Did you study or intern abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Danelle: I studied abroad initially on a short term program in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and then on a longer program in Barcelona, Spain. My grandparents were from Spain, and I had studied Spanish in high school and just fell in love with the language. I have several extended family members in the south of Spain and was inspired to travel there and improve my language ability so that I could attempt to hold meaningful conversations with them. I am still working on that last part.
What aspect of working at CAPA inspires you the most?
Danelle: I love working with students! I am inspired by their goals, dreams and their sense of adventure. I studied abroad a bit later than most, and now really enjoy working with students who never thought they’d have the chance to study abroad, or might have thought it was too late. I studied abroad after completing my Bachelors Degree, and then again after my Masters Degree, and then worked abroad for a semester after that. It’s never too late.
How do you see the field of international education changing over the next 10 years?
Danelle: It has already changed so much! Studying abroad was historically something that it seemed only the children of wealthy parents could afford to do. But with scholarships and with a more diverse array of programs from which to choose, it is becoming more of a reality for non-traditional students. This is really where my passion lies. I want to see education abroad become more accessible to all students, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with organizations that believe in and support this mission.
If you had to choose one, what destination would you recommend to prospective students?
Danelle: This depends entirely on the student. Do they want to learn a language? - Maybe Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Florence or Beijing. Do they want to do an internship? - Perhaps London, Dublin or Sydney. What do they want to study? Each of our locations has unique academic offerings, and each city has its own combination of character, culture and history. It is impossible to choose the one location that I would recommend. If I had to choose for myself, I would be drawn to Buenos Aires so that I could continue to learn and practice more Español, and because although I have been to Europe, Asia, Australia and North Africa, I still have yet to make my way to South America.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering going abroad?
Danelle: Go for longer than you think you can. Yes, it is intimidating at first. But after a few weeks abroad, you’ll wish you’d signed on for a full semester or even a year.
Anything else you would like to share?
Danelle: Make connections with people you meet, wherever you go. Rather than spending all of your time with other American students, go to local cafes, pubs or community events and meet people who are native to the city or country in which you are studying. Taking photos of all the monuments and landscapes is great, but your best memories will come from the people you meet along the way.