During her undergraduate degree, Stacy Benander studied abroad in Toledo, Spain, in order to solidify her fluency in the Spanish language. The experience of study abroad was a life-changing experience, and this was a driving force that motivated her to create Athena Study Abroad.
Stacy founded Athena Study Abroad with the goal of providing personalized study abroad programs at small schools overseas. Athena aims to provide the opportunity for as many U.S. students as possible to study abroad, and by partnering with small schools abroad, Athena is able to guarantee true cultural immersion while also providing programs that will appeal to both small and large school students here in the US.
Stacy began working at an immigration law firm in Cleveland, becoming an expert in U.S. immigration procedures and policies, filing non-immigrant and immigrant petitions for executives and professionals around the country, and also serving as the firm’s Spanish language translator.
She then moved on to The Ohio State University to serve as an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the Office of International Education. She advised many of the school’s 5,000+ international students on all aspects of immigration regulation and compliance, coordinated the university’s international student orientation, and served as a DSO and ARO for SEVIS.