I wanted to explore different parts of the world that I only saw on television shows/movies, social media or maps. I also wanted to get out of my own comfort zone and see new things while gaining personal experience and becoming a better person.
I took my study Abroad adventure with the Semester In Europe programthrough Northwood University which also partnered with CEA during our entire time spent in Spain. While in Spain we stayed at the CEA Housing in Barcelona called Onyx.
I received some scholarship funding from Northwood through a private donor Scholarship, I also used student loans, my family helped with funding and I also worked two jobs saving money until I left for the study abroad program.
I wish I would have spent more time learning a little of the different languages, although you do pick up things such as Hello, Goodbye, and Thank you.
I personally did not experience any discrimination while I studied abroad.
I gained so many strong bonds through friendships. I always have flashbacks to different parts of Europe that I visited in the past and I always smile because studying abroad has played a huge part in making me who I am and who I want to become. Academically that was my best semester grade wise and being a double major, majoring in Advertising and Marketing it was very cool to see how different countries advertise their products or services.
The most memorable moment I have studying aboard has to be the many times the group got lost and how we made the best out of every situation laughing and growing closer and being in the heart of the culture and learning so many news things along the way.
Being from Texas I am not use to public transportation on a daily basis so going into a subway or train station and seeing many people playing different instruments and doing live performances was very new to me and it never got old. As far as the night life I did go out a couple of times while in Paris and it was very interesting to see the different people from other ethnicities and cultures all going out together and see how their nightlife was different.
Since my study aboard program has been over I have been looking into learning different languages such as French, German and Spanish because I would be able to relate or communicate with the locals and the culture on a higher level. The other experiences I would take away would be healthier choices of food. Since I left Europe my diet has changed. I no longer eat chicken, beef or pork just to become more healthy and I enjoy walking long distances, I do not mind parking my car in far parking spaces and many times I do it on purpose just for the walk. Also the biggest lesson I learned had to be that even though everyone is not the same and we all have different backgrounds we all can relate in some way.
Yes, I would recommend other students to study abroad on the exact program I went on and to go through the CEA Program.
Go for it, you will not regret it at all. Your eyes will be open to a whole new world; embrace being outside of your comfort zone .This is when you learn the most.
The best advice I could give to anyone thinking about study abroad is to go for it and do it. Your life will never be the same again. Also there are so many helpful videos and websites that will answer all your questions from budgeting to packing.