About Andégo

Robert Zenk- founder of Andégo Internships Abroad

Encouraged to study French following his aunt's adventures as an au pair, Robert fell in love with the connections and cultural understanding that come from immersive travel.  Having lived in France for two years, spending some time as an English Language Assistant,  and countless trips back with students, he relishes the opportunity to extend similar experiences to others today.  

A high school French teacher in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at South Salem High School in Salem, OR and father of three little francophones, he enjoys spending time with family and being active, Oregon weather permitting!

Tia Sharp- Language Homestay and School Visitor Program Director

At eight years old, during a camping trip in the Canadian Rockies with her grand-parents, Tia fell in love with the French language. Since this découverte, she participated in a Rotary International Exchange at 17 years old, meeting her French family in Savignac de l’Isle; Tia lived in Montpellier as a university student; taught English at the secondary level in Nîmes with TAPIF; pursued a Master’s in French at Portland State University and a MEd in Secondary Education, World Language. She is a French educator with a Principal Residency Certificate, and has led students to many corners of France with Putney Student Travel. Today, Tia resides in Bellingham, Washington with her family, facilitating cross-cultural exchanges between anglophone and francophone speakers for Andégo programming. She finds a lot of joy helping others find avenues to visit and to live abroad. Tia also enjoys speaking French to her baby, cooking for friends, swimming in the bay, hiking in the mountains, and growing wildflowers in her garden. She is so happy that you found us - bienvenue à Andégo !! 

Arika Hendren- School Visitor Coordinator (Oregon & SW Washington)

Arika first fell in love with the French language thanks to her quirky and fun high school French teacher. After a class trip to Lille, she knew French was something that would always be in her life. She studied French and International Studies at the University of Oregon where she was inspired by her professors. Arika spent an undergraduate semester in Poitiers, France and came back with an even stronger passion for the language. Encouraged and inspired by her university advisor and professor, she spent two years in Orléans assistant teaching through TAPIF. This is where she found her passion for teaching. She is now the French teacher at Central High School in Oregon, and look forward to sharing her experiences with students.  

Katie Leonard- School Visitor Coordinator     (New Mexico)

Katie got the travel bug at the age of 15 while going to France with her high school French class. Katie went on to become a high school French teacher  herself, teaching for 13 years in Oregon and now in her second year in New Mexico. Katie studied abroad in Nantes during university and participated in the TAPIF language assistant program twice, once in Île de là Réunion and once in rural Normandy. She loves French history and culture, French cuisine, and has visited many francophone nations. She is pretty sure teaching high school French is the best job on the planet (except for cheese taster).   

Kim Pope- School Visitor Coordinator (Pennsylvania)

Kim's love of French and language learning began in elementary school when one of her French-loving teachers took it upon herself to share the language and culture with her third grade class. After choosing to study the language for 4 years in high school and travelling to France with her high school teacher, she decided to seize the opportunity to study French in college and study abroad. Having participated in immersion programs in Chicoutimi, Quebec and Paris, France, she says that she is forever grateful for the knowledge, experience, and confidence that educational travel gave her as a student. Now, as a French teacher, she enjoys finding similar experiences to share with her high school students and her own young children. 

Jane Toulson- School Visitor Coordinator (Washington)

At age 10, Jane saw Manon of the Spring (“Manon des Sources”) and knew she had to learn the language of this amazing story and film. Little did she know this quest would change her life! This love of French has led her to live in Paris two different times (first as a university student, then as a university instructor); allowed her to teach English classes to students of all ages in Liège, Belgium; and provided her with the opportunity to work for the Canadian government planning events and assisting Canadian exporters. Her junior year of college living with an amazing host family was and continues to be one of her greatest joys. Jane, who studied Economics and French at the University of San Francisco, earned her Master of Education at Seattle University and achieved her National Board Certification in French, has taught French at Spanaway Lake High School since 2016. She is excited to be part of Andégo to help young people make meaningful memories and connections - and be inspired to travel and seek adventure! 

Scott Ludford- Language Assistant Participant Liaison

Scott's love for French began in high school when he was shown by his teacher that learning a new language is more than just another way to speak- it is a way to think, feel, and be. Since then, Scott says that he is very grateful to have been able to live in Paris, Bordeaux, and Annecy, where he was enrolled as a student in a French High School following a literary track. He continued his education at the University of Oregon studying Psychology, French, and Global Health. Scott's time abroad opened his eyes to how language connects us; opening up a new world of relationships, opportunities, and understanding. Scott is beyond excited to be there as a resource in your journey and cannot wait to see where language takes you.  

Melinda Samis

Melinda was the inspiration and propelling force behind our program.  As founder of ANDEO International Homestays, a local non-profit that impacted hundreds of students, families, and teachers alike for more than 40 years, Melinda was the first to help Robert send students from South Salem High School on this amazing journey spurring him to create Andégo.

Pascal & Béryl Le Vigoureux

Founder & Directors of our French partner organization, "Terre des Langues", Pascal & Béryl work closely with our French partner schools and local families to provide placement, communication, and support to all of our participants.