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Peer Advisers

Peer advisers are current SU students who have already fulfilled their GO requirement and who have agreed to serve as advisers for prospective study away students. They are an invaluable resource to students—providing insight into study abroad by sharing their experience and suggestions, and answering any questions that students may have regarding program selection, application, or anything else study-away related! 

Peer advisers offer a student perspective on study away by holding open office hours for advising at the Office of Cross-Cultural Programs in Hassinger Hall, conducting information sessions, and attending other events throughout the semester.

Meet our peer advisers for fall 2013!   


Christine BenderChristine Bender is a senior communications major from Amityville, N.Y.  In the fall of 2012 she studied in Gold Coast, Australia, through IFSA-Butler. On campus she is involved with Woman's tennis, Zeta Tau Alpha and WQSU.


Tom CappelliTom Cappelli is a senior psychology major from Valley Forge, Pa. In the spring of 2013, he studied at the University of Macau in China. At Susquehanna University, he is involved in Phi Mu Delta, AMA and Karate Club.



Jill ClementsJillian Clements is a senior with a major in theatre performance. She studied away in Costa Rica and Nicaragua for two weeks on SU CASA. On campus she is involved with Active Minds, peer adviser for the counseling center, Alpha Phi Omega, Lutheran Student Movement and Religious Life Council.


Chelsea ConnellyChelsea Connelly is a junior early childhood education major from Horsham, Pa. In the spring of 2013, she studied in Nicosia, Cyprus, with Global Learning Semesters. While there, she primarily studied music and traveled to seven additional countries. At Susquehanna, she participates in choral ensembles and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.





Danielle DittyDanielle Ditty is a senior biology major from Selinsgrove, Pa. In the spring of 2013, she studied in Cairns, Australia, through IFSA-Butler. On campus, she is involved with Alpha Delta Pi, SGA, the Biological Honor Society (Beta, Beta, Beta) and the Biology Club.




Carmen OrtezCarmen Ortez is a junior spanish major with a psychology minor from Elizabeth, N.J. In the fall of 2012, she studied in Heredia, Costa Rica, through IFSA-Butler. On campus she is involved in Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc., Black Student Union, Hearts for Homeless, Support U and charity:water.


Katie PatschkeKatie Patschke is a junior international studies and anthropology majors with a minor in studio art from Woodstock, N.Y. In the spring of 2013, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, through the CAPA Program. On the weekends, she traveled to different countries and cities around Europe and during the week she would backpack through the streets of Florence discovering the hidden treasures that the city had to offer.



Catharine PetroffCatharine Petroff is an English major at Susquehanna University. During the spring 2013 semester, she studied abroad in Hyderabad, India. She is a sister of Alpha Delta Pi and has held numerous positions in the organization.




Lindsey SitlerLindsey Sitler is a senior creative writing major from Berwick, Pa. She studied at Regent’s College in London in fall 2012. She spent as much time as possible living like a local while there. At Susquehanna, she is the treasure of the Gender & Sexuality Alliance as well as involved in several other clubs.



Michael YoderMichael Yoder is a junior at Susquehanna University. He is majoring in political science and French and recently spent his summer abroad living in beautiful Aix-en-Provence, France. He has aspirations to become an international counter-terrorism attorney for the United States and would like to be fluent in five languages.



Advice and words of wisdom from our current and past peer advisers!


"Sarah JohnsonDuring my time here at Susquehanna, I had two opportunities to travel abroad. My sophomore year, I traveled to the Philippines through the PLUS Program here as a GO Short Program. It was a service-learning trip that changed my life forever. The people I met will always be a part of who I am.

In the fall of my junior year I traveled to Valencia, Spain, for a semester. I immediately fell in love with the city, culture, food and language of the city, and it soon became my second home. The relationships you make with people who go abroad with you will be the strongest relationships you will ever have in life.

Both experiences abroad were highlights of my college career, and they make me a part of who I am. I am thankful I had these opportunities because now I can truly say that I've found myself, and I know for a fact I will want to travel for the rest of my life.

What surprised me most about my experience was the fact that I became fluent in Spanish. I really didn't think I would, but because I was speaking it every hour of every day to my family, friends and in class, I was learning a lot more than I thought I was

My favorite part of studying abroad was learning about who I was and realizing that I was a lot more independent than I thought. Being abroad opens your eyes to new cultures and experiences that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. It will change your life forever."

- Sarah Johnson '12


"Going on the HRT trip, and getting the chance to combine travel and service work, was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. The trip has made me much more aware of natural disasters and recovery efforts, particularly here in the United States.

The semester I spent in Paris completely changed my life and who am I as a person. Besides traveling, meeting new people and improving my French language skills, my study abroad experience helped me grow as a person, gain an international perspective and has even influenced what I want to do after I graduate. Being able to study and live in a foreign country for a whole semester was a once in a lifetime experience!"

- Regina Koyfman '12


"My favorite part of studying abroad was being able to experience something completely new every day. I spent a lot of time hiking and exploring the area around my campus. I made a point to go somewhere new every weekend, whether it meant Dana Diehltaking a train south into England, going to a new town or trying a Scottish dish. I didn't have class on Friday, so I would usually look at the map and pick a random small town to travel to for the afternoon. I loved the feeling of discovery.

What surprised me most about my experience was how much confidence I gained over just a few months. I had never taken public transport alone, but by June, I was taking a solo trip (which involved a bus, a six-hour train ride, and navigating the London underground) to southern England by myself. Learning how to take care of myself abroad and knowing that I could function in an unfamiliar country gave me this feeling that I could do anything."

- Dana Diehl '12


"I took my GO experience to Gold Coast, Australia, at Griffith University. Griffith is located three miles from the beach and is surrounded by some incredible cities and suburbs such as the city of Brisbane, Sufers Paradise and Coolangatta (Cooli). When deciding on my GO Program, I evaluated my values and interests and connected it with the best program. As a biology major, Australia offers some explicit sites in the biology fields such as the Great Barrier Reef, various rain forests such as Cape Tribulation, and beautiful beaches that provide great surfing! Living in the Gold Coast for almost half a year, I became part of the community and learned many of their customs. My departure ended in emotional goodbyes with my Aussie friends that are still and will always be some of my best friends. I still stay in touch with them and plan to make trips back in order to remember my amazing experience and see my old friends."

-Andrew Torok '12



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