Studying Abroad for a semester of my four college years has always seemed like a given, it was just a matter of picking the right time and place. Coming from a school like Miami University, with its ranking as 2nd in the country for undergraduate study abroad participation, studying abroad is highly encouraged and acted upon by the administration and student body. For instance: out of the whopping 5% of American undergrads studying abroad, Miami’s campus has 42% of its student body traveling to a foreign country to study. There are also “Global Initiatives” built into Miami’s curriculum to urge students to take their studying away from home that require students to either participate in a study abroad program, or take “Global Perspective” courses at school.
I was lucky enough to start my research on studying abroad already positive on where I wanted to go: Barcelona. Being a homebody, going anywhere outside my comfort zone (that was my hometown Northfield, Illinois and Miami University) was a stretch for me, and I wanted to be somewhere that I knew I would love. After spending a week on vacation in Barcelona when I was 16, I was certain that the Spanish city would be the place for me.
With that city in mind, I took my research to the Study Abroad Office on campus and its website.
When it comes to programs, Miami gives the option of either being with a group of all Miami students or branching out with an exchange or approved program. Both options let students pick their destination and length of time and most have the same tuition as Miami, or close to it. Every program also guarantees a full transfer of credits–making the actual “studying” aspect stress free.
While 65% of Miami students studying abroad take advantage of the Miami sponsored programs (especially with the Miami campus in Luxembourg), I decided to take fate into my own hands.
With nearly 50 programs to choose from for just the city of Barcelona, I was overwhelmed to say the least. But the advisors in the study abroad office took the time to get over each one until I found my ideal program–CEA! With their offered courses aligning perfectly with classes I needed to take at Miami, I knew I had found the perfect fit. Now, all I had to do was apply and get accepted.
The application process for CEA is just a matter of filing out forms and waiting to hear back. CEA’s team is always in constant contact with you once you begin filling out your application, and are helpful with reminders and tips.
Once I was accepted, I picked out my housing, signed up for classes, and began to dream about the magical four month journey I was about to embark on.