The International Student Services team includes dedicated faculty and staff who have studied or lived abroad at some point in their lives and understand some of the challenges individuals may face while adjusting to life in a new country.
We are here to help you on your journey because we want to see you succeed. We are located in different areas around TMCC, so look for the building and room number next to our names.
Natalie Brown, PhD
Academic Advisement Director
Natalie has been advising students for over ten years and particularly enjoys working with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. She currently oversees the Academic Advisement Office and works with the International academic advisors to help students understand degree plans and steps to complete degrees. Prior to her work at TMCC, she was one of the international academic advisors at the University of Utah and traveled to China on various trips to advise students on programs and transfer possibilities as well as developed programming to assist all new international students in the transition to education in the U.S. She obtained her undergraduate and masters degree in Spanish and loves to travel to places where she can keep up that language skill as well as new countries she has never been. Natalie serves as a backup to international student academic advisors.
Sione Lavaka, BA
International Student Academic Advisor
Sione received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. After a year as an undergraduate, Sione spent 2 years on LDS mission in Samoa, Apia. Sione had to learn a new language, learn a new culture, and adapt to a new lifestyle for 2 years. Sione is currently a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Sione's passions include binge eating and watching Netflix.
International Student Advisor
Virag serves as our International Student Advisor, so if you have any questions related to your F-1 immigration status, she’s here to help. Virag was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary and moved to the U.S. to begin her college education. Virag has earned a BA in English, Creative Writing and an MA in Education, Special Emphasis in International/Intercultural Education. Based on her own journey as an international student, Virag has devoted her interest to international education and has worked with international students for over 15 years. Prior to her recent move to Reno, Virag was an International Student/Scholar Advisor at the University of California, Davis and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area before then, teaching ESL. In her free time, Virag enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, writing poetry, reading and discovering new hikes in the Reno-Tahoe Area. Virag is excited to meet and work with new international students and helping them adjust to their new home, Reno. She speaks Hungarian and Spanish.
Alejandra Salas Cuyubamba
International Peer Mentor
Alejandra Salas is an international student from Lima Peru, pursuing her architecture degree at TMCC. Her desire to study abroad started while she began her university studies in architecture in Lima. After participating in different work and travel exchange programs, she realized how important it is to reach out of one's comfort zone, so she decided to continue her education in the United States. Even though moving out of her home country was challenging, Ale enjoys this new journey as an international student and now as an International Peer Mentor at TMCC. Being able to explore beyond borders, especially California’s natural environment, inspires Ale to continue growing professionally and reaching her educational goals in sustainable design.
Her life as a student at Truckee Meadows Community College while living in Lake Tahoe so far has been incredible. Getting to know people from all over the world with the same academic goals, having the chance to be the President of the Institute of American Architects of Northern Nevada (AIANN) student club, and being able to be active in the Reno community has been wonderful.
Ale's goal is to provide guidance to our students and help them in any way possible.
Amanda got her start in international education more than 14 years ago. She began working with domestic students interested in studying overseas. Her experience started in Germany where she worked with American study abroad students, then for a non-profit organization based in New York City assisting college-aged individuals with overseas internship opportunities. She has worked in higher education with incoming international students for the past seven years and enjoys getting to know students from all over the world. In her free time, Amanda enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and catching up on the latest movies and tv shows. Amanda obtained her bachelor’s degree in German and master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.