Meet Our Winter and Spring 2018 Bloggers!

Happy New Year! At SDSU Be International, a new year means welcoming a new group of study abroad participants and international students to the blog. Before you follow them on their journeys of discovery — both around the world and here in San Diego — let’s get to know a little bit about them!


Mario Salge Mata, Venezuela

“Hi! I’m Mario and I’m from Venezuela. I’m an economics junior, and just transferred from Santa Barbara City College. I’ve been in the U.S for four years, lived in Santa Barbara and just moved to San Diego. I love traveling and getting to know more about other cultures and places. Join me while I share my experiences as an international student in America.”

Radia Mbengue, Senegal

“My name is Radia Mbengue. I’m originally from Senegal but I’m an exchange student from a university in Canada. I like photography, music, poetry, the beach, books and art.”



Anastasia Mysina, Russia

“Hey-hey, my name is Anastasia, but my friends call me Lilu. I’m from Russia and getting my masters in city planning at SDSU. I like observing and comparing everything I see, hear and learn. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and stories of living in the USA! With love.”



Dalayah Baker, Tokyo, Japan

“Hello. I am a new third-year transfer student with a major in Japanese. I’m looking forward to spending the semester in Japan — and leaving the state of California for the first time. I hope to learn a lot while studying the Japanese language, and get closer to my goal of being fluent.”

Alberto Castro, Seoul, South Korea

“Hello! I am Alberto Castro and I am a third-year accounting student. I am studying abroad at Korea University during the spring semester. South Korea has always been the No. 1 place in my bucket list to visit and explore. Through this blog, I hope to share insights into life in South Korea and also showcase its unique culture and language. Moreover, I would love to share my personal growth during my study abroad as I try to become a more cross-culturally aware person. Please follow my blog and enjoy a sneak peak of beautiful South Korea.”

Isaac Christian, Bangkok, Thailand

“My name is Isaac Christian and I am a senior information systems major studying in Bangkok, Thailand over winter break. I am hoping to further my knowledge of Buddhist culture and explore a lifestyle very different from my own. In this way, I am interested in comparing how both American and Thai people attain happiness, and the means in which each respective culture achieves this goal. Can’t wait to see what this adventure brings, and am excited to share!”

Jason Dillon, Beppu, Japan

“My name is Jason and I am a senior studying human resources management. I have traveled all over the world during my time in the Navy and lived in Japan for eight years before attending SDSU. I am looking forward to going back, as Japan has so many different and exciting experiences to offer. Follow my story, as I take you through some of the most beautiful, historic and fun places that Japan has to offer.”

Paige Doherty, Rome, Italy

“Hi there! My name is Paige Doherty, and I’m currently a sophomore computer science student, with a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies. I’ll be studying entrepreneurship this winter in the heart of Rome with Bernie Schroeder, the director of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. The travel bug bit me early on in life, so I can’t wait to dig deep in Rome’s culture. I’m excited to share my journey, while I learn a little Italian, eat amazing food, see art come alive and gain knowledge on starting my own business.”

Davis Elgin, Leicester, United Kingdom

ElginMugHi there! I am a second year applied mathematics major studying at the University of Leicester in England for the entire spring semester. From the beginning of my time at SDSU, I have constantly looked forward to getting this opportunity to go abroad and now that it is finally happening, I am beyond ecstatic. Whether it’s describing the culture, comparing it to the US, or simply providing some advice based on my time there, I am eager to share my true experiences, no matter how negative or (hopefully) positive, from my life in the UK!

Katie Johnson, San Jose, Costa Rica

“My name is Katie Johnson and I study fine arts. For one semester I will be residing in Costa Rica, but I am honored to share my adventures all over Central America during my stay. With a background in fine arts and craft, I’m drawn to the fine details of things and the hidden beauty. I’ve always been a wanderer and now it is my desire to investigate my love affair with Latin America.”

Sarah Karver, Reims, France

“Hi there! I’m Sarah and this semester I will be traversing the streets of Reims, France to discover the French l’art de vivre, or the art of life. I am a second-year student studying comparative international studies with a minor in French, so you’ll be with me as I speak French (hopefully using the right verb tenses). I hope you enjoy following my journey of living simply in my host city, learning to cook healthy vegetarian meals while abroad and navigating the French university system.”

Riki Mack, Toulouse, France

“Hi! I am a senior double majoring in computer science and international business. I will be studying abroad for my last semester in Toulouse, France! Traveling the world has always been my dream, while learning a second language is a high priority on my list. I was born and raised in San Diego, so this will be my first time leaving home long term. Follow me through my adventures in France as I am still struggling to say my name in a way that the people at Starbucks can understand!”

Nancy Nguyen, Kampala, Uganda

“Join me on my semester abroad as I unpack the history and delve into the culture of Uganda and Rwanda. As an honors student studying sociology and public administration, with an interest in peace and justice, East Africa provides a unique opportunity to critically examine global issues and the multigenerational impact of violence. Be prepared to read about my homestay family and my internship with a governmental organization. Be sure to enjoy my pictures of sites including waterfalls, hikes and sunsets!”

Rodrigo Polanco
, Santiago, Chile

“My name is Rodrigo Polanco and I am a fourth year student, studying international business with an emphasis in Spanish and Latin America. I am very eager to begin my spring semester abroad at Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile! Also, as I am currently working on a double-major in journalism, the opportunity to share my experiences abroad through my blog — and encourage others to adventure outside their comfort zones and explore different cultures — is something that will guide me forward, and provide wonderful experience for me and my future career goals.”

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