricht is an incredible little city in the south of the Netherlands with lots to do and great people. The 3-week Western Europe Study Tour was a really great way of packing a ton of cultural experiences into such a short trip. Reach out if you have any questions or want to know more about my time abroad!

Portrait of Nicholas White.

Kathryn Chornak
Accounting & Spanish majors, Integrated MAcc program

Ronda, Spain: Spanish Language and Culture, Summer 2018

I lived with a host mom who didn't speak any English, and learned how to cook lots of authentic Spanish food!

Portrait of Kathryn Chornak.

Ashley Martins
Marketing & Spanish majors, IB minor

IES: Madrid, Language and Area Studies, Spring 2018

When I was studying in Madrid, I got the amazing opportunity to live with a host family right across the street from the Real Madrid soccer stadium. Game days were so much fun since they closed down the streets, everyone tailgated, and pop-up vendors sold apparel, so needless to say, it made me feel like I was kind of at Penn State during a football Game Day! I also got the opportunity to take a class right in the famous Prado Museum and learn about art and the history of Spanish royalty and painters all in one class. I had an awesome experience in Madrid and would love to return one day.

Portrait of Ashley Martins.

Elliot Solomon
Finance & Spanish majors

UVA in Valencia, Spring 2018

Near the beginning of my semester abroad, I left my phone in my host home and walked around the city for a few hours with a friend. Beforehand we had some general ideas of things we wanted to see. More importantly, we wanted to get a feel for the city without the need for GPS. It was a lot of fun and it helped me learn my way around the city early on in the program which was really helpful the rest of the semester.

Portrait of Elliot Solomon.

Robert Miller
Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship major, IB minor

CIEE: Palma de Mallorca, Business and Tourism, Spring 2018
  with part-time internship

I stayed with a host family in Spain for 4 months who treated me to some of the best food I've ever had--every day.

Portrait of Robert Miller.

Michelle Iaquinto
Finance major, SCIST minor

CIEE: Seville, International Business and Culture, Spring 2018

I went to as many cooking classes as I could to learn more about traditional Spanish dishes, and went kayaking through the Swiss Alps on a trip to Switzerland!

Portrait of Michelle Iaquinto.

Erin Sheets
SC&IS and Spanish majors, IB minor

CIEE: Alicante, Language and Culture, Spring 2018

I was able to go see Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain.
  (Don't know about Las Fallas? Read about it here!) 

Portrait of Erin Sheets.

Pernilla Axeheim
Marketing major, Digital Media Trends & Analytics Minor

International student from Sweden

I am an international student from Malmö, Sweden (20 minutes from Copenhagen, Denmark, by car!)

Portrait of Pernilla Axeheim.
United Kingdom

Cindy Achmad
Accounting major, IB minor

Arcadia: London, University of Westminster, Spring 2017

During my spring break in Greece, I decided to jump off of the tour boat and into the ocean. I can't swim very well and got a foot cramp halfway through. Good thing my friends were around since they had to drag me to shore!

Portrait of Cindy Achmad.
United Kingdom

Nicklas Foster
SC&IS major

Arcadia: London, University of Westminster, Spring 2018

During my time at the University of Westminster in London, I was able to play on the University's Futsal Team. This afforded me the opportunity to truly make great local friends. The team was diverse in ethnicity and culture which allowed me to gain a wide variety of perspective. Moreover, I was able to spend time outside of school and Futsal with my teammates which helped grow lifelong friendships. I made fantastic memories and even better friends during my time in London!

Portrait of Nicklas Foster.
United Kingdom

Ethan Levy
Management major, IB minor

Arcadia: London, University of Westminster, Spring 2018

I met Bryan Cranston after his show in the National Theatre in London

Portrait of Ethan Levy.
United Kingdom

Kate McGrath
Marketing major, DMTA minor

IES: London, Queen Mary University, Spring 2018

I loved being immersed in British culture from the seaside to London. However, nothing compared to my experience of attending Meghan and Prince Harry's Royal Wedding at Windsor. They were just feet away from me on the Long Walk!

Portrait of Kate McGrath.
United Kingdom

Ta Chun (Dustin) Lin
Finance major

IES: London, University College London, Academic Year 2016-2017
International student from Taiwan

I did not know it was that convenient and easy to travel within Europe. I was fortunate enough to visit a different city every other week, definitely recommend studying abroad if you like to travel like me.

Portrait of Dustin Lin.
International Internships

Taylor Sinclair
Integrated MAcc

IES: Dublin Internship Program, Summer 2016

The bikers share a lane with the buses in Dublin – scary!

Taylor Sinclair is a Smeal Global Representative that traveled to Dublin.

Mahala Meinen
SCIS major & Spanish major

IES: Santiago Internship Program, Summer 2017
  (will be abroad in Alicante, Spain during Spring 2018 also)

I did an internship while living in Santiago for 2 months with a host family.

Portrait of Mahala Meinen.

Megan Amoroso
Marketing major, French minor

IES: Paris Internship Program, Summer 2018

I was in France during World Cup and got to experience the team WIN! Being in Paris for the entirety and seeing the passion the country has for soccer was the coolest thing. I got lucky for sure! Allez les Bleus!!

Portrait of Megan Amoroso.