Central College Abroad (CCA)

Program Reviews

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Emily
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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MJOYCE
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Regan
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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hstewart67
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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janseng
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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GiriGenevieve
10/10

When I was first researching study abroad programs I didn't even really know too much about Central College Abroad. I originally planned to study in Sevilla with a different program. Unfortunately for me that other program could not guarantee me that courses that I would need to graduate after my semester abroad. Central College Abroad was recommended to me by professors at my school and it ended up being the best decision of my undergraduate career, to complete my degree in Granada, Spain.
As students we don't just simply 'work' with the program directors and staff, we form close relationships and make connections with one another because we come to form a family. The directors and staff of the Central College programs all share a love for acquiring new knowledge of a different culture, all want to constantly share that new knowledge, and also want to ensure that every student has the best experience possible.
This includes scheduling program cultural experiences of traveling and other hands-on activities. At the conclusion of the program in one more month, we will have traveled to 4 different cities of Spain together as well voyaged to another continent (the northern tip of Africa, in Morocco with an exchange program where we lived with Moroccan host families!) where we visited multiple cities as well. And all of our guided trips are not just all historical/serious ones! (Although they are of course, all very cultural.) With this program we have had the opportunities to really emerge ourselves in the Spanish culture with a wine tasting event, an extravagant olive oil tasting experience, a Flamenco show, internship and volunteer opportunities, multiple city tours, a professional futbol game, and the most eye-opening...a bullfight! To put it simply, we are given all of the right tools to succeed living abroad in a different country and continent.
Contact with the Central College Abroad staff while we are physically abroad does not just end after the very first introductory day where we receive program rules, are assigned our host families, and get maps of the city. Throughout the semester we have cultural reunions and group meetings just to talk about progress and how we're really doing in every aspect of study abroad life. If we need help or something needs to be changed or adjusted for us, for example with host families or classes, it will be done.
Moreover the office door for the staff is always open to the students. With that being said, there's always someone in there too; it's not just an empty room. Someone is always there for us to talk to, if we need help, have a question, or simply want to come in and say hello or spend a few quick minutes practicing our Spanish. It's comforting to know that I not only made the right decision by choosing Central College Abroad over any other program, but to know as well that I finished my undergraduate degree in the best way possible.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Inkling
9/10

Although the classes I took at London Met. were less than challenging, the experience of simply living and working in London was invaluable. My internship was fantastic, and the program excursions fascinating.

Yes, I recommend this program
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RLehr
10/10

Studying in Wales was my first time living abroad and it was the best place I could have chosen! Bangor University isn't some huge university in a giant city; and this definitely works in the program's favor. While it is not small, it allows you to get accustomed to the city easily and get to know other students as well. The flat living style also makes it easy to get to know the people you are living with. The social scene here is probably one of my favorite things - there is always something to do and it's a lot cheaper than the bigger cities in the UK.
Also, the scenery here is amazing. That in itself is worth coming to Wales. Through the Outdoor Pursuits class you gain a real appreciation for where you are. Coming from Iowa it is so exciting to walk to class and see mountains.
There is not one negative thing I have to say about this program or my time abroad. Wales is a great place to study and if you're on the fence about studying abroad- get off and come to Wales!

Yes, I recommend this program
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kansaskid20
9/10

I participated in the summer graphic design program in 2009. It was an amazing experience. I had gone in with a lot of experience, but still left with a lot of new techniques and skills. The day trips all around the Netherlands were very educational and a lot of fun too. The teachers were very knowledgeable and Steef helped out with all the tours and anything you could need. It is a really safe town and was such a great experience. Highly reccommended.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Renae
10/10

I studied abroad in London during the spring of 2011 with Central College Abroad. This experience was truly one of the best things I have ever done and I only wish I could do it all over again. While I was there I made so many wonderful memories and friends that I will have for the rest of my life and I would encourage anyone and everyone to do it! The Central College Abroad staff did a wonderful job of placing me in a marketing internship at Demarquette Fine Chocolates, where I had the opportunity to help in marketing research, as well as event planning. I took three classes through Central, two British culture classes and a theatre class, which was by far my favorite. Each week we had the chance to attend a different show and then spent class time discussing what we had seen. Our program director, Mark, had many weekend excursions planned for us, to places like Brighton, Cambridge, and my favorite Bath. These trips were so much fun and were a great chance for all of us to bond as a group. We spent some weekends in the city of London, exploring parks, museums, and local markets. One of our assignments was actually going to a few different markets just to experience them, and it ended up being a lot of fun, one of the best assignments I’ve ever had! The other weekends we were off experiencing the rest of Europe. One weekend in Paris, the next in Spain, and spring break in Italy, by the end of the semester I had visited 8 different countries! Central College Abroad does a great job of helping students acclimate to living in London, such as how to use public transportation, safety tips, where to get the best food and entertainment, but at the same time they give you plenty of space to grow and experience Europe for yourself. I am so thankful to CCA for all of the wonderful opportunities I had while abroad. Now I am just counting down the days until I can go back!!

Yes, I recommend this program