We are a team of language and technology enthusiasts building the best language course search site.

Our aim is to take the agony out of planning your language immersion experience. We designed our site to help you easily compare thousands of courses at once. If you want to spend hours searching every language school site yourself, that’s one option. If you prefer an easier way to find a good deal, we can help. Our site presents course results in a way that allows you to choose the best course for you at one glance.

At Language International, we want to make your experience better and put the fun back into planning your language course.


Meet our founders

Karen Ong
Karen Ong

Chief executive officer

Her passion for languages and different cultures led her to start Language International. Karen is a language and travel enthusiast, speaks 6 languages (and currently learning German, her seventh), and has traveled to over 100 cities in 6 continents.

Language International is a continuation of her interest in facilitating language and cultural exchange. Before starting Language International, she founded MyHappyPlanet.com, a peer-to-peer language exchange site. Karen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where she received the Robert F. Jasse Award.

Michael Reich
Michael Reich

Chief financial officer

Michael speaks English, German, and French fluently, and is now learning Chinese. He was born in Germany and studied in France, Germany, and the United States. He now oversees our sales and finance functions at Language International.

Before Language International, he founded UpDown.com, a virtual investing site, and was an owner of Spirit Link GmbH, an IT consulting firm. Michael holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Reutlingen in Germany and the Reims Management School in France.


Our student advisors

Simone Reich
Simone Reich email Simone »

Team leader and student advisor (German, Spanish, French, English)

Simone leads our student advising team and also advises our German, French, and Spanish-speaking students. She was born in Germany but has lived in Colombia for a year and in Egypt for 4 years.

She holds a masters degree in anthropology, Latin American studies, and psychology from University of Hamburg. She is also a certified translator, interpreter, and foreign language correspondent for Spanish and French. Before joining Language International, she worked as a PADI Staff Instructor in Dahab, Egypt.

Michele Bianchini
Michele Bianchini email Michele »

Trainer and senior student advisor (Italian, French, Danish, English)

Michele trains our student advisor team. He also advises our Italian-, French- and Danish-speaking students. He grew up in Sardinia, studied in Dijon, went to university in Pisa, worked in Copenhagen and Malta, and now lives in Berlin. In addition to Italian, he speaks French and Danish.

He holds master's degrees in European Literary Cultures from University of Bologna, University of Thessaloniki and University of Haute Alsace. He also holds a bachelor's degree in European literatures and modern languages from University of Pisa.

Yaroslav Akimov
Yaroslav Akimov email Yaroslav »

Student advisor (Chinese, Russian, German, English)

Yaroslav advises our Chinese-, Russian-, and English-speaking students. He grew up in Russia and speaks Chinese and German fluently. In his free time, he teaches Chinese to intermediate and advanced students.

He is a PhD candidate in Chinese linguistics at the University of Trier in Germany. He holds a master's degree (with honors) in East Asian studies from Freie Universität Berlin and a bachelor's degree (with honors) in Chinese philology from Moscow State University. He received scholarships from the Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) in 2013 and Peking University in 2010.

Nicole Arevalo
Nicole Arevalo email Nicole »

Student advisor (Spanish, German, English)

Nicole advises our Spanish-, German-, and English-speaking students. She grew up in Chile but has studied and lived in Germany for years.

She holds bachelor's degrees in translation from Universidad de Concepción in Chile. She also received the ISAP-DAAD Scholarship for an academic exchange in Leipzig, Germany. Before joining Language International, she worked in sales in Alcorp S.A., a property company in Chile.

Francine Kloeckner
Francine Kloeckner email Francine »

Student advisor (Portuguese, Italian, English)

Francine advises our Portuguese-, Italian- and English-speaking students. She grew up in Porto Alegre, Brazil and also lived and worked in Grenoble, France, and in Rome, Italy. In addition to Portuguese and Italian, she speaks French and Spanish. She also started learning German quite recently.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Art History (with honors) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Before joining Language International, she worked in Porto Alegre and in Rome, in the areas of Culture, Museology, Art and also Translations and Tourism.

Milda Malcyte
Milda email Milda »

Student advisor (French, Italian, Lithuanian, English)

Milda advises our French-, Italian-, Lithuanian-, and English-speaking students. She grew up in Vilnius, Lithuania, but lived and studied in Brussels and in Italy.

She holds bachelor's degrees in philosphy from Vilnius University in directing from Lietuvos Muzikos ir Teatro akademija in Vilnius. She also studied directing at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, Italy. Before joining Language International, she worked on film sets as assistant director or production assistant. In her spare time, she still directs and produces documentary films.

Matthew Niebes
Matthew Niebes email Matthew »

Student advisor (English)

Matthew advises our English-speaking students from the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. He grew up in Peach Tree, Georgia, in the United States and completed his master's degree in Germany.

He holds a master's degree in American studies from Universität Heidelberg and a bachelor's degree in history and English (with a minor in German) from Emory University in Atlanta.

Camila Onodera
Camila Onodera email Camila »

Student advisor (Portuguese, Japanese, English)

Camila advises our Portuguese-, Japanese- and English-speaking students. Her mom´s family is Japanese and her dad´s family is Italian. She is Brazilian, grew up in São Paulo and loves learning new languages: she studied Japanese, Italian, German and Spanish.

She holds a master's degree in fashion management from University of São Paulo and a bachelor's degree in advertising and marketing from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie. Before joining Language International, she worked as Community Manager and Customer Care for Procter & Gamble and as Art Director for Editora Abril in Brazil.

Iliana Pistoli
Iliana Pistoli email Iliana »

Student advisor (French, Greek, Turkish, English)

Iliana advises our French-, Greek-, and Turkish-speaking students. She grew up in Athens and is a native Greek speaker. She lived in Paris for 4 years and studied Turkish for 6 years, so she speaks French and Turkish fluently.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Turkish from the Kapodistrian University of Athens and a master's degree in international relations and Turkish from Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales-Langues O’ in Paris. She previously worked for MyToys, Migreurop, Greek Council for Refugees, and Amnesty International.

Katharina Silberg
Katharina Silberg email Katja »

Student advisor (German, Russian, Spanish, English)

Katharina (or Katja) advises our German-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking students. She grew up in Germany but lived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for nearly a year. In addition to German, she speaks fluent Russian and Spanish, advanced French and intermediate Italian.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Romance languages and literatures from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Before joining Language International, she was a dance teacher at the Happy Dance Ballet School in Mönchengladbach and a language teacher (Russian, English, German) at Playalingua del Caribe in Playa del Carmen.


Our marketing team

Matthew Niebes
Matthew Niebes email Matthew »

School relationship manager

Matthew manages relationships with our network of language schools around the world. He grew up in Peach Tree, Georgia, in the United States and completed his master's degree in Germany.

He holds a master's degree in American studies from Universität Heidelberg and a bachelor's degree in history and English (with a minor in German) from Emory University in Atlanta.


Our finance and accounting team

Marcis Bokmanis
Marcis Bokmanis

Junior finance manager

Marcis manages Language International's accounts payable and receivable. He grew up in Riga, Latvia and recently moved to Berlin, Germany. He speaks English, Latvian, Russian, and also a little German.

In 2007, Marcis graduated from University of Latvia in Riga with a bachelor's degree in economics. Before joining Language International, he was a reporting analyst at AS DNB Banka in Riga and an accountant at Reverta, a distressed asset management company in Riga. In his spare time, Marcis enjoys long-distance running.


You?

Want to see your face here?

We're a fast-growing start-up and we're eager to connect with exceptional individuals who might be interested in joining our team.

If you are energized by our mission of changing the way people find and discover life-changing immersion programs, we'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line at [email protected].


Our offices

Boston



1 Main Street #150, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02142, USA
Berlin



Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119, Berlin, Germany