University:

Email Address:

Phone Number:

CEA Directory

VIEW DEPARTMENT LIST

Find alumni ambassadors by:

Abbey Edmonson
Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

Where do I even begin? My favorite course was Mass Media in London. Basically, the course was meant to compare the similarities and differences between American and British media. A lot of the class time was spent going on excursions around London and/or meeting people involved in the media. We got to speak with several impressive people who had a lot of great information for us! One of our more decorated lecturers was Josh Berger, the president of Warner Brothers Entertainment! This class definitely provided me with a more diverse network and a more confident approach to speaking with professionals. I also happen to major in Journalism, so studying media was right up my alley.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

I’ve grown up in Mississippi my entire life, and I now go to college in the same state. I haven’t ever experienced living anywhere other than Mississippi for periods longer than a week. Of course, I’d gone abroad before, but it was only ever with a guided tour and family members. Going abroad long term, completely alone, I’d never felt more like myself. I didn’t know a single soul coming into it, and I think that that was really good for me. It made me realize how small my worldview was, and it also made me appreciate what I had back at home. Of course I missed my friends and family, and of course I was excited to see them again, but actually being on my own for the first time ever was like a breath of fresh air. It put a lot of things into perspective.

 

MORE
Read More
Abigail Haley
Alumni Ambassador
1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
During my first few weeks in Paris, I made sure to head out on my own as often as possible. This exercise in self-confidence had me learning the French language, style, and manner before ever even stepping foot in the classroom. As I adjusted to my new learning community I found the CEA Staff to be valuable resources for my cross cultural journey. They introduced me to places, dishes and activities that were beyond my knowledge as a traveller. I also developed some close relationships with fellow students who gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and into the local culture.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad (and my favorite course of my college career) was 19th Century Art: Impressionism and Post Impressionism. This art course was catered to the city, and often took place in museums, exhibitions and installations. This interactive way of learning made the city come alive. It reminded me that places at home are worth exploring as well, and gave me an appreciation for places and things I'd dismissed as mundane instead of familiar. This new perspective reinvigorated my passion for making the arts accessible for everyone; I enjoyed this class so much I want others to experience the same joy through learning.
MORE
Read More
Alexa Davis
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

In my career, I know I will be able to adapt to situations more quickly after doing so abroad. Additionally, my classes in Spain all focused heavily on participation. I believe this will make me feel more comfortable participating in classes at home as well. Personally, I was able to learn a lot about myself and my independence in a different way than back in the United States. Being in a new country where I had to start from scratch with making relationships while going through a million changes taught me a lot about myself.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took a class that discussed the culture in Spain. This was very interesting because I would be able to experience and notice topics we spoke about in class as soon as I left my classroom. Additionally, the class made my experience feel even more immersive since I was experiencing the topics we spoke about in my every day life.

MORE
Read More
Alexandra Isabell
Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has personally and professionally enriched me because it changed the way I interact with others and even the manner of my self talk. The experience of going abroad allows one to become closer to themselves by observing themself in a new environment. I learned how to intereact with people different from myself, sometimes without sharing a common language! I learned how to respect the space of others even when the definition of respect changes between our cultures. There is so much that I learned abroad that I carry with me each day. Most importantly, it is curiosity, compassion, and a love for people and art that reminds me of my time abroad.

 

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?

Honestly, because I can't stop thinking of Paris. I traveled from CEA in the Marais to CDG and home to the USA on May 11th, 2018. A year later I cannot be more gratful for my experience with CEA. I miss my professors and the material they taught with intention and passion. I miss doing something new, and something scary every single day, but having the best day ever. Since my time abroad, I find myself speaking about the experiences and the cultural value I have pulled from them constantly. I reccomend study abroad to every student I have the chance to and I would love to be able to do this more formally as an Alumni Ambassador for CEA. Lastly, I want to be an Alumni Amabssador because I want to put the 1,000s of brilliant photographs I took abroad to use and share more of my insight with future CEA students.

 

MORE
Read More
Alexis O'Sullivan
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

While abroad, I had an internship. Through my boss, a Parisian native, I was able to learn the best spots to eat and shop. By getting insight into their food and fashion, I was able to better understand the local culture. I also loved to sit at a cafe, people watching and practicing my French with the waiters. Observing Parisians from a cafe, a quintessential part of Parisian culture, helped me immerse myself in my new home.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experienced has shaped me both professionally and personally. It inspired me to take a position at the study abroad office at my college so I can help others have the same incredible experience that I did. It has helped me on job interviews because I have many unique experiences to discuss It also helped challenge me to be more responsible and independent. It made me more comfortable with being myself and doing things on my own.

MORE
Read More
Alice Johnson
Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture? 
I came into Florence with no idea what to expect. I hadn't traveled much before going to Italy and the only culture I experienced in my life is the native Alaskan culture from my hometowns. This experience was unique in the fact that I was living within the culture. I was not just living in an Italian apartment but also meeting new people from around the world every day. I met Italian people my age and was able to tell them about American "culture" while they recommended the best places to go to eat, etc.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course while I was abroad was my Family Business class. My teacher was very interactive and I responded to that style well. The class information related to me because I am taking over my family business and I was able to receive insight into how to go about that. Also, I was able to read about a family business then go and see it. For example, we read about the Ferrari family business, then the next weekend, as a class we went to Modena and visited the Ferrari museum.
MORE
Read More
Alicia Bowers
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Experiencing the local culture abroad started with getting to know my host family, asking questions about their day to day lives in Seville, the traditional cuisine and the holidays they celebrate. Additionally, I attempted to be involved in school activities as much as possible, I joined a recreational volleyball team at UPO there I met a lot people including some local people who were from Seville who became my friends and intercambios. Lastly, I made sure I attended local festivals like Semana Santa and Feria this is where I was able to really immerse myself in the local culture.

2.  Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

During my time here in Seville I had time to think about how I would like to leverage my experience abroad, one of the ways I would like to do this is encourage other students study abroad, especially students of color and low-income students. I think study abroad is something more students should experience in college. I would like to be a resource for other students who are considering studying abroad.

MORE
Read More
Alison Kubeny
Alumni Ambassador

1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

Living with a host family was the best way for me to immerse myself in Chilean culture. Spending time with them doing day-to-day activities (like eating, shopping, or going to church together) made me feel like I was a part of something bigger, and like I belonged. In hardly no time at all, I felt like I was a real part of the family and the culture, not just a temporary visitor.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?

My favorite class I took abroad was undoubtedly Cultura Chilena (Chilean Culture). I loved learning about the history, people, language, food, music, and more that shaped the environment I was in. It made my entire experience abroad more meaningful because I was able to connect to my surroundings with a deeper level of understanding for them.

MORE
Read More
Andrew Monk
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

 I could have never imagined that I would learn as many things as I did during my time abroad. I learned many things about myself, other cultures, other people, the list goes on. I learned independence, confidence, and problem-solving through challenges and everyday life. I always knew that I wanted to go abroad and one day I just signed up to do it. The program I went on allowed me to take major required classes and electives that are not offered at my home university. I made so many friends while I was there that I still talk to everyday. These are the college friends that will continue on in my life forever. This semester was so important for me to escape a small city mindset and the typical American perspective. I think this was the most vital piece of my time there. I learned that I want to work for a company that has branches around the world because there are so many beautiful places that I want to see.

 

2. How would you convince someone to study abroad?

Studying abroad is like nothing else. It opens so many doors physically and mentally. A lot of the European students I met have been traveling their entire lives and speak multiple languages. Most of the other Americans in my group have rarely left their own area. There is a great difference between the two and I believe that culture is the reason behind it. Digging deep into culture and how others live is a huge reward of going abroad. We always need to be learning new things and understanding that we are not all the same.

MORE
Read More
Andrew Tognolini
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

From the get go, my roommates and I wanted to become genuine parts of the community and feel like Florence was truly our home. Every Tuesday we would walk to the market in our neighborhood Porto al Prato and thrift, shop for chicken eggs and vegetables, and get spicy porchetta sandwiches from the same people every week. Each week our Italian got better and we built friendships with the stall owners. Most importantly, we were never afraid to walk the unbeaten path and go out of our way to immerse ourselves in the colorful community Florence has to offer.

2. What are your best tips for practicing language while abroad? 

The best way to learn Italian for us was shopping in local markets in our neighborhood, going to authentic restaurants, and interacting with locals in as many ways as possible. The staff in Florence gave us recommendations and encouraged us to spend our time in Florence like locals and with locals. You need to constantly be around the language to absorb it. Almost everyday we would go to the park to play soccer with locals and learn language and connect through one of the few things that translates over all languages, sports. At the same time our Italian soccer teammates would teach us words in Italian regarding sports and just everyday things.
MORE
Read More
Angela D'Amato
Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you tell someone considering studying abroad? 
I would tell a friend to study abroad because it is a life-changing experience. There is so much more to the world than just America and what we're used to. Not only are you able to learn about a new culture but you also find out more about yourself. It doesn't matter where you study because no location is the same and each place will teach you many different things that you can't learn anywhere else. Study abroad has been one of the greatest experience in my life and I highly recommend looking at all the different places that are available and seeing where the world could take you.
MORE
Read More
Anjali Patel
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced many cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K.. Some of those differences I found while I was in London include drinking tea, differences in words, the quietness of British people, the amount of drinking, etc. For the most part, I was not surprised by these cultural differences because I had and have family who live in London and have gone there a few times before. However, I did start assimilating to some cultural norms, such as drinking tea. I was never a fan of tea until I went to London and almost everyone British person would offer me to. From then on, tea became a part of my every day routine. Drinking was also something that I knew about but I did not know the extent to which it went. My internship would have work related events where people would get so drunk that they would go to the hospital or pass out at the event. I have never been a big drinker, so no matter where I went I limited how much I drank but I assimilated to the cultural norm. These are just some examples of how I experienced the local culture while studying in London.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experienced changed me for the better. I became so much more open as a person when I didn’t used to be before. In London, many of the students would strive up conversations with me without even knowing me and that boosted a lot of my confidence. Also, have an internship and being in a professional setting allowed me to open up, as well. Career wise, the fact that I did an internship abroad will definitely look good on my resume. Just the fact that I studied abroad will look good on my resume. This will make my internship search a whole lot more easier because I have differentiated myself from 95% of the other applicants.

 

MORE
Read More
Anna Hukill
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has reaffirmed that I would like to work with children and adolescents in a school setting in a supportive role - either as a teacher or psychologist. It also inspired me to return to Spain and I have applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to spend a year teaching English in Spain. I have also gained more family members through my host family and developed friendships that I know will last forever.

 

2. What do you wish you had known before studying abroad? 

I wish I had pushed myself to look into internships because I could have gotten even more involved in the community. This also would have helped me learn about psychology in Barcelona, but luckily I was able to volunteer in local elementary schools and see their school system and teaching methodology.

MORE
Read More
Anna Sullivan
Alumni Insider

1.How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Whether it was walking alongside Galway's lively Shop Street or exploring nearby abandoned castles, I made a goal for myself to find the hidden gems of the city. I also sought out recommendations from my Irish housemates and from other locals to immerse myself in the culture.

 

2. What do you had wish you'd known before going abroad?

Before studying abroad I wish I would have known the amount of on-site support CEA provides. In Ireland, my on-site director held multiple events for our group to bond and he was able to be contacted at anytime. He provided enough support for all of his students to feel comfortable exploring the local culture while providing resources in case we were homesick and to learn about the Irish culture.

MORE
Read More
Ashleigh Litcofsky
Alumni Insider

1. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?

I thought about becoming an Alumni Ambassador because I absolutely loved working with CEA as a MOJO Photographer and I love to share my study abroad stories. I feel that becoming an Alumni Ambassador would give me an outlet to share my experience with prospective students, as well as other Alumni. This would be a really great opportunity to encourage others to go abroad for the most important 4 months of their lives.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has allowed me to be much more aware of the cultures, politics, and lifestyles outside of the United States. Now, when I see something on the news about another country, it is more personal, because I have actually been to and seen the people in many of those places. Study abroad has made me realize that I can actually go anywhere. I'm not stuck in my suburban town forever; there is far too much to see!

 

MORE
Read More
Ashley Binkowski
Alumni Insider

1. What are your tips for learning the language? 

Learning a new language is challenging, being in a country where the foreign language is spoken is very beneficial. One tip I can offer from being abroad is, don't be embarrassed to try out the new language you are learning to the locals. Trust me, they really appreciate the effort that you are trying to learn the language! It's great practice so don't be afraid.

2. What was your favorite class while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was Documentary Photography because I was able to capture beautiful photos and get credit for it! We had to work on a documentary project throughout our semester and then we showcased our project to all of our friends and classmates. Mine was on Skateboarders of Prague and I made so many friends through this project, so I am very happy I took this class.

MORE
Read More
Becky Fox
Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 
My favorite course was Cultural Values & Stereotypes: Spain & the U.S. This being partly because of the course but mostly because of the teacher. Mary Alice organized it in a way for us to discuss what we're observing. We were taught concepts and theories, but most of the class involved discussions. I learned a lot about the culture in Sevilla, in Spain, and around Europe. We would start every class, with the question, “Did anyone encounter an interesting cultural experience?” This allowed us to really think about what we were encountering and ask ourselves why we thought it was different. I loved comparing stories with everyone in the class and learning about the small cultural differences we probably wouldn’t have noticed, if not being asked this question. This class was something spectacular. I am a Sociology major, meaning a lot of my classes delve into other cultures and people. Though, I have not been a part of a class as successful as this one. Yes, I was physically in another culture but it was more than that. We were taught to be global compassionate citizens and to really appreciate the differences we were encountering, whether we liked them or not.
2. What would you say to someone considering study abroad with CEA?  
There is a lot I would say but first, I would talk about the staff and especially the on-site staff I had. I was blown away with the help I got before I left, and even more blown away with the assistance I got while in Spain. Not only did our on-site staff care about making sure we could get around and have our things in order; they cared about us. I was greeted warmly every day by our on-site staff and they were likely to strike up a conversation with you about how you were doing or what your plans were for the weekend. We had our CEA excursion to Morocco. This trip opened my mind and my heart to the cultures around me, even those I might haven’t even known existed. If it wasn’t for CEA I wouldn’t have had this opportunity, and if it wasn't for our staff it wouldn't have been as special. They knew just how to prepare us and pose questions we could really think about, while we were there. Overall, I would express my gratitude for CEA and the unique sense of family I got while being a part of this program.
MORE
Read More
Benjamin Lewis
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

Without a doubt, my favorite course was España y Los Españoles (Spain and the Spanish People). Foremost, I can attribute this to the insights it provided me. We covered a wide array of subjects from national politics, to the cultural shifts Post-Franco. I began to explore Spanish musicians we had heard in class and could actively participate in conversations with locals about the current state of the country. Our instructor would make sure we took this knowledge outside of the classroom as well and assigned projects that required us to team up and explore new parts of the city to share with the rest of the class. I felt that without this class my experience would have been lacking. In addition to the background knowledge this course put me in a great position to hone my Spanish skills as well. The class was quite small, just six people including myself, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It was a Spanish only course and therefore I was in a position to not only learn grammar, but to engage in extended conversations.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My experience abroad will have a positive impact on my professional endeavors, but still this comes second to the feeling of personal development this trip provided me. This was the first time I was truly independent, farther than a hour from home, and in the position to dictate everything about my day to day experiences. The prospect of both being in a major city, but also one that did not speak my native tongue, made anything else I had to face at home seem like childs-play. I came home feeling much more emboldened and confident, ready and willing to take on whatever challenge came my way. Though my repeated successes in these day to day challenges it built me up to feel that I was in a position to handle anything.

MORE
Read More
Benjamin Shoemaker
Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course was my computer engineering class. It's one of those classes that you know has been gifted by the lucky stairs: the teacher is nice, you enjoy the class, and you clearly just met your new best friend from Germany.

2.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
Personally, my study abroad experience has shaped me to be a dynamic person that is no longer stagnant on the whistle blow. It has taught me that when they raise that whistle, you have to be ready to go.
As for my career, it has definitely taught me to be a better leader. Leading a class exercise is one thing, but navigating Prague decisively and clearly with the people in your group is a whole other challenge and I am proud to usefully bring that to the table at any job.
MORE
Read More
Brianna Bence
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course by far was International Marketing with Damien Kelly. Our class was relatively small with about twelve students, and not only was the course extremely interesting, but he made it so much fun. Marketing is my field of study, and as I am interested in the international workplace, this course made sense for me to take. Not only did I learn so much, but I was challenged with real-world situations to think through and activities and field trips with the class that made the information stick so well. One day we just went to a nearby store and answered questions about how it was set up and the marketing they used, while another day we played a "game" for the entire class about trading and using resources and time wisely in order to gain an advantage. Although we worked hard and had multiple presentations and exams, I learned so much more about marketing, and am so grateful for the lessons learned through International Marketing.

2. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad

Two days after arriving in Dublin, I visited a local church right in the city, and this ended up being an incredible way to experience the local culture and immerse myself in the Dublin way of life. Most Sundays I ended up spending at least half the day with these new friends, many of whom had lived in Ireland their entire lives. We would go to pubs, have a backyard barbecue, see a new Irish movie, and explore the local restaurants and cities. This was an amazing way to get a view into the life of a Dubliner and to get to live alongside them as well. One of my friends and I also decided to set up a weekly "tea time" in the city, and by the end of the semester we had been able to visit eleven different tea shops throughout Dublin. Tea is a huge part of the Irish culture, and this was a really neat and unique way to be a part of it and feel like a local as we sipped our pots of tea and bit into our fresh scone with butter and homemade jam. One of my favorite things to do on nice days was simply to take a walk to Phoenix park and join the families, couples, and students on the grass and bring a book to read or study. Little things like these made me feel so much more at home in my new environment, and it helped me adapt so quickly to the Irish culture.

 

MORE
Read More
Bridgette Stolyar
Alumni Insider

1. What do you wish you had known before going?

Have. No. Expectations. Your experience will be a thousand times more positive if you aren't anticipating what almost every single person anticipates: "Oh my gosh, will it be the best time of my life or will I struggle to find friends and feel lonely?" That is not something to worry about at all! Once you allow yourself to be open-minded and receptive to friendly people, making friends and enjoying the culture only gets easier and easier. Studying abroad is the most beneficial thing you can do for your individual character, just relax!!!!

 

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Studying abroad will give your life a whole new meaning with different experiences, memories, hardships and successes. Studying abroad with CEA will make your journey smooth as butter, as they will help you with every single step, including assistance with courses at your home university, provide your housing options, and offer scholarships to help with your finances. Beyond that, CEA makes being alone in a foreign country less stressful at the host-country by helping you get acclimated to your neighborhood and the city, plans incredible trips that are included in your tuition, and the on-site staff is always ready to answer any possible question you could have!

 

MORE
Read More
Brigid Nealon
Alumni Ambassador
1. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad?
I decided to study in Aix-en-Provence to improve my French language skills. Every time I stepped out the door, I was immersed in the French culture, language, and lifestyle. I ate French food, spoke with French people, and shopped in French stores. I had the incredible opportunity to authentically live a lifestyle other than the one I was so comfortable living in.
2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?  If you are ready for an adventure far out of your comfort zone, study abroad is for you. If you want to improve your language skills, study abroad is for you. If you want to expand your knowledge, study abroad is for you. You will learn about the world and about who you are. It is challenging, but worth it. The more you put into your experience, the more you will take away from it.
MORE
Read More
Brittany Fernandes
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Prior to my study abroad experience, I always pursued unfamiliar endeavors with an undercurrent of uncertainty. Throughout this semester, each endeavor I pursued moved me further outside the bounds of my comfort zone. These experiences helped me to develop confidence and a sense of independence. I also saw myself adapting and being flexible in the face of unforeseen events, whereas in the past it could be a source of concern. Through the immersive experience of my home stay, I was able to experience French culture directly and improved my French fluency. The exposure to different perspectives through my classes at SKEMA and my home stay allowed me to develop tolerance and open-mindedness. Each opportunity allowed me to ask the questions necessary to understand the perspectives that led to the different interpretations. These various traits are invaluable to a current job seeker within any career field.

 

2 .If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

Selecting CEA as your study abroad provider allows the necessities to taken care of. CEA provides guidance over the course of your application, program acceptance, and during your time spent abroad. Through CEA, the housing options are situated relatively close to areas frequented by the area’s locals and the area’s student population. The CEA organized excursions that will offer participants the opportunity to visit regional sites of interest that may be more difficult for students to visit independently. The Program Director is also an amazing resource if problems occur or if you have any questions. When I mentioned my interest in volunteering within the community, our Program Director was able to introduce me to an organization’s local director. I was able to start the following week! CEA is a provider that will get you situated in your study abroad location. Throughout the semester, you will constantly have access to resources and professional staff who will help you make the most of your experience!

 

 

MORE
Read More
Brogan Zochert
Alumni Ambassador
1. What do you wish you had known before going?
Although it can be easy (and exciting) to get caught up in traveling and learning about new cultures, it's important to remember why you're there. Everyone may have different motives, however, mine was to learn the language and embrace the culture. I wish I had realized that it's okay to spend a weekend playing tourist in your own city! It's like a second home to you, so don't be afraid to skip out on a weekend of travel in order to immerse yourself in the culture that you're already in!

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad?
There are so many things to love about CEA and the program it provides to its students. There are staff members to help guide you every step of the way, whether it's culturally, academically, etc. They always have your best interest in mind. Not only are the academics incredible (how often do you get to take a class about food and wine?), but they offer a lot of opportunities to get to know the culture. From city excursions in and around your country to cooking classes with natives, there is so much to learn and explore. It's a well-rounded program that still gives you the freedom to learn about your new culture in your own way.
MORE
Read More
Caitlin Cain
Alumni Ambassador

1. What do you wish you had known before going?

One thing I wish I had known before studying abroad would be to really make sure you are financially secure and really plan a budget for your trip. Bigger cities in Europe are very expensive and while you will encounter very cheap flights and suddenly you want to travel everywhere every weekend, you have to take into account how much actually being in the cities (fun, food, hostels, transportation) is going to cost. Those things add up quickly. Nearing the end of our study abroad my roommate, who did not budget efficiently enough at the beginning of our trip, ended up running out of money and had to cancel trips and stop going out around Sevilla with us because she could no longer keep up with the payment schedule she had set up with CEA. Before you go abroad look at the higher end of the budget that CEA gives on the website and shoot for that. Pick out the top places you would want to travel to and plan a budget accordingly.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me into a more confident, independent, and capable person. It helped me improve my skills with intercultural and cross-cultural communication as well as with my language skills. Because I was living in a complete different country in a completely different culture, I feel I am able to problem solve faster and more efficiently using different methods and have found myself to be way more adaptable than I was before. I have been able to find my way around foreign countries alone with a language barrier, with little knowledge of the customs, where I did not know a single person, and I was robbed or lost. As I would like to be a study abroad advisor as my career learning to communicate effectively across cultures and to learn a language and just being apart of a study abroad program including all the traveling I did was extremely helpful to my future career goals.

 

 

MORE
Read More
Camille Norton
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course abroad? 

Photography or Global Environmental Politics. I loved my photography professor and truly appreciated her direct feedback, honesty, and above and beyond willingness to help. I went into that class a complete amateur and left feeling confident that I, at least, understood the concepts and principles of photography as well as really knowing my camera. As for Global Environmental Politics, as an Environmental Issues minor, I really appreciated this diverse and eye-opening perspective on this topic. It was hefty reading and a lot of in-class discussions but very thought-provoking and opened my mindset which ultimately will make me more understanding and effective as a communicator. 

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

My experience with the southern French culture was extraordinary. I made sure to go out of my way to meet French students and engage in their lifestyles. I made a ton of friends and learned so much about their habits and routines. From the way in which students interact to Cafe Culture to la bise, the everyday culture of these French students, I felt became my own. I regularly met with students from le FAC between classes and got coffee or lunch. I went out on the weekends with them for aperitifs, to the bars, and out to the local clubs. The nightlife culture in France is so different and something I really appreciated. The students were very welcoming and wanted to mix between speaking English and French so we could all improve our skills. Overall, an amazing experience.

MORE
Read More
Caroline Thompson
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has gone beyond shaping career or personal aspects of my life —it has shaped my life as a whole. All exaggerations aside, being abroad was an eyeopening revelation, unfolding a plan for my life. I have come to realize that study abroad is not a mere phase in my life, rather something to which I want to dedicate my lifestyle. Various cultures are my passion, and Spain has my heart. My perspective on the world has broadened, and I see life from a worldly viewpoint instead of my narrowed, small-town mindset. Studying with CEA in Seville, being my second time studying abroad, has cultivated a passion within me for studies abroad. Therefore, I have come to realize that this is not the end of my journey through studies abroad, and I would like pursue an opportunity to teach abroad following my undergraduate degree. Furthermore, being an international studies and Spanish double major, I now hope to work for a study abroad program, such as CEA, in the future, inspiring others to find their passions through studies abroad as well.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad?

Although I can undoubtedly say that I thoroughly enjoyed each course that I took abroad, my favorite course was the one class that I took with CEA––The Culture of Food and Wine in Spain. This course encompassed more than merely the study of food and wine in Spain; rather, we learned extensive history behind the culture of Spain, leading to the development of such food and wine. The class took numerous excursions around the city to places such as Las Setas, El Mercado de Triana, and the Archivo de Indias, allowing us to see first-hand such historical sites. Additionally, the course took a hands-on learning approach when we took a cooking class right across from the Cathedral, creating local tapas of Seville such as salmorejo and tortilla de patatas. On top of everything, the course was taught completely in Spanish, which aided in my language acquisition skills, and it was taught by the kindest professor who was born and raised in Seville, adding to the authenticity of the course. Overall, I learned not only about local food and wine within Spain, but also about the ancient history of the culture of this long-established country.

MORE
Read More
Cate Lewellyn
Alumni Ambassador
1.  What are your tips for learning the language? 
I would recommend that US students try to interact with the local students. It may be difficult to put yourself out there, especially with the language barrier, but you could make a lifelong friend while improving your language skills. Additionally, I would recommend living with a host family. Although I enjoyed the apartment I stayed in, living with fellow Americans does not give you as much of a daily opportunity to practice speaking a foreign language as a host family would.
2. What would you say to students considering studying abroad with CEA? 
You should study abroad with CEA because they have the best resources. Whether it be help with your student visa, questions about local culture, or program costs, there is always someone readily available to help. CEA Alicante was a smaller group of students, which I liked better because I got to know everyone really well. CEA helps create a home away from home for you, something that other programs sometimes don't get right.
MORE
Read More
Darien Perry
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Through this experience, I now realize how much I valued learning Spanish in a larger Spanish-speaking setting abroad. Embracing this opportunity allowed me to learn and view growth in my character, as well as assist members of the community with my native language. I want to continue expanding my education and aiding others, and having exposure to a larger social atmosphere through this program increased my cultural awareness and public speaking opportunities, and allowed me to continue having an active role in other’s lives.

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?

I am a person who wants to continually improve and develop. The Alumni Ambassador Program will give me the opportunity to share the benefits of studying abroad through CEA to other students and give them the excitement to learn, as well as increase my knowledge and skillsets. It will also allow me to educate students on topics I wish someone had told me prior to studying abroad. It will offer much diversity and a plethora of opportunities for me to help others. One of the most compelling reasons to be an Alumni Ambassador is simple: I want to seek a challenging environment. More specifically, I desire to immerse myself in more leadership and educational opportunities than those available from my own city.
The Alumni Ambassador Program will uncover a range of different possibilities for me to engage in discourse with students and other CEA alumni. I believe in a strong student community and bringing people together. Having prior knowledge and experience to lead a group, as well as the proper training in college can help me accomplish greater initiatives within this program.

MORE
Read More
Delaney Bresnahan
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While I was studying abroad in Seville, Spain, I had the opportunity to experience the local culture through its people, food, and traditions. From both the small interactions I had on the street to the deep conversations I had with my host mom, I got to catch a glimpse into the lives of the local people. I took a course that was solely about the culture of Seville, and it was amazing to approach it from an academic standpoint as well. I also experienced the culture through Spain’s food and traditions. Staying with a host mom allowed me to taste the authentic flavors of a home-cooked Spanish meal and I even got to take a cooking class to learn specific techniques. While I was in Seville, the city hosted its two largest week-long events of the entire year—Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Feria de Abril. These two weeks are identifying characteristics of Andalusian culture. During the two different festivals, I was fortunate to have locals take me under their wing and show me how to appropriately approach and participate in the festivities. These glimpses into the culture are my most valued take-away of the entire semester.

2. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

I would love to be a CEA Alumni Ambassador so that I can be a bridge between students at my university and the best experience of their lives. I am extremely passionate about study abroad and I couldn’t have been happier with my experience because of CEA. I would love to tell others about that experience while simultaneously advising and guiding them from the perspective of an individual who was in their exact same place. I remember meeting the CEA Alumni Ambassador at my school right before applying to go abroad and she was such a great encouragement to me that I was making the right choice. Even since returning home from my semester abroad this spring, I have had someone reach out to me about my specific program looking for advice and recommendations for when she applies. I loved guiding her and giving her further information and direction. To be able to partner with CEA in this role would help me to find more students and increase CEA’s reach at my university and beyond. I believe in CEA’s mission and would love to be a part of it moving forward.

MORE
Read More
Destiny Evans
Alumni Insider
1.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
I am more outgoing and not so timid after going abroad. I feel like now I have more of a voice and opinion.

2. What are your tips for practicing the language?
Try your hardest to not speak your native language, switch your phone to the language that you're practicing.
MORE
Read More
Ellie Pomer
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Personally, I feel this experience has helped me become much more independent than I anticipated. I have become more securely based in myself, knowing more things I can do and shouldn't be worried about. 
 

I am quite an anxious person who worries much more than I need to, so flying to a different country on my own for just over four months was a big jump for me. Having done something like this and really put myself out there has boosted my confidence and enhanced my life all around. Because of this, I want to help people with similar concerns or issues know that they can do it too.

2. What are your best tips for practicing the language while abroad? 

I was very nervous about the language barrier before going abroad because I have studied Spanish for a number of years, but still did not feel secure enough to call myself fluent or even close to fluent. Once I arrived, it was great to have the site specialists and teachers encourage Spanish speaking, but it is true that everyone is at different levels. There will be at least one person who knows more of that language than you, but there also will be at least one person who is less comfortable with the language than you are. 

I would recommend taking advantage of the professors and cite specialists knowing the language and practice with them whenever possible - even in small conversations. A great help that is still continuing for me now is also making friends with locals. I am still continuing to work on my Spanish as I keep in touch with friends from back there.

MORE
Read More
Emma Hammerson
Alumni Ambassador
1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 
While abroad I truly immersed myself. I am fluent in Spanish and that aspect definitely contributed to my immersion in Spain. I would go to coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants frequently and just sit and try and talk to the waiters and servers to get to know the area and locals. Additionally, I lived in a "casa" and therefore we had house parents. I would talk to them often and always asked about Sevillano life, customs, and traditions. Lastly, I took most of my classes at the Universidad de Sevilla and there I introduced myself to the Spanish students and made friends with quite a few of them which helped me get to know the local culture.
2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was Women in Art which I took at the University of Sevilla. This class was my favorite for a multitude of reasons. My professor was passionate about art and all of the artists we learned about. My class was small, and therefore more intimate, and it was more discussion-based which really helped my speaking skills. Additionally, my professor took us on field trips once a week around Sevilla and pointed out all of the different aspects of art in the city. We also went to different museums, like Bellas Artes, and I loved having someone help me understand the art in the museum. I would recommend it to anyone!
MORE
Read More
Emma Kilvin
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has shaped my life in an abundance of ways, some as simple as missing a specific kind of European soda and some ways that are much more significant. I feel as if I gained a more expansive world view, one that allows me to better understand the decisions and relationships that my home country has with the rest of the world. My study abroad experience also gave me a better insight on how the rest of the world views Americans, and this is something that impacts my day to day life.

 

MORE
Read More
Gabrielle Ciuteikis
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Outside of attending university at the University of Seville, I was able to maximize my experiences in Seville thanks to the CEA staff. Living with a host family was a great option for me. Every evening we would eat dinner together. This gave us an opportunity to talk about our daily experiences, and also to share our hidden gems of the city. My host-mother would often take us out to “tapear”, to have tapas, several times during the semester. Each time we went out, I let her order what she knew was good at these specific places. Her daughter also introduced me to leisure activities including snowboarding. It was mind-blowing to find out that the Sierra Nevada was only a couple hours away from Seville. These little experiences accumulated to one beautiful cultural immersion. 
 
I also made friends at “intercambio sessions”, where Spanish university students came to the CEA center to practice their English while we practiced our Spanish. It was a pleasant way to make Spanish friends, since it may be difficult to do so sometimes. My “intercambio” friends were very welcoming in Sevilla. They showed their local perspective of the city. There were many times where we would just get a tapa, or enjoy a walk in the park while practicing Spanish! I learned so much history about Seville’s customs and traditions through my friends and was fortunate enough to experience Holy Week and Fair of Seville with them. Since these two holidays are the most important in Seville, it was nice to learn more about these traditional holidays from Sevillens themselves. 
 
Lastly, I made sure to do my part in immersing myself into the culture. Since Seville is known for people “living on the streets” because they spend so much time out and about, I did it myself. I spent a lot of my free time in romanticized parks that always had new flowers blooming, and by the river that always brought peace to mind. While drawing in one of the parks early in the semester, I met an Argentinian student that was also an international student in Seville. We coincidentally became close friends which was another fun way to experience the culture there. We were both international students, but whenever we would spend time together walking around or in museums, my friend Juanita would always tell me about similarities she sees between Argentinian and Spanish culture. This was an unexpected great way to learn more about Sevillen culture.

 

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students? 

One of the most important pieces of advice to carry around with you during the study abroad experience is to not be afraid to speak the language. The CEA staff are very supportive making sure that if you have the desire to practice the language, they will always engage in the conversation. The professors at both the CEA center and any other university you attend classes in are already accustomed to students learning and bettering their skills in the foreign language. They are here only to help you, especially knowing how much effort you put to come all the way to a foreign country. 
 
In my case, I felt very comfortable speaking to staff and professors just because I know they are here for us students. On the flip side it was difficult for me to break out of my shell while talking to locals in daily scenarios like ordering at a cafe. I think that the dialect being very different than what I am used to intimidated me. I knew that I should be taking advantage of my time here, therefore I just tried to speak my best. Being able to practice Spanish in class and outside was an opportunity only available while studying abroad. Living with a host family had also helped to hear colloquial Spanish. We would talk about a range of topics at the dinner table which expanded my vocabulary just by spending time with the family. You will be surprised as to how much you can improve your foreign language ability by consistently listening and practicing with the environment around you.
MORE
Read More
Hanna Vanca
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has vastly shaped me today: in a variety of folds. To touch on a few points that have been most relevant recently:
-It's influenced my commitment to diversity. I seek to see and delight in one's culture. This does not mean I forsake all that is my culture, but I hold and celebrate those differences. The things that make each intrinsically unique. Abroad, I was grateful to any individual willing and able to speak English, no matter what proficiency. English-speaking is a privilege that I have, specifically while abroad. Learning a few phrases in the local language communicates that I do not want the other individual to leave their culture at the door- rather meet each other in communication. It's encouraged me to lean into the (weak), but significant three years I speak Spanish by stepping up to speak to my friends parents in Spanish, rather than waiting for my friend to translate.

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture?

I interned abroad for a digital marketing agency, named Etnetera Motion during the Summer of 2019. Prior to going abroad I, with the guidance of CEA Staff, set a large variety of goals. A consistent theme of my goals was to immerse myself in the local culture. Naturally, interning abroad brought me into direct communication and relation with local residents. Engaging in curiosity of customs, and routines; as well as, the significantly different philosophies, mentalities, and attitudes of the Czech Republic expanded my empathy and understanding of the Czech Republic (and Slovakia). Differences became intriguing, fascinating, and enabling when I asked inquisitive question that sought to understand rather than judge. Outside of this opportunity, I attended a local church, attended (almost) all CEA outings and events, and ate all varieties of Czech pastries I could obtain.

MORE
Read More
Hannah Grace Burroughs
Alumni Ambassador

1. How has your study abroad career shaped you? 

My study abroad experience taught me that I'm far more capable than I think I am. Before living in Spain, I didn't have the faith and confidence in myself that I should have. Now, I find comfort in knowing that if I can live in a foreign country for four months and LOVE it, then I can do anything else I'm faced with. Spain made me realize that I can handle life's challenges and that everything has a way of working itself out!

 

 

2. What is one thing you wish you would have known before studying abroad?

As weird as it is, I wish I knew to reorganize my laptop before studying abroad! I have so many amazing pictures, blog entries, diaries, and videos from my travels and the idea of losing any of that TERRIFIES me. These are some of the best memories I've ever had, so I they get a special "Study Abroad" folder, and I definitely recommend that everyone else does the same!

 

MORE
Read More
Hannah Mietzner
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course I took abroad was Art History. Art plays a huge part in Europe, as it has shaped society today. Without art, culture is lost. I found it intriguing learning about all the different periods that has brought a new perspective to the continent, such as the Renaissance, Romanticism, and Impressionism. Furthermore, being in a country where once lived several famous artists is amazing. I feel like I was able to use my knowledge of Art History outside of the classroom as well: In museums, I often recognized the works we studied and felt the inspiration from the artist first-hand. Thus, this course enhanced my overall understanding of European history and culture.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Studying abroad has literally and figuratively expanded my horizons. Before studying in France, I was heavily reliant on family to help me get through anything big or small. I have now become a very independent woman in the sense that I feel capable using my resources to navigate through different situations and problem solve. Additionally, I have drastically improved on the French language. As I mentioned, I was able to open up and accept help from others. My objective was to advance in the language, and this experience certainly allowed me to succeed. I went from a level B2.0 in September, 2018, to a level C1.5 by the end of May, 2019. Lastly, I was able to travel outside of France several times to learn more about culture and history in other parts of Europe, such as Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland. These 3 aspects allowed me to grow as an individual and shaped me today. I am continuing to grow and set up more goals thanks to this study abroad experince.

 

MORE
Read More
Hannah Valente
Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was History of the Papacy with Eric Walters. The amount of history that this course involves is incredible. As a Theology Major in Rome, I could not have taken a more amazing course that has allowed me to truly understand the Papacy beginning with St. Peter and up to Pope Francis!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me into a person who loves to travel and explore new cultures. As I was studying abroad, I applied through Providence College to teach for 6 weeks in Sydney, Australia. Without how comfortable I felt studying in Italy and traveling around Europe, I would never have the confidence to apply for this Fellowship. With the skills I acquired abroad, I truly feel like I can do anything, even maybe move back to Rome!

MORE
Read More
Isaac Chambers
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was Customer Experience Management. The course was about exploring what a compelling experience is in B2B and B2C and how to establish reliable and long-term profitable customer relationships. We did this by analyzing a local coffee shop, "The Miner's: Coffee and Characters" in the Vinohrady neighborhood in Prague 3. We conducted a consulting report regarding the customer experience and they could improve. I found this particularly engaging because of how real the course was. Instead of lecturing and taking notes, we were working with an actual business and applying our learning.

2. What do you wish you had known before going?

One thing I wish I knew before studying abroad is how difficult it can be trying to squeeze everything I wanted to in before the conclusion of my program. While there were several people who had shorter programs than the one I was on, I still felt like 9 weeks was too short. There are still several cities in the Czech Republic that I would have loved to visit. Trying to balance both an internship and classes along with traveling became very daunting at one point. In retrospect, I wish I planned my time in Prague better to accommodate the 9 weeks I had.

MORE
Read More
Isabelle Pekarsky
Alumni Ambassador

1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

The culture at while I was abroad was an interesting change to what I was used to. My family are Ukrainian immigrants and although the culture was different in many ways, it was similar in a lot of ways as well. I am used to not understanding and having to adapt to difficult situations. Therefore, doing simple things like the grocery stores was easier for me, whereas my friends and classmates struggled with that. I enjoyed having to adapt and work through situations while learning and growing. This experience made me want to continue studying and exploring the world.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

It changed the direction of what I plan to do after I graduate. I plan to get my masters in international relations and hopefully find a career abroad.

MORE
Read More
Iyana Buckmon
Alumni Insider

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad in Prague during the Fall 2018. I experienced the local culture by visiting local restaurants and tasting the food. I remember having the experience of taking a walk with my friends near Narodni Trida mall and further past it, joining in the fun with other local residents. I also took part in speaking with a couple of locals about the city and beyond. I spoke with women about what life is like for them in Prague and they wanted to know vice versa for living in America. I visited many sites such as the Christmas markets, the Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, and the University that I attended was not far from Prague Castle. I made plenty of Czech friends that would help me with the language and I used that language whenever I went grocery shopping or out to eat in the city. I also realized very quickly that Prague has many people from other countries and I used my abroad opportunity to make friends with them as well.

2. What was your favorite course abroad? 

My favorite course that I took abroad was my Sociology course that was focused on Subcultures. I really enjoyed that class because it gave me a better understanding of people who live different lifestyles and do different things that may not have a label. I think what I enjoyed most about taking courses in Prague at AAU in general are the field trips. I think going out into the field and actually seeing for yourself what you are discussing in class, helps a lot. For example, the field trips that we took to Lennon Wall and Tesnov when we were studying graffiti showed us just how important graffiti and street art is to people all over the world. I have taken many field trips with my professors throughout my semester in Prague and I am so grateful because it is an enriching experience.

MORE
Read More
Jennie Torres
Alumni Insider

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

My experience with the local culture while abroad was eye-opening, as it revealed how I could persevere through cultural challenges by my ability to adapt to a new environment. The culture compared to the one I've experienced in the United States felt to be much more relaxed as far as how they deal with work related issues. I found myself conflicted with not having enough tasks to do during my internship in Barcelona due to my co-workers valuing more time for themselves versus my prior experience having to constantly be on my feet attending to tasks with only a 30 minute break in a 12 hour long shift. This was by far the most difficult thing to overcome because I am grown accustomed to feeling like I need to work constantly, but I managed to get adjusted to the environment by communicating with my co-workers on what more assignments I can have accomplished, thereby including my own culture within their own. However, that doesn't mean I disregarded the new customs either. I felt like compromising between our two cultures would be beneficial as it reveals to use the positives and negatives that can come from either spectrum. Personally, I did end up enjoying how flexible my internship was with allowing me to relax on the job to complete any personal assignment I had and the dress code appeared to be a little more casual than I was anticipating which brought upon a closer relationship between my coworkers and I. Overall, the local culture especially at my internship helped me reflect on what is more valuable in life, getting the job done or having time for yourself. Although I do believe it's both, I am grateful to have experienced a community where they are not so strict on completing tasks in exchange for allowing their coworkers to enjoy life and not have it taken from them five days a week. It helps me value my personal space and mental health much more.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My experience interning abroad has shaped me today because I have a greater understanding of what I aspire for in my future career. First off, when it comes to my career I came into this program believing that it would be easy to work at my internship because of the requirements that it described which was to be a content writer and proofread their work for them 8 hours a day, 4 days a week. Being a graduate with an English degree, I thought this would be a walk in the park and I would adore doing this kind of work when in actuality, I found myself wanting more to do in this job. Completing these assignments were in fact easy, but what wasn't was my unfulfilled desire to accomplish more things with my time, things that could've included interacting with more people. My typical work day involved sitting at a laptop proofreading already finished articles, and that showed me that this sort of work is truly not what I want out of life. The internship was certainly fulfilling because without it I would've never known that I require more complexity within my schedule, and that I would like to find a career that makes me feel like I have a larger role in the community. It was amusing to recognize how a job that I thought would give me enough enjoyment to do for the rest of my life was actually proven false, so now after this program I'm searching for career paths that could offer me more to do with my time that could also involve writing but perhaps there can also be days where I am communicating with people so that way I don't feel restricted to a computer all of the time.

MORE
Read More
Jennifer Saviski
Alumni Ambassador

1. What are your best tips for practicing language while abroad? 

I was a Spanish major while I was abroad and I definitely improved my Spanish a lot while I was abroad. The biggest tip that I can offer is to not be afraid to mess up. In Spanish classes at school, I would never raise my hand or volunteer to speak because I hated to make grammar mistakes. However, while abroad, I realized how many mistakes I make when I'm speaking English and that locals would rather have you try and make mistakes than not try at all. Plus, if you don't try you won't make lasting connections with the local people that can continue your language growth even after studying abroad.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad?

My favorite course abroad is a tie between the Teaching English Abroad class and my Historia de esclavitud en America latina class. I loved the Teaching class because I got to make real life connections that I still have to this day. (My students just sent me a huge package of letters and drawings recently and now I'm making them a video about the city where I'm from) I also loved my history class because we went on tours of Seville and learned about how Seville had a huge impact on the transatlantic slave trade. It was really cool to see first hand where events took place that I normally only hear about in history books or see in old paintings from those times.

MORE
Read More
Jeremy Dolezal-Ng
Alumni Ambassador
1. Talk about how you experienced the local culture while abroad.  
The local culture I experienced in Seville was eye-opening and exciting. One of my favorite things in life is food, so getting to experience Spain's famed tapas dishes was incredible. Being able to explore small servings of spanish tortilla, croquetas de jamon, and patatas bravas on the first day was a great introduction to the local cuisine. 
Another fun cultural experience was getting to enjoy flamenco shows. CEA provided students with an excellent showing of Flamenco in the Triana neighborhood. We were able to watch 3 performers show us how it's done and engage with them with cheers and applause. On my last day in Seville, my family and I located a free flamenco show in the central neighborhood. The dancers and singers put their heart into each performance as a crowd of all Sevillanos enjoyed it.
2. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course was ARCH 460- Architecture and Painting in Seville. I got to learn about why Seville looks the way it does today. Not only that, we got to learn a bit of history of the city through connecting famous painters like Velazquez and Murillo to the development of Spanish culture. Probably the best part about the class was the way I got to study. For our final exam, one of the parts was a walking final where we went around random areas of Seville and answered questions about the buildings. To study for this, I walked around the whole city with my friend, enjoying different Tapas bars as we strolled and pointing out key elements of the Seville architecture around us. We weren't confined to studying in a library or reading a book. Our class knowledge was all around us.
MORE
Read More
Jonathan DeMarco
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
My study abroad experience has shaped me in more ways than I ever thought it would. You hear of kids coming back from their time abroad calling it “life-changing” and you roll your eyes thinking “we get - you were in Europe,” but it truly is a transformative experience. I am so independent now, far more outgoing and willing to meet and talk to anyone. I am more confident than I ever was, I can plan and execute travel with ease, and I see more clearly now what is important to me in my life. My time abroad has influenced my career path as well. I know with certainty now that I want my job to include travelling, and not just office work. Not only is the life experience incomparable to what I may have learned in the classroom setting at my home university, I am a more versatile student now because I have learned to balance academics with travelling with budgeting with cooking and maintaining an apartment.

2. What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?

The way that we live as Americans, means that almost everybody you know will graduate with a degree and then move on to their full time job with 40 hours a week and two weeks off a year. When in life will you ever have the chance to spend between 4 months to a year in your destination of choice to truly immerse in a different culture and have the opportunity to do all the travelling your wallet will allow without consequence? It’s an experience that will shape who you are for the rest of your life, teach you things that 10 years of university could not, and let you find out who you really are and what you really want to do in life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I recommend without hesitation to everyone.
MORE
Read More
Jonathan Heller
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course was probably either Spanish Civilization and Culture or International Business. I loved learning about the history of Spain and how Franco's dictatorship still affects Spain to this day. That being said, in International Business, it was so interesting learning about how businesses I am familiar with and often use, have tried to expand themselves across the globe, and either failed terribly or succeeded greatly. It was also interesting to learn how much research truly needs to go into the globalization of a corporation.

 

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

I would first tell them about where I studied and how much I loved Barcelona and Spain as a whole. For CEA specifically, I would tell them how accommodating CEA is to everyone's needs and how they tend to people's issues or feedback in a quick and efficient manner. I would tell them that Fridays are off, which allows students to travel on weekends and gives time to explore Barcelona. Professors are nice and are very understanding that while we are there to study, they understand that we are also there to experience the culture and the new environment.

 

MORE
Read More
Kaitlyn Reif
Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

The most important thing about learning another language is to swallow your pride and to just practice, practice, and practice. Everyone says that submersion is the best way to learn a language, and it truly is. I 100% underestimated how difficult it is to learn another language, so living in Spain was a good reality check for me to realize how little Spanish I truly knew. To learn another language, you need to accept failure immediately, and I mean this in the best way possible. Accept that you are going to mess up, say the wrong words, and even forget words, but do not get embarrassed or discouraged. Making mistakes is part of learning, and you need to know that you are not going to be a perfect, fluent speaker right off the bat. Try, try, and try again. Do not be scared to practice another language because locals do appreciate you trying and learning. Many times, the locals were just as bad at English as I was at Spanish, so it was fun to try to communicate in one another’s language. Practice makes perfect, so do not be shy!

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I surprised myself with how much I loved my archaeology class. This class was about the ancient societies that developed and thrived around the Mediterranean. I already love history, but as I mentioned, I initially did not know much about Europe. This class helped me with learning the geography of Europe and its history as well. As I traveled, this class helped me with the history of the cities that I visited. I honestly do not think that I would have enjoyed Athens or Rome as much as I did had I not taken this class and learned about the history behind these ancient towns and their people. My archaeology class was only about 20 students and was split with about half of the students being locals and the other half being study abroad students from many different countries. I enjoyed getting to know my classmates just as much as I did learning.

MORE
Read More
Kate Moo
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took two courses in Rome: one centered around engineering (Principles of Engineering Materials) and one culturally-centered elective (Art & Archaeology of Ancient Rome). Though I enjoyed the former, the Art and Archaeology course was definitely my favorite! The course was structured so that every class (except for two sessions) took place on-site at a museum or archaeological/historical location in or around Rome. In three weeks, we visited the Trajan Forum, Hadrian’s Villa, the Pantheon, Colosseum, Baths of Caracalla, Ara Pacis, Old Jewish Ghetto, Vatican Museums, and many more…all at no out-of-pocket cost at the student. The assignments in the class were also creatively-centered and focused on what each student wanted to investigate, whether it be a statue at Palazzo Altemps or an aspect of ancient Roman culture. In all, paired with a passionate and extremely knowledgeable instructor, Art and Archaeology was an immersive and highly effective course that not only taught the subject matter in a chronological and thorough manner, but gave us the opportunity to explore countless cultural marvels of Rome.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

Studying abroad for over a month in a foreign country opened my eyes to the richness and uniqueness of other backgrounds. Prior to my departure, my pre-conceived notions of Italy involved one of fashion, art, and food, but experiencing the country in both urban and rural, positive and negative settings helped me realize that such aspects of culture are really the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Beneath the surface of these superficial facets of culture are issues and notions of education, manners, ideology, economics, and the perceptions or treatment of the country’s past. Looking for such influential characteristics shaped my understanding of why other nations are what they are, it and drove me to want to learn more about the world’s other cultures. Additionally, though I wanted to work outside of the United States before studying abroad, my experience reinforced this desire. Living in an American college town, it can be easy to perceive the world, or at least one’s personal world, as the bubble of one’s own experience. Exploring Italy’s history and current events brought to light the interconnectedness and influences shared between other countries, and I wish to partake in this global sharing of knowledge in my future.

 

MORE
Read More
Katelyn Huyser
Alumni Ambassador
1. What was your favorite course?
My favorite class while at SKEMA had to be Organizational Behavior, because I loved my professors, the material, the projects, and the classroom diversity. The professors knew the topics very well and were more than willing to give extra instruction if needed. I thoroughly enjoy learning about psychology and business, and this class was the perfect combination of both. We were required to do a semester long research project related to behavior in the workplace with another student from a different home country. Through this, I learned a ton about working with students from other backgrounds who have different work ethic and more diverse ideas. By the end of our research on gender differences and leadership in the workplace, my partner and I came out with a great friendship, more knowledge on our topic, and a better understanding of effective communication.

2. What would you tell someone considering study abroad?
Unlike most things in life, with CEA you get specific guidelines and helpful instructions to help you through the process of setting up your location, housing, and visa. It may seem intimidating when you look at everything you need to do, but once you get started it’s all straight forward and always works out in the end. There will be hard moments as you’re in an unfamiliar environment away from home, but every second of the experience is beyond worth it. The city you choose to live in will quickly become your home and the other CEA students will become like family. This is one of the rare opportunities in life where you get to live in another country, make friends with people from every side of the globe, and travel to different cities every other weekend. Study abroad is a chance to live a life you create for yourself. It’s a life where you get to know the local shop owners and buy homegrown products at the market every morning. It’s a daily opportunity to practice a different language or learn creative ways of conversing with the café barista. There are people out there waiting to be met and a world that is eager to be explored.
MORE
Read More
Kayla Reed
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

One of the most significant ways I experienced local culture was via cuisine, because almost every day I would go to a French café or bakery. One of my favorite meals I ate abroad was traditional Niçoise food in the heart of Nice with my French class. I also experienced local culture by attending local festivals, like Le Fete du Citron in Menton. Seeing locals celebrate their own culture was a wonderful way to further my appreciation for the south of France!

2. How has study abroad experience shaped you?

Study abroad truly shaped the person I am today and continues to impact the person I strive to become. Although I traveled before my experience abroad, study abroad genuinely opened my eyes to the vastness of the world. So many unique people and cultures manifest throughout the world, and for as long as I can remember I have wanted to experience as many of these cultures as I can. By studying abroad, for the first time I was able to completely immerse myself in a different culture which provided me with the incredible experience to learn about and fall in love with southern France. Ultimately, studying abroad fueled my desire to dedicate my life to seeing and experiencing as many cultures as I can while hopefully inspiring others to do the same. International studies and travel have always been my passion, and studying abroad absolutely solidified my personal desire to explore the world as well as my hope to have an international career.
MORE
Read More
Kelsey Fredricks
Alumni Ambassador

 1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I dove right into the local culture upon arrival, but I guess you could also say that it encapsulated me from the start. In fact, I vividly remember my first night in Galway. Instead of catching up on sleep and taking the night to relax into our surroundings, the other CEA students and I went out into town, where we happy-go-luckily explored the cobblestoned, music-filled streets and kicked off our journeys as new residents of Ireland. The lights that decorate Shop Street shone brighter than ever before, sparkling in unison with our spirits. This night still feels alive now, six months later, like how thrilling my life felt nearly every day and night in this vibrant city. I became close friends with many Irish students while abroad, who did not hesitate one bit to take me into their arms and circle of love, friendship and loyalty, like the symbols of the famous Claddagh ring. I also own this ring myself, which rested on my finger from spontaneous trips to the nearby bay, evenings spent exploring the local craic (fun) and now as I type on my keyboard in full reflective mode of that one time I just so happened to live in Ireland.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

 I really enjoyed this course called “Contemporary Irish Literature,” which served as my English seminar. The lecturer was equal parts entertaining and informative, and he focused more on classroom discussions than lectures. I also liked that I was the only American in the class, and that there were two other students from France and Spain, as this further exposed me to the Irish culture and allowed me to communicate with only European students. We were often set into groups of three, where we would make lists, brainstorm ideas and analyze the book of the week, most of which were compelling Irish texts––in my opinion, at least, as a foreigner. Two of my other classes did not purely revolve around Irish literature, so I always looked forward to this seminar at the end of the week. (However, pro-tip: try to consider the days on which other students may not have classes, since my friends frequently wanted to travel or hangout on Fridays, which is when this class was held.) Also, other literature courses often lacked in classroom discussion, which was really difficult for someone who loves to engage in conversation, especially when the material was so interesting that I just wanted to gasp and discuss it with others.

MORE
Read More
Lauren Hammond
Alumni Insider

1. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?

CEA made the process of applying and preparing to go abroad so easy. I never felt lost in the process because there was always someone checking up on me. I could call, email or text the Sevilla site specialist at any time and could expect a timely and complete response. All the resources you need are on the online portal and your parents even receive the information. Having my parents connected made it less stressful to prepare for going abroad. Once in abroad, our CEA center provided excellent classes and professors, many resources and activities, excursions to places that I may have never traveled myself. The center was the perfect home base and the staff was really there for us 24/7! I couldn't imagine it any other way!

 

2. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced the local culture by spending as much time as possible out exploring the city. Sevilla has so many beautiful streets and places I would have never found if I chose to stay near the touristy areas. Adjusting my schedule to fit around Sevillian norms like siesta, late dinners and spending almost all of my time outside helped me experience the local culture. One of my favorite places to spend time was at a local park. There I was able to observe locals with their families and friends or carrying on about their day to day life. Eating at restaurants that were frequented by locals was another one of my favorite ways to experience the local culture. I found that trying new foods and drinks is one of the best ways to connect with a culture. These experiences, while daunting, became some of my favorite memories!

MORE
Read More
Lily Anderson
Alumni Ambassador

1. What ways did you find to become immersed in the local culture?

The Alameda neighborhood in Sevilla is rich with bars, cafés, playgrounds, trees, beautiful buildings, and most importantly, PEOPLE! So many people stroll down the large, urban boulevard while heading home from mass, eating ice cream from Freskura, playing with children or dogs, or chatting with friends. For four lovely months, I was one of those people. By enjoying coffee from small cafés, chatting with fellow customers, strolling the narrow streets, and learning about the history of the area, or walking with a neighborhood friend and his dog, I was able to feel like part of the beautiful Sevilla tapestry. The neighborhood is young and hip, while still being rooted in deep Spanish tradition.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I was lucky in my ability to take classes at both the University of Sevilla and the CEA Center. My favorite course was taught by the wonderful Professor Álvarez through CEA. By analyzing the history, economy, politics and culture of Spain, we studied gender roles in present day Spain. No class taught me as much about the valiant liberation of the Second Republic, the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, or the oppressive regime of General Franco. By utilizing all of this through a feminist lense, we learned about how women were involved and impacted. Additionally, Professor Álvarez went out of her way to expose us to cultural events in the city, take us on walking tours regarding women in Sevilla, and introduce us to a Syrian refugee who impacted all of us in the class with her beautiful story.

MORE
Read More
Madeleine Garza
Alumni Ambassador
1. What were the ways you experienced the local culture?
Living downtown, I interacted everyday with the local culture in Grenoble. To be completely honest, I had the preconceived notion that the French population do not like Americans or those who speak English. What I realized was quite the contrary. Each time I attempted to speak with strangers, even though they could tell I did not speak French fluently, they were more than happy to help me improve my vocabulary and skills. I learned how to get medicine at a pharmacy, I learned how to order my coffee, and many other simple yet necessary things that I never learned in a textbook. Also, living in the student residence hall, I encountered several local students from Grenoble who were extremely kind to me. Another way I experienced the culture was by walking through or by markets every day. I went to one market so often that the owner recognized my face, said hello to me, and asked me how I was doing each time he saw me. Food is such a crucial cultural aspect in France, and the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, meats, fish, and more you find at the markets are a taste of local life. The Christmas Market must not be forgotten! What a wonderful experience it was to enjoy hot wine on a cold day while shopping around for different trinkets, handmade crafts, or foods accompanied by music. I experienced the culture not just by interacting with the population but diving into everyday life as a lifelong native would.

2. What would you tell a student looking to study abroad?
If you are looking to study abroad, I honestly cannot imagine where you can find a friendlier group of people who are there to help when you need them than with CEA. Each interaction I or my mother had with anyone working with CEA was comforting and informative, because they knew exactly how to tell us what we needed to hear and help us get to where we needed to be. The beginning stages, preparing to go abroad, can be stressful, but they provided the service, documents, and information to make the process a breeze. Every document needed for the Visa Application was provided, and they walked us through each step to ensure our success. Then, once I got to my destination, which was Grenoble, France, my on-site program director was kind, thoughtful, passionate, driven, and ready to take on any problem we had or to laugh with us over a cup of coffee. CEA is a wonderful organization geared towards providing students with an easy path to achieving unforgettable experiences abroad. I loved every minute of my study abroad program, and I am sure you will, too.
MORE
Read More
Madison Sudweeks
Alumni Ambassador
1. What got you interested in being an ambassador for study abroad?
I want to help other students have their own life-changing experience studying abroad like I did. I know that I have grown so much through this experience and I know there are so many students at my university and across the country that would benefit from the experience. I feel that as a first-generation college student, I can connect with others who wouldn't normally think studying abroad was in their reach and show them it's possible. My life was changed forever because of CEA and I would like to give back to the organization that helped me achieve this dream.
2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course abroad was my International Service Learning course. In this course we learned about current issues in Spain and specifically Seville, and then got to observe these issues in practice while volunteering with a local NGO weekly. Through this experience I was able to connect with the refugee population of Seville, a population I never would've been able to meet otherwise, and make connection with refugee children in order to practice our Spanish skills. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity to start teaching English classes at the center as well. This class exposed me to the issues facing Spanish society and helped me better understand Spanish society as well.
MORE
Read More
Maranda Crittenden
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course was Creative Advertising. The professor had years of experience advertising and it really showed, and the course was structured so I felt that I got true life experience. We were asked to help advertise a real company that had just repackaged its product, and my professor helped explain what you should and shouldn't do in each position of the advertising agency. I found it very helpful and very insightful.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

This study abroad experience has helped me become more confident in myself and my abilities. I came to Prague as the only one from my school, and I knew no one until I got here. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and now I know I'm more capable of change and challenges than I thought. I feel that I will carry this forward, and when I am given new challenging tasks I won't doubt myself - I will continue forward.

MORE
Read More
Margo Ward
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture?

Being aboard is much more than going to a different country and learning. It's about learning about their culture and traditions. While I was abroad, I experience the local culture by participating in cooking classes, going to sporting events, eating at local restaurant, and communicating with locals. Some of my favorite memories from being abroad is getting to experience the local culture because it's something different than what I am used to. Once you experience a different culture, it opens up your mind.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me by allowing my mind to grow and it has taught me to more independent. After traveling through Europe I am able to look past the US ways and keep an open mind to other people and other cultures that I don't think I would have been able to do if I didn't go abroad. By that, I think that can also help me with my future career by being more open minded, communicate with all types of people and have better people skills. Going abroad has many benefits that I could have imagined.

MORE
Read More
Marlyse Martin
Alumni Ambassador

1. What do you wish you had known before going abroad? 

I definitely wish that I would have known how supportive the CEA on-site staff would be before I arrived to Granada. On my way to the airport, I was extremely nervous about not getting the support I need if I had an issue. During my time in Spain, the Granada on-site staff was awesome, and they did such a great job accommodating our needs and were very approachable with any questions we had. They also were very engaging during our cultural excursions, which helped us gain an understanding of Spanish history and culture.

2. What was your favorite class while abroad? 

My favorite course was the history of Spain, which covered the history of Franco’s dictatorship to the present day economy of Spain. I love history, and this course really solidified my knowledge of how Spain transitioned from a constitutional monarchy to dictatorship, to the present day regression of Spain as a constitutional monarchy. I think in order to truly understand the economy, society, and politics of a foreign country, we must understand its’ history. History also gives us an understanding of society and how people function in relation to each other. This also helps us understand the cultural differences that are different from ours.

MORE
Read More
Matthew Baldini
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I experienced the local Czech Culture through the food, history, and people. The Czech cuisine is hearty, and some of my favorite dishes consisted of meat and potatoes such as their signature cultural dish Goulash. Others dishes I enjoyed including Svickova, a dish served with meat and bread dumplings in a creamy sauce and cranberry topping. For dessert, nothing beat Vetrnik. Since words cannot do it justice, I recommend try it for themselves. Museums featured prominently in my itinerary while abroad. The Czech painter Alphonse Mucha was popular, and for good reason. His larger than life depictions of Slavic tradition, called the Slav Epics, were a unique window into the past. The Charles Bridge is a national landmark for the Czech people representing when their capital city of Prague was the cultural center of Europe. Being able to walk across this bridge gave me a deeper appreciation for the Czech cultural identify. Interacting with the local Czech people was an eye-opening experience because their social norms are quite different than what I am used to in the States. They are much more reserved in nature. However, that does not prevent them from showing kindness and generosity.

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was Prague Art and Architecture because it encouraged me to experience a side of the Czech culture I would not have other wise. I visited a local exhibit displaying the Czech artist František Kupka. Kupka started out as a Realistic style painter but progressively transitioned into primarily abstract paintings. The art exhibit show cased the chronology of his works. His most famous abstract painting the Amorpha, Fugue in Two Colors surprised me with how much human movement can be expressed through abstract figures. 

 

MORE
Read More
Megan Evans
Alumni Ambassador

1. What are your tips for learning the language? 

For my study abroad, I went to Granada, Spain specifically to study Spanish. After my time there, I believe there is no better way to learn or improve language skills than studying abroad! However, habits that a student forms during a study abroad can change their language-learning experience drastically. In my experience, staying in a homestay or finding other ways to spend time with natives is the best way to learn, because it means that you are practicing non-stop. One way to practice outside of a homestay or class environment is to find a language exchange -- I attended “intercambios” every week in Spain, and not only did I get to practice speaking with natives, I also met a lot of really amazing people from around the world!

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me in more ways than I thought possible. Academically, I am a far better Spanish-speaker now than I was when I left for Spain, and I’ve learned to adapt to different academic environments and approaches -- a skill that will certainly help me in the remainder of my college career. Personally, I know that my eyes have been opened to different ways of life. Even in a developed, western nation like Spain, there are an infinite amount of small cultural differences that all come together to create a very different way of life; living in a different environment like this has without a doubt given me the skills that I need to adapt to different situations and cultures, and to thrive in these new, unique environments rather than just survive. I also had the opportunity to meet people from all corners of the world, and learn about cultures and religions that were different from my own -- both through my environment and my classes. All of this has provided me with a global perspective that will help me succeed no matter where I am -- personally and professionally.

MORE
Read More
Megan Mercado
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My Czech Language and Culture class! It was a class with all CEA students and the most brilliant professor who was a native Czech citizen and speaker. We had great discussions and it really helped open my eyes to all of the things Prague could offer deeper than the surface that I could discover myself.

2. What do you wish you had known before going?

The one thing I wish I would've known is how incredible the onsite CEA staff would be. I knew about all of the resources CEA provided us when we were still in the States, but when I arrived in Prague, I was greeted with the most generous and friendly people ever. They helped me every step of the way and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them!

MORE
Read More
Megan Reid
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My Intro to Italian course was definitely my favorite course for a few reasons. The main reason was my professor Mario. He made the class so much fun and he was a big fan of experiential learning so we would take class trips to gelato shops, the local market and more. In these situations it was really fun to be able to use what we learned in the classroom in a real life situation. I also really liked this class because it was fun to learn the language that I was hearing all around me.

2.  Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

I really enjoyed my experience abroad and my experience being a MOJO. I love talking about my time abroad and I am passionate about encouraging people to take a semester abroad. I really like to have a completely honest discussion about the pros and cons about going abroad since I wasn't able to get that kind of talk before I left. I think it would have helped reassure me that I was making the right decision.

MORE
Read More
Megan Styborski
Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

When I first arrived in San José, I think I spoke maybe three words in Spanish. I had studied French in both high school and college, but never any Spanish. I have four big tips for learning a new language while you’re abroad. First, try to learn some before you depart, especially key phrases and vocabulary. Second, bring flashcards with you from home and use them as much as possible. Third, practice as much as you can! It’s easy to talk to friends in your program in English, but try practicing your language with them instead. It also helps a lot to make local friends and practice with them. At first, it’s a bit hard and awkward, but the improvement will blow you mind, and you’ll make life-long friends abroad in the process. Fourth, if you can, use Netflix. At my destination, I watched in English with Spanish subtitles, and it did wonders for me! If you think that you’re ready for it, you can also watch in a foreign language with English subtitles, or just watch in a foreign language alone! You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

The first thing I would say is that it’s one of the best ways to kick off a life full of travel. It’s so cost effective considering how long you’re there and how much you get out of it. And for those of you who say it’s too expensive or who think there aren’t many options for your major, don’t worry. I have the answers! First off, yes, studying abroad can be painfully expensive. But it doesn’t need to be! There are so many different destinations and program types, and those factors can have a big impact on the cost. I personally couldn’t afford most of the options in Europe, but I still found a way to go! I barely spent more money abroad then I would’ve at home, and some students save money by going abroad. For those of you who have difficult majors, there are work-arounds! My major was in the health sciences, and I had a lot of difficulty finding an option that was both affordable for me and useful for my major. So instead, I used my time abroad to work on my minor and my honors coursework. I ended up getting an affordable experience while also getting an academically valuable experience. It’s completely possible on both counts. In addition to all of that, studying abroad does so much for you as a person. You mature in so many ways, from traits like confidence and independence to being able to live off a backpack full of bare necessities. You develop a global awareness and understanding that is completely irreplaceable and highly valuable for the rest of your life.

MORE
Read More
Melissa Greenberg
Alumni Ambassador
1. What would you say to someone considering study abroad?
I would say that the experience is worth having, not just to improve on language skills or have aesthetically pleasing pictures for social media, those are just a bonus, but to find out more about a culture and yourself. You learn how to live life completely on your own, and overcome challenges such as breaking language barriers or becoming more local as time goes on. You get to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and along with life lessons that you thought you would never have to learn. The program itself is inclusive and takes you on adventures all over the country while expanding your food palette, and also opening a door to numerous opportunities.

2. What are your best tips for learning the language while abroad?
Learning another language can be difficult at times, but the best way I encountered was conversing with locals as much as possible. While in France you are surrounded by French speakers, therefore the best way to learn is to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in the community. I spoke to everyone while I could, even the unconventional "Uber" drivers, because they love to teach the language and help you learn since they know it is not easy. Also studying phrases you've never heard before or listening to songs with more conversational French is the sort of thing that helped me expound on my language skills. My French professor also took us out to learn in a more interactive manner, such as meeting natives at a cafe or learning how to cook in French. Overall, attempting to use the language on a daily basis despite the mistakes that may be made is the most efficient way in my opinion, because over time you become more comfortable speaking and can pick up on different slang and accents.
MORE
Read More
Michel Pinard
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Experience a different culture is an unique opportunity for personal growth and cross-cultural understanding. Adaptation might be difficult at the beginning, and nostalgia might strike sometimes, but one cannot let those things play a crucial role in the everyday life while abroad. One of the key factors to a positive experience is to be always busy, academically as well as socially. Buenos Aires is an extraordinary place that needs to be enjoyed by going out to museums, attending concerts and art festivals, going to outdoor markets, having merienda at a local café, talking to locals, taking colectivos as often as possible, walking, biking, just to mention a few. Travel to other places within the country is also important in order to develop a better picture of the country as a whole, its people, its culture, and going beyond the historically centered perspectives of Buenos Aires. Argentina has numerous interesting destinations for all tastes that deserve time to be discovered and enjoyed beyond the city limits of its capital, and certainly beyond the classroom and homestay.

 

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

It is not a simple choice since I truly enjoyed all the classes that took in the Universidad de Belgrano. However, I would say that the class titled Cultural and Social Changes in Argentina was the one that I found more interesting. The professor's teaching style added to her personality and the already interesting curriculum made this class my favorite. Thanks to it, I fostered my self-awareness and started to question more socially-constructed concepts and historical perspectives, while gaining insight to different issues related to politics and economics that have impact in the everyday life of citizens in Argentina.

MORE
Read More
Miranda Haasl
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad, I was able to intern at a local school. This helped me get to know some local people a little better. I also took plenty of time to go by myself to cafes and bars and just talk with locals. I truly adopted the local lifestyle, siesta and all. I tried all kinds of new foods and drinks, and pushed myself to say yes to all the experiences out of my comfort zone.

 

2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

The biggest tip I can offer is to completely dive in headfirst. If you're living with a host family, practice as much as you can with them. I didn't have a host family but my friends did and I got to practice a little with them too. Also don't be afraid to just try it. You'll probably make some mistakes, but most locals and people are more than willing to politely correct your mistakes when you're making the effort to try.

 

MORE
Read More
Mitchell Shafer
Alumni Insider

1. How has study abroad shaped you? 

My study abroad experience has shaped me in such a big way. I was able to travel to so many different countries and so many different cities and learned how to interact with so many different cultures. Personally I feel like I have such a huge advantage because of how many different people I was able to meet and interact with. I feel like it has made me very versatile and I can always refer back to my experiences when talking to and meeting new people. As far as my career goes, I think that it definitely looks good to companies when I start to apply for jobs. I think it gives me good experience and makes me stick out over some other applicants. Many people are impressed when I tell them I have studied abroad and I am always excited to tell people all I have learned. I absolutely think that it was a great decision personally and career wise to study abroad.

2.  Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador? 

Iwould like to be an alumni ambassador because I want to tell future students my experience and show them how great of a place CEA is. I want them to hear first hand how great of an experience they are about to have and how excited they should be. I don't want CEA to be a secret, I want to show everyone how amazing it was. I would also love to be able to give all my travel plans to future students and tell them where to find the best deals. I was able to travel a lot and I found some great places to go and also found awesome ways to save money. I am very personable and I think that I would be someone that students would feel comfortable talking to.

MORE
Read More
Nicholas Ciacca
Alumni Insider

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

Before coming to Madrid I had been to Alicante, in the south of Spain. I expected the culture in Madrid to be similar, but to my surprise, it was completely different! I fell in love with the city immediately, the architecture and the immense history made it really fun to walk around. To fully immerse in the culture and experience as much as I could I forced myself to do a number of things.  

First, I tried my hardest to speak and understand the language. This made it possible to understand the people and hear their stories, as well as hear the different Spanish accents and learn how each one came to be. I was able to speak with the old and young, and most importantly my fellow college students at UC3M. This to me was very important. 

Second, I was always outside. Going outside in the city and seeing as many things as possible was essential to fully take in the city of Madrid. Going to the local markets such as El Rastro and San Miguel really showed me what Madrid is all about. Also traveling the rest of Spain was very important because the Spanish culture is so diverse. CEA did a beautiful job by showing us cities such as Granada, Sevilla, and Toledo, showing us all the important historical places in each city. 

This was how I experienced the local culture while abroad, and I loved it so much I went back last week!

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

There is no other experience like living in a different country for six months, and CEA makes it a thousand times better. They bring around the whole country, immerse you in the culture while being close to students just like you from all over the United States. The staff and advisors are awesome and the experience is truly life changing. CEA makes sure that the experience goes smoothly, from finding you a wonderful apartment to finding you wonderful roommates. If you have ever thought of going abroad, DO IT, and do it with CEA! 
Also, my friend came to visit me for a week and she had so much fun hanging out with the CEA guys and living the Spanish life that she went abroad with CEA the next year!

 

MORE
Read More
Olivia Gutierrez Padron
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I enjoyed all of my classes abroad because I feel like they offered very different learning environments and curriculum from what I am used to. However, my favorite was Management Communications. I found the professor to be very passionate about what she was teaching us. The class offered materials to be analyzed by people with all kinds of background. She covered all learning styles in the assignments so it was enjoyable to learn and retain the material. She also included a lot of self-reflection so you can relate your life and career goals to what was being taught in the classroom. I greatly enjoyed this class and would gladly take it again.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

This was a truly once in a lifetime experience that taught me not only life lessons but also taught me a tremendous amount about myself. I considered myself a resilient person but that was truly put to the test when being in such a challenging environment like being on your own in a foreign country where I didn't even know the language. I learned a lot of problems solving skills since you can't always access things that are easily available to you in the U.S. and because you are living with total strangers. More than anything I expanded on having an open mind. Taking in everything around me and being free of judgment to try and truly understand the culture and the locals. I feel myself being a more grateful person thanks to this experience. Career-wise it made me learn that I perhaps don't want to work an average office job. I might want to travel more and learn more about others. I have a pretty flexible major, communication/ marketing, so I think this might be a possibility.

 


MORE
Read More
Parker Ornellas
Alumni Ambassador

1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While abroad in Aix-en-Provence, I was fortunate enough to experience a rich and thriving French culture right in front of me and easy to partake in. The first way I like to experience any culture is through food and drink. In Aix there were many restaurants and cafes catered to English speakers, however, these types of places were not the type to offer cultural growth. I found that going to authentic French cafes and restaurants where people speak little to no English was the best way to engage in the culture and better my language proficiency. On the topic of food, buying from the local markets and engaging in conversations with the vendors made me feel right at home in France as well as yielded some delicious produce. 

 

2. Language Tips

Studying another language can be extremely discouraging sometimes. One day I felt I was improving immensely and the next I felt completely comprehensible to a native French speaker. When this happens it’s easy to succumb to the overwhelming urge to only speak English, but it’s essential not to give in. Only practicing another language in a school course is not proficient enough to improve. It’s extremely important to practice outside of the classroom setting. I was lucky to befriend two French university students who helped me with my grammar and taught me useful lingo. I also listened to french music and had designated times when my roommate and I would speak to each other only in French.

MORE
Read More
Peter O'Neill
Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I took a photography course while in Prague, and I still think it's some of my best work. Being in a densely populated city let me, as a photographer and storyteller, be free with my artistic ability. Additionally, I also took a videography course that had me document a formerly homeless musician and tell his story.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My time in the Czech Republic really cleared up who I am, and who I want to become. My flaws were highlighted during my time, and as a response to identifying what I lack in, my work ethic improved. Since finishing my semester abroad, I am more confident in both myself and my work-capabilities.

MORE
Read More
Phoebe Charney
Alumni Ambassador
1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture?
I experienced the local culture by trying new foods, meeting new friends, and going to the places people loved. I visited several historical landmarks and museums. I also went to several different markets.

2. How has your study abroad experience affected you? 
Studying abroad has changed me personally by allowing me to become more adventurous in my day to day life. I got to see life in a whole new way. Certain countries appreciate things differently and I found that fascinating. I stopped taking things for granted.
MORE
Read More
Rachael Satz
Alumni Ambassador

 1. How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

While I was abroad, I experienced the local culture by getting involved in the activities that CEA offered. I did the AICAP activities: Intercambio Español, Hidden City Tour, Reshaping The City, and Changemakers. I also experienced the local culture on my own by going to the Palo Alto Market and interacting with locals in general.

 2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say? 

 I would tell them that CEA is the best program to do because they offer you free activities to experience Barcelona in a different perspective, the apartments they give you are SUPER nice and they honor your roommate requests, the CEA center is very nice and is close to the main part of Barcelona, they are quick to respond and help you with any issues you might have while studying abroad, and they offer you an $1,000 dollar flight voucher that can be used towards your flight to Barcelona or any trips that you might do while in Barcelona.

 

MORE
Read More
Rachel Bornstein
Alumni Ambassador
1. What ways did you find to experience the local culture? 
One of my favorite activities in experiencing and living the local culture in Granada, Spain was the tapa experience! In Granada, you can get FREE food with a purchase of a drink (only 1-3 euros!) Tapas are a very Spanish thing to do, where you go out with your friends around 8-10pm for a “tapa” in place of a large dinner, and eat small appetizer-sized portions of food paired with a drink. I LOVED that the dining etiquette in Spain doesn’t include tips! I also loved going to some of the MANY cafés close by and scattered around the city on the weekends to have a Spanish breakfast— café and delicious toast or a pastry!

2. What are your tips for learning the language? 
Live with a host family! If you’re living in a region where English is not spoken proficiently, it's a big change because you may live with a family who knows little to no English—this is good! It will be easier to improve your skills if you are at least an intermediate-student in your target language, as you have the minimum amount of knowledge to practice using it everyday. If you are an absolute beginner, I won’t deny that it may be difficult for you at the start. For this, I recommend you really pay attention in your grammar classes and practice applying what you learned as much as you can with your host family and writing in a journal.
MORE
Read More
Rohanna Foote
Alumni Ambassador

1.  How has your study abroad experience shaped you?  

Studying abroad this summer in Southern France was by far the best experience of my life. Though I was there for only a short 6 weeks, I believe that this opportunity has allowed me to find new interests, examine new perspectives, gain life experience, as well as gain global connections while being able to demonstrate by leadership skills. I can confidently say that studying abroad has helped to grow my cultural footprint, and has made me a more open and healthy well-rounded individual. In those 6 weeks, I was able to interact and work with people from other countries, understand the layers and intricacy of global issues, and have greater intercultural learning. I believe that those are things that are learned through practice and experience. Because of how meaningful my experience abroad was, I am currently working towards moving and starting a career in France.

2. What do you wish you had known before going abroad?
One of the things that I wish I had known before studying abroad is to take in every experience, because it all flies by so fast. The most important and strategic thing that I wish I had known was the importance of budgeting, spending smart and keeping track of the money that you spend. When you are in a new country, it is easy to get excited and a little carried away with your money. If you create a budget of how much money you would like to spend on food, shopping, travel, and miscellaneous, you can avoid overspending. Being prepared and organized with your money can make it easier to plan where you want to go and activities you want to do. For example, if you decide to travel while you are abroad, knowing how much money you have to spend on that trip will determine the arrangements you make when it comes to hotels, transportation, site seeing, etc.
MORE
Read More
Rosetta Sadewasser
Alumni Insider

1. What do you wish you had known before going? 

While I was going to study abroad to be more independent, I wish I had known that it did not mean being alone. The roommate matching helped me find my best friends, people that I felt comfortable travelling the world with and spending nights exploring new cities. We leaned on each other for support while adjusting to culture shock differently. It was easy to get to know people in my classes because they were small and very interactive. Being at a local university helped me get to know people from all types of backgrounds and learn even more from others. I continue to talk to the life- long friends I made, and hopefully we will be able to visit Prague together again.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

I asked a friend while studying abroad what her first impression of me was and she told me confident, which took me by surprise. Typically, I am very shy and keep to myself, but what she saw was someone who stood up for their opinions and beliefs. Studying abroad helped me find my voice and confidence in my own skin that I did not know I had. I gained the independence I was looking for from traveling by myself from the first time and thoroughly understanding a new, foreign city. I was also very humbled from learning how to adapt to another culture and try to fit in to the local community. It took lots of observing and understanding others to get a sense of how to acclimate to my new surroundings. I feel more comfortable adapting to new situations and learning to problem solve as obstacles come up. I am aware of how my actions affect others and realize I would not be able to achieve as much from staying in the same environment.

MORE
Read More
Sara Doss
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

While in Barcelona, I took an entrepreneurship class and it has to be my favorite class I have taken in my college career. My teacher, Carlos, was an amazing teacher and sparked my interest in a career in entrepreneurship. I learned what being an entrepreneur truly meant and how I can open my own business in the future. He also helped to want to pursue a specialization in International Business. I am so glad I took this class abroad so that I could see the aspects of business in a country outside of the United States.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad career has helped me shape my wants for a career by showing me that there is more to this world that the United States. It made me become more independent. It has helped me to open my options and seek jobs in other states/countries.

 

MORE
Read More
Sarah Franco
Alumni Ambassador
*Ask me about my internship!
1. What were ways you found to explore the local culture?

I loved Florence, Italy. It was a very lively city filled with many things to do and see. I took full advantage of my summer abroad. I enjoyed the easy going nature of the Italian culture, especially the food and lifestyle there. I interned at a cooking school and it had international customers with whom I was able to interact with and share travel experience with. Florence was very international which helped when making new friends. The food and wine class I took helped me learn about the culture even more than I would have one my own.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 
I now know exactly what I want to do, now that I have been abroad. It helped me refocus my goals, and since I didn't know anyone one going into the program, it helped me learn how to do things on my own and made me more eager to leave my comfort zone, meet others, and branch out.

MORE
Read More
Sarah Woods-Killam
Alumni Insider
1. What ways did you find to experience the local culture?

Being in Argentina was an amazing, unforgettable experience. I feel that I was able to immerse myself in the culture by constantly speaking Spanish with anyone I could outside of my classes (taxi drivers, people on the bus, shop keepers, etc.). Additionally, I went to as many Tango classes and Milongas (social dancing) as I could, which helped me improve as a dancer as well as learn about the history and beauty of Tango. I engorged myself on carne asado, empanadas and dulce de leche which are common foods in Buenos Aires. I chose to stay with a host and I know that I will always be in contact with her because she's wonderful. I walked around as many neighborhoods in Buenos Aires as I could to learn about the beautiful city.

2. What do you wish you had known before going? 
I wish I had known how big of a city Buenos Aires was. I didn't have any particular notions about how I was going to get around considering I wanted to save as much money as possible, but the city has great public transport. It just means that I had to be careful about including travel time whenever I needed to get somewhere. I also wish I had brought a raincoat for myself because I didn't realize how rainy it could be during the 'winter' there (which is in June/July/August). 


MORE
Read More
Savanna Lenker
Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

I would tell prospective students to:  

 1) Don't get overwhelmed, professors are understanding and just want to push you to step out of your comfort zone to practice the language. 

2) Don't be afraid to ask questions, your professor and host family will be very willing to help you. 

 3) Practice the language whenever you can. Whether it is saying hello to a stranger in passing or talking to your taxi drivers, all of these conversations help increase your confidence in your language abilities. 

 4) It's okay to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and making mistakes is part of learning every language.

 

2. If you 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?

Studying abroad with CEA was the whole package. We had a small group of students that bonded over the course of our time together. I had an amazing host family experience, which allowed me to further experience the food and culture of Costa Rica. The CEA facility was an amazing resource to get school work done, hang out with friends, and cook our lunches. The built in field trips were well planned and allowed us to experience more unique places. The communication before I left the U.S. was prompt and straight forward. 

MORE
Read More
Shelly Ng
Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
My Czech language class, cinema class, and communications class encouraged me to think about Czech history, visit the different Prague neighborhoods, and try all the delicious foods. I spent my weekends going to cafés usually hidden in courtyards, eating chlebíčky (an open sandwich) and guláš, and practicing my Czech speaking skills with vendors at the farmers’ market. I took notice of proper etiquette on trams; it is important to give a seat to older people and if you are standing by the door, you are expected to exit the tram and step to the side to let others out. I went on a self-guided tour of street art in the city, which inspired me to write my Global Studies Minor Capstone about art as a form of expression. I also attended big events such as čarodějnice (night with huge bonfires) and the Prague Open. I witnessed how the locals cheered and clapped for the players. I noticed that the claps for encouragement were different from the claps for a winning shot. I followed what I observed as I watched multiple matches.

2. What are your tips for learning a language abroad?
I studied Elementary Czech while abroad and found it very helpful to review what I learned after every class. I had a second notebook for me to sort vocabulary I learned into thematic lists. It is important to take note of common trends in the language, such as how, in Czech, masculine nouns usually end in consonants, feminine nouns usually end in ‘a’ or ‘e’, and any noun that ends in ‘o’ is neutral. Listening to public transportation announcements and reading advertisements is a great way to practice pronunciation. Force yourself to speak the language as often as possible. I found it easiest to do this at restaurants and markets, where you would understand the context of what is being said. If there are times you hear phrases or have an unexpected interaction, try to jot down what was said to the best of your ability and ask your language teacher next class to understand why and how those phrases were used. Associating words with a situation may help a great deal when you are trying to improve your language skills.
MORE
Read More
Sophia Spooner
Alumni Insider
1. What was your favorite course abroad? 
I absolutely loved Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. Every other week we went on a field trip to such interesting places. I got to experience the Gucci Gardens, Stefano Ricci, and even an expo convention on fabrics! By stepping out of the classroom, I felt that I absorbed more information than just being taught by a PowerPoint.

2.  What would you say to a student considering study abroad with CEA? 
CEA is there for you. Through applying to be in the program, obtaining your visa, being in a foreign country and even when you return home. They organize documents that you need to have to be abroad in great detail, plan trips for you and your classmates to explore the country and have well-rounded and experienced professors to help you make the most of your four months. In addition, the employees want to know you and make sure that you are enjoying your time abroad. Because they really do care about everyone having an unforgettable semester.
MORE
Read More
Stephanie King
Alumni Ambassador

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was my Marketing 202 taken at Anglo American University. Not only did I love the professor but she also gave us the opportunity to work on a marketing pitch for a real client who was looking to expand into the American Marketing. This served as our final project and my team won the marketing campaign. As a result we earned a cash prize and I gained professional connections in Prague. For one of our final classes we also took a field trip to a marketing firm and I am currently in contact with the company in efforts to return to CZ to intern for them. This course was filled with diverse students, gave me experience working with a client and offered me connections that I am very grateful for.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

My study abroad experience has shaped me in almost every way, including my career and personal goals. From a professional stand point, I am seeking out opportunities to return overseas to either Germany or Czech Republic in order to gain some international marketing experience once I graduate in December 2019. I see the value of being a well traveled individual who is able to perform in diverse and unfamiliar environments. As for personal goals, I look to go back overseas and travel as a 'local' with my best friend in a potential gap year. Study abroad has given me a travelers heart.

MORE
Read More
Steve Maravillo
Alumni Insider

1. What was the best part about studying abroad?

My experience abroad indefinitely widened my cultural and interpersonal state of mind. It also helped me gain a greater understanding of the beauty and dynamic of international travel and diversity. My favorite part about studying abroad was the connections and friendships I made with individuals while abroad. Although I learned plenty of useful information in the classroom, a lot of my learning took place within my interpersonal and intercultural relations with students, civilians and workers that were Paris natives. My top travel tips are to immerse yourself into the culture of the city and country of your study abroad experience. In my experiences, the best way to accomplish a successful intercultural immersion is by meeting individuals native to the country, with a strong familiarity of the culture and society of the given country that will ultimately educate you in a form greater than a classroom setting. Although I wasn’t quite fluent in French, it was very easy to make friends with local Parisians, and was immensely rewarding in the learning experience and expansion of interpersonal connections.

 

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

After my study abroad experience, I shifted my career goals and interests to better suit a more international and global vision of work. My career goal is to go into Epidemiology, but I am strongly interested in potentially establishing my career outside of the United States because of how impactful my study abroad experience was. During my abroad experience, I found immediate comfort in the concept of living and learning abroad, to a point where I am now yearning to return to that lifestyle and am very interested in potentially living outside of the United States for a much longer time span after my education. After returning to my home university, UC San Diego, I was hired to work as a Student Assistant for the Study Abroad Office on my campus, and have since spoke on behalf of my experiences abroad and the key components of the importance and impact of international education and travel on students like myself. Additionally, my experiences abroad encouraged me to become involved in the international student population at my university, in surrounding myself by students from every continent as well as in sharing my own experiences abroad as an American student. Another impact of my experiences abroad took place in my fundamental understanding of friendship and companionship. Before studying in Paris, I had very poor communication and relationship skills and found it difficult to speak to people and make friends. I was fortunate enough to make numerous friends during my abroad experience, which beautified my experiences abroad in a tremendous way. The experience was life-changing, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had in being able to study abroad.

MORE
Read More
Susan Jones
Alumni Insider

1. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

I spent as much of my time wandering as possible. If I was not in class, I was in a park, or at an open market, or on the bus or tube to get to someplace. I wanted to soak up everything I could in the little time I had.

2. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?

I am a different person today because of this experience. I could write an entire book about the self discovery that this opportunity brought me. I grew so much as a person, which surprised even ME because I was 45 at the time and thought I had done most of growing. Not the case. I see the world in different ways now and I feel like I could express that to others.

 

MORE
Read More
Tali Pilip
Alumni Ambassador
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
I experienced local culture while abroad by making some of the Parisian customs my own. One of the really big things I was able to experience that I will try to bring back to the U.S. with me is their pace of living. In the U.S., especially coming from the Silicon Valley, we very rarely take moments to slow down and enjoy our days. When we take breaks from work or school, we stay at home or go out to grab a quick bite to eat with friends, spending a majority of that time on our phones. The Parisians, however, use their prolonged mealtimes to take a break from their days, and to really have those long, meaningful conversations that can last several hours after a meal is finished. I also learned how to be more independent, in sitting on the terrace of cafes, slowly enjoying a coffee, and watching Parisians go about their daily lives.
2. What was your favorite course while abroad?
My favorite course abroad was the History of Parisian architecture. It was such an interesting way to learn about and to visualize the history of the city, while learning about what the future plans for Paris are as well. My favorite part of the course was our weekly excursions in which we would visit a site such as the Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Centre Pompidou. On-site, we were able to not only apply concepts that we learned in class, but also to experience Paris through its incredible architecture. As I was also taking a fashion class at the same time and spending a lot of my free time in art museums, it was extremely interesting to see the juxtaposition between historical periods and how their art, fashion, and architecture either complemented or contradicted each other.
MORE
Read More
Taylor Carnazza
Alumni Ambassador

1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?

The best advice I could give anyone studying a new language is, do not be afraid to practice with people, especially native speakers. Practicing with those who speak the language on a daily basis is the best way to comprehend conversational styles and accents. Although it may seem daunting at first, practicing is the only way to get better so don't be afraid of making mistakes because that's how you'll learn! Befriend people who live there and if you have a difficult time with that at first, you can always ask your institution if there is a pen-pal or meet-up program that allows you to be partnered up with students in the area trying to learn English. So many people now are eager to learn English to keep in mind that you'll be helping each other out.

2.  How did you find ways to experience the local culture? 

I was fully immersed in the French culture and can say that I have learned so much while studying in Aix. I attended IAU with one other friend from school and it gave us the opportunity to build friendships with French students who did not attend IAU. I can easily say that I became friends with more French people than I did with people in IAU because I wanted to expand my horizons and fully get to know the culture. Getting to know a culture first-hand and through people whose origins are in that specific place is the best way to enjoy yourself abroad in my opinion. I am so thankful for my experiences there and cannot wait to visit my friends again at some point.

MORE
Read More
Taylor Coulson
Alumni Insider

1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you? 

My study abroad experienced shaped me today into a person who is patient, independent, intrigued, and down to adventure. Even though I got sick while abroad, there was so much to offer in Barcelona that I couldn't turn down just because I was feeling a little down-I recovered faster than usual because I was excited to explore and have new sights to see and places to step on. I am now a go-getter I would say. I reword things that don't make sense to others because I understand that even though it does to me, that maybe there's a better way to portray it. I toured the city via bicycle by myself for days in a row and was so content. I have a journal to record what matters most to me during my time spent adventuring. Experience is far more important to me than text from a book. Being able to say, "I've been there" or even think back to the times shared with people that were strangers a few months ago and feel so overwhelmed with happiness they're in your life now, that's powerful. I never know when to stop questioning anything now. I wonder the history behind walls in places that are new and old. I wonder which stories and memories are the ones I will love so much that I will relive one day with my future family and friends? I know I'll be back and studying abroad created even more wanderlust in me. Places I never dreamed of going are now on my bucket list and I realize that they ARE achievable and easy to accomplish as long as I manage my time and money. I am now more patient with other people, public transportation, customer service industries, and colleagues.

2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?

It will be the best time of your life. Exploring new places with new people is so exciting. There will never be a more perfect time in your life to do it than when you're in college, regardless of which year you are. You'll bring back so much knowledge about things you didn't even realize you were learning when you're there. You wont be sorry, you'll be better. You'll leave behind a routine you didn't even realize you had, and will create a brand new one that is inconsistent but it will fit. It'll teach you more about yourself than you knew was possible and will create a network of lifelong friends and potential coworkers or neighbors one day. It's like you're finally the one writing the story to your own life when you come abroad. You get to choose what you do with every opportunity that gets handed to you now. Before when you were contributing to that routine, you didn't think about what you did with your life or what you'll do in the future, you definitely will now. Every single aspect of your life will change if it needs to. Of course you'll abide by the values you've always had but you'll be more independent and realize what weaknesses need to be strengthened. It's a lot of self growth and new opportunities you create for yourself from the moment you step onto that plane.

MORE
Read More
Theresa Thomas
Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
My experience abroad has been immensely valuable in shaping who I am today. I learned how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, to embrace how it feels to be unsure of yourself in this new place while learning to thrive anyway. While traveling, you spend a lot of time with yourself. I was able to learn what values are most important to me, what I needed to truly be happy—material things and everyday comforts that I “thought” I needed, became obsolete. 

Professionally, the opportunity to improve my Spanish has been an immense advantage in my preparation to attend medical school and to eventually practice as a physician abroad in a Spanish speaking region. I became more fluent in the language, learning to switch between speaking Spanish and English without issue. There truly is no better way to learn a language than to immerse yourself in it and to learn on your feet. My ability to speak Spanish to my patients will help to develop our relationship, and the experience living in a different culture has taught me to be more globally aware with the ability to relate to the different experiences and lives of others, especially my future patients.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
I was absolutely enthralled by my course on Gender History in Latin America. The opportunity to learn while abroad is incredible because you learn from a completely different perspective. During this class we learned about the way gender relations and the patriarchy have evolved and influenced life in Latin America throughout time, specifically in Argentina. As I learned about the different historical eras and gendered events that took place, I was able to see their effects on present day life in Argentina. I learned to think more critically about the way society often operates and to analyze why things are the way they are. Being lucky enough to learn about Latin America while in Latin America taught me things from a different point of view that I never would have thought about had I not learned them from my local professors. My global view was broadened and I now feel like a much more informed and influential global citizen.
MORE
Read More
Valeria Angel
Alumni Ambassador

1.  What were ways you found to experience the local culture?

Studying in Aix-en-Provence was amazing because I was able to emerge myself in the French culture, I had previously always been in love with the French culture, and being able to experience it first hand was truly eye opening and amazing. Getting to witness the difference in culture with American culture and Colombian culture (where i'm from) was very interesting because it was able to expand my knowledge on different customs within different cultures. Aix was a perfect town for this because although there were many tourists, there were also many more locals that you would become familiar with on a daily basis, and I was able to have conversations with them about living in France, along with practicing and learning better French.

 

2. What was your favorite course abroad?

My favorite course was the France during the Occupation course because although I was never fond of history, experiencing a different country makes learning history a lot more fun! I was able to understand the history of France a lot easier, and was more interested in it. What allowed this to be fun and interesting was the amount of history films we watched in class, along with a Field Study trip we took to Marseille to further understand what the French dealt with when Germany occupied France.

MORE
Read More

Receive a $1,000 Flight Voucher when you apply by December 19, 2019

Get your flight voucher code and access to Passbook in two easy steps. With Passbook, you can track your favorite programs and courses, save flight vouchers, and watch videos on the destination you're interested in.

Apply Now

Step 1 of 2

Step 2 of 2


*By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive recurring text messages from CEA Study Abroad notifying you of important program deadlines. Message and data rates may apply.

Privacy Policy   |   Mobile Terms   |   Voucher Rules

Your flight voucher has been added to your Passbook. Apply now or view your Passbook to begin the next step in your journey.

LET'S CHAT