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Emily Sweeney

Emily Sweeney
Global & International Education alumna Emily Sweeney is on a mission to inspire students to study abroad.

She launched Study Abroad Spotlight, an interactive website that allows students to share stories of their experiences abroad, in 2012.

According to Open Doors, an initiative by the Institute of International Education, only 1.4% of students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions studied abroad in the 2011-12 academic year. Chances are, when these students are job searching, their resume will be more appealing to potential employers.

This is just one of the reasons Study Abroad Spotlight exists: to foster experiences and connections between students who have or are planning to study abroad.

Sweeney, who hails from Ventor, N.J., and now lives in Stamford, Conn., started the website after a transformative study abroad experience to South Africa during her undergraduate years at Boston University.

After her journey, she realized there wasn’t a virtual space for students who wanted to share their stories about their time abroad, or who had questions about studying abroad. And so the idea for Study Abroad Spotlight was born.

Sweeney developed the concept and launched the site while pursuing her master’s degree in Global & International Education at Drexel’s School of Education. Now, the site has evolved into a collaborative space for students across the country to share photos and stories from their journeys. The website also includes stories from parents of students who have studied abroad, to provide an additional perspective on the experience.

In addition to designing, launching, and managing the website, Sweeney works at the American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS) as Regional Director of University Relations and Study Abroad Admissions Officer for Italy Programs.

For more information, visit Study Abroad Spotlight on Facebook and Twitter @SparkySpotlight.