It is so bittersweet reminiscing about the traveling I did across Europe last fall. I already want to go back. There were so many countless memories and experiences I had abroad that created such a significant time in my life that I will never forget. Now that I have gained my expertise about traveling, I thought I would share a few tips for future students going abroad.
I always call my parents on Sundays. Every week, I know that around five o’clock, they will summon me out of my silent library cubby, eager to catch up and tell me about their week, just as eager as they are to hear about mine. A few months ago, my Sunday call was different. I woke up panicked and couldn’t manage to calm myself down throughout the day. So, when they called, I immediately started babbling and dumping my anxieties on them.
I like to call myself the CEA poster child. I studied in London through CEA for a year, was the Mobile Journalist during that time, participated in the internship program, became an Alumni Ambassador before being hired on full-time on the marketing team. OK, that is a lot of information that you may not need to know, but I like to flaunt. I’m actually here to show you how studying and interning abroad can help your future career – whatever it may be.
Personal growth & Development
I always knew that studying abroad would teach me amazing things, but I didn’t realize that the most important lessons I learned would be about myself. It’s been over a year since I came back from studying in Aix-en-Provence, but my experience abroad continues to affect my life, especially with the confidence I gained.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” –Lao-Tzu
Why intern abroad? My cultural studies major requires that I both study abroad and find an internship, and a big factor into choosing CEA Prague was being able to do both simultaneously. Those are the practical reasons I pitch to prospective students, but the opportunity is so much more than that.
If you were to ask anyone who has studied abroad what they liked about their experience, they can easily respond back with a novel-like response. If you were to get something short of that, then that person might just want to spare you from them going on and on. As CEA Alumni, we’ve been there and we know once we start talking about our experience, stopping can become a challenge.
Picking up and leaving home for 3 months seemed a lot easier before I had to start packing and get on the plane. Eventually I would be landing in a foreign country alone, uncomfortable with the language and waiting for someone to pick me up and take me to my house for the next few months.
My semester abroad in Paris, France was an unforgettable experience that I love to talk about with anyone who will listen. However, while the first few days went by in a complete blur, the things I learned during the early stages of my time abroad had a strong effect on the rest of the trip. As a girl who both grew up and went to college in the state of Alabama, Paris was a huge adjustment for me. Everything from exploring my new environment to staying connected with those back home became a challenge, ultimately making me a better person by the end of the semester.