Ashley Arvanites

Staff Profile Photo

Position Title
Study Abroad Program Coordinator and Advisor

Global Learning Hub
Global Affairs

1120 International Center
UC Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616

I truly believe in the immeasurable personal, academic, and career growth that comes from being immersed in another culture, but I recognize that discovering the right opportunity can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, UC Davis offers a diverse portfolio of study broad programs, and I would love to help you find an experience that is right for you!

My fascination with cultures started in high school after completing a country report about the Republic of Fiji. In an Anthropology class during my second quarter at UC San Diego, I heard about a 2.5 week faculty-led Anthropology program visiting pre-Aztecs sites in Central and Southern Mexico, and I spoke to my family about the opportunity and decided to enroll. This first study abroad experience challenged me, allowed me to build strong relationships with my peers and the faculty leader, and helped me become a more flexible, confident, and independent individual.  Soon after this program, I became an International Studies major and found myself looking for more opportunities to go abroad. After my sophomore year, I spent 5 weeks in Peru as a part of an archaeological field school. Only 36 hours after returning from Peru, I left for Italy where I spent my entire junior year. During this year abroad, I took full advantage of my location and visited 15 countries and countless cities in Europe and North Africa. I also enrolled in another short-term Anthropology program which took me to ancient sites all over Egypt right before my senior year.   

These international experiences have helped shape me not only as an individual, but have also influenced my career path and opened my eyes to all the world has to offer. After graduating magna cum laude from UC San Diego, my desire to experience life in another part of the world took me to Thailand where I earned my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and taught English to 5th and 6th graders. After a year of teaching, traveling, and cultural exchange, I returned to San Diego to teach English to international students and to continue my cultural exploration. I then became an Academic Advisor at UC San Diego Extension where I supported students from around the world as they pursued their individual academic and career goals. 

Multicultural experiences and competencies are becoming increasingly more valuable as the world becomes more interconnected.  I would love to discuss the study abroad opportunities here at UC Davis and what going abroad can do for you!

International Highlights:

  • Participating in a Peruvian shaman ceremony before beginning an archaeological dig at a burial site in southwestern Peru and discovering 13 mummies that were 1,000 to 1,500 years old.
  • Sitting in the U.S. fan section at a 2014 World Cup game in Manaus, Brazil and feeling the energy in the stadium when the U.S. scored against Portugal.
  • Discovering ‘secret’ Italian bakeries that supplied fresh baked goods to all the cafes but would sell extra pastries to individual patrons straight from the oven at 2 a.m.
  • Riding a camel from a small bus station parking lot in Rajasthan, India to a remote village in the middle of the Thar dessert, and experiencing the warm hospitality and culture first hand.
  • Watching a lioness appear from a small bush on the plains of the Serengeti and descend upon her kill less than 3 meters from our vehicle.
  • Hiking to a waterfall, riding an elephant, zip lining across a river, exploring a traditional northern Thai village, going bamboo rafting and visiting a butterfly farm and an orchid farm with enough time to catch the afternoon market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Jumping off a felucca (an traditional wooden sailing boat) into the Nile River on a hot summer day after a morning of exploring ancient Egyptian tombs and temples.
  • Experiencing the warmth and hospitality of people from all around the world, everywhere from Tunisia to Greece to Brazil to Thailand.