University of Iowa

Meet our Spring 2017 Study Abroad Bloggers!

January 19th, 2017
Study Abroad Blogger Spring 2017

(From top left, clockwise: Arlinda Fasliu, Lauren Gentile, Jiayan Ji, Alyssa Pragovich, Henry Hartzler, Quinn Terrill, Danielle Marvin)

Happy New Year, Hawkeyes, and welcome back to Iowa City! We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Bloggers for the spring 2017 semester. These unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad. Throughout the semester, these students will share their experiences through writing and photography to be published weekly here on International Accents. 

Interested in becoming a Study Abroad Blogger yourself? Visit http://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad/living-abroad/blogging for more information.

Arlinda Fasliu
Major(s): Journalism and International Studies

What program will you be on?
SIT Morocco Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
Since middle school!

How did you pick your program?
I've been looking at programs since my freshman year of college, but started looking more in depth this past summer.

What are you most excited about?
I'm really excited to push myself to speak the language I'm learning and have the independence to take control of a personal project.

Fun Fact:
My family won the green card lottery in Albania and we moved to the States in 2000.


Lauren Gentile
Major(s): French

What program will you be on? 
ISEP Exchange - l’Université Savoie Mont Blanc

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
Ever since I started taking French as a high school student, I’ve always known I wanted to study in France. I started to finalize plans for my trip at the end of my freshman year. 

How did you pick your program?
I wanted a program that would give me as much language practice as possible, and what better way to do that than taking classes straight from a French university? 

What are you most excited about?
My university is located in the Alps and is well-known for its sports facilities and clubs, so I’m looking forward to the weekly ski trips!

Fun Fact:
I do Brazilian jiu jitsu.  


Henry Hartzler
Major(s): Elementary Education with ESL

What program will you be on?
Global Gateways - International Student Teaching

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
I knew that I wanted to study abroad as soon as I knew that there was the possibility to student teach in a Spanish-speaking country.

How did you pick your program?
I picked my program based on reviews from other peers over the year, compiled by the University of Iowa College of Education.

What are you most excited about?
I am most excited to live with a host family for 8 weeks, immersing myself into the culture and Spanish language.

Fun Fact:
I have been rock climbing on three continents in the past couple years (North America, Europe, Asia).


Jiayan Ji
Major(s): Geology

What program will you be on?
The University of Iceland Exchange

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
The first semester of school.

How did you pick your program?
First, I focused on English-taught programs; second, I found the one that was highly related to my major.

What are you most excited about?
Learning things I might never know if I didn't go there, and meeting people from all over the world.

Fun Fact:
I feel that I started seeing the real world when I was 21 years old. All information comes from my real surroundings rather than the media, my parents, or my school teacher. It feels like I am a baby again, and everything is so new and exciting around me. 


Danielle Marvin
Major(s): Psychology

What program will you be on?
SIT Rwanda Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
Ever since early high school, I've wanted to travel. This past summer, I interned in South Korea with a program called Camp Adventure and that experience was life-changing. As soon as I got back to the U.S., I knew I wanted to travel internationally again.

How did you pick your program?
I chose to go to Rwanda because, as someone who wants to go into child mental health eventually, the topic of genocide and studying the effect of severe trauma on an entire country fascinated me. I liked the idea of traveling to a less popular study abroad location and want to see Africa as it really is, rather than how it is portrayed in social media.

What are you most excited about?
I am so excited to be living with a host family! SIT's program also focuses heavily on excursions, so I will be living in Uganda for two weeks, going on a safari, a boat ride on the Nile, and to a national park!

Fun Fact:
I have hiked a mountain with a monk!


Alyssa Pragovich
Major(s): Japanese

What program will you be on?
The Kanda University of International Studies Exchange in Chiba, Japan

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
I started studying Japanese in high school, so I've wanted to go abroad since my freshman year. I don't have that many credits to transfer in order to complete my major, so I thought it would be nice to have a study abroad trip to wrap things up.

How did you pick your program?
I started by looking at the offerings for study abroad in Japan on the study abroad website, then talked to the study abroad advisor for Japan, Emily, and my department's professors to see which program they recommended.

What are you most excited about?
I'm very excited to be fully immersed in the language, and for my first trip to Japan!

Fun Fact:
I've been studying Japanese for seven years, but I've never been to Japan!


Quinn Terrill
Major(s): Health and Human Physiology

What program will you be on?
USAC San Ramón in Costa Rica

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
I knew I wanted to go abroad since I was in high school. Both of my parents talked so highly about their time abroad and sold me on the idea as soon as I was accepted into the University of Iowa.

How did you pick your program?
I've been interested in biodiversity since I was in middle school. What better way to learn ecology in an academic setting than being surrounded by one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world?

What are you most excited about?
I'm excited to live with a host family and learn the language. Oh, and food.

Fun Fact:
I had a pet snake for 12 hours. It escaped from its cage and now resides in my parents' house... I think.

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