Meet Marisa Swope

Marisa in MiyajimaMarisa Swope began working at Academic Arrangements Abroad in September 2007. She started as an assistant tour coordinator before moving into program operations.

“I actually am just about to transition to our Sales Team,” says Marisa.  “It’s nice that there’s room for change and growth here.”

Hometown: Winchester, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley.  It’s a wonderful small city, though I’m biased!

City I would recommend to friends: I just got back from Tokyo and loved it, so that is at the top of the list now.  I also spent several months living in Buenos Aires, which is an amazing city, so that usually is recommended too.

City I would drop everything to see: I’d love to see Budapest, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Marrakesh, and Lisbon. The list goes on.  If I haven’t been, I want to go! (with a few exceptions)

Who would play you in a movie? I’m thinking. Stay tuned!

Marisa Luxembourg GardensWhich Academic Arrangements Abroad programs do you enjoy working on the most?

The ones that I also get to travel on as a tour director!  Getting to see a program come to life — so to speak — is very rewarding.  We spend a long time developing itineraries and coordinating all of the tour details, so it is satisfying to see the final product.  I also love getting to meet our travelers, and of course to see the incredible places included on our programs.

Marisa and Sarah Viera in CubaSpecial skills:

I’m working on them!  I’d like to be fluent in Spanish and Italian. I am not yet there in either, but traveling to Cuba for work and weekly Spanish lessons are helping!

Most visited websites:

New York Times,, Refinery29 and Facebook

Something that surprises people: I’m afraid of riding bikes, and I have a major sweet tooth

Three things I can’t travel without: Earplugs, an eye mask and my iPhone

Marisa with her sister in Costa RicaNumber of trips: I’ve been a tour director on 14 tours with Academic Arrangements Abroad. I can’t begin to count my independent travels!

If you like these photos of Marisa, please check out other images of staff members on our “Faces of Arrangements Abroad” Pinterest Board.


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