Study Abroad is part of UW Tacoma's Office of Global Affairs. In collaboration with campus and community partners, we promote intellectually rigorous study abroad and other global learning opportunities, provide pre- and post-study abroad programming to help students integrate learning, and advise students on study abroad, global learning opportunities, and competitive fellowships.

Cindy SchaarschmidtCindy Schaarschmidt

Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad

Cindy Schaarschmidt holds an M.A. in Media Communications and American Studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany. Before moving to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, she was Assistant Director in the Fellowships Office at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. A native German, she has studied and worked abroad in the U.S., Guatemala, the U.K., Russia, and Spain. As a 2004-05 Fulbright grantee, she taught German at Governors State University in Illinois. She also has worked on social justice and peace issues, including with the American Friends Service Committee.

Courtney KrollCourtney Kroll

Study Abroad Manager

Courtney joined the Office of Global Affairs in January 2017 as the Study Abroad Manager. She holds an M.A. in International Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago and a B.A. in French and Elementary Education from Albion College. Courtney previously worked as an International Programs Coordinator at Marquette University and as a Study Abroad Advisor at IES Abroad. She hails from Michigan, but studied and worked abroad for over five years in France, the Czech Republic, Italy and China. Courtney is incredibly passionate about international education and her personal philosophy revolves around creating more study abroad opportunities for those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Julia SmithJulia Smith

Interim Administrator

Julia is the Urban Studies Program administrator and the interim administrator for International Programs. She has been at UW Tacoma since 1997 and helped Dr. Brian Coffey launch international programs in the early 2000’s. In the years since, she has seen the variety of opportunities expand for students to travel abroad. Julia’s goal is to help faculty and students plan for future study travel experiences. She has been nominated for the UW Distinguished Staff Award in 2008, 2011, and 2016 and won the UW Tacoma Distinguished Service Award in 2003. She is a native of Colorado – born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Colorado State University in 1995. In her free time, Julia loves to fly fish, hike, mountain bike, and snowshoe. With so many outdoor options, there’s hardly a weekend that goes by without some type of outdoor adventure! However, she’s no stranger to relaxing at home with friends, family, and two dogs Hilda and Clyde.

Najma AliNajma Ali

Global Affairs Fellow/Study Abroad Peer Advisor

Najma studied abroad in Spain through UW Bothell's Americans in Europe program.  While in Spain, she was able to compare questions of identity, diversity, and belonging between the U.S. and Spain. Najma also used to work as a transfer peer advisor in our Office of Student Transition Programs. 

Karina RamosKarina Ramos

Global Affairs Fellow/Study Abroad Peer Advisor