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Inspiring 20 years of Expanding Horizons

As part of our 20th anniversary celebration, CEA is gathering two decades worth of interviews and insights from alumni. We talked with former CEA students to learn how studying abroad with CEA has affected their current careers.

Ivan Hendrawan studied abroad in July 2007 in Gudalajara, Mexico.  While his major was in Spanish, Ivan now works abroad as the Vice Director at Raya Karya Transport Indonesia and discusses how CEA's program prepared him.

Ivan: I am currently residing in Indonesia where I work in a trucking company. My studies abroad taught me that there are many things that can be learned by traveling, especially if we make contact with local cultures. The weekend excursions were always fun but the friendship made during the trip/study is what I will cherish most. Be more adventurous and open to new experiences, the world is not a scary place if you are willing to learn. Speaking in local language is always welcome anywhere (I have since then learnt French, Mandarin and Dutch).

His biggest concern before studying abroad? The food!

Ivan: I was concerned if I would like the home-cooked food at the homestay but it was outstanding, I still miss it. As for how he would describe his overall experience?  Fun, exciting, and unforgettable.

While some alumni are working abroad others like Michael Ameel, who studied in London in Summer 2014 while getting his Marketing and Organizational Leadership degrees at Carroll University, are working internationally while still living in the United States.

Michael: I now work in International Digital Marketing at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, I market movies across the world. Studying abroad with CEA was my first international journey. After my program ended I backpacked around Europe by myself. It has really come full circle for me as I travel for work. I couldn't have done it without the support of CEA.

Before going to London, Michael had one clear goal that he sought to reach.

Michael:  My main objective out of my CEA experience was to experience London like a native and to meet and make lifelong friends. I'm pleased to report that I accomplished all my objectives because of CEA. I 100% recommend to all students to study abroad with CEA, adventure of a lifetime! You won't regret it!

 "CEA empowers you!" - Michael Ameel

And if CEA alumni aren't already working abroad , they're looking to do so soon! Quincy is a Berlin alumni from Summer 2013 while he was earning his degree in English from Texas A&M University.

Quincy: I am currently a high school teacher in Texas set to teach abroad in Sweden within the next school year or two. My study abroad experience is what encouraged me and motivated me to want to live abroad. It actually played a big role in who I am today. I have come to love Europe, European languages and people. Since then, I have studied abroad two more times and have traveled to Europe every summer.

Like Michael, he was excited to meet more people during the "experience that he will never forget".

Quincy: I was looking forward to learning more German and meeting locals. I wasn't expecting to not only meet and become friends with locals, but also become friends with other people from around the world. The main things I took away from my study abroad experience was independence, strive for your goals, and be open to meeting more people.

On the other hand, CEA Alumni like Jade Green have decided to help others experience studying abroad just like they did! After studying in Costa Rica in June 2015 and working towards Spanish and Business Administration degrees at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Jade has decided on a career change.

Jade: I have recently determined the correct career path for myself which study abroad has helped me determine. I am currently working at a daycare center, but I am going back to school to get my masters in higher education starting in the summer. My ultimate goal is to become an international advisor for study abroad students. CEA and my home institution have inspired me and been such great mentors for me.

Living and studying abroad with CEA helped shape Jade's mindset for the better when she had never been out of the country prior.

Jade:I was looking forward to being out of the country (USA) being that it was my first time. I loved how welcoming my host family was and of course I loved the beaches!! Three things I took away from my experience were 1. Confidence 2. Being open minded 3. Determination. I've used these three things while trying to find the correct career path for myself. CEA made me desire to explore and be more open to different things. It also made me want to expand my education and achieve my dreams.

Expand your Horizons with CEA next semester.

Judson Tomaiko is the Communications Intern at CEA Study Abroad. He studied Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Read more about our CEA Content Creators.
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