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Meet Your Institutional Relations Officer - Raquel Cifuentes

Learn all about USAC Institutional Relations Officer, Raquel!

The Institutional Relations team works with universities, colleges, and other institutions around the country and travels to many study abroad fairs. The team is ready to answer any questions you may have about USAC and a current or prospective partnership with your institution.

Schedule an appointment with Raquel

Where did you study abroad?

Raquel admiring the cliffs in Ireland.I was unable to participate in a traditional study abroad program during my undergraduate coursework. However, I had the opportunity to take a comparative education course during my master’s degree program. During the course, we focused on structures of Irish and American higher education.

Part of the course included a two-week internship at Maynooth University in Ireland.

How did you get into the field of International Education?

As a first-generation college student, I was inspired by my educational experience and decided to pursue a degree in higher education. Then, in graduate school, I interned in a study abroad office and had my own study abroad experience, which led me to where I am today!

What's your favorite thing about working for USAC?

Raquel overlooking the city of Prague, Czech Republic.I truly enjoy seeing the faces of students and staff that I work with when they see how affordable USAC programs are—cost is one of the biggest barriers to education and studying abroad. It is great to work for an organization that aims to make studying abroad accessible to more students.

What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?

Raquel on the beach at sunset in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In general, I would say solo adventures. I enjoyed navigating different types of public transit, discovering places on my own, getting a little lost, and finding my way around.

More specifically, I remember laughing at myself about forgetting which way to expect traffic. It was weird to become so cautious when crossing the streets.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to and why?

The Netherlands has a very special place in my heart because it was the first country I ever visited.

If you could go on any USAC program, what would it be and why?

Cuba! It’s a country that has always seemed so “off limits” to Americans and I would love to learn more about history from their perspective.

What’s on your bucket list?

To get a stamp for every U.S. national park in my Passport to your National Parks book.