Student Alumni Mentors

Eloise Allen-Bowton, '23

22W French FSP Paris

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Eloise Allen-Bowton after running a marathon.

I'm originally from Sydney, Australia and came to Dartmouth to major in Economics. Along the way, I've ended up picking up minors in both ENVS and French. I'm on the Dartmouth Triathlon Team and a part of the Decibelles. I decided to do the Paris FSP because I loved my French 10 class with Professor Beasley and she really encouraged me to apply for it. I am so glad that I chose to do the program and really enjoyed the freedom that we had to travel during the weekends. I feel that my language skills really improved as well as my understanding of French culture. Another aspect that I really enjoyed about the program was living with a host family. It was wonderful to be able to see how people live their lives as well as discuss political, linguistic, and cultural aspects of a society in a non-graded environment. 

An important lesson that I learned is how to prioritise what I want to do because when you're in-country, you inevitably run out of time. I chose to become a student alumni mentor because I think that it's important to have someone to discuss aspects of study abroad like group dynamics or loneliness with someone who is your peer and has gone through a similar experience. While none of these things are necessarily going to ruin the experience, having to chat with them is always a good option. 

Contact me at Eloise.s.allen-bowton.23@dartmouth.edu. I'll be on campus 22F, 23W and 23S!

 

Grace Lu, '23

21F University College London (UCL) Exchange

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Grace Lu atop a London building on her UCL exchange program.

Hi! My name is Grace and I'm a '23 from Burlington, Vermont majoring in economics and double minoring in biology and psychology. Outside of classes, I'm involved in Musical Empowerment, Smart Women Securities, and economics research. Part of the reason why I chose Dartmouth was for its wide range of study abroad programs, and I applied to the UCL Exchange program because I wanted to try living in an urban environment for a term. What surprised me the most about studying abroad, especially on an exchange program, was how often plans can change. The classes I thought I would take at UCL ended up being different from the ones I ended up electing, and as someone who loves to have a plan for everything, this study abroad experience forced me to be more comfortable with uncertainty! Some of my favorite memories from 21F were because I embraced spontaneity, like saying yes to a weekend trip to Edinburgh or striking up a conversation with someone I had never met before on the elevator. 

My term in London has been one of my favorite terms at Dartmouth, and I became a study away advisor in order to help others navigate the process of going on an exchange, which requires more proactiveness and planning compared to other programs in terms of course selection, finding housing, and travel logistics. As a senior, I look forward to passing along the insights I've gained along the way and helping others make the most of their study abroad experience!

Contact me at grace.lu.23@dartmouth.edu . I am available virtually 22X, but will be on-campus from 22F-23S (I'm always down to chat over a meal or go on a woccom)!

 

Sarah Mason, '23

21F Yonsei University Exchange

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Sarah Mason showing a tangerine while sitting on a bench outside of a Korean orange grove.

I'm a Classical Languages and Literatures major with interests also in the ancient east, specifically Ancient Korea. I love learning about new cultures and learning new languages, so that's what prompted my wanting to study in Korea! I'd heard that Yonsei had an excellent Korean Language program, and I've always wanted to learn so I figured, why not? I look back on my time in Korea now so fondly. It was truly an invaluable experience. 

Though, going during COVID, there were several hiccups during my study abroad that I would have loved to have some guidance through. So, I aim to be a resource that can help Dartmouth students studying abroad have as easy of a transition as possible. 

Contact me at sarah.a.mason.23@dartmouth.edu. I'm only available virtually 22X, but I will be on campus 22F, 23W, and 23S. 

 

Shaphnah Mishal McKenzie, '23

21F Yonsei University Exchange & 22F+ ASCL Developing Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City

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Shaphnah McKenzie

Hi! My name is Shaphnah Mishal '23, and I am a Jamaican-turned-Mainer majoring in English and Creative Writing and minoring in Asian Societies, Languages, and Cultures. My goal is to someday become a scholar of East Asian Studies and launch my writing career with a novel or two. In the Fall of 2021, I participated in an exchange program at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. In high school, I developed a fascination with all things Korea after falling down an endless rabbit hole of YouTube documentaries. My interest in Korean Studies eventually led me to enroll in ASCL 10.02: Introduction to Korean Culture in my sophomore year. The class introduced me to so many more aspects of Korean Culture that I wanted to explore, and I figured there was no better place to dive deeper than at one of South Korea's best universities.

I spent a total of five months studying at Yonsei University, and the transformations I underwent during my study abroad were mind-blowing– so mind-blowing, in fact, that I have dedicated my entire senior honors thesis in Creative Writing to a continued thematic exploration of the experiences of myself and others who have lived and studied abroad. While in South Korea, I became a part of a close-knit circle of friends of varying ethnic backgrounds; I also formed several meaningful friendships with people from South Korea.

I had a fantastic time overall, though the experience wasn't all smooth sailing. I often struggled with feeling out of place, sticking out like a sore thumb as a woman of color within a largely homogenous society. I sometimes struggled to try new restaurants for fear of not knowing how to order. Mostly, I struggled to resist the go-go-go culture of studying abroad, feeling guilty about staying in when there was a whole country out there to explore and only a few months to do it; and I often struggled to reconcile the rest my body was demanding with the compulsion to consume everything around me as quickly as possible. One of the main reasons I decided to become a Study Away Mentor was that I wanted to be a ready resource for students who are concerned about facing similar struggles. I am also always eager to talk about various ways of capturing the memories from your study away program and using audio journaling as a tool both for capturing memories and reflecting on them. 

Contact me at shaphnah.m.mckenzie.23@dartmouth.edu. I am on campus for 22W and 22S and will be happy to chat anytime.

 

Chait Mehra, '23

21F Government FSP

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Chait Mehra in front of the London Bridge.

Hello! My name is Chait Mehra, I am a senior with a double major in Psychology and PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics), with a minor in Theatre. I am an international student from India, was an incoming transfer student at Dartmouth from UC Berkeley, and have moved homes (and countries) several times in my life, so I'm not a stranger to being thrown into new environments. I hope to be able to share and hear about some amazing experiences in doing so with all the prospective study abroad students! A little bit more about me:  I'm the middle child of 3 Dartmouth brothers, a die-hard football (or soccer) fan, a sucker for Italian food, a chewing gum addict, a theatre nerd, a washed-up Varsity Squash athlete, and a one-bunny-ear shoe lace tying kinda guy. On campus, I find myself involved in the Theatre department, as a ski instructor with the snow school, in a hip-hop dance troupe, playing pick-up soccer with friends, being involved with Chi Gamma Epsilon, and conducting research in or nerding out about Psychology, Sports Analytics, and Clean Energy Projects. 

My term away was an absolute rollercoaster of an experience, and I mean it in the best way possible. I chose to become a study away advisor because I know how intimidating the prospect of throwing yourself into a foreign environment can be, but it doesn't always have to be that challenging! My hope is that you can find certain things in common with me and our team of wonderful student advisors, and talk to us as much as you'd like to as you prepare for, are going through, or are reflecting on your time away from Dartmouth or from home. I'm always available to chat, so please don't hesitate to reach out about anything big or small. I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of you and hearing about your experiences!

Contact me at chait.mehra.23@dartmouth.edu and (628) 800-4165. I am available and on campus during the winter and spring terms (unavailable for the fall term)My availability for advising is pretty flexible and I can make myself available to my mentees every week.

 

Isabella Newman, '23

21F Yonsei University Exchange

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Isabella Newman outside during her Yonsei University Exchange.

Hello, I am Isabella Newman '23. I am majoring in Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages and minoring in Government. In my studies, I am most interested in international relations and East Asian politics. On-campus, I am involved in the Native American community and hold executive positions in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, as well as Native Americans at Dartmouth. In 21F, I left my sophomore summer term early to start my exchange at Yonsei University, and it was immensely rewarding. I wanted to study in South Korea because it was one of the countries that were often glossed over in my studies but after taking Introduction to Korean Culture with Professors Suh and Kim, I knew I wanted to learn more about the history and the people.

What surprised me the most during my study away experience is how much I changed and grew as a person. As a result, I feel that I grew more self-confident and realized small setbacks or conflicts were not as detrimental as they felt at the moment. Looking back at my experience, I wish I knew how easy it was to ask for help. My study-away experience was my first time traveling out of the United States, and I went to an ethnically homogeneous country as someone who is not a part of that ethnic group. Due to these factors, I struggled a bit during my time abroad, but by pushing myself to ask for help from either my peers or faculty, I learned that some problems are easily solved by asking for help. If the issue wasn't easily answered, others were always willing to help me find a solution. I wanted to become a study-away advisor to be a point of contact for those who might experience similar difficulties with reaching out for help, or for those who are also leaving the US for the first time, or for those who might be going to an ethnically homogeneous country. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to chat about your experiences. I look forward to meeting new people and aiding the next study-away cohort in their time abroad! 

Contact me at Isabella.k.newman.23@dartmouth.edu.  I am available in person or virtually throughout 22F-23S.

 

Alex Rego, '24

22S Spanish FSP Buenos Aires

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Alex Rego smiling while sitting on the salt flats of Buenos Aires.

Hello! My name is Alex Rego, and I am a '24 from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I am a Czech-American dual citizen with a lifelong dream of becoming a diplomat. In my development as a global citizen, I have participated in many related activities on campus including the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, the Matariki Common Purpose Global Leadership program, and residency at La Casa LLC. I am majoring in both Government and Geography with a minor in Hispanic Studies. During the spring term of 2022, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the Spanish FSP.

My study abroad experience was undoubtedly one of excitement, but also of great challenge. I was drawn to the program out of love for the Spanish language and Latin American cultures, both of which I became very well acquainted with in my 10 weeks in Buenos Aires! Speaking from my experience, the highlights of my program include my homestay family (I have many fond memories of dinnertime conversations), the students on my program (I made many deep and enduring friendships in a very short period of time), and the geographic diversity of Argentina (I was able to see many bucket-list destinations between classes). I can also confidently say that my Spanish excelled, and this came primarily due to my growing confidence in speaking the language as the weeks passed. This being said, I certainly found myself grappling with mental health challenges for the duration of the program. While the chatter around studying abroad led me to believe that these struggles would magically disappear upon stepping foot in a new country for 10 weeks, I still found myself battling the same thoughts I experience on the Dartmouth campus. I therefore had to devote significant energy to practicing self-compassion (e.g., patience, relaxation), meaningful reflection (e.g., time spent alone, debriefing with other students), and leaning into my support networks (e.g., my host family, other students, and faculty on the program, friends and family from home). I also found joy in spontaneity, as straying from type-A habits allowed for a more grounded, present, and organic experience in the city. I have also found that spontaneity is the common denominator among my favorite stories from my study abroad experience. And on that note, please do not hesitate to reach out! I love a good story, and moreover, I love connecting with individuals navigating their experiences as a global citizen.

Contact me at alexandra.k.rego.24@dartmouth.edu or (508) 560-1900. I'm on-campus 22X-22F (available in-person or virtually); off-campus 23W-23S (available virtually).

 

Nina Sloan, '24

22S Art History FSP Rome

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Nina Sloan in front of the Trevi fountain in Rome.

I'm a '24 from New York City majoring in Linguistics and Art History. I attended the Art History FSP in Spring 2022, and it quickly became a highlight of my Dartmouth career. The experience completely transformed how I looked at art—every art history class was conducted on-site, allowing us to hold seminar discussions while walking around the artwork in person. One of my favorite assignments was to keep a journal of my time in Rome. As time-consuming as it was, it was undoubtedly worth it. It was more than an assignment—it was a meditative reflection, a diligent chronicle, a creative endeavor, and a personal moment. More than anything else, it was a gift to my future self, as I look back on it now as a memento of my time abroad. Even if it is not a requirement of your program, I would strongly recommend it!

On campus, you can find me singing in Glee Club or my a cappella group, the Dartmouth Dodecaphonics. I make crosswords in my spare time for national newspapers, but you can also solve my puzzles weekly in The Dartmouth! I also work as a peer tutor at RWIT, in addition to being an active SAPA and the Vice President of Programming for Hillel. I would be happy to speak on navigating cultural differences in a foreign country, in addition to discussing concerns surrounding sexual and gender identity. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Contact me at nina.s.sloan.24@dartmouth.edu. I will be on campus 22X, 22F, and 23S.

 

Gemma Tung, '23

21F Government FSP London

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Gemma Tung atop the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.

I am a PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) major and an International Studies minor. On campus I am one of the captains of the Equestrian team, a Rockefeller Leadership Fellow, and am on the exec board of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I think one of the best decisions I ever made at Dartmouth was to study abroad, and I wouldn't trade my experience in London for the world. I am lucky to have traveled a decent amount with my family growing up, but I have to say there is nothing comparable to studying abroad and getting the chance to live by yourself in a foreign city. 

Dartmouth's strong study abroad programs through the Guarini Institute is one of the main reasons I chose to come to Dartmouth. My motivations for studying abroad were to broaden my horizons, and I can say with confidence that studying abroad in London helped me broaden my horizons while also helping me learn things about myself along the way. I gained a lot of confidence both personally and academically during my time in London. Before going to London, I had kind of decided that big cities weren't really my thing, but after navigating the tube, going for runs in the parks, and lugging groceries across a couple of blocks and up four flights of stairs with my roommates, I am now confident I can not only make city living work, but I can enjoy it and be comfortable with it. Since the London FSP is an international relations-focused program, I got to deeply engage with IR and foreign policy topics in a way I hadn't before. Taking a class on China's economic developments in the Global South, learning about the ins and outs of the EU, and also taking a class learning about economic statecraft all at the same time really sparked my interest in international relations. 

Next to personal and academic growth, studying abroad also allowed me to meet some of my closest friends at Dartmouth. My only regret from studying abroad is that I didn't get to meet as many London university students as I would have hoped (largely due to COVID), but this also allowed for the cohort of Dartmouth students to bond. Through studying abroad, I was able to meet and become friends with so many Dartmouth students who I may have never met otherwise. I loved my study abroad experience so much that I would love any opportunity to share it with others or help others navigate their own. I think Dartmouth and the Guarini Institute do a great job of supporting students on these programs, but one piece of advice I would give is to get out! Maximize your time living in a new city and explore everything it has to offer because I am already dying to go back to London. 

Contact me at gemma.h.tung.23@dartmouth.edu. I am available to meet virtually 22X and virtually or in-person fall, winter, and spring! 

 

Hayden Welty, '23

21F English and Creative Writing FSP London

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Hayden Welty overlooking the London Bridge at night.

Hello! My name is Hayden, and I'm a '23 from Phoenix, Arizona. Studying abroad was hands down the best experience I've had at Dartmouth, and I don't say that lightly because I've had plenty of awesome opportunities and great memories in Hanover. Yet as I was scrolling through my camera roll to find a photo for this bio from my time away, I couldn't help but smile and recall all the crazy mix-ups, new experiences, and amazing relationships that came from my fall abroad. Even though I had always anticipated studying abroad before even applying to colleges and knew it was an opportunity I wanted to seize, the lack of in-person time due to COVID-19 throughout my college experience, mixed with upcoming off terms in the winter and summer of my junior year, made me reconsider. I wanted to be with friends on campus and knew that studying abroad would take away the already limited and precious moments I had left. 

Little did I know that the moments I had in London would be far richer, both personally, socially, and even professionally, than anything I would have been able to get on campus---and that I was able to bring back many of those relationships and experiences for the better when I returned in a few months afterwards. Thankfully, the combination of being an English major and having been born in London made it frankly impossible to turn down. Despite my strong reservations and general inclination to stay in the Granite State to enjoy the short time I had left, I am so glad I went.

And as a result, I became a study abroad advisor to encourage other students to make the same decision, to go for it in spite of their doubts. While the experience wasn't all sunflowers and rainbows and involved a lot of cultural discomfort and personal struggle that pushed me to grow and evolve, it's all more than worth it. If you have any questions, hesitations, or concerns, feel free to reach out. I promise I'll be completely honest with you---even and especially about the negatives. Happy to help with anything.

Contact me at hayden.e.welty.23@dartmouth.edu. I'm available on-campus all year starting in the fall (otherwise virtual).

 

Izzy Wilson, '23

22W Spanish FSP Madrid

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Izzy Wilson enjoying a Coca-Cola in a sunny Madrid park.

I am from the Bay Area, California and am double majoring in Neuroscience and Spanish. I am currently working in biotech investment banking in Boston and want to continue pursuing the intersection between business and biotech for my career. Even though my academic interests are very science-focused, I love spending my free time exploring and going on adventures. My parents have always encouraged travel as one of the best ways to learn about yourself and have encouraged me to independently travel every year since starting high school. For this reason, I have traveled alone in Costa Rica, Ireland, Paraguay, and Brazil and had some really amazing experiences.

When I came to Dartmouth, I was excited to continue the personal development that independent travel provided me but have struggled a lot to maintain this. With never-ending academic and social engagements, I always leave Dartmouth feeling lost with myself and my values. This disappointment in myself and my strong desire to continue exploring the world prompted me to study abroad in Madrid so that I could combine my academic interests at Dartmouth with personal goals. I was expecting this program to be easy because of how much experience I have traveling alone, however, I was quickly humbled by how difficult the experience was.

Managing Dartmouth classes and developing relationships in a foreign country while also trying to prioritize alone time was incredibly hard to balance. These challenges taught me so much, not just about the Spanish language and culture, but about myself and how I can find happiness without the comfort of routine. I decided to become a study away advisor to shed light on how I struggled and learned from this experience to help other students feel prepared for the broad range of emotions they will experience while studying away. I am excited to meet new students who are like-minded and passionate about travel because it has been vital to developing my identity both within and away from Dartmouth.

Contact me at izzycwilson@gmail.com or (510) 604-6492. I am on campus and available to meet every term next year.