Alumni Spotlight: Riley Stevenson

Riley is a Media Studies Master's Student at the University of Oregon, where she completed her undergraduate degree in journalism.

Why did you choose this program?

Sevilla, Spain

I chose CIEE because it was a University of Oregon sponsored program. I chose the CNMJ program specifically because I knew that the classes would keep me on track for graduation, and I was interested in conducting journalism projects in Spanish.

Moreover, I was interested in living in southern Spain because my thesis pertained to immigration, which is a prevalent topic in Sevilla.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I received assistance through the University of Oregon Study Abroad Office.

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

I would take advantage of the many extracurricular opportunities offered through the CIEE Study Center in Sevilla. There are countless field trips, language groups, and recreational opportunities that are free to students. Also, remember that the work completed in these classes can serve as portfolio pieces in the future.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

My days were divided between classes, field trips, and time spent with my host family. I had a lot of free time to get to know the city. While homework could be strenuous at times, I felt that the assignments were designed to help me be more immersed in the local culture.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest challenge was adjusting to the Spanish lifestyle. Dinner is commonly eaten around 10 p.m. and I often didn't go to bed until 2 a.m. Unlike many problems faced while studying abroad, this solution was simple: espresso.