Advising Team

The Administration and Advising team at Arcos Learning Abroad are a group of seasoned industry professionals with decades of experience. The core team worked together for upwards of 14 years at a previous, nationally-recognized study abroad organization. They bring their passion and belief in the transformative power of international education to every aspect of Arcos programs. They are the arco-tects behind the programs and also the advisors to help you plan your study abroad experience.

Thank you for putting your trust in us! For general inquiries always contact us at info@arcosabroad.com and we will direct your email accordingly.

Brent Hunter

Director | Custom Program Manager | Academic Lead

brent.hunter@arcosabroad.com

Brent Hunter was raised in Brenham, a small town in Central Texas. As a high school student he developed a passionate interest in the Spanish language. Beyond his love of language, he also took great interest in the outdoors and environmental conservation. As a result of these interests, Brent studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where he double-majored in Field Biology and Spanish Linguistics. He later completed an MBA in International Business at St. Edward's University, also located in Austin. It was not until college that Brent discovered the inspiring possibilities offered by study abroad programs. For his first experience, he traveled to Mérida, Venezuela on a summer study abroad program. Later, he completed his MBA coursework while studying abroad in Costa Rica. He has been hooked on the importance of study abroad ever since! Brent has always enjoyed working with students and is a natural guide. As an Eagle Scout he worked during the summers as a counselor at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Brent has worked for many years now as an overseas program director for student groups in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Spain. He loves sharing unique cultures and places with others. Brent's other interests include hiking, rock climbing, yoga, biking, art, and reading contemporary Spanish literature.

Brent Hunter Arcos Learning Abroad

Alejandro Armenteros

Chief Information Officer | Spain Advising Lead | Cultural Curriculum Director

support@arcosabroad.com

Alejandro was born and raised in Cádiz, Spain but finished high school in Kingston, TN. Here he earned the nickname, "The Spaniard", which he loved. Back in Spain, Alejandro studied at the Universidad de Granada and graduated with degrees in Law (2000) and Political Science (2003). He also started a third degree in Philosophy. As you can tell, Alejandro has an interest in learning and academics! He has always been interested in the history of political thought, a passion that sheds light on his academic journey. Alejandro has also lived and worked abroad starting with Aarhus, Denmark (1999-2000) and then Edinburgh, Scotland (2003-2005). These past years he has worked as a private guide in Andalucía, and leads bike tours for a US company (2009 - present). He stopped this and left for the USA in order to pursue a two-year M.A. in Spanish Literature at CUA in D.C., where he taught Spanish as a teaching fellow (2015-2017). He graduated in Spring 2017! Alejandro loves languages and currently dedicates his free time to studying French and German. But, Alejandro says, “above all, sport is my passion”. He is an outdoors person now: swimming, cycling, running, and playing tennis. He especially gravitates towards endurance sports. Out of this passion, he has become well-versed in nutrition, a topic he can spend hours conversing on. Alejandro loves to work with foreign travelers, especially Americans, to whom he still feels quite connected after his high school year in Tennessee, summers spent working in the Smoky Mountains and his latest experience as a graduate student in D.C. Alejandro feels like an ambassador showing his home country to others. He is very aware that there is more to a language than just the grammar and the vocabulary. Without experiencing first-hand the culture that lives with the language there is no real learning. He understands very well the importance of why it makes so much sense to spend time in the country where the target language is spoken. As to his private life, Alejandro has no children of his own but instead he has a niece and a nephew who constantly remind him that he’s become a professional uncle now ("Tito Ale").

Alejandro Armenteros Arcos Learning Abroad

Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss

Custom Program Developer | Latin American Advising Lead

info@arcosabroad.com

A believer in the life-changing potential of travel, Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss fulfills her personal purpose by leading transformational journeys throughout the planet. Over the past decade, Janiva has led study abroad, gap year, and volunteer programs in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Perú, Argentina, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Spain. Her adventures have taken her to learn wilderness skills in the Amazon, practice yoga on the banks of the Ganges, vision quest in Patagonia, safari in East Africa, scuba dive off of the Bay Islands, and trek to the Mayan pyramids of Tikal and learn about the Inca civilization at Machu Picchu. She has led service learning programs focusing on sea turtle conservation, environmental education, and organic farming throughout Costa Rica. Born and raised in Olympia, Washington, Janiva´s passion for travel began at an early age when she visited her extended family in Colombia. In high school, she traveled to Japan with her host sister and Japanese teacher. Janiva studied abroad for a semester at the University of Salamanca in Spain where she delved into Latin American Literature, Religion and History. While abroad she backpacked in France, Italy, and Portugal. After graduating from Pomona College with a BA in Latin American Studies, she moved to Costa Rica and completed a one-year internship in Sustainable Development, assisting with research in tropical ecology, natural resource management, and economics. Janiva is an international speaker and workshop facilitator who has presented at Envision Festival, Millersville University Conference for Global Well-Being and Social Change, United Nations University for Peace, Latina Youth Leadership Conference, National Student Conference on the Mixed Race Experience, and Shanti Festival. A freelance writer, her work has been published in Biobalance Magazine, The Tico Times, The Encyclopedia Latina, GoAbroad, Landings Magazine and Exploring Costa Rica Travel Guide. She also served as video editor with Super Natural Adventures, a children's wildlife series in Costa Rica. Janiva enjoys sharing her passion for nature, meditation, yoga, permaculture (a design philosophy for ecological living), and social justice with her students. She is First Aid and CPR certified and has worked as Costa Rica Resident Director since 2007.

Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss Arcos Learning Abroad

Elisha Smith

Admissions Lead | Program Advisor

info@arcosabroad.com

Elisha was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Initially enrolling at Texas A&M University to pursue Physical Therapy, she became involved with a group on campus that facilitated events and conversation between US and International Students. This was such a great experience that Elisha decided to follow a degree path that highlighted her love for other cultures; she graduated in 2011 with a degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Communication and Media Studies. Elisha spent the Spring Semester of 2010 studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. This was one of the highlights of her college experience and she still keeps in-touch with her host family and Oaxacan friends. Her experience ignited a passion to encourage others to get out of their comfort zone and explore another culture. After graduation, Elisha moved back to Austin and worked for a tech startup for a year and a half. She managed recruiting and worked on marketing outreach projects. Elisha has worked in International Education since 2013. Elisha spends her free time doing anything active, including half-marathons, pick-up soccer, and dancing to 80’s music in her apartment.

Elisha Smith Arcos Learning Abroad

Allison Hradecky

Freelance Marketing Director

info@arcosabroad.com

Allison studied abroad twice and discovered her love of traveling somewhere between Tango dancing in Argentina and tapas tastings Spain. Since her time as a study abroad student, she continues to travel and explore new cultures, foreign and domestic, with no signs of stopping. Previous to entering the field of International Education, Allison enjoyed a career in marketing. Originally from Houston, this native Texan now calls Austin home and can most likely be found lounging in her hammock with a glass of Argentine Malbec and a mystery novel.

Allison Hradecky Arcos Learning Abroad