Central College Abroad (CCA)

Why choose Central College Abroad (CCA)?

Established in 1965, Central College Abroad is a nationally recognized study abroad provider attracting students from across the United States. Colleges and universities choose Central College Abroad to offer rich global opportunities for their students. International educators tell us that Central College's programs provide their students stronger academics and more opportunities for cultural integration. Students tell us they benefit from our personalized approach and continual exposure to the local culture.

Central offers distinctive programs in eight locations worldwide, including semester, year-long and summer options, and we seek to shape students’ global perspective by integrating the areas of academic study and experiential learning, as highlighted by our hybrid program model.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

Studying abroad in Spain was the best decision I have ever made. I was able to travel to many countries and throughout Spain, I tried a ton of new food, I improved my Spanish, and I met my best friend! I would do anything to go back and relive the entire experience or have a another completely different one. Studying abroad allowed me to grow as a person and see new ways to look at life. I learned so much while in Spain in addition to the Spanish I was learning. It's amazing how many times in a week that I find myself remembering all of the great stories and memories that I happened while I was abroad.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience of My Life...

So I entered into a semester study abroad period with Central College thinking, "ok get my French mastered, experience some culture along the way and I'll be happy". What ended up happening was that I stayed a full year (I just couldn't leave yet)and had one of the best experiences of my life.

Classes were hard work, but the prepping at the Institut Tourraine was unbelievably amazing. The professors were prepared for international students and tought in ways that made sure we retained information and were really learning. In the first month I lived with a family in Tours which really helped me break out of my shell and try new things. By the time we all moved to Paris I was ready for a challenge.

At the Institut Catholique I was able to take classes with students from all over the world, young and old, and with a range of positions in life. The professors at Catholique were difficult, but most were very fun. Classes I took there have helped me carry on through my undergraduate and now my Global MBA. But its not all in the classroom. I went out and met friends, and attended language exchanges outside of the program. This gave me the chance to network and meet tons of people that I have had the fortune to stay fairly close with since my return.

I would suggest that if you have any passion for the French culture, language, scenery, or anything that you take up this program and run with it. The director is fantastic and fun, but at the end of the day a study abroad is really what you make of it. Go out there and enjoy every single day cause trust me it goes by way too fast!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Going beyond what you've ever dreamed

Waking up in my own bedroom in Bangor, I anticipate the drawing back of my window curtain for in the distance are the peaks of Snowdonia National Park. Every morning is different but always more beautiful. I make a fresh cup of tea or coffee, hop into my shower, and then walk about seven minutes to the Main Arts building for class. Also called "Hogwarts", Main Arts sits on display for all of Bangor and draws students in with it's gothic-cathedral looking facade, huge library, computer facilities, and terrace cafe overlooking downtown.

After only two lecutres and a break in between for lunch and an email check, I go back to my building, maybe catch some of my flatmates, and then hit the pavement for an afternoon run to the Isle of Anglesey which sits across the Menai Strait. Hoping to see Kate Middleton at the Anglsey grocery store, Waitrose, I stop in for a moment.

Cooking some chicken, rice, and vegetables in the kitchen, my flat mates remind me that I can make the last inter-hall soccer game on the tennis courts just outside our building after my program class which starts at 6:30 p.m.

After another very enjoyable class with our amazing director, Tecwyn Vaughn Jones, I join the last soccer match of the night.

I try and hit the sack early because the next day is my Outdoor Pursuits class and we are going surfing, or sea level traversing. I also need rest for the upcoming long weekend visit with our program to Ireland where we will be visiting Dublin, Galway, and renting bikes on the Aran Islands for a day! I'm bummed I'll be missing Penrallt Baptist Church's last free student dinner at Faith Cafe but I'm so thankful for their welcoming arms to short term students at Bangor. They have become more than a community, but family and friends. I have found my faith more in that place than they will ever fully know.

Life in Bangor is not only good, it's great. I can't believe how much culture can be experienced in such a seemingly remote country. Just today I was sitting in between two students in the computer lab, one who had her screen in Arabic, the other who was talking to her mother in French on facebook. I was kicking myself for not taking the offered Welsh intensive course! My Spanish speaking skills have came in handy last weekend when I visited Spain with some friends but I still should have taken the opportunity our program offered at the start of the semester.

Nonetheless, my experience at Bangor has changed my life from the inside out. From people and places, to travelling every other weekend with our American program (paid for by Central College), and going on personal adventures in between to Spain, France, Scotland, and Austria, my time here will live on still when I return to the U.S.A. where I can relay what I have seen, heard, and felt in various ways through studying abroad in Wales.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I will never regret this decision.

I have fallen in love with this place, the food, and the people. The bonds that our group has made with each other and with Veronica (our program director) is something I know I will never experience again.

There has never been an opportunity that I have passed up here and it has been worth every penny. My host family has beocme a vital part of my life and the Spanish culture has begun to feel like second nature.
Granada is a welcoming city full of adventure and things to do. There is never a dull moment if you choose to study here.

Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

Bangor, Wales: The Adventure of a Lifetime

After coming back to the States from studying abroad in Wales and traveling all over Europe during my three week long Spring Break I am definitely missing certain aspects of life abroad. One such thing is the public transportation system. Public trains and buses were a godsend when traveling and their inexpensive cost was aided by the fact that most of us got student discounts. Although not as convenient as having a personal car, public transportation made getting from place to place easy in a culture where gas prices are extremely high and classes for driver’s education are expensive and difficult. Another thing I miss most about Wales is the pub scene. Drinking in Wales can be very casual and the pubs were a great place to chill with friends and have a casual drink. I consider pubs very different from the bars in the United States because I would much prefer the atmosphere of a pub over the bar scene. I also miss the feeling of being a foreigner, strange as that may sound. I miss the attention that being American gave me when hanging out with my Welsh friends; to be the one with the accent. I never felt like an outcast as an American in a Welsh culture but rather the center of intense questioning about American culture and the way we did things, what I did for fun and what college was like.
I learned a lot while I was abroad and some lessons were greater than others and I’ll take them with me as I get older, ones I can never forget. Outdoor Pursuits was an amazing experience and where I learned the most about myself and my limits. There were times that I didn’t want to do the activity because I just was either scared or afraid of what could happen. I got hung up on the “what if” of the moment and I learned to just let go and take a leap of faith (literally sometimes). I learned that I’ll try most anything once and I’ll always keep an open mind. I learned I stay calm in stressful situations and take everything I hear with a grain of salt. I learned about other cultures and how stereotypes can really be jokingly false and how my perception of “foreign” became somewhat “familiar” by the end of my journey.
I learned a lot from my study abroad experience and there are so many things that I will never forget. People, places, and so many adventures are burned into my memory taking me back to those experiences every time I close my eyes. I only hope I can inspire people to do the same as I did and take the opportunity to study abroad since it is literally a once in a lifetime chance and is well worth everything you put into it. I can’t think of a time in my life where I felt more excited, anxious, accomplished, lucky, and bewildered in my life.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Felicia Coleman

Felicia Coleman is from Houston, Texas and currently studies biology in Pella, Iowa. She enjoys traveling, painting, and going to the beach.

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Highlights: The highlight of my academic experience was gaining personal experiences with the professors. They were some of the most engaging teachers I’d ever had. They were very patient and really came to care about the students’ success. Whenever we would take breaks it was always great to see the professors coming outside to talk with us, there was a friendship that was created.

The highlight of my Granada experience was visiting all of the old Arabic sites. There was so much interesting history that was only specific to Granada that you wouldn’t find in any other part of Spain. The best part was two days before I left when I got to experience an Arabic bath in the original architecture.

Morning: I had class from 8-12 with a 30 minute break. I loved my walk across the river to class; the rows of trees and winding pathways were enchanting. It is one of my most memorable moments in Granada. You do much more walking in Granada than you normally would in the states, but it is worth it because of the scenery. Sometimes I would stop by a bakery before class and grab a napoletina chocolate pastry. My morning class was fantastic, it was very personable and intimate, there were only around 8 people in the class including myself.

Afternoon: After class I would go to my flat and eat lunch with my host family. It was wonderful to have a home cooked lunch every day and interact with the family. The food was always fresh/organic and tasty. Although, it was never similar to any American dish I had, I was rarely disappointed with the flavor. Then we would all take a siesta(nap) and my host parents would return to their work. Then I would work on homework or go hang out with friends at any number of the parks or plazas in Granada.

Evening: During the evenings I would go out for tapas with my friends and sometimes beforehand I would go shopping. The evening time in Granada was really pretty, they always have lights, pretty much Christmas lights, hanging around. When it was much later in the evening I would go out to the nightlife, I rarely felt unsafe when me and a group were out in the middle of the night.