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Student Ambassadors

Contact International  


Center for International Programs
West Chester University
320 Mitchell Hall
675 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3515
Fax: 610-436-3426

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

International Student Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.

Study Abroad Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.

Student Ambassadors

Laura Barbour

image of Laura Barbour
Major: Public Health Promotion

Program: CISabroad-Semester in London: University of Roehampton

Taking my education abroad was one of the greatest decisions I could have made throughout my entire time at West Chester University. I got the chance to explore not only other parts of the world but who I am and who I want to become in the coming years. I learned that I am a lot stronger than I imagined and that I enjoy leaving my comfort zone.  I studied abroad for the semester in London, England at University of Roehampton. I got the chance to live among natives to the UK as well as get a firsthand feel for their view of the world.  I also got the chance to travel to other cities and counties during school breaks and long weekends. To those who are on the fence, I would say to just do it. The experiences you have, the people you meet and what you learn cannot occur anywhere other than through study abroad.  I look back over my time with nothing but happiness and pride for what I was able to accomplish and achieve. HAPPY TRAVELING!!!!

Domenica Castro

image of Domenica Castro
Major:  Communication Studies

Minor: Spanish

Program: WCU in Ireland: The Irish Media Experience

I went to Ireland for three weeks during the Summer of 2018 (specifically to Dublin, Limerick, and Galway) as a part of a Communication Studies/ Honors course called, “Media in Ireland.” I knew the professor who headed the class and had never been to Ireland before! I love all of Europe and wanted to do something adventurous. My mom studied abroad when she was in college and so I was determined to have study abroad myself!

My favorite experience was visiting the Cliffs of Moher. They absolutely took my breath away. I felt like such a tiny speck in the midst of the cliffs. After my study abroad experience in Ireland, I have realized ecotourism is now my favorite aspect of travel.

My advice to a student considering going abroad is to not let money be the reason you don’t go. I was originally not going to go because of expenses, but I applied for a bunch of scholarships and they cut costs down significantly. I’m really glad I decided to go through with my decision to study abroad.

Magen Castronova

image of Magen Castronova

Major: Nutrition & Dietetics

Program: WCU Spring Break in Spain & Portugal (Spring 2018)

When I transferred to WCU from community college, I knew that there would be more opportunities to explore. I was so excited to learn that Study Abroad was available, and that the program was expanding all the time. I studied abroad in Spain and Portugal over Spring Break, and even though it was a shorter trip, it was still life-changing! I chose to study abroad because it was an opportunity to see the world, while learning about my field, and earning credit for my major. I met so many amazing people, learned so much, and came home with a much better perspective of the world. My favorite part of the experience was all the food I got to try, cook, and learn about. If you are on the fence about studying abroad, my advice to you is this: Everything you have experienced in your life so far has brought you to this decision, and the best way forward is to say yes. Say yes! Apply. Find the money. Get on the plane. Have the time of your life. Your future self will thank you!

Logan Cirillo

image of Logan Cirillo

Major: Liberal Studies: Arts and Humanities

Minors: Ethnic Studies, Japanese

Program: ISA: Japanese Language and East Asia Studies (Tokyo, Japan)

I chose to study abroad in Japan because I wanted to challenge and immerse myself in a language and place that was unknown to me. Never having left the country before, this was an intimidating prospect, but ultimately in the end, it was the best decision I could have made. I learned not only academics like language, history, and culture, both so much more. This experience truly taught me that the best way to enjoy life is to take risks and strive to have new experiences every day. The memories and friendships I have created are something that I will take with me through the rest of my life. I advise all who are curious about what is out there to come speak with us at the Center for International Programs and let us help you find the best fit for you.

Matthew Ginieczki

image of Matt Ginieczki

Major: Criminal Justice

Minor: Political Science

Program: Spring Break 2016 in England & France: Criminal Justice in London & Paris, Spring Break 2018: Crime & Justice in Poland

My study abroad experience was amazing and I had the trip of a lifetime! I would have never thought during my first year at WCU that I’d be applying for and going on an international program. My time abroad was always exciting and fascinating! From my explorations sightseeing at Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, and Montmartre, to the academic components like meeting with French and British police officials and watching an English criminal law trial, there was never a point on the trip where I wasn’t interested or curious to learn more! The biggest takeaways I received from my study abroad experience was how fascinating it was to be surrounded by and immersed in a foreign culture plus how there are many international aspects of my academic major. My advice for students looking to study abroad is to do your research and go for it! There is definitely a great, awesome experience of a lifetime out there for you to enjoy!

Jenna Jackson

image of Jenna Jackson

Major: Political Science: Concentration in International Relations 

Minor: Latin American and Latino/a Studies Minor

Programs: 2017 WCU Spring Break - Trans-Atlantic Relations: the US and European Union in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg

2018 WCU Summer in Germany: Challenges to Democracy in Bad Bevensen, Germany

I chose to study abroad because I enjoy traveling and seeing new places. By studying abroad, I can increase my global awareness and understanding of other cultures. By communicating with people from different backgrounds, we can learn about their cultures and become able to explore new ideas and prospects. Had I not studied abroad, I likely wouldn't have known how interesting political science is, and I wouldn't have changed majors.

For me, studying abroad really puts learning into context. Reading a textbook doesn't have the same effect as visiting historical sites and taking tours in political institutions and speaking to government officials abroad.

My favorite part of my experiences was the joint collaboration with students from other schools. For my Spring Break program, we took the course with students from East Stroudsburg University of PA, and for my Summer seminar, it was done with students from the Phillipps University of Marburg in Germany. This allowed for diverse arguments and opinions, and you got to see vast differences in campus culture, come together for a common goal.

In my experience, I really enjoyed the experiential learning aspect of the programs. I found that I retained information a lot easier, and I had productive and insightful conversations with people that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.

A piece of advice that I would offer to a student that is on-the-fence about going abroad, is to just GO! So many people worry about the costs, or are scared of the potential dangers, but in order to live life, you must take risks and experience new things. If you have any questions/concerns, ask me, and I will share my experiences with you and tell you about how it made me a better, more globally aware, college student.

Mariam (Laala) Jawara

image of Mariam Jawara

Major: Political Science: Concentration in International Relations

Minor: French, Arabic

Program: WCU in Jordan: Arabic Language, History, and Culture in Amman

Upon deciding to study abroad in Jordan, Amman for five weeks during the summer, I didn’t consider how impactful it would be on my life, I obviously did have fears of going to a foreign land with students I’ve never met to a location I’ve never been. Nevertheless, with visits to Petra, Jerash and many important museums, choosing to study abroad has aided to my studies as a Political Science major and a French, Arabic Minor.


As an individual who spent majority of my life in Western Africa, I believed I had seen a variety of cultures and didn’t truly imagine I would be stunned by anything I would see. However, my stay in Jordan couldn’t be more different from what I’ve experience and I’m so thankful for opportunity to be able to see other individuals at their happiest, going about their daily lives and being who they are regardless of who was observing. Being able to see Syrian refugees in their thousands trying to rebuild their lives in Jordan brings a new perspective to what I thought I had known.


Studying abroad couldn’t be more impactful and important for a college student. Not only are you able to see the world, experience a different culture, expose yourself to new languages whilst still immersing yourself in education; there couldn’t be a better time to study aboard than during your undergraduate studies. Study abroad forces individuals to be more open minded, engaging and independent and not only helps you find new interest but there are also very personal traits to studying abroad, such as making lifelong friends and really discovering yourself as it tests your aptitude to be in situations you may never have measured and dominating them.

Becca Kosar

image of Becca Kosar

Major: Spanish

Minor: International Business, Italian


Program: ISA in Madrid, Spain (Spring 2018)

Choosing to study abroad was probably one of the best ideas of my college years because being submersed in the language and culture directly in Spain truly helped me better my speaking skills as well as my understanding of the cultures within the country. It also gave me a chance to go beyond what’s in my comfort zone and experience something new. My favorite part of my experience had to be my host family because they made my experience abroad so much more enjoyable and honestly became my home away from home.  I still have relations with the family, even after a whole summer apart and have been making plans to return to Spain and reconnect with them. If anyone is on-the-fence about going abroad, I highly recommend talking to someone to put your mind at ease.  I was super nervous about going and I decided to talk to my friends who have gone abroad in the past and they started to put my mind at ease and make me more excited about going rather than nervous and scared. 

Laura Reyes

image of Laura Reyes

Major: Business Management & Marketing

Minor: Latin American and Latino Studies & Spanish

Program: AIFS in São Paulo, Brazil (Summer 2017), WCU Winter in Mexico (2018), WCU Summer in Guatemala (2018)

I chose to study abroad because I love to travel so there is no better way for me to learn if it’s not outside in the real world. I am extremely passionate about languages and culture so I really valued each of my three study abroad experiences in Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala. I learned so much about myself and what I can accomplish on my own. What I best took away from my experiences is that being uncomfortable is OKAY! Stepping out of your comfort zone is crucial in life and there is no better way to do that than studying abroad. I am so happy my road led me to these countries because I gained the best memories in my college career. This is the time to travel, so I advise to take advantage of all the financial resources and support WCU offers.

Julia Scroggs

image of Julia Scroggs

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders & Spanish

Program: ISA (International Studies Abroad), Salamanca, Spain (Summer)

While studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain through ISA for five weeks, I learned more about myself in this short experience than I ever have during any other time in my life. I gained independence and confidence that I had once lacked, learned to appreciate other countries and their rich cultures that come with them, and making the best of every opportunity, not letting fear stand in my way. I became a “yes woman” instead of saying “no” to something because I was scared, whether that be scared of the language barrier, scared of something new, or scared of being uncomfortable, I let that go while in Spain, and learned to live in the moment while taking advantage of every situation and opportunity I was blessed with while abroad.

I chose to study abroad because other than wanting to practice my Spanish, I wanted to completely immerse myself in a new culture and see different ways of living aside from what I was used to. I learned that I loved Spanish culture, and I may want to live there someday, something I wouldn’t have known without my study abroad experience. I learned so much through my host family, and the friends I made from my travel group. Not knowing a single person payed off, because I still am in contact with many of those who I met through ISA and the Spaniards I met while in Salamanca. My favorite part of my experience is the fact that I was lucky enough to have a place and people that were so hard to say goodbye to. This might sound sad, but I think I know I made the best of my experience when I went to say goodbye and didn’t want to leave because of the connections I had made with my host family, friends, and Salamanca. My tip to you if you are unsure if you should study abroad is to “aprovechar!” which in Spanish means, seize. Seize every moment because you never know when you might have the opportunity to travel again, and the best time is now while we’re young because if you’re lucky like me, you’ll gain so much from this experience to take along with you for the rest of your life.

Robin Sharp

image of Robin Sharp

Major: Accounting and Finance

Minor: Economics

Programs: London School of Economics (Non-affiliate program)

I choose to study abroad because I’ve always wanted to experience other cultures and meet new people from around the world. I’m also a British Citizen through my dad but had never had the opportunity to visit England. I chose to study in London at one of the best schools for what I am interested in and had an amazing study abroad experience. I met so many new friends from a variety of countries while also studying at an amazing school. Everyday there was something new to do and different places to see. It really broadened my outlook on the world.

I would advise any student who is debating going abroad to take the next steps and learn more about what West Chester University can do for you. Whether it’s about money, languages, timing, etc. there are resources available to you. College is a perfect time to explore the world around you and it really is an amazing opportunity.

Rachel Spurlock

image of Rachel Spurlock

Major: Communications

Minor: Journalism

Program: WCU Summer in Italy: Food and Sustainable Culture in Perugia, Italy (Summer 2018)

I chose to study abroad because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone to experience what the world had to offer. I had never been out of the country prior to my education abroad experience but I knew that it was something I had always wanted to do to open myself to new cultures and experiences beyond what was in my backyard. 

 When deciding on a program I knew I wanted to go to Europe. Since I was little I cut out pictures of the Eiffel Towel and the Colosseum because I was so fascinated by the people, the culture, and most importantly the food that these places had to offer. I found my program and knew that is was something I had to be a part of.  

 My favorite part of my time abroad was doing things that I would have never done if I was at home. I spent a lot of time working on an agritourism, which are farms or vineyards that offer tours and workshops for people to learn more about the farm's products and practices. We helped care for the animals, tend the fields, and host groups of tourists that would come through.  Growing up in the suburbs, working on a farm was not something that I would have ever done but it was one of my favorite parts about being abroad. 

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