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Peer Advisers

The Office of Study Abroad has several Peer Advisers on staff that are MSU students who have already studied abroad. They are trained to help you become aware of the range of available opportunities abroad at MSU and are available online and for walk-in advising in our Resource Room.

Peer Advisers are more than happy to tell you about their experiences, answer your questions, and give you advice. They can help you find a program that suits your schedule, major and interests. They can guide you through the application process, answer questions about scholarships and financial aid, and offer a student perspective on the various aspects of being abroad and returning home.



Phone: (517) 353-8922

Skype: spartansabroad

*Resource Room: Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

*The Study Abroad Resource Room is located in room 108 of the International Center (427 N. Shaw Lane) and is staffed by Peer Advisers who are there to help anyone who walks in and is interested in studying abroad. It is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The Resource Room also contains flyers for every MSU program, scholarship and financial aid information, computers to search for programs, and program evaluations from past participants.


Peer Advisers can provide you with a 15-20 minute presentation about study abroad at MSU followed by a short Q&A session.

We’d be happy to come to your residence hall at a convenient time and date (evening presentations are fine). Peer Advisers will provide an overview of the wide variety of study abroad opportunities, types of programs, finances, how to begin searching, and information on the application process.

To arrange a presentation, please contact Nick Schrader and include the following in your request:

  • Date
  • Location
  • Name, phone, and email of contact person
  • A brief description of the event or audience

Please schedule any presentations as least two weeks in advance.


Akili Crews

Hometown: Pompano Beach, Florida
Majors: Economics and Finance
Study Abroad Program: Freshman Seminar Abroad in Japan

Akili Crews About Akili... Japan is a nation of dualities and contradictions with a rich history. Even though I was only there for two weeks, it was the experience of a lifetime because every day was an adventure. Not only was I exposed to a host of sights and sounds that changed what I previously thought of that region of the world, but I also had fun the whole time. I believe a unique aspect of the program is that it was a Freshman Seminar Abroad, meaning that all the students who took part were incoming college freshmen. What better way to prepare for the college experience then to travel to a side of the world that you are completely unfamiliar with and take university courses. As crazy as that sounds, the experience really did prepare us for college by forcing us to become independent and think inquisitively. In one instance we were required to explore the city of Kyoto on a scavenger hunt. The only way to get around was to learn how the public transportation worked, not only did we have no idea how it operated but there also a language barrier we had to overcome. This mirrored what I had to go through during my first semester at Michigan State trying to figure out how the CATA buses ran, thankfully I was prepared.

Rui Gao

Hometown:Jilin, China
Major (specialization): Supply Chain Management (Information Technology)
Study Abroad Program: Marketing and Business in London, England (UK)

About Rui... Rui Gao I went to London to study business and marketing over winter break. Some highlights during my stay in London were visiting JP Morgan, Eli Lily, and Oxford University, wandering at Shakespeare’s hometown, joining the New Year’s Parade and trying to pick up British accent from the local people. The best part of all was to have a group of awesome peers from the Business College to explore, learn and laugh together. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in college.

Michael Keller

Hometown: Fowlerville, Michigan
Major (minor): Civil Engineering (Spanish)
Study Abroad programs:

  1. Freshmen Seminar Abroad in New Zealand
  2. Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador
  3. Engineering Study Abroad in Turkey

About Michael... Michael Keller Being able to study abroad on three different programs has been an absolutely amazing experience!
The Freshman Seminar really gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and meet new friends even before attending MSU. To this day I am best friends with some of these friends.

Spending a semester abroad was a really difficult decision to make. Leaving friends and family for that long was tough but was worth it. I was able to live with an Ecuadorian host family who was absolutely incredible and made me a part of their family. From playing around with my 5 year-old cousin to exploring the city with my 21 year-old sister, I got everything I could’ve ever needed to help me succeed in a foreign country. A semester-long program really allows for you to not only experience the culture but to become a part of that culture as well. Attending classes with Ecuadorian students, hanging out where they do, going to the local farmers market every Saturday; you become Ecuadorian.

Spending the summer in Turkey was an incredible time! I learned that even if you do not know the language, it does not mean that you cannot communicate. Immersing yourself in a new culture is one thing but immersing yourself in a new culture where you cannot speak the language is much more difficult. Just living there I was able to learn communicative Turkey and even start to fit in to the culture. Taking engineering classes even helped to keep me on track to graduate on time. Educational excursions included in the program fee enabled us to see more of Turkey, learn more of the culture, and keep costs more manageable.

Logan O'Neil

Hometown: Big Rapids, Michigan
Major (minor): Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science (Religious Studies)
Study Abroad Program: Britain and the World: Politics, Love and Conflict

About Logan... Logan O'neil Coming from a small town in northern Michigan and being the first in my family to go to college, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom. My program changed how I understand my place in the international community, equipped me with the tools to think critically about my own background, and gave me the confidence to handle new and unfamiliar situations. I also took enough credits while abroad that I’m expecting to graduate early. Studying abroad fundamentally changed my experience here at MSU, and I hope I can use what I’ve learned to guide other students in securing this incredible opportunity for themselves.

Devyn Porath

Hometown: Southgate, Michigan
Major: Zoology
Study Abroad Program: La Trobe University in Australia

About Devyn... Devyn Porath I spent a semester studying at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. My program was one of the best things I will ever do. I volunteered as part of my lecturer’s research and worked with tammar wallabies, which was amazing because I saw practically new born babies up close in the pouch. I visited amazing places like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, camped in the Outback, scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef, bungy jumped and sky dived in Cairns. The best part though was the amazing people I met. I was fortunate enough to spend 5 months getting to know native Australians and international students from all over the world. Ironically I came to find that, Aussies and internationals like Americans all enjoy ending a good night out with a trip to McDonalds, or Maccas as they call it in AUS!

Taylor Sandweg

Hometown: Commerce, Michigan
Major: Special and Elementary Education, Social Studies, TESOL
Study Abroad programs:

  1. Freshman Seminar in South Africa
  2. Internships in India

About Taylor... Taylor Sandweg My Freshman Seminar in South Africa was a perfect way for me to transition myself in college. I was able to complete coursework while drawing on the authentic experiences that I was having right there in the country. Some of my favorite experiences were visiting the District 6 museum and comparing that to one of my favorite alien movies, District 9, which mimicked the apartheid, and getting a private tour of Robbin Island from anti-apartheid activist and friend of Nelson Mandela, Eddie Daniels.

My internship in India brought whole new experiences and a wealth of benefits. Being able to live in the small village of Choglamsar, I was able to really connect to the community by participating in everyday activities with my local friends like my favorite, chai breaks approximately five times a day! While there, I created an ESL curriculum for a small tutoring program. This was by far the most practical, real-life experience I have had in my field to date. I also got to meet my hero, the Dalai Lama!

Bronson Herman

Hometown: Allen Park, Michigan
Majors: Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Spanish
Study Abroad Program: Ethics of Tourism and Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

About Bronson... Bronson Herman For my study abroad I lived in Santa Ana and Palmichal, Costa Rica for two months. Throughout the program I held multiple roles as a student, tourist, instructor and member of a rural tourism organization. Living with two different host families offered a new perspective in the city and rural lifestyle. I learned a great amount of information about rural tourism and the culture of Costa Rica, but the greatest lessons usually took place outside of the classroom at the dinner table, over a cup of coffee or while watching a soccer game. Nothing compares to the experience of being fully immersed within a different culture and interacting with people in the community. There were daily events of cultural exchange and mutual learning. I may have had the role as a teacher instructing English, rural tourism and sharing American culture, but the people I met taught me more important lessons about life, family and a strong work ethic. Whenever I return back to Costa Rica I will have many adopted relatives and friends willing to open their home to me. Being part of the Pura Vida lifestyle was one of the greatest experiences of my life.


  • Did your Study Abroad experience make you want to encourage others to do the same?
  • Do you feel passionate about the personal and educational benefits of studying, living and traveling abroad?
  • Are you the kind of person who likes to mentor others?
  • Do you enjoy public speaking?
  • Are you capable of professionally representing one of the largest study abroad offices in the country?

If so, then perhaps you would like to apply for a Peer Adviser position!

OSA employs MSU students who have already studied abroad to work in our office providing study abroad advising. During the week, Peer Advisers (PA’s) work in our Resource Room answering questions for students (and parents) who are interested in studying abroad. In addition, PA’s assist program leaders at information meetings and give presentations to audiences interested in study abroad opportunities. They also staff campus-wide events such as Welcome Week, Inside MSU, Green and White Days, Marathon of Majors, and of course, the Study Abroad Fair!

Some of our Peer Advisers have even appeared in local, regional and national television and radio ads. Others are featured in our State News print ads promoting study abroad.

If this sounds interesting to you, complete an application (PDF)*. Deadline dates are listed on the application.

All applicants must be a registered student at MSU, have participated in a university‐level, credit‐bearing study abroad program, have strong communication and public speaking skills and possess computer skills including, but not limited to, word processing, e‐mail, spreadsheets, and social media. A minimum of 10 hours is expected of all Peer Advisers per week.

There are many benefits of becoming a Peer Adviser:

  • Improved communication and public speaking skills
  • Team‐building skills
  • Greater self‐awareness/knowledge
  • Increased problem‐solving and critical thinking abilities
  • Opportunities to share enthusiasm for international education and experiences abroad
  • Leadership and management experience
  • A professional network of international educators, organizations and institutions
  • A chance to network and work collaboratively with colleges, departments and units across campus

Turn in your application (PDF)* today!

*Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens in new window is required to read PDF documents.