In the pandemic scenario a few institutions have been innovative in the creation of virtual forums in which international students can interact with the host community. The goal of these structured tools employed by expert is to provide an immersive experience in the Spanish host communities, and in some cases to prepare students to participate in an intensive onsite experience when possible (hybrid models).

These tools can help introduce an experiential remote component that can benefit both international students and the Spanish communities with whom they interact, adding an Internationalization at Home dimension.

In this webinar we introduce the theoretical frameworks for online communities, and we share the experiences of experts who are already employing these tools.



Providing international education professionals in Spain with tools and knowledge to create online communities that promote structured interaction for the development of intercultural competencies.

Participants will learn about tools, platforms, and interactive exercises that will allow them to create online communities for both online and hybrid programs.


  • When: Monday, April 19th, from 30 to 17.30 Madrid
  • How: virtual platform, Zoom meeting
  • Size: limited to 30 participants
  • Format: interactive webinar where each presenter will have 15 minutes


We are honored to have the following guest speakers for our webinar:

  • Karen McBride / Bound International / CEO
  • María Luisa Sierra / Intercultural Communication and Internationalization at Home researcher
  • Almendra Staffa-Healey / Intercultural Understanding / Director-Founder
  • Brian David George / Intercultural Professional


  • Mónica Pérez-Bedmar / APUNE Executive Director


  • Bárbara García


Dr. Karen McBride / PRESENTER

Bound International

Karen is a career international higher education professional with 16 years of experience cultivating international academic opportunities for American college students as well as visiting students and scholars from abroad to the U.S. She specializes in multi- faceted partnership development, education abroad programming and intercultural training. She is now focused on reconciling environmental sustainability, as well as issues around Climate Action and Climate Justice, with these endeavors.


Dr. María Luisa (Sisa) Sierra / PRESENTER

Intercultural and Internationalization at Home Specialist

Sisa Sierra is the Internationalization at Home expert at SEP, helping expand the impact of programs on host and home university communities. She is Investigadora del grupo Migraciones Interculturalidad y Desarrollo Humano (MIDH); Coordinadora de diferentes proyectos europeos como CATCH21, Learning Schools, REACT y LIFE Two; teaches Intercultural Communication, Civic Humanism, and Human Rights at San Jorge University (Zaragoza, Spain); and collaborates as a project-based consultant with SEP.


Ms. Almendra Staffa-Healey/ PRESENTER

Intercultural Understanding Founding Director

Over the past fifteen years Almendra has worked in the field of international and intercultural education and business. In addition to serving as Resident Director for a number of US university programs in Madrid, she has taught studio art and Spanish as a foreign language at a Public High School in New York City. Almendra combines her work in building intercultural competencies and understanding in education and business as Director of Intercultural Understanding, with her role as Madrid Director for EUSA Academic Internship Programs. She has prepared US students extensively for working in Spain and Spanish employers for hosting US interns.


Mr. Brian David George / PRESENTER

Intercultural Professional

Brian defines himself as “a passionate and warm intercultural professional and aspiring inclusive leader who inspires and empowers people to continuously strive to become their best selves”. He started his career as a Freelance EFL Instructor / Fluency Trainer & EFL Events Organizer / Translator, and for the past three years has been Student Services Coordinator and Associate / Acting Director of Trinity College’s Barcelona programs. He is currently a full-time Intercultural Professional.


Ms. Mónica Pérez-Bedmar / MODERATOR

Executive Director APUNE

Mónica is the current Executive Director of the Association of North American Programs in Spain (APUNE), a faculty member at Saint Louis University, and a Ph. D. candidate at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She has over two decades of experience in international education and holds degrees (M.Sc.) in Coastal Zone Management from Florida Institute of Technology, and (B.S.) in Biological Oceanography.


Ms. Jennifer Masterson / Student

Jennifer  Masterson  is  a  third-year   financial management major at the University of Connecticut. She is currently interning virtually at Tetuan Valley, a startup accelerator based in Madrid. Once it is safe to travel again, she hopes to travel to Spain in person to study and is considering pursuing her master’s degree at a Spanish university.


Ms. Bárbara García / COORDINATOR

Spain Education Programs (SEP)

Barbara is Coordinator of the Association of North American Programs in Spain (APUNE) and collaborates with Spain Education Programs in research studies and                                      overseeing data collection and analysis for various projects. She has a degree in Biology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has worked as an environmental educator and animal trainer/caretaker at Madrid’s Zoo. She has been an administrator at several cultural programs and associations.