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My Freshman Study Abroad Experience in the French Riviera with CEA



Maddison Robbins

Major & year in school:

I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, and I'm going to be a sophomore student for the 2021/22 school year.


Longmont, Colorado


What made you want to study abroad in your first year of college?

At first, the program located in Antibes caught my eye since I've always wanted to go to France. I figured the first year would be a great time to go since the workload wouldn't be as extreme as other years, and all of the experience I've gained abroad can be used during the rest of my college years.

Was there anything you didn’t expect to learn or experience that happened during your semester abroad?

I went into the semester abroad expecting to only learn from my classes and maybe a bit of culture. I got to learn about and live the French lifestyle firsthand, even the little things taking the bus and train and going to the grocery. Overall, living abroad gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about living on my own (and with roommates), as well as how to navigate an environment so foreign to me.


How do you think this semester abroad will impact the rest of your college career or your career post-grad? 

This semester abroad gave me so much experience with being an independent person. Going abroad requires a lot of self-discipline and motivation (especially with a school system completely different from the U.S.), and these skills are valuable for getting work done both during and after college. Additionally, going abroad was definitely out of my comfort zone, but pushing myself to be "comfortable with the uncomfortable" is a skill that I will be practicing for the rest of my life.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about this experience?

I'd love to give credit to the CEA staff for making this experience possible in such difficult circumstances, and for helping us students be safe while having a great time. The CEA staff did a really great job taking care of our abroad cohort, especially with being very clear and effective with their communication throughout the entire program. I wouldn't have had such an amazing experience without the wonderful support from CEA! 

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