Alumni Spotlight: Emily Chemers

Emily Chemers is from Frankfort, Illinois and is currently a junior majoring in Spanish Education with a minor in French at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She studied Spanish language, literature and culture while abroad in Granada, Spain for the spring semester of 2012. She is very outgoing and loves to travel and meet new people. She also loves exploring new cultures, especially those of Europe.

CEA Spain students partying

Why did you decide to study abroad with CEA?

Emily: Deciding to study abroad was a very scary commitment. I was nervous, anxious and felt unprepared. My university told me that CEA had the best program for what I wanted, and there were many other ISU students going at the same time through CEA, so that eased my nerves a bit. CEA was very organized and extremely helpful throughout the whole application and pre-departure process. My representative was very timely with responding to my questions and always had an answer or knew where to direct me. Abroad, the CEA staff was awesome. They were also extremely organized and helpful and were very experienced working with American students. CEA truly helped make my study abroad experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Emily: Studying abroad completely changed my life for the better. Before I left, I was a shy and very worrisome person. I hung out with my friends only and did not like to branch out. Being in a foreign country completely changed me. I left with an open mind because I did not know anyone else going. I quickly and easily made friendships that I know will last the rest of my life. It is important to remember that everyone is in the same position as you. You are all alone and in a foreign country together which is comforting. Studying abroad truly broadened my horizons and made me appreciate all of the things I have in my life. Also, I am much more open to new experiences and willing to talk to people that I don’t know and branch out of my comfort zone. I learned to not let the little things stress me out or ruin my day, because sometimes there are bumps along the way but you will always make it to your destination.