Alumni Spotlight: Nicola Mayer

Nicola Mayer studied abroad in Prague Fall 2017.

Why did you choose this program?

CEA is affiliated with my college and that made the application process much easier. Furthermore, there were a good amount of classes I would get credit for. CEA had a lot of activities and excursions that helped make the program more than just schooling.

I had help from my university and CEA with the application process. After I was accepted I had to apply for my visa on my own and book my flights, but other than that, the logistics were all handled.

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

I wish I knew how important down time is. It's easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go mentality and feel like you always need to be doing something. When I was exhausted and trying to still explore, I was much less invested and my experience suffered.

Balancing fun time with down time helps ensure you can make the best of your time. I was abroad for 4 months and if I was constantly traveling I would have burnt out very quickly. It took a little time to realize it's ok to slow down, and I'm very glad I had that lesson.

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

I was afraid of not becoming friends with people on my program. I spent the first week trying to make a lot of connections, getting contact information and reaching out to people even when I had only known them for a short time.

I really put myself out there and made active efforts to build relationships with the other people on my program. I quickly realized everyone was in the same boat of wanting to hang out, but not everyone was as comfortable reaching out.