OSU Study Abroad/NSE Welcomes Marissa Hernandez

OSU Study Abroad is proud to introduce Marissa Hernandez as the new Study Abroad Coordinator. She holds a Master of Science in International Studies from OSU and a B.A. in Law from Monterrey Tec (ITESM), where she was fortunate to participate in various study abroad programs that helped reinforce her love for travel and international education. She is a native of Denver, Colorado, grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico and has lived in Stillwater for the past 3 years.


Prior to being hired in the Study Abroad/NSE office, Marissa served as the ITESM representative on campus and was in charge of leading short-term programs to Mexico and welcoming Monterrey Tec students for short and long-term programs at OSU. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and loves the friendliness and warmth Stillwater has to offer.



 Simpson named new director of OSU Study Abroad/NSE office

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Division of International Studies and Outreach at Oklahoma State University has named Jeff Simpson as the new Director of the Study Abroad/National Student Exchange office.

Participation in study abroad continues to increase at OSU with more than 600 students studying outside the United States in 2011-2012.  As the new director, Simpson will be tasked with exploring strategic partnerships with international universities that complement OSU students’ growing need for diverse academic opportunities.

“I’m excited to be in this position and look forward to assisting OSU with their study abroad goals,” Simpson said. “Thanks in part to increased funding opportunities, such as the Don and Cathey Humphreys Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, more OSU students are able to study in more destinations worldwide.  New discipline specific programs such as engineering in Madrid, Spain and international business in Brussels, Belgium are just two of the new initiatives being explored.”

David Henneberry, International Studies and Outreach associate vice president, said Simpson is a great asset to the Study Abroad Program.

“As the new director of Study Abroad/NSE, Jeff will coordinate a variety of programs both internationally and domestic that will connect current OSU students to the world,” Henneberry said. “He has a lot of experience in this area and will do an excellent job in this role.”

Simpson will oversee the much anticipated move of the Study Abroad/NSE office into the recently renovated Student Union. The innovative new office, anticipated to include the latest program management systems designed to coordinate student enrollment, orientation, and health and safety procedures, will enhance overall student services and provide an outstanding destination for students exploring opportunities abroad.

As OSU continues to strive for increased student participation in meaningful international experiences, Simpson anticipates continued interest among students across campus.

“Our new, premier location in the Student Union will introduce us to countless students who may not have considered study abroad before.  For our students to succeed upon graduation, it is critical they explore the diverse opportunities outside of the classroom offered at OSU,” he said. “It’s an exciting time to be guiding the university’s study abroad efforts as we work to create the meaningful leaders of tomorrow.”

Jeff Simpson has been named as the new Director of the Study Abroad/National Student Exchange office. He will begin in this position on August 1.

Meet the Study Abroad Office: Alejandra

Hello Everyone!

Continuing our series on getting to know the Study Abroad Office, I want to introduce you to our other Peer Advisor, Alejandra. If you’ve walked into the office or gone through the application process to study abroad, you’ve probably encountered a Peer Advisor. As Peer Advisors, we help prospective participants begin the process by directing them to resources like programs, scholarships, websites, etc.  We also help promote study abroad on campus by giving presentations about study abroad, and we help keep office resources updated and current.

Alejandra has been a Peer Advisor since August 2010. Alejandra studied for the Spring 2010 semester at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. By going to a university settled in a country that speaks a completely different language, Alejandra challenged herself to go out and learn Czech lifestyles and even pick up some of the difficult Czech language. She was able to find many courses which enhanced her majors and even found courses not taught at OSU for which she could gain credit.

1. What is your major? I am a double major in Political Science and Sociology. I also have a minor in Economics.

2. What do you want to do with your degrees when you graduate? I want to work for the US Department of State, ideally as a Foreign Service Officer.

3. If you were a spice, which would you be? I’d be chili powder because I’m Mexican.

4. What are five things you can’t live without? 1. My phone! I would die without it. 2. Chocolate 3. Friends, Family, and people 4. Sudoku 5. Music.

5. You recently became a US citizen. What was the process like? It was pretty intense. On the plus side, I won’t have to deal with immigration anymore and I have a US passport, so it will be easier to travel in and out of the US. But, it took a long time because of some mistakes someone made on some paperwork. It was also just a hard decision to make. It was sort of like splitting my identity in two.

6. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose to have? Of course, I’d love to be able to fly, but I’d really like to know what people were thinking.

7.  What is your favorite part of being a Peer Advisor? I like talking to students and being able to see what people are envisioning for their study abroad adventures. I also like giving people new ideas.

8. If you were a car, which would you be? I like Jeeps, but my personality isn’t outdoorsy enough, so probably a boxy Volvo or BMW because they are cool and retro, but dependable.

9. Do you have a secret indulgence? I really like Glee and listening to Justin Bieber! 🙂

10. What is something most people don’t know about you? I am a certified square dancer! I even used to have the petticoat and dresses. Also, I didn’t learn English until I was nine years old.

11. What is your favorite place to:

  • Sightsee?: I’m probably biased to the forests and countryside in the Czech Republic, but Edinburgh, Scotland is great. 
  • Visit someday?: Thailand
  • Live someday?: Somewhere warm like southern Spain. I like Italy, but Spain would probably suit me better.

12.  What advice would you give to students interested in study abroad? Think outside the box. Try new things. Don’t just go to another country and hang out with the same people and do the same things you would at home. Put yourself out there and challenge yourself to meet new people and try new things.

13. What is your favorite memory from your study abroad? All of the trips I went on. All of my best memories come from those. One time, I got stuck at an airport for 20 hours, but then scored an awesome apartment to stay in. There was also a reggae party when I was visiting Sicily with lots of young people. It was fun to party with them in a courtyard with great music.

14. What is your best memory as a Peer Advisor? The times I’ve come in to a party from my coworkers (birthday, citizenship, etc.) Also, when students come in and say “I’ve got it figured out and I’m ready to apply”.

15. How do you say “thanks for reading” in your favorite language? Italian: Grazie per la lettura!

Thanks Alejandra for answering these questions and letting us get to know you better! Come by and visit Alejandra in the Study Abroad Office and you’ll be glad to get to know someone who you can discuss not only study abroad, but Glee, Justin Bieber, and many other fun topics! Gracias everyone and until next time! 🙂

Meet the Study Abroad Office: Mindy


You may be wondering, just who makes up the Study Abroad Office? The office has a handful of staff who work together to help both incoming and outgoing students at OSU. Today I want to introduce you to one of our Peer Advisors, Mindy. If you’ve walked into the office or gone through the application process to study abroad, you’ve probably encountered a Peer Advisor. As Peer Advisors, we help prospective participants begin the process by directing them to resources like programs, scholarships, websites, etc.  We also help promote study abroad on campus by giving presentations about study abroad, and we help keep office resources updated and current.

Mindy Faulkner has been a Peer Advisor since August 2009. Mindy studied at the University of Bamberg for the 2008-2009 Academic Year in Bamberg, Germany through a Reciprocal Exchange program. While at Bamberg, she improved her German language skills and challenged herself by taking courses taught in German. Needless to say, she is now fluent and when she’s not working at the office, she can be found tutoring students in German at University Academic Services.

Here are 14 questions with Mindy…

1. What is something that most people don’t know about you? I eat more cereal than is humanly possible. How many bowls do you eat? It’s beyond bowls at this point…Also, for not being an aviation major, I know more about airplanes and airlines than anyone should.

2. What is your favorite part of being a Peer Advisor? When students turn in their applications. I like seeing where the students get placed and what the most popular places are. I like introducing students to other locations besides the more popular ones.

3. If I were to look inside of your refrigerator, what would I find? Lots of cheese – parmesan, swiss, havarti with dill, feta. Wine. Milk (for my cereal). Juice – cranberry. Chocolate.

4. What is your favorite country to:

a. Go sightseeing? Scandinavian countries – the people are nice, and it’s easy to get around. My favorite country besides Germany is  Sweden.

b. Visit in the future? Chile and Japan.

c. Live in one day? Germany

5. What’s one piece of advice you would give students who want to study abroad? Apply to all the scholarships available. There are more than you may think of that not so many people apply to. For example, the foreign language department scholarships.

Also, be open-minded. Don’t be locked in to a specific country. If you’re open-minded about your destination, you can explore other options.

6. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be? I’d like to be Kim Cattrall. She just seems so classy and cool. Plus, I’d get to be a character on Sex & the City.

7. To what country/area of the world do you wish more OSU students traveled? Asia (besides Japan) and Africa. Asia is going to play a big role in the future of politics and world events. Students need to be exposed to this part of the world.

8. How did you meet your boyfriend? I met him while studying abroad. My 4th or 5th day in Germany, my tandem partner knew someone who had a car to take us to IKEA. We talked that day, hung out and began dating around Thanksgiving.

9. What’s one of your favorite memories of your year abroad? Thanksgiving. The American students abroad made a Thanksgiving dinner for like 30-35 Erasmus students who had never been to the U.S. or experienced Thanksgiving. Also, Christmas markets in Germany… with memories of spiced wine and gingerbread.

10. I never see you on Skype, do you still use that account? I’m on it all the time. I have it on my phone non-stop. Oh, you have my business account. I’ll have to give you my personal account.

11. There are currently two Peer Advisors in the office. Excluding yourself, who is your favorite Peer Advisor? Alejandra, of course. (aww)

12. What’s the best memory you have of your time as a Peer Advisor? Taking passport photos… But also, my least favorite memories involve taking passport photos of babies. Some students’ questions are classics, like someone asking what continent their country is in or whether they need a (consular) Visa since they already have a MasterCard, etc.

13. On a scale of 1 to 10, how good do you think the Egyptian people are feeling right now? 5 or 6… I think they’re relieved and most of them got what they wanted, but I’m afraid the aftermath may have them somewhat overwhelmed.

14. How do you say “Thanks for reading” in your favorite language? Swedish – Tack för läsning

Thanks Mindy for answering these questions, you’re awesome! Next time you’re in the office, offer her a slice of cheese and a painting of an airplane, and you’ll probably be automatic best friends. Auf wiedersehen everyone 🙂