Jaclyn: Spring in Melbourne

Jaclyn Jefferson

Jaclyn Jefferson

Jaclyn Jefferson is a junior at the University of Florida, and hopes to receive a Bachelor of Health Science degree. This coming November she will be applying to various Physical Therapy programs. She has previous travel experience in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. Most of these experiences were with family members as short vacations.

This spring, Jaclyn is studying abroad on an exchange program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Living in a foreign country for five months and experiencing the Australian schooling system will force her to get out of her comfort zone. The La Trobe University program will allow her to complete credits toward her major, while using Florida prepaid funds. Jaclyn loves photography and the arts, so she is excited to bring her camera around the city and see the rich art hub that is Melbourne.

Avery: Semester at Sea

Avery Segal

Avery Segal

Avery Segal is a sophomore, History or International Studies major with minors in Chinese and TESL at the University of Florida. His travel experience began when he visited his dad in New Zealand at age 12. Since then he has backpacked Colombia and Argentina, as well as traveled through Italy and France.

His previous study abroad experience was as a high school student on scholarship. He participated in an Experiment in International Living program, in South Korea for one month, as well as spent 10 months in Ghana with the U.S. Department of State’s YES Abroad program. With YES Abroad he worked to fulfill the program goal of building bridges between the United States and countries with a significant Muslim population by attending local school and living with a host family. While in Ghana, he interned at a Ghanaian foods restaurant and worked as a production assistant for two Travel Channel shows.

This spring, Avery will be embarking on a Semester at Sea voyage, taking classes on a boat and making his way through 12 countries, with stops in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He hopes to get a taste of each country, and potentially discover where he would like to study abroad or travel in the future. Avery’s interests include culture, food, traveling, reading, writing, and playing soccer.

Megan: Spring in Rio de Janeiro

Megan Hartnett

Megan Hartnett

Megan Hartnett is a third year Accounting major at the University of Florida with an interest in Spanish and Portuguese language study. In 2012, she studied abroad on the UF in Santander program, focusing on Spanish language study. She has also traveled with her family to Italy where she explored the culture and landscape of Venice, Rome, and Florence.

This spring, Megan is studying abroad on an exchange program at Pontificia Universidade Catolica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She chose to study in Brazil because she wants to improve her Portuguese and learn about a new culture. After having an amazing experience in Spain, she was ready for another, new study abroad experience. Brazil is the perfect choice because of its diverse culture and recent economic growth as well as a new challenge with a new language. In her spare time, Megan enjoys learning new languages, playing soccer, dancing, traveling, and spending time with friends.

James: Spring in George Town

James Ort is a senior Sports Management major at the University of Florida, with minors in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. Although he has never studied abroad, he has sailed to the Bahamas the past two summers for four-five weeks, island hopping around the Abacos in a 24 foot racing sailboat with a three person capacity. The trips were purely for recreation and pleasure, but they have contributed to both the pursuit of his captain’s license, as well as his roommate’s independent study on tidal energy and design of a hydroelectric generator. James has also spent time in Puerto Rico. He previously organized a surf trip to the island for 38 travelers as well as backpacked and roamed around for 10 days with four other guys, sleeping in hammocks, abandoned houses, and remote beaches.

James Ort

James Ort

This spring, James is interning in the Cayman Islands on Seven Mile Beach as part of his degree requirement. He chose this location because of his love for the Caribbean and the water. James is a watersports enthusiast, a sailor, and a wakeboarder, and the Cayman Islands are the perfect location for all of his hobbies. The opportunity for networking and future residence in the islands also played a large part in his decision.

In his free time, James loves to wakeboard. He is President of the UF Wakeboard Club, which is ranked 1st in the country and hosted the 2013 USA Wakeboard Southeast Regional competition, bringing every collegiate wakeboard team in Florida to UF’s own Lake Wauburg. James also enjoys mountain biking, freediving, spearfishing, fly-fishing, surfing, and skydiving, as well as, photography, music, graphic design, and art, in general. Overall, he sees himself as someone who likes to pursue adventure and fun, while encouraging others to come along for the ride.

Cole: Spring in London

Cole Hovey

Cole Hovey

Cole Hovey is a second year Economics major at the University of Florida who is looking to concentrate in International Business and pursue an MAIB program in the near future. He has traveled abroad to Italy, driving from Rome through Tuscany and then out to the coast near Cinque Terre, on a family vacation after completing three years of Italian language study. He has also spent time in Scotland, visiting a family friend and traveling through the highlands and downtown Edinburgh.

This semester will be Cole’s first time studying abroad when he participates in the UF in London – Business/Internship program in England. He decided on this program because he enjoys English culture, and the program allowed for an internship along with studying abroad. Cole believes having real world experience internationally will help get his foot in the door for future internship opportunities as well as bring many great experiences. Being in London interested him because of its position as a global business hub and a melting pot of many different cultures in a large city. In his free time Cole’s hobbies include fishing, running and surfing. As a certified private pilot and son of a commercial pilot, he also enjoys flying airplanes.

Natalie: Spring in Madrid

Natalie DeVarona is a third year Industrial and Systems Engineering major at the University of Florida who is also pursuing minors in Business Administration and Sales Engineering. She has traveled abroad once previously when she was 13 years old for two weeks throughout Italy with her family to celebrate her older sister’s “quince,” or fifteenth birthday. This spring, however, Natalie will take part in her first study abroad experience.

Natalie will be studying abroad in Spain on the UF in Madrid – Business program. She chose to study here because she wants to improve her Spanish from intermediate to fluency in the spoken language. She also wants to have the experience of living and immersing herself in a different culture. In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, as well as, playing basketball, watching sports, and trying new foods!

Debbie: Spring in Jerusalem

Deborah (Debbie) Maciel is a third year Dance Performance major at the University of Florida with a passion for travel. She previously traveled to Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, and Monte Carlo for fun, and Peru and Brazil to visit family, most of whom live abroad. One of her fondest memories abroad was swimming through underwater caverns in Mexico.

Debbie Maciel

Debbie Maciel

This spring, Debbie will be studying abroad for the first time in Jerusalem, Israel at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. The opportunities and possibilities of modern dance in Israel are endless, and she has always been curious about dipping her foot in that sea. The Holy City in itself is filled with rich history, beautiful sights, and a curious mash-up of completely passionate people. The city is divided into three sections belonging to three different faiths who share the land due to a compromise many centuries old. Debbie is interested in Jerusalem’s spirit and complexities, and feels it is the perfect place for her to grow and study. In her free time, other than dance, she loves acting, singing, writing, painting, walking, observing, talking, listening, and rapping. Her main interest is life itself and her favorite hobby is adventure.

Marcus: Spring in Thailand & Vietnam

Marcus Degnan is a third year English major, with a minor in Asian American Studies and Asian Studies. His focus is on Asian American literature, Asian Literature, LGBT Literature, and Creative Writing. Although Marcus has not previously studied abroad, he has traveled for fun to London after graduating high school.

This spring, Marcus is studying abroad in Thailand and Vietnam with The Education Abroad Network. He chose this program because he is half-Vietnamese and wanted to find an excuse to go to his mother’s home country. Also, he wanted to experience two countries, as he might not have an opportunity like this ever again. In his free time, Marcus enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and exercising. He also likes museums, art, and eating. Overall he is a very low key person. 

Jennifer: Spring in Tel Aviv

Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole is a junior at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Jewish studies. She also has a business concentration. Although she has not previously studied abroad, in 2010 she traveled to Italy to visit her older sister who was studying abroad in Florence. While there, she visited Florence, Rome, and Venice. Additionally, in 2012, she traveled to Israel for 10 days on Birthright.

This spring Jennifer is studying abroad at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She chose to study here because after visiting nearly two years ago, she absolutely loved the country and had to return again. Jennifer loves warm weather and cannot wait to spend four months living near the beach! In her free time, her interests and hobbies include: running, yoga, health/fitness, writing, photography and any type of frozen yogurt.

Alyssa: Autumn in Dubrovnik

Alyssa Baron

Alyssa Baron

Alyssa Baron is a third year student at the University of Florida majoring in Business Administration, with a concentration on the European Union, and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She previously studied abroad on the UF in Florence – Language, Art and Culture program in Florence, Italy, during which she had the opportunity to travel all over Italy (Cinque Terre being one of her favorites), Budapest, Hungary and Split, Croatia. Her most recent overseas experience involved working with a BBYO leadership seminar in Israel this past summer. Outside of her studies, Alyssa enjoys traveling, doodling, photography, spending time outdoors, playing soccer, wandering the streets of new cities, and meeting new people. In the fall, Alyssa will be studying abroad in Dubrovnik, Croatia at Dubrovnik International University. Last summer she visited Croatia (often referred to as Europe’s best kept secret) and knew she had to return. While there, Alyssa fell in love with the landscapes, the people, and the culture. She is also looking forward to witnessing firsthand Croatia’s transition to being a member of the European Union.