Alumni Spotlight: Camille Brooks


Camille is a fifteen-year-old high school student from New York who is preparing to get into college next year. She is passionate about learning new languages and exploring the world.

Why did you choose this program?

I had heard about teen tours before, but my mom brought up the study abroad program with Abbey Road to help improve my Spanish. I was going to take AP and I wanted to be better prepared for the AP test at the end of the year. I had also never been to Spain before and I wanted to see what it was like.

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

Everything was thoroughly organized by Abbey Road Programs. Two weeks before departure, we had all the information about our tours, classes, teachers, etc.

Even though airfare is not included in the price, Abbey Road helped us with planning the trip. Staff members met us at the airport and made sure that the whole group is safe and satisfied.

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

I would advise future students to be open-minded, set aside their fears and accept the challenge of living abroad for a few weeks. If possible, try to speak to the other kids going on the program beforehand. Discussing your ideas, expectations and fears with other students will make you feel more comfortable during the first days of the program.

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

Every week, the counselors gave us money for one trip to the grocery store. You would go to the store with the student that you shared your kitchen with. Together you would buy what food you wanted for the week. We did cooking every other night, which was really fun. Learning to cook new recipes and trying new foods was a completely new experience. My favorite recipe was tortilla, which is an egg, and potato dish that can be used for tapas or as a whole dish.

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 actually really nervous because I’m a bit shy when I first meet people. I was scared that other students on the program would already know each other before the trip. In reality, a lot of people didn’t know anyone beforehand and we all got really close as the program went on.

Spending a few weeks with people you don't know may seem frightening, but believe me: once the program is over, you wish you could stay more.

Do you think it’s important for students your age to study abroad?

Yes, it’s very important. I had never been to Europe before and it’s so different from the US. I think it’s important to be educated about the rest of the world from first-hand experience. Exploring new cultures, getting the chance to live independently, meeting so many people coming from different backgrounds helps you grow a lot.