Peer Advisors

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 Peer Advisors and find their contact information to reach out to them at any time.  Connect with a peer advisor from each of the following programs: LondonDublin,  South AfricaGlobal Internship, or even a peer advisor which has gone on to graduate from Temple!

SMC Study Away Peer Advisors

Name: Tanner DeFeboTanner DeFabo
Major: Media Studies & Production
Program: London, Spring 2016
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017
Instagram: tannerdefebo
Twitter: tannerdefebo

There’s a certain kind of person that you meet while traveling abroad. A person who knows what it’s like to leave, change, grow, learn, and then return home. A person who has made mistakes while traveling and carried on. A person who is molded by their experiences in a foreign place. Spring of 2016 was my semester not only to meet these people, but to be one.

London seemed almost like a fairy-tale before stepping off the tube in the center of the busy, posh neighborhood of Kensington. I had seen images of the city in movies such as Harry Potter and James Bond, and when I got there I encountered more rain and way less dementors. I participated in some amazing classes with equally amazing professors that took me all across London to places you would never think to explore. During my time in London, I had the opportunity to travel to Athens, Naples, Sorrento, Nice, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.

I was always on the fence about studying abroad. I was worried about missing out on things happening in Philadelphia, I was worried about money, and I was worried about a ton of logistical things about being in a foreign country. What helped me, was talking to people who’ve been abroad to build up the confidence to go. If you’ve even entertained the idea of going abroad but are holding back, feel free to contact me or one of the other peer advisors to get a conversation going and help you on your way to a life-changing adventure.

This world is massive but SMC Study away can help send you, like it did me, on an astounding journey.

Name: Meredith GilsonMeredith Gilson
Major: Communication Studies
Communication and Entrepreneurship
Program(s): Global Internship – London, Summer 2015; Global Internship – LA, Summer 2016
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017
Instagram: @meredithgilson

Hi! My name is Meredith and I spent two summers away! I interned in London for a Fashion PR company as well as a Fashion Wholesale company. I also staffed the Los Angeles Global Internship Program this past summer. I am a senior majoring in Communication with a minor in Business. After my first study away experience I had to travel to a new city the next summer and since then I have caught the travel bug. Exploring new cities is one of my favorite things to do and studying away gives you that opportunity. Not only in the city you are in, but there is the opportunity to travel to other cities which really expands your horizons. I can give you insight to what it is like interning abroad as well as staffing a domestic program. I know I had a lot of questions going into this process so feel free to email me any questions you have. Also, you can check out my Instagram and Facebook to see pictures from my experiences from my past two summers. I would love to share my experiences with you and learn about your passion for studying away!

Name: Danielle (Dani) Henry-Fagon Dani Henry Fagon
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Theater
Program: Temple Japan, Fall 2015
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017

When I made the decision to study abroad, I thought that it was going to be the awesome! I was going to Japan, I was going to do a lot of sight-seeing and I was going to meet a lot of fantastic people. Little did I know; this was more than a trip for me. It was a completely life changing experience. Going beyond the basics such as food, traveling and friendships, I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know before. I know now that I can literally make conversation with anyone, even someone who speaks a completely different language. I know now that I can wander around an enormous city, like Tokyo, and not feel worried about getting lost. I know now that I love directing just as much as acting. I know now that I am comfortable being vulnerable with others. I know now how comfortable I am being alone and not waiting for others to hang out with me.

Deciding to study abroad was the greatest decision I have ever made and, even though it wasn’t perfect all the time, going to Tokyo was the was the best time of my life. I am definitely going back the first chance I get.

Name: Jared PhillipsJared Phillips
Major: Journalism
Program: Global Internship – LA, Summer 2016
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017

Hey my name is Jared Phillips and this past summer I spent the best two months of my life interning for Primary Wave Entertainment in beautiful Los Angeles. I am a senior Journalism major with a focus in Broadcasting with a Sports Management minor. I am an anchor for OwlSports Update, TUTV’s weekly 30-minute live sports show featuring the latest news for all of Temple’s varsity athletics, and I am also the Music Director for WHIP, Temple’s student-run radio station. That along with various internships I have held in Philadelphia gave me the proper preparation I would need to spend a summer interning out in Los Angeles. For me, I knew I wanted to get out to the west coast since I got to college. I want to help you figure out where it is that you want to explore outside of Philadelphia and do everything I can to help prepare you for that experience both in and outside of the workplace. Feel free to email me for any questions you might have!

Name: Gabrielle Verzellapeer-advisor-photo
Major: Media Studies and Production
Concentration: Production and International Communication
Program: Dublin, Summer 2015
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017
Instagram: gabrielleverzella

Hi! My name is Gabby and I’m a Media Studies and Production major, and I declared my International Communication Concentration when I got home from Dublin, Ireland! I love being emerged in sights and sounds and I want to create and progress in my career with media technology. Ireland is an enigma to most people, and words like green or beer usually come to mind. Traveling helps you to form your own opinions and views of the world and cultures around you, and also find out if words like “green” or “beer” hold true (they do). Even after I flew home, I knew I would never find a place like Dublin in the world; but I realized that there is so much more for me to see! As students, we are given the opportunity to live in and explore a foreign country and culture. The idea of leaving home is daunting, but once you’re out there you won’t regret it! If not now, when?

“Studying abroad is not something you do, it’s something that happens to you.” -Michael Kielty, FIE Program Director

Study Away Alum

Want to learn even more about our programs or what it’s like to be a graduate with Study Away on your resume? Check out our list of dedicated Study Away alumni, still eager to share their stories here.