Staff Spotlight: Michele Friedmann

Former Intern

What has been your career path so far and what position do you currently hold?

headshot barcelona Michele Friedmann

Michele: I am a Graduate Intern pursuing a master’s degree in international education at SIT doing my 6- month internship with Barcelona SAE. I will spend 3 months in Fort Collins where my role includes being a student and program advisor, promoting our programs through study abroad fairs and utilizing social media to better market our program. In January I will go to Barcelona for 3 months where I will continue to act as student advisor as well as help with cultural activities and excursions. Previous to graduate school, I taught special education in Steamboat Springs, CO for 5 years.

Did YOU have the chance to study abroad?!

Michele: While in college I studied abroad for two semesters, and spent half of my student teaching semester abroad. My parents always enjoyed traveling and took my brother and I along often on overseas trips. They always encouraged us to travel every chance we could. My older brother studied abroad in London in college and I knew I wanted to study overseas too. My first semester abroad was to Australia at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. While over there I heard a lot about Semester At Sea from a friend and saw neat pictures from the excursion. I applied to Semester at Sea while in Australia and went the next semester. We had the option to spend half of our student teaching semester teaching in London. I taught grades 5 and 6 at Hampstead Heath in London for 2 months. All of these experienced inspired me to pursue a career in the field.

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

Michele: I think that support and communication are the biggest factors in being a successful study abroad company. Without those two things, it makes it very difficult for a student to feel comfortable and secure in their decision to go abroad. These two factors also help make the students’ experience successful and enjoyable.

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Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Michele: Language learning and cultural immersion are important in order to really get to know the people and customs of a new culture. I feel it is a sign of respect to get to know a little of the language of the place you are going, and it makes locals more willing and able to communicate with you. One can only truly get to know a place by being completely immersed.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the SAE team.

Michele: I am relatively new to the Barcelona SAE team but there have been several instances when I felt especially proud to be a part of this amazing organization. When I go to study abroad fairs and students eagerly approach my table with a huge smile on their face explaining that they’ve heard great things about our program and they hope to study abroad in Barcelona- that is when I definitely feel proud to be a part of Barcelona SAE.