Alumni Retrospective

One of the GEO team’s favorite part of working with students is seeing how their study away experiences continue to impact them post-graduation and into their careers. Below are some alumni reflections on their time abroad and the lasting influences of their experiences.

After studying abroad in Brazil with SIT Study Abroad and graduating from Amherst College, Carlos earned graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. He has worked as an advocate for DREAMERs and refugees, served on the Youth Panel of the International Commission on Financing Global Education, and is currently a J.D./M.P.P. Candidate at Harvard Law School.

Richard André majored in Political Science and Spanish, and studied abroad in Chile with SIT Study Abroad. After graduating from Amherst, Richard worked as a writer and editor for Americas Quarterly magazine. He then ran the NYCitizenship program at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, providing free citizenship legal services and financial counseling. He currently serves as the Senior Policy Coordinator at New American Economy and is completing the Master in Public Policy Program (MPP) at Princeton University.

Constance Holden majored in Spanish and studied abroad in Argentina with IFSA Study Abroad, then worked as a GEO intern! After graduating from Amherst, she spent a year teaching in Santiago de Chile and then returned to the United States to work in international education as a study abroad advisor. Constance is currently pursuing a doctorate in Latin American and Caribbean History at the University of Connecticut, researching African and African-descended women’s politics and the intersections between race, gender, and national identity in Argentina.

Sarah Craver majored in French and studied abroad in France with CUPA Paris. After graduating from Amherst, she was awarded a French Government Teaching Assistantship to teach in Dijon, France, and went on to earn her Master’s in French Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sarah is currently the Assistant Director of the Tufts University European Center.

Elena Villafana majored in History on the pre-med track and studied abroad in Denmark with DIS Abroad, then worked as a GEO intern! After graduating from Amherst, she worked on educational and outreach activities for School Based Health Centers through Community Health Center in Connecticut as a member of AmeriCorps. Elena is currently a Registered Nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Katherine Nolan focused on African Studies and International Development in her Interdisciplinary major, and studied abroad in Rwanda and Uganda with SIT Study Abroad. After graduating from Amherst, she earned her Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She has worked for Innovations for Poverty Action on impact evaluations in Mongolia and Kenya, as well as research projects in Northern Uganda and India. Katherine currently works as a Senior Research Analyst at AidData, a research lab at William & Mary which provides data and evidence on how to improve sustainable development investments.

Dr. Phoebe Arbogast majored in Biology and studied abroad in Senegal. After graduating from Amherst, she was awarded a Frank Fowler Dow Prize to attend medical school. She earned her M.D. from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, completing her residency at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, and is currently a practicing psychiatrist.

Tahina Vatel majored in French and studied abroad in Trinidad with Trinity College. After graduating from Amherst, she was awarded a Projects for Peace grant where she developed a summer youth soccer program in Bayonnais, Haiti. She later was awarded a French Teaching Assistant Fellowship to teach in Guadeloupe, and went on to earn her Masters in International Relations from American University. Tahina currently works as a Special Agent for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Amir Hall majored in English and studied abroad in South Africa with @cieestudyabro. After graduating from Amherst, he trained as a Design Fellow with Amherst’s Theater and Dance Department. He later was the Artistic Director of Son of Man, a multidisciplinary artistic excavation of manhood in Lagos, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. Amir is currently managing the College’s Solidarity Book Project with Professor Sonya Clark.

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