Alumni Spotlight: Ellie Reeves

Ellie is a recent college graduate from North Carolina. She majored in Exercise and Sports Studies with a concentration in Exercise Science, and is currently in the process of looking at grad schools. She is very passionate about traveling and was able to study abroad twice with CEA, spending part of summer 2014 in Costa Rica, and part of her 2015 summer in Italy.

Why did you pick this program?

I chose to study abroad with CEA due to their summer programs. Studying abroad over the summer allowed me to stay on track with my classes at home ensuring I would still graduate on time. These summer programs are very flexible and CEA has a wide variety of locations to choose from. I also chose CEA because as soon as I contacted someone about my interest in the program, the staff at CEA guided me throughout the whole process of applying and preparing myself for my time abroad.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

Go! I truly believe everyone should study abroad at least once and I wish more schools had it as a requirement. It is such a remarkable experience and I tell my friends that my only regret is that I did not study abroad for a whole semester. It is much better to have gone and tried to be abroad than to live in regret with the thought of "what if?". If you have it in your heart to travel, go - and go now! It is so much easier to go abroad when you are young and have the time. Once you graduate and the real world sets in, there is a lot less opportunity to go abroad for an extended time period.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

The one piece of advice I would give to someone going abroad with CEA is to experience as much as possible. Cherish your time and take in everything around you. Your time abroad will come to an end much sooner than you expect and you do not want to miss out on anything.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

It is so hard to choose just one story to tell about my time being abroad. If I had to choose just one, I would say one of the most memorable experiences I have from studying abroad would be when my friends and I went zip-lining in Monte Verde, Costa Rica. It was an exhilarating experience that all my friends were able to participate in and enjoy. We were also able to bunjee jump and ride horses while in Monte Verde. It was a weekend I'll never forget and a memory I'll cherish forever.

If you could go back and repeat your study abroad experience, is there anything you would have done different?

Both of my study abroad experiences with CEA were close to perfect. If I could change anything about my experience, I would have extended my stay. I spent a month in both Costa Rica and Italy and I really wish I had been able to study abroad a whole semester. I also wish I had taken more advantage of my time abroad and traveled to other countries.