About Us

Sparky, Director of Spotlighting

Sparky the SpotlightHi, I’m Sparky the Spotlight! My real name is Sebastian, but everyone just calls me Sparky. I have no idea why, they just do. I take your stories and turn them into spotlights here at Study Abroad Spotlight!

I come from a very international family.  My Mom is from France. She helps light up the Eiffel Tower.  My Pops is an Aussie.  He helps light up the Sydney Opera House.  My parents have been married for 30 years, but they have to do the long distance thing.  It seems to work for them!  My older brother Jacques works on the Hollywood sign in California and my younger sister Elyse just started her first real job shining at the Empire State Building in the Big Apple. We’re all so proud of her!

I got this gig on this awesome website because unlike most spotlights, I am more of a people person.  I like interacting with you humans and I want to help spread the word about studying abroad! Check out my 10 Magnificent Reasons to Study Abroad

I worked as a spotlight intern at the Temple of Zeus in Athens, Greece and also on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. That’s where I met Emily.

Here’s my spotlight if you are interested! Here’s my resume if you are really interested!

Follow me on Twitter! @SparkySpotlight or drop me a line at sparky [at] studyabroadspotlight.com.  I’m a compulsive email checker.

As we say in the spotlight world:


Emily, Founder

Hi, I’m Emily!  I grew up in a small beach town near Atlantic City, NJ called Ventnor (yep, like the Monopoly board!).  During my junior year at Boston University, I studied abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa and it completely changed my life.  Here’s my spotlight if you are interested.

I now work in the field of international education and am passionate about study abroad.  I know first hand that it is a truly life-changing experience.  Regardless of what country you study in or which program you go on, it will expand your worldview and forever change how you think of yourself and our global community.

Sparky and I created Study Abroad Spotlight as a place to share individual stories from study abroad alumni, parents and education abroad professionals with the hope that it will inspire more students to study abroad and reassure parents that it will be an invaluable life experience for their son or daughter.  Our goal is to turn your story into a spotlight and make it shine!  We also hope it will help study abroad alumni showcase all of the great “stuff” they gained from their experience abroad to future employers.  It’s challenging to make your study abroad experience really come alive on a resume.  Add a link on there to your study abroad spotlight!

If you are like me and love the field of international education, please share your story with us so that we can build an online community that will continue to inspire international education professionals every day.

I hope that you’ll check out some spotlights, get inspired, study abroad and then when you come home share your story with us!

Thanks for checking out our website! Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Just wanna say hello?

Feel free to email me at emily [at] studyabroadspotlight.com.


Click here to meet the Study Abroad Spotlight Interns!

Kristin, Marketing and Social Media Intern

Kristin Uyl
Hello, buon giorno, sa wat dee kha and kia ora!  My name is Kristin Uyl, and I grew up in a small farming town near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  My international experience includes a summer studying abroad in Asti, Italy (2004), a semester studying abroad in Bangkok, Thailand (2005) and a year working for a university abroad in Auckland, New Zealand (2009).  As you can tell, I caught the travel bug early and have never been able to shake it!  Here’s my spotlight if you’re interested!

In 2006, I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s in Hospitality & Tourism Management.  I later decided to pursue graduate studies and will graduate in May 2014 with my M.S. in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee (GO VOLS!)  I am also a Graduate Assistant in the Programs Abroad Office and I love helping students plan their own adventures abroad.  I truly believe that studying abroad is a life-changing experience that everyone should pursue, so I’m pumped about embarking on a career within the field of international education!

Here at Study Abroad Spotlight, I run Sparky’s Facebook and Pinterest accounts, and I also help the Sparkster out with his bi-weekly newsletter. I also love doing anything and everything creative, so I enjoy using that ability to help develop promotional materials for Study Abroad Spotlight. I’m happy to answer any questions about studying and/or working abroad and would love to talk all things Italy, Thailand and New Zealand!

Feel free to email me at kristin [at] studyabroadspotlight.com.



Emily C., Web Content Intern

Emily CaskeyHallo! My name is Emily Caskey and I spent 10 months studying abroad in Rostock, Germany during my junior year of college (2008-2009). Read my more about my study abroad experience here! Studying abroad in Germany was a truly life-changing experience; not only did I vastly improve my German language skills, but I also gained insight into new cultures from my fellow students. When I left Germany, all I could think about was going back!

In 2010 I graduated from the University of Georgia with a double major in German and History and that summer I interned at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. I went straight into an M.A. program and taught German courses at the University of Georgia during my 2 years as a graduate student. I also had the opportunity to teach German in Germany at the Carl Duisberg Center and the Humboldt University of Berlin in the summer of 2011. I finished my thesis and graduated with an M.A. in German Literature in 2012 and I’m currently pursuing a career in the field of international education.

Here at Study Abroad Spotlight I’m responsible for running Sparky’s blog and hosting chat sessions to talk about the ins and outs of studying abroad. I’m excited about this opportunity because Study Abroad Spotlight combines my love of working with students with my passion for international education.

I’d love to answer any questions about studying and interning abroad or any Germany-specific questions you have! We’re always looking for guest bloggers who have something interesting to say!

Feel free to email me at ecaskey [at] studyabroadspotlight.com.


Diane, Marketing and Social Media Intern

Diane FerrerBuongiorno! My name is Diane and I’m a senior at Quinnipiac University. I am an Advertising major and will be completing an MBA degree next year. I hope to pursue a career in international education in the future.

I was incredibly fortunate to spend my fall semester of junior year in Rome, Italy and have been bitten by the travel bug ever since! Check out my spotlight!  Since then, I’ve been to over 5 new countries, have explored the United States, and hope to see even more new places in the future. This summer, with QU’s MBA Program, I’ll be spending a few weeks abroad in Budapest and could not be more excited. I recently also found out that I’ll be traveling to the Philippines, Singapore, and China with my family in July!

I’ve been surrounded by the Filipino language, Tagalog, since I was a young child and can speak the language fluently. I have also studied Spanish, Italian, and French – while I am not fluent, I can have a basic conversation.

Here at Study Abroad Spotlight, I am responsible for PR, various marketing projects and I help manage Sparky’s Twitter account too. I am SO excited to be an intern for this website because traveling and international education are things I am so passionate about! I believe that seeing the world we live in, outside of your own personal bubble, is so important – so get out there!

Feel free to email me at diane [at] studyabroadspotlight.com. Ciao, ciao!




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