The SMC Study Away Peer Advisors are a group of dedicated Study Away alumni that are always ready, willing and able to talk to prospective students about their experiences and answer any questions you may have. Here you can read about each of our unique Graduated Peer Advisors and find their contact information to reach out to them at any time.
London Semester Peer Advisors
I’m a senior here at Temple University studying Advertising in the copywriting direction. I joined the Study Away program at SMC in the spring of 2011, and shipped off to London for nearly 5 months. Once I was there I used Europe as my muse, exploring 11 countries in total before returning home. To date I’ve been lucky enough to experience 20 different countries with 20 completely unique cultures.
I’m not hard to miss at nearly 6’5″, but, if you still haven’t been able to track me down, best bet is to check out my travel blog, http://www.thetravelowl.wordpress.com. That’ll probably tell you where you just missed me or at the very least, where I’m going to next. Although sometimes difficult to find, I’m always easy to reach. Feel free to contact me by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. I’m definitely someone that’s always connected:
Hello, my name is LaToya Stroman and I am a BTMM major. Most people call me “Toya.” I am fun, friendly and motivated to succeed. I am from Philly and I love to travel, meet new people & enjoy life. Along with being a student, I decorate on the side and volunteer for inner-city youth projects 90% of my time. I know it sounds weird (smile). I studied in London in the Spring of 2011 and it was literally LIFE CHANGING. My time there was so incredible, I stayed an extra month and house sat for a co-worker I met while interning. I interned at Shorts International and worked my butt off, interviewed for the job and its waiting for me after graduation. I have overcome some really difficult times in my life and I am determined to be successful and be effective in my community. My life quote is “finish what you have started.” Contact me at any time – you can always find me in the Study Away office (Room 6 in Annenberg Hall).
Skype: latoyastroman – (contact me via email to set up a time)
I’m a senior at Temple, originally from Wilkes-Barre in Northeast Pennsylvania. I would describe myself as a silly goof with a huge heart and a naturally people-oriented person. As a student, I chose to study Communications because it will always be prevalent in interdisciplinary fields and contexts. My current role as a multi-media intern at Campus Philly is preparing me for post-graduation. Additionally, it allows me to pursue my goals at the present; I photograph major events for Campus Philly and I’m responsible for regularly updating and organizing their virtual photo library.
In Spring 2011, I studied in London with some of the most amazing and inspiring people I’ve ever met. Additionally, my most ambitious work experience was my internship abroad at the World Photography Organisation offered hands-on work, including writing news articles published on their website, conducting research for worldwide photographers, and implementing marketing and social media strategies in preparation for a major event – the World Photography Festival and Sony World Photography Awards 2011. This internship and the entire study abroad London experience broadened my worldview and made me realize that international communications skills are a necessity.
My interpersonal capabilities and my passionate involvement with photography will ultimately lead me to a future career that involves two primary elements: people and a camera. I would love to explore the broad field of visual communications – particularly social documentary photography. A perfect job would also encompass some sort of social work. If I was able to simultaneously provide counseling treatment and photograph members of the community that seek improvement from social programs, it would be my dream career.
I’m Danielle Marinese, a senior Communications major who still has no idea what she wants to do after graduation, to the dismay of every adult who asks. I also don’t know how to whistle, dive into a pool, or sing the correct lyrics of top 40 songs. I do know that studying abroad in London during the fall of my junior year was one of the best decisions I made as a Temple student and I love to help future study abroad students not make the same mistakes I did while I was away (like nearly missing every international flight I booked).
I’m Jessica Philo, and I’m an Advertising major/English minor from Phoenixville, PA. I studied in London during Spring 2011 and ever since my return from London not only have I been pining to go back, but I’ve become obsessed with promoting Study Away. I believe that everyone who dreams of studying abroad should pursue their dreams and make them a reality. Studying abroad is an amazing way to immerse yourself in another country’s culture and way of life (not to mention the amazing experience it is in its entirety), and once you graduate it becomes a lot harder to temporarily move to Europe (if you could imagine that).
With that being said, I’m here to answer your questions about studying abroad. Please don’t be shy! No question is too off the wall or awkward, and I’d be more than happy to meet with you. I also keep a blog where I log all of my London study abroad advice, which you can find here http://jessicaphilo.wordpress.com/category/london/. Feel free to mouse around there if you’re curious.
**Also thank Jess for putting together this page!
Hey, I’m Hadar Spector and I’m a Communications major who studied in London during the Spring 2011 semester. I absolutely loved London and I miss it everyday. There was always something fun to do and my time there was one of the best few months of my life. I even traveled for 5 weeks on my own after the semester and I ended up seeing cities in 8 different countries over all!
I’m a music enthusiast, whether it’s listening, attending shows, writing about it, or just singing in the shower. I also have a love for photography and eating ice cream in my spare time. If there’s one phrase I choose to live by, it’s definitely the Beatles quote, “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”
I’m Meghan White, a senior BTMM major originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia. I studied in London in the Fall of 2010. While there I made a point of exploring museums, markets, parts of Europe and of course, pubs. I interned at CCD PR, which was more or less sandwiched between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, which gave me my weekly dose of tourism and also allowed me to pretend that I was in Harry Potter while walking down Shaftesbury Ave. One of the highlights of studying abroad was getting to explore Europe for a week during fall break. My trip involved a lot of running to catch trains and getting a bit lost everywhere we went.
In addition to telling everyone that they should study in London, I also write a craft column for The Temple News called “HandMeg.” I maintain a slightly ridiculous blog that is not at all related to travel (www.dishguts.com).
E-mail*: email@example.com, Twitter: twitter.com/dishguts
*If you’re emailing me, please put something about your Study Away interest in the subject line. From there I’d be more than happy to set up a face to face meeting time on campus or on Skype!
I’m Sam, I’m a senior Advertising major focusing in copy writing. I decided to study abroad the summer after my junior year, and if I could go back and change anything I totally would have gone for a full semester!! I studied in London and absolutely loved it! I’m determined to eventually live there, because during the six weeks I spent there, I completely fell in love with the city. I found London really easy to get accustomed to and I never got home sick.
I think studying abroad is an experience everyone should have if they have the ability to. It opens your eyes to other cultures and gives you the chance to explore other parts of the world pretty easily. It made me love traveling even more! I was a little hesitant about going so far at first, but I can honestly say it was the best six weeks of my life and not a day goes by that I don’t miss it!
I became a peer advisor because I love sharing my stories about Europe and I think it’s great I can help convince people to study abroad and answer their questions about it! I’m definitely willing to help out anytime and can be contacted in a few ways!
Hello! My name is Diana Brody and I am a senior majoring in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media. Years of sitting in front of the television and ruining my 20/20 vision has inspired me to work in television production, preferably in post-production for video editing. In Spring 2012, I studied abroad in London and it was the best thing I ever did in my entire life. I could write pages and pages of my experience but for now, I’ll just tell you a little about myself and how studying abroad has changed me as a person. Before going to London, I was a socially awkward person known for having an unhealthy obsession with cats and creating inside jokes with everyone. While I sit here petting my cats William and Harry (London inspired!) and laughing over the many inside jokes my friends and I created during our time in London, I don’t feel like I can label myself as a socially awkward person. During my time there, I gained confidence that I knew I had, but just needed the right opportunity to let it out. Walking unfamiliar streets, seeing famous landmarks, and slowly building friendships let that confidence shine through and show others who I really am.
While I had a lot of fun and exciting moments, there were also times of hard work through my courses and internship. I interned at Film London, a film and media agency who assist first-time filmmakers in creating short films. Sitting in the Tube on my way to work and looking at other people knowing they were in the same situation made me feel like a true Londoner because I was one of them. No longer was I considered a tourist. The great thing about studying abroad is that you’re not a tourist. You’re living in a flat, taking the Tube EVERYWHERE, going to the local grocery store (Sainsbury’s!) to make your own food and living your day just like any other Londoner would. The only difference is that you have a short time to consume not only the city but other parts of Europe before you must sadly leave and make your way back to the US.
As a peer advisor I want to tell students that it’s possible to study abroad under any circumstances. Besides financial aid, scholarships, and my own savings, I had no other financial support. Since my freshman year, I have planned financially and academically to study abroad. Sometimes I stop and think to myself, “Wow I actually lived in London. I walked on Abbey Road and rode a red double-decker bus. I visited the Guinness Factory in Dublin and got blessed by the Pope (unknowingly) in Rome. I stood where the Berlin Wall once stood in Germany and rocked out in The Cavern Club where The Beatles once performed in Liverpool. I saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Moulin Rouge in Paris. I did all of this.” And you can too because of Temple’s Study Away Program.
But hopefully you’ll be aware that you’re in the presence of the Pope (long story).
Dan Polis (superstar Dan participated in both London and Los Angeles programs!)
My name is Daniel Polis. I’m from Cheltenham Pennsylvania and I’m a Film and Media Arts senior at the School of Communications and Theater. I went to London in the Spring 2011 semester, and it was there that I had the opportunity to intern at a major independent film festival as well as a chance to travel throughout Europe. Just a week and a half after returning from London, I packed my bags once again and set off for Temple’s Los Angeles Internship program. There I interned in television development at an Emmy award winning production company. I believe that both of my study away experiences with Temple shaped me into who I am today and prepared me for the next step in my life.
Hi! I’m Jen Babu, a senior journalism major and English lit minor at Temple University. I’ve always wanted to travel to England, where most of my favorite authors & Anne Boleyn once lived. My main goal was to go on a Jane Austen pilgrimage and see where she lived & was buried; I felt like that was something I needed to do before starting my life in adulthood, to be inspired. Temple’s London Study Abroad Program gave me all those opportunities, and more. I saw the Queen at Kensington Palace, celebrated the Chinese New Year at Trafalgar Square, stood at the Prime Meridian, went to a Holi festival, traveled to Dublin, Rome, & Berlin, and yes, I went to Jane Austen’s houses in Bath & Winchester and saw the place where she was buried. I did so much more than that, but the best part was feeling part of something bigger than myself. London is a vibrant, exciting, stunning city. Even if you never ventured out of it, there is still so much history and culture on every street. Don’t be afraid to jump on the Tube alone…sometimes the best memories come from that one step of bravery.
Hello there! My name is Matthew Hanley, a junior Media Productions student here at Temple University. Growing up in New York, I was always a humongous fan of television and theatre, seeing a Broadway show once or twice a year. When I arrived at Temple I immediately joined the Insomnia Theatre club where I wrote and acted in various short plays. Since Freshman year I had been waiting to study abroad in London and last fall those dreams came true. The experience was everything I dreamed and more.
I visited 8 different countries, made connections and experienced some of the best times of my life. The best though was the internship I was assigned. I got to work with an audio production agency who has done post-production work for movies such as Hell Boy and Harry Potter. This was a truly eye opening experience that taught me a lot that I didn’t know about my own production major and what it is like to work in an actual film production environment. I got to sit in on some movie screenings and was given a different scripts to read and review each work. This was my favorite assignment as it reignited my passion for writing and push me to try my hand at script writing. Overall this was the best time of my life and it would be a crime if I did not help others have the same life changing experience that I have had. I hope you will contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have and that you do yourself a favor and review some of the amazing study away programs we have here at Temple.
London Summer Peer Advisors
Hey everyone! I’m a senior at Temple and am majoring in BTMM. I was born in Illinois and raised in central New Jersey. I am extremely happy with my study abroad experience in London of 2012 and hope everyone else has the same opportunity to experience what I did!
I watched the Opening Ceremony with Londoners, saw Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint, took the Harry Potter set tour, and even saw an Olympic game! While the Olympics come around every so often, London would still have been exciting regardless. Studying away gives students the chance to not only learn in the academic sphere, but also gain a cultural background that is priceless. It is certainly an experience I will never forget. Feel free to contact me!
Hello friends, my name is Alex Wright, I’m a senior film student at Temple University. Beginning in my younger days, I have always wanted to get the most out of life and what it had to offer. For me, the calling was in the world of media. Since coming to Temple, I have done all I can to get closer to that dream. I have been on sets of many projects, won a few awards, been a Resident Assistant, joined Temple Greek Life, worked as an Honors Ambassador, and even had time to learn to play the piano and run two marathons. But it wasn’t until this past summer, when I studied away in London that I felt that I had grabbed everything Temple had to offer. I drank tea, rode the Tube, and saw the Olympics. All I can say now is, I can’t wait to go back.
South Africa Peer Advisors
Hey Everyone! My name is Shanell Simmons and I’m a junior Journalism major. YAY Journalism. I’m from the one and only New York City and I love to read books, write reviews and blog about a range of relevant topics.
I studied abroad in South Africa in summer 2011, which was not only the best experience of my 20 living years, but also the biggest accomplishment of my life. After coming back from South Africa, my worldview both shifted and expanded. It was a chance for me to both gain experience in my field and to inflict change as well. We didn’t just stay in the suburban community where we laid our head to rest; we went out and tried to make a difference in South African children’s lives that are underprivileged, yet aspire to be more than what society’s expectations are.
In closing, my advice to you all who may be considering studying away is to stop considering it and JUST DO IT. It won’t be like when you had to pick a college to attend, where it could either be a good decision or the worst decision you’ve ever made. There is only one outcome from studying abroad: you will absolutely love it.
If you have any questions, concerns/fears, please feel free to contact me at ANY TIME. I am so willing and excited to speak to those of you who are interested and even those who may not be all that interested at all.
Born in the ‘burbs of North Jersey, I have chosen to embark on a quest for wisdom and experience to take advantage of this crazy thing called life to the fullest extent I possibly can. There are too many places in this world to visit, a plethora of extraordinary people to meet, and certainly not enough time to witness it all. However, I have chosen to dedicate the rest of his life to complete as much of it as I possibly can and to not regret anything along the way. Education is IMPERATIVE to accomplish this rewarding existence and I have no issues with the thought of it. I am now well on my way to gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Arts with a minor in Business. What I plan to do after…who knows!
I’m a junior, Advertising major and Pittsburgh native. I studied in Johannesburg, South Africa during July 2011.
Learning to be a foreign correspondent was the most enriching learning experience I’ve ever been a part of. I think that studying away is important because it makes you more globally conscious. The South African program has an emphasis on cultural learning. We weren’t sitting in classrooms we were out in the field looking for people to meet with stories to tell. For fun we went bungee jumping, scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and chilled with lots of cool Africans.
Unfortunately, the South Africa program has been temporarily suspended. However, if anyone is still interested in the program I hope you will contact me. We are trying to get the word out about the program and get more support.
New York Peer Advisors
Mary, New York City
Hi! My name is Mary Vercillo and I am a Senior Advertising major from Macungie, PA. I studied in NYC during the Summer of 2012.
I decided to attend the Study Away Program even before I accepted my internship for the summer. I have always wanted to get an early start on my career and gain as much experience in the fashion industry as possible and New York City was the place to be! The internship process was long and stressful, but after countless interviews with multiple companies I was officially a Summer marketing intern for Tommy Hilfiger Headquarters in New York! My experience also involved interning at The New-York Historical Society in the Upper West side.
The program itself had me hooked the second I attended an informational meeting. Professor Gratson was our instructor and he has so much enthusiasm and knowledge about NYC! It was a blast and not overwhelming with my internship five days a week. The program took us around NYC and we learned about the neighborhood and institutions that are fundamental to know living in NYC.
Overall, my experience and classes at Marymount College in NYC were amazing and I have memories to share for a lifetime. I highly recommend any Study Away program for the experience you will gain. If you want to read more about my experience view my blog at http://maryvercillo.wordpress.com. Or if you have any questions on the program, feel free to contact me via Email.