(Student → Alumni Ambassador)
After returning home from my semester abroad in Granada, Spain, it was a no-brainer for me to apply to CEA’s Alumni Ambassador program. After getting to write blogs and make videos for CEA while I lived abroad, the Ambassador program was the perfect next step. I had been nothing but impressed with the CEA staff, and I was excited to keep working with the Alumni team as I returned for my senior year at Liberty University in the fall of 2018. After my semester abroad, which was both challenging and enriching, I wanted to help spread the word to other students about the amazing study abroad opportunities offered by CEA.
As an Ambassador, I had the opportunity to talk to students at our school’s annual study abroad fair, attend a Lessons from Abroad returnee conference, write two more blog posts, and give a presentation to a class of about 100 students, all while collaborating every other week with other Ambassadors at universities around the country!
(Alumni Ambassador → Onsite ambassador)
I heard about the chance to be an Onsite Ambassador when I first joined the program, but the possibility of going back to Granada seemed far-off and unlikely to happen. But at the beginning of 2019 when Granada was announced as one of five onsite summer locations, I couldn’t help but squeal with excitement. I had to apply – not just for the chance to return to Granada, but because I knew I couldn’t pass up on such an amazing résumé-building, career-preparation experience.
On the day I was about to leave the U.S. again for spring break, I received an email saying that I had gotten the position! Once I received this confirmation, I felt so excited and reassured about returning to my study abroad city.
(Onsite ambassador → future career)
It has been a whirlwind this past month of May: I took my last undergrad final exams, graduated from college, moved all my belongings back home, and then flew to Spain a week later! These first few weeks in Granada have already been so wonderful. From my first days back in the city, I already felt so comfortable walking around the streets that surprisingly feel so familiar. And getting to hug and see again the people that took such good care of me a year ago made me shed a few tears of joy too because now I get to see them every day as I help them take care of this summer’s students.
|Summer 2019 CEA Granada staff|
From day one, the onsite staff has made sure that I feel 100% part of the team, and I’m humbled that they have trusted me to do so many things on my own right from the beginning. This summer, I’m looking forward to engaging with students, sharing about my own experience of the city with them, and supporting them in the best ways possible. I’m also excited to work with the team to promote the Granada program and highlight all the amazing opportunities the city has to offer students.
All during my college undergrad years, a part of me felt like I had failed because I had never secured an internship before I graduated. But this opportunity feels like the perfect one I’ve been waiting for. I get to learn more about the inner workings of a study abroad program and the international education field, all while helping students navigate their experience so that they can grow and be enriched as well.
Though I don’t yet know what my next step after this summer will be, I’m confident that this Onsite Ambassador internship will be a catalyst for my future career, whether I continue in the study abroad field or in another profession. I’m so grateful for all the amazing opportunities CEA has given me, and it’s something really special to see my initial semester abroad come full circle within just a year. Thank you, CEA, and here’s to a summer full of opportunity and growth.
Anastasia Kingsley is the Spring 2018 Alumni Ambassador in Granada, Spain, and is currently studying at Liberty University.