Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program because I wanted a diverse landscape to do a lot of outdoor activities. The University of the Balearic Islands offers classes in environmental studies, which was also a plus.
In general, I wanted somewhere Spanish speaking. Palma just happened to offer me everything I wanted and more.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
Everything I did was through my school (University of Iowa) and CIEE directly. With CIEE, you are given an advisor in the U.S., and also an advisor in your destination city/country.
CIEE helps with everything you could ever imagine - from attaining your student visa (extremely easy with them) to meeting you in the airport for pickup overseas. You are NEVER alone.
CIEE is always there for you, and in Palma, you get a wonderful advisor/mentor, Antonia. She helped me through school, life, and ultimately made my time abroad a lot easier.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
One thing I suggest is to spend time in Palma and traveling around Mallorca. Europe is incredible, and I had a blast traveling around the continent. However, never forget the little island you call home, because Mallorca is one of the most special places I have ever been.
Out of everything, you will miss its sunsets, beaches, and little towns the most. I love Mallorca, and consider it my home away from home.
Take a few weekends of your semester to stay at home and hike one of its beautiful trails or bus to one of the beaches on the opposite side of the island. You won't regret it.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average week consists of 3-5 days of classes (very laid back and fun, and not too time consuming). I would go to the beach after classes, walk around the winding streets of Palma's old town to find hidden gems (like cafes, boutiques, and an old english book store), or chilling at my homestay with my host family. I also spent time with the other kids in my program and met other european students.
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 fear was not knowing anyone, and being completely alone. As soon as I got to Madrid, just before my layover to Palma, my heart was racing. I was scared, confused, and totally alone. However, I found my next plane, got into Palma, and the first face I saw was Helena, our guardian angel who was there to pick me up after my flight.
We headed to the hostel we were staying in for the night together, and she made me feel right at home. CIEE is what made me overcome my fear, and within days I had made friends from my program. My experience abroad changed my whole perspective on myself and the future. I am so excited for you to experience the same!