Alumni Ambassadors

We are excited to introduce our Pacific Discovery Alumni Ambassadors, a team of passionate alumni who can share their stories, speak at your school, answer any questions, and help you have an insider's view into the program experience. Read more to see where our ambassadors have been and what they're up to now. You can also check out their favorite travel quotes and some words of wisdom for you.

Since 2001, we've had over 2,000 students join Pacific Discovery's programs abroad. Our team is always happy to connect prospective students and families with alumni or their parents. If you would like to connect with an alumni ambassador or parent of alumni, please email us at

Jackie Bowes

Southeast Asia Semester Spring 2016

Hometown: Washington DC
University: Boston University
Major: Theatre Arts

"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." - Mary Anne Radmacher

Her big takeaway: On my Pacific Discovery experience, I gained an increased awareness about global poverty and volunteer work while developing friendships with all of my awesome trip-mates. I learned to listen more fully and empathically, to let go of all of my expectations for myself and for an experience, and to live with fearlessness and a spirit of adventure. I left renewed with a desire to use these skills to positively affect the world in communities close to home and far away.

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Cassandra Rubio

Thailand Summer Program 2016

Hometown: Morelia, México
University: ITESO, Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education
Major: Communication and Audio/Visual Arts

“Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." - Unknown

She learned: Traveling with Pacific Discovery was better than I could have imagined! I’ve learned how to challenge myself physically and mentally, conquer my fears and not let them stop me. I loved learning and being involved in giving back to the countries I visited. I walked away knowing how to be a responsible tourist.

Her advice to you: You will never regret taking a trip abroad. It will grant you perspective, compassion, kindness, and responsibility. You will learn more about yourself and others. You will grow as a person. You will meet incredible like-minded people that will turn into lifelong friends.

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Ellen Mahoney

South America Semester Spring 2016

Hometown: Brookfield, WI
University: University of Colorado Boulder
Major: International Affairs,  Spanish minor

"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow." - Anita Desai

She wants you to know: While I was in South America with Pacific Discovery, I learned to live in the moment and to not worry about the past, or what other people are doing. I learned to wholeheartedly enjoy the opportunities I am given and to make the most of any situation. I would be thrilled to tell you more and help you get ready to do the same.

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Max Denari

Ecuador and Galapagos Summer,
Southeast Asia Semester Fall 2015,
New Zealand & Australia  Semester Spring 2016

Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
University: Ball State University
Major: Journalism, Geography minor

On his Gap Year with PD, he learned: I learned that there is so much out in the world. Never take for granted what you have. The benefits you have in life. Some people dream of what others have. So always be appreciative. Being respectful and knowledgeable of other peoples, cultures, ideas, ways of life, etc. I have been humbled by nature and other places in the world that I have only dreamed of visiting. Travel is a blessing and a jewel, so cherish those experiences forever, and get excited for your future endeavors.

Best advice he can give: Be open. Be ready to be challenged in ways you may not have been before. Jump in with both feet. These are experiences and places you'll be daydreaming about after they happen. And it will remain that way for the rest of your life. Use that nostalgia to also drive your passion of travel in the future, and your passions in other subjects/topics.

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Addie Chabot

South America Semester Spring 2016

Hometown: Rye, New Hampshire
University: Dartmouth College

"The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” - Unknown

Best advice she can give: Say yes - I was scared, nervous, hesitant, all of the above, but putting myself out there and letting myself embark on such a foreign experience taught me more than I ever could have learned about myself.

Her big takeaway: The biggest thing that I learned is that compassion is the sole most important thing that we need to be aware of in our lives and our relationships.

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