Staff Spotlight: Monica Guajardo

Academic Coordinator


Monica grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Austin, Texas for college at St. Edward's University to pursue a degree in Psychology and Spanish. During her time in college, she went abroad to Argentina with Sol Abroad to finish her Spanish minor and now works for their headquarters in Austin helping other students achieve their study abroad dreams!

What is your favorite travel memory?

This past March, I went to visit Sol's program in Spain, and before arriving to Granada, I spent a week in Paris with one of my best friends. She was living in Paris teaching English to high school students and knew the city and language very well. Because of that, she was able to show me a wonderful time. I was completely enamored with Paris and was so grateful that I got to spend my time with a best friend and a great tour guide!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since working with Sol Abroad, I have become even more in love with travel and the benefits it can bring people. I get to speak to students and parents every day about one of the greatest decisions I ever made (studying abroad with Sol in Argentina) and how that has absolutely changed my life for the better.

I love getting to share my passion for travel with them, and it's easy to do so when the countries I get to promote are so amazing!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A student recently messages Sol Abroad on Facebook saying that she was getting married that weekend. She mentioned that she went to study abroad with Sol in Oaxaca a few years ago and ended up becoming very good friends with a local Mexican who would eventually become her fiancé!

She reached out to thank Sol for her amazing experience abroad and said that without our program, she would not have met her future husband. I love getting to hear stories like this where students make connections abroad that last a lifetime.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

At this point, I have been fortunate to go to three out of our four program locations. I studied abroad with Sol in Argentina when I was in college, I visited our Costa Rica location in the summer of 2017 and I just recently came back from a trip to our Spain location earlier this year, so I would love to go to our Mexico location!

It is the location where most alumni have returned to live permanently, which I think speaks very highly of Oaxaca! I have heard wonderful things from my coworkers who have visited and would love to experience Mexican culture, as I am half Mexican and have not had a chance to visit Mexico as an adult.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Sol Abroad is unique because we focus on quality over quantity. By only having four program locations, we have really been able to perfect a student's experience in each location. I have been especially proud of my team when we have gone above and beyond for a student to have a successful program.

I have heard from countless students that our directors have helped them through tough times abroad, by following up with them every day and making sure that they are comfortable. I love knowing we have a team that truly cares for each and every student.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Communication. Sol Abroad has a fairly small team, consisting of 9 members at headquarters in the US and four remote, local teams in each of our locations. Since we do have a smaller staff size, we are able to streamline communication and work efficiently.

Another great benefit of having a smaller team is that we are all able to get to know each other and therefore care about each other. Sol Abroad team members not only do a good job because we care for the students, but also because we care about each other and want to help each other out as much as possible.