Assistant Director, Study Abroad
My role: I am responsible for Notre Dame’s study abroad programs in Latin America, including semester and year-long programs in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. My role is three-fold: recruiting and advising students interested in studying in Latin America; reviewing and selecting applications from students who wish to study abroad in our Latin America programs; assisting students in every step of their study abroad experience. This includes pre-departure orientation sessions, assisting with the documentation and registration process, and ensuring their experience abroad exceeds their expectations. In addition, we recently launched a business-focused summer program in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and assisted the biology department with a practicum in the Galapagos Islands. Finally, I am also one of the reference contacts for those interested in applying for the Luksic Grant in Santiago, Chile.
Why I find my work important: I strongly believe in the transformative power of international education, not only in its cross-cultural macroeconomic manifestations, but also at the level of the individual student, in what concerns the construction of a better thinker, citizen, and leader. I believe that studying abroad in Latin America presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the student, which often leads to great personal and social growth. In our program in Mexico, for instance, students partake in several hospital rotations, and visit underserved rural areas to volunteer in clinics and community centers. In Santiago, students have the opportunity of teaching English to low-income students, volunteering in women’s clinics, community centers, and a range of other facilities. An overwhelming majority of students return with positive feedback from these experiences and often become great advocates for important social causes.
Professional background: I graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. in economics and psychology. As a student, I served as an International Ambassador for three years, studied abroad in London, and worked as a research assistant in the department of psychology, studying clinical developmental theory in young adults. Following graduation, I worked for a large financial services firm in Lima, Peru. I have a wide array of experiences in Latin America, having lived in Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela for many years. As a consequence, I am fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and have a working proficiency in French.
My favorite place: Reykjavik, Iceland.
About me: In my free time, I am heavily devoted to music composition and production. I am currently working on my second “home studio” album, which I hope to have released early next year. I am also an avid fan of soccer, winter, food, and Game of Thrones.
Email Rafael +1 574 631 0644 • 105 Main Building