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Most Memorable Moment

One of the most memorable experiences from my time abroad in Sweden took place as part of my Sami history course at Umea University. Some other international students and I assisted the Sami people (indigenous peoples of Sweden) with their winter reindeer herding in northern Sweden. To see thousands upon thousands of reindeer was a striking example of both the beauty and the fury of nature and an experience that I will never forget.

Noah Mergendahl

Linguistics & Scandinavian Studies, European Studies certificate
IAP UmeÅ, Sweden


Study Abroad Advisors
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Study Abroad Advisors

Study Abroad Advisors are available to help and assist you through the study abroad process. Not sure how to get started? Be sure to read our How to Get Advising page.


Jessa Boche

Program Responsibilities

321 Red Gym
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As a Study Abroad Advisor, Jessa Boche advises students throughout the study abroad process and manages a portfolio of study abroad programs, mainly in the UK and Australia. Jessa also supervises the Peer Advisors that staff IAP's Study Abroad Resource Center. Jessa’s background includes experience in a variety of areas within student affairs, including residence life and student activities. As a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa, Jessa completed an internship at the University of Liverpool in Liverpool, England. Her next ideal travel destination changes almost daily - but lately Bora Bora is at the top of the list.

Kate Hamoonga

Program Responsibilities

324 Red Gym
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Kate manages a diverse portfolio of study abroad programs. As an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, she spent a semester studying abroad in St. Gallen, Switzerland. After graduation, she spent 6 months in Zambia working with rural communities on health and education related activities, following which she joined the Peace Corps as an Education volunteer in South Africa. Kate has spent time camping in the Botswana Okavango Delta, visiting spice farms of Zanzibar, traipsing through the snow in Interlaken, Switzerland and has enjoyed a thrilling hike on the Inca trail in Peru. Kate has a MA in Education and enjoys seeing the world through the eyes of her three children. Her ideal next travel destinations are Thailand, Cambodia, India and Nepal.

Lindsay Heiser Barger

Program Responsibilities

355 Red Gym
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Lindsay manages a diverse portfolio of programs worldwide. She studied abroad in Germany and Poland as an undergraduate in natural resources management at UW-Stevens Point. After earning her MA in English at UW-Eau Claire, she spent three semesters teaching English in Shizuoka, Japan. Lindsay joined IAP in 2015 after nearly five years in Study Abroad at UNC-Chapel Hill. Highlights in her travels throughout Europe and Asia include living in a castle-turned-ecostation in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, kayaking the sea caves of Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam, wandering the Angkor temples near Siem Riep, Cambodia, and driving the ring road of Iceland.

Erin Polnaszek Boyd

Program Responsibilities

353 Red Gym
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As a Study Abroad Advisor, Erin Polnaszek Boyd manages a portfolio of study abroad programs in Latin America, China, the Middle East, and in France, Belgium and Portugal. Erin received her BA in English Literature with a Spanish minor and studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico while an undergraduate. She later received her MA in English with a focus on Postcolonial Literature.  She has spent time hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, finding a remote section of the Great Wall in China, cruising through the floating markets in Thailand, soaking in the mineral baths in Hungary and climbing the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico.  Erin came to UW Madison in July of 2008 after working in the study abroad office at the University of South Carolina.

Andy Quackenbush

Program Responsibilities

351 Red Gym
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Andy advises students and manages a portfolio of programs in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. He also works with IAP's incoming exchange students. Andy completed a BS in Psychology and MS in Counseling, both from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. After his bachelor's degree, Andy took an opportunity to teach English in Japan's Tohoku (northeast) region through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, and learned to enjoy the people and culture of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Some of his favorite experiences abroad include exploring the Palace of Knossos on Crete, strolling along the Danube River in Budapest at night, swimming in the Adriatic Sea in Rovinj, Croatia, and wandering through the streets of Sapporo at Japan's Snow Festival.