Brandeis Study Abroad Account

Study Abroad Ambassadors

Want to hear from current students about their experience abroad? Contact the Study Abroad Ambassadors for more information.

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Meet the Staff

Mr. J. Scott Van Der Meid

Assistant Dean of Academic Services
and Director of Study Abroad

Scott has directed the study abroad program at Brandeis University since 1999.  Prior to his time at Brandeis he worked for several years in Boston University's Office of International Programs.  Scott received his B.A. in History and German Literature with a concentration in Asia in the Modern World from Allegheny College and his M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.  He studied in West Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany's eventual unification. Scott also studied and worked for several years in Tokyo, Japan. He has been to over 52 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Professionally Scott has served on several national advisory boards in the field of international education including Arcadia University's National Advisory Board, IFSA-Butler's Executive Council of the National Advisory Council and SIT Study Abroad's Partnership Council. He is past Co-Chair of the NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group and served as a founding member of the Forum on Education Abroad's Advisory Council. Other national committee involvement included NAFSA's Committee on Underrepresentation in Education Abroad, the SECUSSA Data Collection Working Group, the CIEE Nomination's Committee, the IES Membership Committee, the Forum on Education Abroad's Data Committee and Forum on Education Abroad's Ethics Working Group. He currently serves as chair of the IES Institutional Membership Committee and is a member of the Advisory Board for the NAFSA Rainbow SIG.

Ms. Alisha Cardwell
Department Administrator

Alisha began working at Brandeis in November 2012. She comes from a small town in Ohio and was fortunate to have a high school Spanish teacher who first took her out of the country to both Costa Rica and Spain. She holds a B.A. from Miami University in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and a M.Ed. with a specialization in higher education administration from Northeastern University. As a student, Alisha studied abroad for a semester in Luxembourg and also spent a summer in Costa Rica doing volunteer work. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Alisha worked with faculty-led study abroad programs at both EF College Study Tours and the Office of Lifelong Learning at Miami University and most recently worked in Graduate Admissions at New England College of Business and Finance.

Mr. Darren R. Gallant '08
Study Abroad Advisor

Darren joined the office in March 2013. He double majored in Sociology and Politics while at Brandeis. A member of the 2nd midyear class, he was very involved in various campus organizations and student life. During his junior year, Darren studied abroad in Copenhagen with the Denmark International Studies Program (DIS) to bolster his academic learning. Darren earned his M.A. in Higher Education / Student Personnel Administration from New York University. During his time at NYU he traveled to Israel to study international higher education. Most recently Darren worked at Grinnell College and Wheelock College in residence life and academic advising. He is excited to share his experience as an undergraduate at Brandeis and his travel to some 13 countries; including Australia, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, and France.

Ms. Allyson W. Goose
Assistant Director of Study Abroad

Allyson started her work in the Office of Study Abroad in June 2008, bringing with her extensive experience in international and experiential education. Prior to coming to Brandeis she served as an advisor and resident coordinator at Dynamy, a gap year and college-access program in Worcester, Massachusetts. There she delivered leadership development programs, organized community service projects and counseled students on job skills. In addition, she has taught English in Unoke, Japan and Cuenca, Ecuador. She holds a Master's degree in Teaching from Brown University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Grinnell College. As a student, she studied abroad in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Netherlands.

Program Manager, Brandeis-Led Study Programs

Ms. Andrea Cristancho
Graduate Assistant

Andrea joined the Office of Study Abroad in September 2013. Prior to joining, Andrea was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania ( 2011-2013) where she was an education specialist teaching English in a rural elementary school. During her time in Romania, Andrea was the President of the Gender and Development Committee of Peace Corps Romania where she collaborated with two Romanian NGO's to promote, organize and manage the national campaign "16 Days Against Domestic Violence". In addition, Andrea worked closely with a Romanian NGO to promote youth leadership in rural and small towns through the means of an English summer camp.  
Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Andrea was a Management Consultant for Crimson Leadership Group where she worked on the development and implementation of the coaching and leadership development for bilingual teachers, parents and students. Additionally, she was responsible for the development of social media marketing and other technology funnels for Crimson Leadership Group and the nonprofit the firm managed, the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives. Andrea holds a B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies from DePaul University and is a 2015 M.A. Sustainable International Development candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.