Education Abroad Peers pose for a picture in front of the International Office Logo

Meet the 2018 Education Abroad Peers

  • Sep 20, 2018

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 Advisors are on the front lines of our outreach efforts and you'll see them tabling around campus and talking in your classes. You can also walk into our office at almost any time and talk to them one-on-one. And you should listen because 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 experience with you. Read more about the 2018 Peer Advisors below and come see them at Texas Global. 

Meet the 2018 Education Abroad Peer Advisors

​​​​​​​Kenwoo Kim pictured on top of a mountain.

Kenwoo Kim

Hometown: Lewisville, Texas
Major: Government, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures 
Education Abroad Programs:
National Security Language Initiative for Youth, Seoul, South Korea, Summer 2016
UT Exchange Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, Summer 2017

"Study abroad has changed my life. It's a hidden gem in higher education, and I believe every student should try to go abroad. To experience a culture and people so unlike your own is an indescribable journey that ends with personal growth. Therefore, I became an Education Abroad Peer Advisor! I would love to help others make the same choice I did time and time again."


Ally Gunderson on her study abroad program in Spain.

Allyson Gunderson

Hometown: Lewisville, Texas
Major: Biology
Education Abroad Program: Evolution: A Cultural and International Perspective, Seville, Spain, Summer 2018

"I've cuddled kangaroos in Australia, hiked fjords in Norway, and cooked paella in Spain. I wanted to be a peer advisor to help encourage other students to explore the world through their education and interests."


Alondra Ortiz, wearing a sarong in front of an ancient temple.

Alondra Ortiz

Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Political Communications and Government
Education Abroad Program: Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Spring 2018

"I wanted to be a study abroad advisor because I like the idea of helping students get to their destinations and helping take away or ease any doubts they may feel about doing so. In the future, I hope to help low-income communities better themselves and help their children attain an education."


Romelle, giving two thumbs up, in front of a mountainous view.

Romelle Johnson-Boykins

Hometown: Port Arthur, TX
Major: Psychology
Education Abroad Program: Learning in Mexico City, Mexico, Summer 2018

"After studying in Mexico for 6 weeks I’m even more eager to be apart of the study abroad team, just because of how profound the experience was for me. I’ve only traveled out of the country once, but during my time there I conducted independent research on the informal work sector of Mexico. I’m interested in incorporating behavioral psychology into my work after graduation."


Morton Payne with Paris rooftops behind him.

Morton Payne

Hometown: Nowhere in particular
Major: French and International Relations and Global Studies
Education Abroad Program: Semester Plus: IRG in Paris, France, Fall 2017

"Being able to go abroad was life-changing for me, so what I’m most about as a peer advisor is working one on one with other UT students to help them have their own incredible experiences in other countries."


Mariana Tejada next to a carousel in Paris with the Eiffel Tower behind her.

Mariana Tejada

Hometown: Keene, TX
Major: Economics
Education Abroad Program: Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom, Spring 2018

"I want to encourage others to expand their horizons by studying abroad. I have traveled to various countries in western Europe and the UK. In my free time, I enjoy working out, trying different foods, and reading. In the future, I hope to start my own social enterprise in Central America."


Monica Gupta in a navy blue flag Longhorn silhouette study abroad t-shirt.

Monica Gupta

Hometown: Austin, TX
Major: Nursing and Public Health
Education Abroad Program: London Internship Program, Arcadia, London, England 2015

"I wanted to be a peer advisor to help reduce barriers and promote studying abroad on a much larger scale. I have traveled to over 18 countries. In the future, I hope to work as a public health nurse in Southeast Asia."

Keila Gomez in a navy blue t-shirt with the flag Longhorn silhouette and an urban view behind her.

Keila Gomez

Hometown: Andrews, TX
Major: Government and Communications
Education Abroad Program: Social and Economic Inequalities in Brazil, Maymester 2017

"My study abroad experience changed my life and was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had. As a first generation student, I never thought it was possible for me to study abroad. There are plenty of resources available that helped me make it possible and I love sharing those same opportunities with other students like me that may have also been unaware. In the future, I plan to attend law school to become an immigration lawyer."


Charlie Bacsik with a country side view.

Charlie Bacsik

Hometown: Arlington, TX
Major: International Relations and Global Studies, Government
Education Abroad Programs:
SRAS Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space, Kiev, Ukraine, Fall 2017
SRAS Society, Business and the Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia, Spring 2018
Clements Center London Maymester, London, England, Summer 2018

"During my time overseas, I gained some of the best, most challenging, and most humbling experiences of my life. I learned how to connect with people from all over the world, regardless of the language barriers, and how to find the beauty in unpredictability. I chose to become a study abroad peer advisor in hopes of inspiring others to make their own leap across the globe."