yumin wangYumin Wang, Director

Like the students I serve, I came to the United States to study as an international student. A number of years have passed, but I felt like it was yesterday when I flew in with an oversize suitcase and a pair of eager eyes. A unique sense of fulfillment comes from academic achievement in a secondary language. The University of Bridgeport has a diverse student body and it is an exciting place to be. The entire staff and I are here to assist you in easing your transition into the University of Bridgeport community. I speak Chinese, and have traveled to Russia, France, Belgium, Austria, Canada, and Italy.

To contact me, please email fsa@bridgeport.edu, or internationaloffice@bridgeport.edu.

robyn dilgRobyn Dilg, Associate Director

I was born and grew up in New Zealand but started traveling abroad when I was 20. I’ve lived in Japan, Australia, the U.S., Britain, and Spain and visited The Philippines, Korea, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia and Italy. I speak Spanish fairly well from having lived in Spain. The University of Bridgeport is a great place to work because of our varied international student body. My responsibilities in the office include transfer-in and transfer-out, leave of absence and readmission. I really enjoy meeting with students one-on-one to advise them of their options under F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations so they have a rewarding experience at U.B. and in the U.S.

To contact me, please email rdilg@bridgeport.edu or internationaloffice@bridgeport.edu.

aisha bedawiAisha Bedawi, Assistant Director / International Student Advisor

The University of Bridgeport is an excellent university. I know this for a fact because I attended U.B. and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science with a concentration in Pre-law. This university is one of the most diverse higher-learning institutes in the United States that will provide you with unique opportunities to learn about different cultures in the world. As an International Student Advisor, I will be helping students adjust to the Western culture and assist in any way possible. As an immigrant myself, I know how difficult it can be to adjust. I am trilingual in Arabic and Kurdish as well as English. With my language abilities, I would like to make sure that our students feel welcome in our office and to not hesitate with any questions or concerns. My ultimate goal is to make sure that all international students have an unforgettable experience during their time here at U.B.

To contact me, please email abedawi@bridgeport.edu.

marlene bojarskiMarlene Bojarski, Secretary

I was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I have traveled extensively in the United States, and visited Spain and Germany. I issue letters and travel signatures.

To contact me, please email marlene@bridgeport.edu.

heather varnetHeather Varnet, Assistant Director / International Student Advisor

I am originally from Enfield, Connecticut, but moved to Amherst, Massachusetts in 2003 to attend the University of Massachusetts. There, I majored in Japanese Language & Literature, and was very lucky to have multiple opportunities to study abroad in Japan during my college years. In all, I spent about a year and a half in Japan, and lived with host families both in Tokyo and in Takarazuka. After returning to the United States and graduating college, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to work for a high school foreign exchange organization. I enjoyed my experience learning a foreign language and studying abroad so much that I really wanted to help other students to be able to share in this life-changing opportunity! I am now so excited to have returned to my home state of Connecticut with the University of Bridgeport, and to have the chance to assist university-level students studying in the United States. I hope that my experiences studying abroad, as well as working with high school-level exchange students, will help me to provide insight to UB’s international population. I want to ensure that all students have a rewarding, fulfilling experience here in the U.S.

To contact me, please email hvarnet@bridgeport.edu

Jeanette SmithJeanette Smith, International Student Coordinator

I am from Newtown, Connecticut and study part-time at the graduate level in the College of Public and International Affairs in the East Asia and Pacific Rim Program. Previously, my journey to find a position in an international office began with studying Spanish for International Services with a Certificate in Spanish Health Care. I got my first taste of international travel and study when I enrolled in a study abroad program for a semester at Carlos III in Madrid, Spain and again on a Medical Mission to interpret in Naranjito, Dominican Republic. Before graduating, I was nominated for a Mandarin Chinese Scholarship from the Taiwan Ministry of Education and studied for 9 months at Taipei National Normal University. The experience was phenomenal and I found such a beautiful community of like-minded language aficionados from all over the world and welcoming local Taiwanese as well, so I stayed and taught English at an English School in Hsinchu, Taiwan for over 2 years. During my studies and work abroad, I have visited multiple countries in both Europe and Asia and look forward to working with the international students at the University of Bridgeport where I hope to both help and learn more about the different parts of this world.

To contact me, please email jeasmith@bridgeport.edu.

JIllian LeahyJillian Leahy, International Student Advisor

I grew up in South Windsor, Connecticut, but after high school decided I wanted to explore other regions. While completing my undergraduate degree, I had the wonderful opportunity of studying abroad in Pau, France where I spent 3 months learning about international business, working with other international students from around the globe, and travelling throughout Europe! After my undergrad I moved to France to teach English to high school students, where my passion for international education and cultural exchange really grew. I returned to the US and graduated in December 2015 with a Master of Arts degree in International Education from New York University. I have interned and worked in various aspects of international exchange such as a study abroad/international student office at NYU, the Institute of International Education, and the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. I am very excited to be back in the great state of Connecticut, and am looking forward to assisting international students at UB throughout their time in the United States!

To contact me, please email jleahy@bridgeport.edu.