| Tanner Skilton
CEA Paris Spring '13 Alum &
Veteran Alumni Ambassador
What will you learn about yourself when you study abroad? For Tanner, a Spring 2013 CEA alum and recent Salve Regina University grad, studying abroad in Paris meant discovering new things about himself and the world.
CEA: Sum up your study abroad experience:
Tanner: My experience studying abroad was pure bliss, truly the best time in my life. I took Art history of French Haute Couture, and I also took an intensive French immersion language class for beginners at the Sorbonne Institute in Paris. The academic opportunity I had was diverse and unique; I had the wonderful experience of taking a historical class on French fashion in the fashion capitol of the world. The French class I took was so incredibly difficult and meaningful all in the same breath; I never stopped learning and growing as a French speaker. Traveling Europe and living in Paris opened my eyes and mind to that of a global perspective, and as a result of my time abroad, I now consider myself a global citizen.
Tanner: I chose to study abroad as a result of a learning disability when I was in grade school. I never had the opportunity to take a language class, and I wanted to be able to speak a foreign language - even if it was going to be difficult. I chose France because I had visited Paris with my mother, who is a French teacher, and I knew that I had a deep spiritual connection with France that I wanted to awaken.
CEA: Why did you choose to study abroad with CEA?
Tanner: I decided on CEA because of the well-rounded experience package. CEA’s study center provides a safe and easy transition experience into the abroad location, while providing the necessary classes and opportunity to take other classes at a local foreign university. Also CEA had so many options to give each individual the experience they are looking for, with respects to living options, classes and the timeline of your abroad experience. CEA provides the excursions to areas around your abroad location and to bordering countries, which offers a great experience for travel!
CEA: What skills did you learn or improve on during your time abroad?
Tanner: I learned how to live in a city and to be independent in areas where I do not speak the language. For example, when you’re in an Italian train station at midnight trying to get to Rome alone and no one is around and you don’t speak Italian, you have to figure it out alone. Studying abroad helps you learn how to depend on yourself.
Tanner: The greatest impact my experience had on me was personal acceptance and individual evolution. After living in a European city as a “metro sexual” male, I am now so much more comfortable with my clothing style and my persona as a man. I have never understood myself better, which has resulted in my peers enjoying my presence and friendship even more. I discovered the person I always wanted to be, and now I consider myself an “Unapologetic Individual Male.” It’s important, however, not to forget who you were before your time abroad, but accept your evolution!
CEA: If you could give any piece of advice to other male students considering study abroad, what would it be?
Tanner: Discover your status as a man, your status as a man in America, and the man you are abroad. Try to understand that difference and find a medium between those personalities. Bringing that new-found perspective and experience home can enrich our societies, relationships with women and men, and strengthen our sex as empowered cultured men! When I was in Paris, I discovered my European male status and what that meant. Now that I am back, I consider myself not only an American man, but also a French man.
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