Peer Mentors Program

Choosing the right study abroad program or location can be daunting, but we're here to help guide you. In fact, we want you to hear it from students who have been in your shoes! Our Education Abroad Peer Mentors are on the front lines of our outreach efforts and you'll see them tabling around campus, talking in your classes, or providing 1-on-1 support here at our office!

They’ve been where you are before. They explored their options. They made the choice to study abroad. They found the program that aligned with their academic and professional goals. Now they want to share their wisdom with you. Meet with our Peer Advisors virtually or in person at Texas Global at the following times during the Spring 2024 semester: 

  • Mon-Thu: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Fri: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Important Updates:

  • Effective Monday, February 26, drop-in / in-person advising has moved back to 2400 Nueces St., Suite B.  
  • Advising appointments are available only on class days.

Meet Your Peer Advisors

Alek headshot

Alek Blonk

Hometown:  Henderson, Nevada
Major:  IRG
Education Abroad Program: IES Abroad Emerging Economies in Argentina and Chile


Hi, I’m Alek! I was born and raised in the Netherlands and moved to the U.S. after graduating high school in 2019. I’m currently in my senior year at UT as an IRG major. After graduation, I plan on going to law school in Los Angeles. I collect records and have about 300 of them, I love going to concerts, and I’m a big movie buff.

Bryn Palmer

Bryn Palmer

Hometown: Houston, TX  
Major: Journalism  
Education Abroad Program: Urban Economic Development, May Term in Cape Town, South Africa


Hi, my name is Bryn Palmer and I am a fourth-year journalism student! I studied in Cape Town, South Africa during the May Term of 2022. I explored the beautiful landscape, met lifelong friends, and expanded my cultural knowledge. I can’t wait to help students learn more about studying abroad so that they can have the same great experiences that I did!

Daniell Martinez

Daniell Martinez

Hometown: El Paso, TX  
Major: International Relations  
Education Abroad Program: Semester Exchange at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland


Hi, my name is Daniell and I’m a fourth year International Relations major. I did the exchange program in Edinburgh, Scotland during the 2022 Spring semester and a May-Term in Spring ‘23 in Australia (Politics of Protecting the Great Barrier Reef). Studying abroad has by far been one of the most impactful events of my life and I can’t wait to meet y’all and guide you on your journey abroad.

Karen Vasquez

Karen Vasquez

Hometown: Donna, TX  
Major: Spanish  
Education Abroad Program: Language and Culture in Santander, Spain, Faculty-Led Summer Term


I am currently a junior studying Spanish as a major and Portuguese as a minor. I am originally from the Rio Grande Valley and I am so excited to be a peer mentor! During the past summer, I studied abroad in Santander, Spain in a faculty-led program. During my time in Spain, I was able to better my Spanish speaking skills as well as grow as a person and be more secure about my place here at UT. My goal is to help other students achieve their dreams of going abroad and assist students during the application process. My hope is to encourage more students that studying abroad is possible and that Texas Global is here to help for whatever issue may arise.


Nate Heffron

Hometown: Austin
Major: Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts
Education Abroad Program: Vienna, Memory and the City: From Imperial Capital to Global Metropolis program in Vienna, Austria, Faculty-Led Summer Term


Hi y’all! My name is Nate, I am a sophomore majoring in Classics, and I was born and raised in Austin. In Summer 2023, I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, and am planning to study abroad again in Junior year. I am so excited to work as a peer mentor in Education Abroad, and look forward to helping y’all navigate the exciting process that is studying abroad!

Virginia headshot

Virginia Nussbaumer

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Major: Plan II Honors and French double major on the Pre-med track
Education Abroad Program: Biology in the South of France


Hello! My name is Virginia Nussbaumer, and I am a Plan II Honors and French double major on the pre-med track. I cannot wait to be a peer mentor because traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I am excited to inspire and help others to explore new places. I also love going on walks, reading, and eating bagels with lox. Please, never hesitate to reach out to me!