Active Learning Abroad

About ALA


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.

Anna Adamson – Barcelona Program Coordinator

Anna was born in London and completed her bachelor’s degree in Sports Therapy at the University of Kent. She has an excellent knowledge of Barcelona as it is where she spent her summers and has now lived there for over 4 years. Before moving to Barcelona Anna worked in the education system in London moving up to work for local authority. Once she made the move to Barcelona, she gained her CELTA and worked as an English teacher. Anna has worked with groups of students in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Barcelona in the study abroad and volunteering sectors. She is experienced in guiding students through a new environment and helping them enjoy their new surroundings.

Valeria Valevashnikova – Madrid Program Coordinator

Valeria is originally from Ukraine but has lived in Madrid since she was 8 years old, when her family decided to move to Spain. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a field she chose because of her interest in different cultures and languages. Since then, Valeria has worked as a translator and a private English and Spanish tutor. She has spent time living, studying, and working abroad in different countries, such as Ireland, Belgium, and France, allowing her to develop a strong understanding of the needs and wishes of international students. Valeria loves walking around Madrid and discovering all its hidden secrets.

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.