Gilman Recipient, Sue Ronquillo On International Education

Sue Ronquillo is a Gilman award recipient, and current study abroad advisor at California State University – Monteray Bay. She’s got an incredible story and was nice enough to spend some time with me to share it. 

Thanks again, to Sue and CSMB, you were great throughout this entire process. 


  • Sue’s role at CSUMB [1:04]
  • Why Sue decided to study abroad [1:54]
  • Gilman award winner [3:14]
  • What a typical day looked like for Sue [3:35]
    • M,T,TH,F classes
  • Landing a job right after graduation [4:42] 
  • Traveling
    • Japan, The Phillipines, and Hong Kong
  • Knowing when to clap [6:23]
  • Sue’s classes in Spain [8:16] 
  • A native speaker who had never taken a Spanish class [9:14] 
  • Crouqetas  and Korean BBQ  [10:12]
  • How studying abroad affected Sue’s career [11:48]
  • Working on an MPA [13:02]
  • Why Sue chose Cal State Monetary Bay [13:31]

Che Moya On Living Abroad In Korea and Thailand

“It definitely opened my eyes to how spoiled we are in the U.S” — Che Moya

If you’re thinking about living abroad, or teaching abroad, then this post is definitely for you.

Che Moya lived in Asia for 7 years and met his wife in Thailand. Che does a great job of articulating his journeys and you will get juiced if you’re thinking about living, abroad.


  • Teaching in Asia for seven years [1:13]
    • Korea
    • Thailand
  • Why Che switched from Korea to Thailand [2:01]
    • Meeting his wife in Thailand and the reason for the return
  • Food Che misses the most[3:08]
    • Tteok-bokki
    • “Some of the street food here is better than restaurants in the U.S ” – Che on Thai food
  • Taking a 15 hour trip to Cambodia on dirt roads  [4:24]
  • Che’s view of the world after returning to the United States [6:00]
    • Advice from Che if you’re thinking about studying abroad
  • Why study abroad at Flint
    • Scholarships and exchanges
  • Recommendations [11:53]
  • Che’s living situation abroad [10:07]


South America, Central America, and Great Advice With Kim Diehl de Yanes


“Once you’re out in the real world, and working, you might have more money, but you won’t have more time ” —  Kim Diehl de Yanes

Kim did great in this episode and made me feel like I was still in school getting international education advice in her office. Her story is unique, too, as she ended up living in Honduras for three years because of who she married. 

I’ll let Kim explain…


  • Getting her first international experience in high school through Michigan 4-H [1:19]
    • Going to Guayaquil, Ecuador 
    • Living in Honduras for three years 
  • Advice to students who are thinking about studying abroad [3:40]
    • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
  • Xavier’s study abroad programs
    • Semester program options
      • Regular Xavier tuition bill – costs dependent on the cost of living 
  • Xavier-specific study abroad programs [5:50]
  • Spending her entire summer savings in five days [8:00]
  • Homemade flour tortillas [8:55]
  • Why Xavier? [9:56]
    • Great proximity 
    • Free sports tickets
  • A student learning Russian [12:04]
  • Moon Handbooks [12:39]
  • Figure out the apps that are best where you’re going
  • Site Visits [15:30]
  • Advice for students thinking about studying abroad [17:33]
 Kim Diehl de Yanes
 Kim Diehl de Yanes
 Kim Diehl de Yanes

Combatting Sex Trafficking in Spain & Morocco With Kirsten Queoff

“Learning how to understand and be comfortable in uncomfortable situations helped me, and I learned from them” — Kirsten Queoff

In this interview we hear about Kirsten’s “GLOBAL HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS TRAINING IN SPAIN AND MOROCCO TO COMBAT SEX-TRAFFICKING” faculty led program.

The interview is different from any other interview I’ve conducted on The Study Abroadcast because of the subject matter. Kirsten does a great job of explaining her time, and what the program consisted of while she was moving between the two countries. 


  • Experience out of the country [1:31]
  • Choosing a program in sync with her interests [2:54]
    • Combatting women in sex trafficking
  • Receiving a scholarship [7:09]
    • A trip full of Badgers
  • Traveling to Africa [10:21]
    • Safety first
  • Living situation on a short, faculty led program [12:25]
    • Classwork on a short, faculty led program
    • A little time for exploration
  • A coincidence on the trip [15:54]
  • On to the food [18:07]
  • The timeline of Kirsten’s study abroad journey [20:05]
  • Changing Kirsten’s perception of the world [21:40]
    • Seeing sex trafficking differently 
  • Future plans for Kirsten [25:16]
    • A public health nurse that works with vulnerable populations
  • Why Kirsten chose to attend UW-Madison [26:37]
    • Living in Madison, WI
  • Recommendations
  • Advice  [32:05]
    • “It’s never too early to start thinking about study abroad”

Kirsten Koehler Talks Language Learning, Teaching, & Interning in Germany

Who am I, what does it mean to be from where I’m from, and how do I explain that to people who are not from the U.S.?” — Kirsten Koehler

I think it’s safe to say that Kirsten Koehler enjoys Germany, and learning German. You’d have to, to spend 11 months there. 

Kirsten lived in the town of Freiburg where she was able to take day trips to France and Switzerland. She taught, she interned, she learned, and she walks us through every step of the way in this detailed tale of a year in Freiburg, Germany… PROST! 


  • Spending a year in Germany [1:11]
  • Knowing she wanted to study abroad from the start [1:47]
  • Getting the funding to study abroad for a year [3:30]
    • Madison/Freiburg sister city stipend for housing
    • “It was cheaper for me to go to Germany than it was for me to stay on UW-Madison’s campus”
  • Getting prepared to stay for an entire year [5:14]
    • Making the decision to come home in the middle
  • Coincidentally knowing someone who was going through the same program [6:31]
  • Average day in the life in Freiburg [7:53]
    • A wohngemeinschaft, or, WG
      • “If a dorm room were connected to a hallway with four other dorm rooms”
    • Having the opportunity to take classes through many different schools
    • University of Freiburg
    • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • The places Kirsten visited during her 11 months in Europe [13:18]
    • France and Switzerland in a day
    • The intricacies of the trains and buses in western Europe
    • Meeting up with a friend from Scotland
  • Getting off to a rocky start (Chicago to Freiburg) [16:23]
    • “The most abrupt transition to Germany that I could’ve imagined”
  • German Cuisine with a gastarbeiter (guest worker) influence [21:26]
    • Turkey, Italy Yugoslavia, Greece
    • “I’d always get the falafel delicious burrito with everything”
  • How living in Germany for 11 months affected Kirsten’s view of the world [23:33]
    • Comparing her German before and after; “it didn’t click like it does now”
    • Explaining the U.S. politics to Europeans
  • Future plans & why Kirsten chose to attend UW-Madison [26:05]
    • Realizing the campus was different than what she was used to after taking the tour
  • Recommendations [28:48]
  • Advice if you’re thinking about studying abroad [31:22]
    • “Don’t do it if you’re looking for an extended vacation”
  • Interning at a gimnasium as an English language teaching assistant [34:00]
  • Alpadia [36:20]

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” – Amy Chua

ETSU’s John David Discusses Vigo, Spain, Traveling Throughout Europe, and Galician

Study abroad in Vigo Spain

“We’re really fortunate to live in a time where it’s so easy to keep in contact with everyone. I feel like 20 years ago that wouldn’t have been possible.” John David (@johndavidmullins)

John David, a pre-med student, was the first person I’ve had on the show that studied abroad in Vigo, Spain. In this interview he  introduces us to a language that most people don’t know about called Galician.

Galician is an Indo-European language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, according to Wikipedia. What that means is that it is a mix of Portuguese and Spanish, according to John.

This interview is packed with stories, recommendations, and information. If you’re thinking about Spain, living with a host family, or learning Spanish, this interview is definitely for you.




  • The process that led John to study abroad [00:27]
  • Why John decided to study abroad in Spain [1:02]
  • The pros and cons of studying abroad for 6 months [2:21]
  • Scholarships and honors programs [3:11]
  • John’s first time out of the country [4:48]
  • Feeling nervous going solo [5:57]
  • “A good general understanding of Spanish, but just not the practice” [7:11]
    • Crabs 🦀😂
  • Vigo, Spain [8:55]
  • The intricacies of John’s program [10:53]
    • The main source of John’s language learning
      • What Galician is
  • Other places John saw while abroad [15:24]
    • Prague, Grenada, Madrid, Barcelona, Porto, Lisbon, Braga, Lyon, Brussels,
      Amsterdam, Casablanca, Berlin, Leipzig, Malta, Milan, Crema, Geneva, Bern, Ourense,
      Cordoba, Seville, Malaga, and Spain’s golden coast
  • John explains Eurail [16:45]
  • Adjusting to the exchange in Switzerland [21:50]
  • Staying in hostels while traveling [23:42]
  • Estrella Galicia – “I think all Europeans will tell you American beer is terrible” [26:15]
  • Staying in touch with friends he made abroad [29:45]
  • Speaking Spanish with his friends [31:56]
    • Why John doesn’t like the word fluency 
    • A romantic way to learn languages
  • East Tennessee State University and John’s future plans [36:35]
  • Recommendations
  • John’s advice to someone who is on the fence about studying abroad [44:09]

“I’m in love, I’m alive, oh, I’m burning” Maggie Rogers

Vigo Spain


Study Abroad

This was John’s first time out of the country!

How Your Study Abroad Location Can Influence Your Career Path With Tara Efobi

Tara Efobi study abroad

“It was what I needed to keep propelling me forward in the degree that I was pursuing”  Tara Efobi (@taraefobi)

Tara Efobi studied abroad and the process worked for her. She was studying fashion and now works in – you guessed it – fashion.

The destination for the interview was Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, which is part of Scandinavia. Tara, however, (like most students) did her fair share of traveling during her time there.

This is the first time I’ve interviewed someone where something didn’t go wrong, so it was a ‘running on all cylinders, full speed ahead’ journey. Tara was also the first student on the show who rented a bicycle during her time abroad, which I think is a terrific idea. Did I mention she’s got a decent Instagram and Youtube following?

Fashion ✅ Influencing ✅ Time of your life…✅ I genuinely had a lot of fun on this interview, and I think you will, too.


  • Why Tara decided to study abroad through DIS [00:51]
  • Scholarships & grants [3:02]
  • “I never saw myself as being a study abroad kid” [5:03]
  • What an average day was like in Copenhagen [6:54]
    • Renting a bicycle
  • Tara’s travels [10:31]
  • NOTHING went wrong [12:54]
  • A jumbo cinnamon roll from 7/11 [15:00]
  • How studying abroad helped Tara with her career [18:38]
  • Getting social and landing a dream job after school [24:47]
  • Why Tara decided to go to Iowa State [26:08]
  • Recommendations [30:00]
  • Advice if you’re thinking about studying abroad [30:58]

Tara Efobi talks brunch
Brunch is big in Denmark

What Happens When A Class Project Turns Into A Study Abroad Experience

Henry in Kenya

“It’s one of the most important things I’ve ever done. It’s about immersing yourself in another culture, understanding that culture, and learning cross cultural communication” — Henry West

Henry West went to Kenya which is located here:

The reason he went to Kenya is actually because of a class project. With out giving away too much detail; the project dealt with water supply and how to improve the current process that takes place.

You’ll have to listen to figure out the how and why.

There are also two firsts in this episode:

First: The first time I’ve interviewed someone who studied abroad in Kenya and…

Second: The first time studying abroad affected the trajectory of someone’s major

Henry laid it all out like a blueprint, and if you listen, you can probably get a few pointers so you can make your study abroad experience stick out from all the others.


  • Henry’s logical explanation for choosing to study abroad in Kenya [1:39]
  • The philanthropic outcome of the water vests [4:07]
  • The intricacy of Henry’s project and study abroad [5:21]
  • Getting a grant to help with the costs of the project [8:25]
  • The exact length of Henry’s project [9:23]
  • Getting to know the ins & outs of Kenya [10:00]
  • Mixing and mingling on the project [12:01]
  • Ok, so on every episode I ask for an interesting story or something that went wrong. Henry, as luck would have it, kept a journal of his daily activities, so we got a great recollection of stories from this gnarly trip to Kenya [12:36]
  • A) Did they all speak english and B) Were they all black? [18:08]
  • “The Kenyan food was incredible” [20:28]
  • Drinking the tea in Kenya [23:32]
  • Why Henry changed his major because of study abroad [24:29]
  • Why Henry chose Wisconsin [27:17]
  • Recommendations [32:32]

The water vests in action!

Mukimo and beef

Water Crisis Statistics [Infographic]

Water statistics

What It’s Like To Meet In A Study Abroad Advisor’s Office With Julio Castro

Julio Castro Study Abroad

“I always tell students that studying abroad was the most defining thing of my college experience” — Julio Castro 

I love when I have study abroad advisors on the show because they do a good job of getting students to take the plunge and study abroad.

This episode is no different.

Julio did a great job of recollecting his time of Spain and Germany, respectively. He also reminisced about transitioning into his own job while he was still studying abroad, which is a very real concern for lots of students who study abroad towards the end of their college careers.


  • What was going through Julio’s head prior to leaving for Spain [2:02]
  • Why Julio picked to study abroad in Spain and Germany [3:43]
  • The added travel that comes with Julio’s position as a study abroad advisor [6:45]
  • What it’s like to miss a flight while you study abroad [8:22]
  • Remembering the currywurst  [9:20]
  • How studying abroad changed Julio’s life [10:53]
  • Why Julio chose the college he did (this is as good of reason as any) [12:46]
  • Becoming and Instagram [14:08]
  • Advice to those who are thinking about studying abroad [15:25]

If everyone spent a semester overseas there would be no wars — Unkown


Why There is More To Kazakhstan Than Meets The Eye With Phil Boltz

Phil Boltz in Kazakhstan

 “You have to decide how big (or small) you want your world to be”Phil Boltz (@PhilBoltz)

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Kazakhstan, this interview is for you. Fresh off a recent a trip, Phil really gets into the nuts and Boltz 😂of what the country is like and how quickly they are developing.

I’m proud to say that this is another Study Abroadcast first and Phil really knocked it out of the park. Enjoy learning about Kazakhstan. I did.


  • Everything you needed to know about Kazakhstan [2:10]
  • Running smoothly while airborne (again and again) [6:47]
  • Phil touches on the Kazakh cuisine [10:40]
  • Growing up in Muncie, Indiana, and coming back to Ball State [12:51]
  • The Intensive English Institute [12:11]
  • Recommendations [15:15]
  • Advice someone thinking about studying abroad 🙌 [19:12]

Did You Know [Infographic]

Comparing Kazakhstan to Texas

Phil Boltz

Here is a video montage of Phil’s latest trip to Kazakhstan, and here’s some photos, too.