All our staff has extensive international experience. All of them have studied abroad and personally know what is to be in a foreign country. Its dedication and professionalism make possible for ALA to provide an essential part of our additional offering: personal attention and constant support to our students. Consequently our students are always guided to be in the best possible condition on health and safety and to enjoy their stay abroad with us.
Arturo Jarque, Ph.D. – CEO
Dr. Jarque was born in Alicante where he lived and studied until he moved to the USA. He has a Ph.D. in Contemporary Humanities and a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and History from the University of Alicante. He also has a Master of Arts from Louisiana State University and was a Fulbright researcher at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
Professionally speaking, Dr. Jarque was Director of Hispanic Studies for North American Universities at the Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid for nine years and Regional Director and General Manager in Spain for a well-known American study abroad organization for almost seven years. Dr. Jarque was also a teacher for years and has had extensive experience in both the Spanish and American university systems developing academic programs and providing academic related services for American students.
Patrick Romaní – Barcelona Program Coordinator
Patrick was raised in Barcelona, Spain, where he currently lives. He has worked in Spain and in other countries: in Los Angeles in a tech based company (2012) and in Sweden (2014). Since he came back to Barcelona from Sweden he has been working in hotels, events and as a guide through Barcelona. Patrick joined ALA in summer of 2017. He speaks fluent Catalan, Spanish, English and Swedish.
Patrick enjoys traveling, getting to know people, listening to music, and practicing sports such as football or volleyball. He defines himself as an energetic, friendly, and an easy-going person. Patrick will be more than happy to show you around Barcelona and help you out with anything you need during your stay.
Gracia Bocanegra – Madrid Program Coordinator
Gracia was born in Alicante, on the Mediterranean coast and now lives in Madrid where she studied International Communications at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus Previously Gracia had studied Business Administration for three years. Her first job was at a fashion company, and after that experience she moved to Germany, where she spent almost a year learning German and working at a students’ residence. Upon her return to Spain she worked for an Advertising school, as student assistant. Her last job was in a TV Producer. She likes interacting with people from other countries, speaking and teaching -sometimes- languages, as well as dancing, specially Spanish flamenco sevillanas.
Enrique Rivas – Salamanca Program Coordinator
Enrique was born in Salamanca, where he studied Philosophy. The University of Salamanca was founded in 1218 and it is the third oldest university in Europe. After giving much thought to it, he moved to the artsy side of knowledge and came out with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He worked in the field of art restoration for a few years. Then, on a trip to visit a friend in China, he discovered that teaching Spanish renders a livelier feeling than caressing old paintings, so he made a turn in his career. He spent the next three years working as a teacher in Shanghai and as an official examiner for the Instituto Cervantes. When it was time to go back to Spain, he decided to stay in the education field.
Enrique was an exchange student in the USA for a year, and understands from his own experience what it is like to live in a foreign country. He enjoys very much working with students and showing them around.
Elizabeth Kinnon – Sevilla Program Coordinator
Elizabeth is originally from Los Angeles, California but has taken root in Seville for the last 5 years after spending a semester abroad there as a college student herself. She has her Bachelor´s Degree in Spanish for International Service from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with minors in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Apart from her personal experience as a study abroad student, Elizabeth has also dedicated the last 5 years to assisting and guiding the international student population in Seville. Elizabeth´s interests include travelling, meeting new people, and learning about new cultures. She is an upbeat and energetic person with a passion for the "sevillano" lifestyle and is eager to be there for you in whatever you might need during this unique experience in your life.