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Programs and Reviews
After a life altering experience while studying in Dijon, France, CEA CEO, Brian Boubek, imagined creating a study abroad company that empowered students to create programs and classes that were tailor made to fit each universities requirements. Since 1997 CEA has been providing students with the opportunity to step into the textbook and make the world their classroom. Since 2010, CEA has enrolled over 4,000 U.S. university students and is continuing to grow. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, CEA is quickly becoming the global leader in creating and facilitating opportunities for academic achievement, global competence, and personal growth through quality international education.
Leah Breeze, an associate Admission Counselor with CEA, recently chatted with me about what CEA has to offer, her time studying in Costa Rica, and the growing need for internationally-minded people in the future workforce. An Arizona State University grad, it didn't take me long to feel Leah's contagious excitement for not only study abroad but also for life!
Megan: Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Leah: In college, I was lucky enough to backpack around Europe a few times, but I actually chose to study abroad in Costa Rica! I was inspired to go mostly from my passion to learn the Spanish language as well as my love with the Latin American culture. (It also didn't hurt that Costa Rica is full of amazing beaches, cloud forests, and such unique animal and plant life! !Pura vida!
Megan: What advantages do students have studying with CEA programs versus other study abroad program providers?
Leah: The number one thing that I think sets us apart is our knowledge of study abroad and ability to guide and support students through their journey. Every one of CEA's admission counselors and site specialists have studied abroad - a few of us more than once - and all continue to travel internationally. We also have amazing CEA Global Campuses (serving 9 different countries!) that allow us to truly take the international experience outside of the classroom. Many of the courses we offer really cater to the international student and supply them with the tools to truly take advantage of what each international city has to offer!
Megan: A recent report suggested that up to 50% of incoming freshman stated that they intended to study abroad during college, but then only 3% actually did. What's going on here?
Leah: I can't answer for the students who choose not to study abroad. I can tell you, based on my conversations with students who are researching study abroad by calling CEA, their biggest fears are leaving friends behind and not being able to graduate on time with their peers. But to them I say, you will make new friends, really, and if you do your homework and work with your university and provider, we can help ensure your college credits transfer - keeping you on track for graduation.
Look, at the end of the day, we'd love it if you studied abroad with CEA. But the most important thing you can do for yourself is NOT overlook study abroad. Start talking about it with someone - today. Go to your campus study abroad office. Find someone who's gone and ask them for advice.
Megan: If in the near future we were to produce a TV show titled, "When Studying Abroad Goes Wrong!", what do you think our first episode should be about?
Leah: Being flexible in adversity is one of the most important things you can learn about yourself during study abroad. Things aren't always going to go according to plan, but that's what makes study abroad so valuable, especially on a resume. Are you the kind of future employee who's going to throw your hands up at the first obstacle and say, "It can't be done!" or are you a problem solver who's experienced at "thinking outside the box" and finding your own solutions?
Megan: Any exciting programs with CEA you'd like to share?
Leah: One of the most "up and coming" CEA destinations is Buenos Aires, Argentina. In many ways, it really is the best mix of Europe and Latin American culture in one location. It has so many different influences and is definitely becoming the next big thing for the current generation of college students.
Leah's enthusiasm for study abroad extends beyond that which CEA offers - she encourages all students to take that initial first step and just GO! Studying abroad with CEA will give students an experience of a lifetime (just ask the 4000+ students who did it over the last year alone!)
In the end, it might not matter as much exactly which CEA program you choose to go on, but rather that you took the leap to go on the adventure in the first place!