Xperitas Staff

Our Dedicated Staff

Working to make Xperitas the best student immersion travel programs possible

Xperitas is a leader in cross-cultural programs that embody authentic language and cultural immersion. Our staff strives to embody our mission of transforming lives through shared global experience and intercultural learning. Through our language immersion and community partnership programs we work to provide travel experiences abroad that inspire students to make personal and cultural connections with communities worldwide.

Please visit our Careers and Internships page to learn about opportunities to join us.

Meet The Team
Jenny Behrens
Director of Language Programs

jenny@xperitas.org

612-436-8267

After graduating from the University of La Crosse Wisconsin with a degree in Spanish and Geography, Jenny spent one year volunteering in Ecuador. She spent eight years in Spain where she taught English and opened her own English Academy. Jenny speaks Spanish fluently and loves travelling, spending time with friends and being active.

Debby Bluem
Air Manager

debby@xperitas.org

612-436-8282

Debby has worked in the travel industry for over 35 years. While growing up, her family hosted an exchange student from Israel and she has replicated this experience for her children by hosting a student from France. In her free time, Debby likes to travel and hike in the mountains.

Virginie Donzo
Senior Program Manager, French

virginie@xperitas.org

612-436-8293

A French teacher for 10 years, Virginie earned her Masters in English Literature. Fluent in both languages, she taught at universities in the U.S., France, Japan, and the U.K. She is happy to work for Xperitas, which will allow her to combine her passion for travel, the French language, and education.

Hanna Edwards
Program Manager, German

hanna@xperitas.org

612-436-8268

Hanna is a German native, who moved to the United States full-time in 2015. She graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Germany with a Bachelor’s degree in Multilingual Communication and earned her Master’s degree in North American Studies from the University of Bonn, Germany.  The German word “Fernweh” (a strong urge to travel and get to know the unknown) has been an important part of Hanna’s life. As a high school and university student she took part in several student exchanges and language immersion programs. This is why Hanna understands from first-hand experience why language immersion travel is so valuable to any student learning a foreign language.  She has more than 10 years of professional experience in Germany and the US managing different cultural exchange, language immersion travel and education programs. Hanna also has experience teaching German and ESL. In her free time, Hanna loves to go on nature hikes with her husband and children. She feels happiest outdoors and loves to be on the water.

Leslie Gale
Executive Director

leslie@xperitas.org

612-436-8295

Leslie has 25+ years of experience in the global education space as a language teacher, curriculum designer and in K-12 school operations. She first experienced the life-changing impact of cultural exchange as a college student on a 10-week homestay program in Morelia, Mexico. Leslie sees Xperitas’ mission as an extension of her own passion for bridging the divisions between people through the development of cultural competency and understanding.

Chris Grathwol
Customer Experience Manager

A Minnesota native, Chris has experience in the administration, implementation, and marketing of educational systems. A lover of language learning and education, Chris studied in Germany and taught English as a volunteer in Colombia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in German Studies and a Master of Human Rights from the University of Minnesota. In his free time, he’s either enjoying the great outdoors or at the library, depending on the weather.

Alyana Guidotti
Program Manager, Spanish

alyana@xperitas.org

612-436-8260

Originally from the Chicago area, Alyana graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies, International Studies, and Spanish, as well as a certificate in Educational Policy Studies. She is passionate about international education, and has taught English in Spain, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. In her free time, Alyana loves reading, experimenting in the Kitchen, and spending time outside in nature. 

Amy Litman
Director of Advancement, Marketing & Communications

amy@xperitas.org

612-436-8290

Amy comes to Xperitas with more than 14 years of experience in community and donor relations and a passion for making the world a better place. She is excited about working with under-resourced students and schools to ensure that Xperitas’ cultural and language immersion experiences are accessible to all.

Emma Rojas
Director of Language Programs

emma@xperitas.org

612-436-8297

Emma was born in St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Family Social Science and Spanish. She spent five years in Costa Rica teaching English and serving as an Admissions Counselor. Emma speaks Spanish fluently, loves taking pictures and enjoys road trips!

Linda Whitteaker-Hanson
Marketing & Communications Manager

Linda is a believer in life-long education and loves to travel. While Linda has a passion for building strategic marketing communications that influence and inspire change, she also enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include reading, watching movies, boating and relaxing at the lake. You might also find her out in the garden with her flowers or tending the herbs and veggies that make their way into her kitchen and onto your plate!