Friday Top Ten: Reasons I Love CIEE

An introduction

So I have decided that I am far better at blogging when I have something specific to write for,  like Monday Morning Sunsets. So I have decided to make Fridays Top Ten days. What better way to end the week right?! So this week I thought we would start with the top ten things that I love, so far about the program I am in Spain with. (Shout out to my Advisor Antonia who is in China this coming week at the CIEE conference.)


These are in no particular order

  1. My Advisors Antonia and Susan, who navigate all of the red tape in Spain for us so that we don´t have to and are always willing to help us out.
  2. Living with a spanish family. My family is crazy and I love them, they made Spain feel like home and tirelessly help me with my spanish.
  3. My program is tiny. It makes it easier to not get lost in the comfort of home and means that I have more friends from Europe than the states.
  4. Small class sizes. The classes with CIEE have all been pre-aproved  by my university and are with the other (4!) students in my program. This is especially awesome in my spanish class where we go at the pace of the students.
  5. Excursions. Some days an excursion to some part of Mallorca sounds like the worst thing in the world, until you get there. I have explored far more of the island, often with private tours of cool places, than I ever would have   without their assistance. Plus, all of the excursions are free.
  6. Major 4 day vacation included. This semester we spent four days in Madrid. Every thing we did, except the extras at night, were paid for and navigated by CIEE. It was a great way to see the city and it is included in the cost of the program.
  7. It is cheaper that at home. This is my last comment on money, but you cannot deny that it is nice paying less to study in Spain than to pay out-of-state tuition in Iowa. Plus all Iowa students get a special automatic scholarship in Palma. (Free MONEY!)
  8. Application assistance.  Any time I had a question there was someone to answer it and they always remember the questions I had asked in the past, so there was never any confusion.( I don´t care if a computer is the reason for this, it is still awesome)
  9. I get to pay my school directly. That is awesome.
  10. All the plans we still have for the next 10 months. I am so excited I can hardly wait and I know CIEE will make it awesome.



Who’s studying abroad: The US and UIowa

I just found this post online and find it fascinating. If the passport pic had blond hair it could be me. Little scary.Though I have some other exciting news…

There are two UIowa students studying in Palma de Mallorca in the fall!

I don’t know his name, I will meet him when I go to small group orientation in April (or is it May?). All I know is that he is a man, he is from Iowa, and he will only be studying there in the fall. I have to say that it is nice to know that there will be at least one familiar face when I get to Spain. I know they say it is great to have the familiar around when you go through the harder parts of culture shock. I am also excited (sorry if you are the he and you are reading this) that he is leaving after the first semester, I will be all on my own for the spring. Well, at least alone from the Iowan I started with.

while I recognize this a terrifying thought to some the idea of starting someplace new and fresh always excites me. It is the same reason I loved overnight summer camp as a kid and was so excited to start college, I love being a blank slate. I love it when the rest of the world can only see the traces of what I have done and been elsewhere, but can only read what I choose to show them. I think it is exciting (have I said that enough?) and invigorating for the soul.

What are your thoughts on living/ traveling where no one knows who you are?

And away it goes!

Only four days after my second deadline my application is now in the hands of our study abroad office. It is kind of a crazy feeling. I have been working on this for so long it is hard to imagine that it might actually be a reality. I can hear you all rolling your eyes going “ah… you are writing a blog about this… how could you not realize it?” Well let me tell you after I awkwardly did the happy dance in a very public location (I apologize to any and all witnesses) I began to realize the gravity of the whole thing. I won’t go into details until later, I am sure you will hear more about my doubts later and would rather not read them now. My submission though, mostly made me realize how happy I am with my life and though I am excited beyond words at the possibilities of the future, it will be sad to leave behind the life that I have at The University of Iowa.

The Rest of the Process
I promised I would detail the rest of my application process so here it is:

  • My passport scan: this one was simple once I got my self into gear. Time to complete ~5 min
  • Scholarship information: I never realized how quite middle of the road I am and am therefore not qualified for any of these so… ya. This did not take really any time. Time ~ 5 min
  • Evaluator Task:This one was a little bit harder as the professor I asked to submit for application did not complete the task until this morning and was the main reason I was delayed in submission. Though, I am hugely grateful for her letter and am now happy that I waited for it, which is all that really matters in the end.
  • My personal statement: for those of you who are interested, it is at the end of this post. I spent more time in the Spanish writing center than I ever have. Though I just finished the last paragraph today and submitted it today so it might be a little rougher. I do think it is one of the most dense Spanish writing that I have ever done though. Time ~20 hrs
  • Home school nomination: this process is a little different at The University of Iowa than at other institutions, the nomination is only completed after all of the rest of your information is submitted. I was required to verify that all of my information has been turned in and to rough out a potential schedule for my year abroad. This was simple enough to take care of. Time ~ 5 min
    • Personal Statement

    Sueños de España

    El programa de Palma, con CIEE, es mi sueño, tengo todo que necesito y quiero. El único programa en España que tiene mis dos programas de estudio, español y economía. Quiero trabajar con una compañía española para adquirir experiencia. También quiero graduarme en tres años y si tengo un programa en donde no es posible estudiar español y economía, no me graduaré en 2014.

    Quiero estudiar en Palma porque me interesa vivir en un país extranjero y conocer España y Europea. Yo he estudiado español por mas de 10 años pero sólo en mi último año de colegio, puede descubrir que, en realidad, podía usar mi español y tener una conversación real.

    Durante unas vacaciones en México con mis padres, puede conversar por más de una hora con cuna pareja en un bus. Fue un momento especial que transforman mi vida. Antes de este momento pensaba que yo no comprendía nada en español, pero en un hora descubrí que tengo la capacidad de conversar con personas en español.
    Tengo muchas experiencias con otras culturas diferentes a la mía y situaciones difíciles y extrañas. Mis padres se separan cuando tengo dos años y necesito vivir en dos mundos muy diferentes por el resto de mi vida. Aunque mi experiencia con otros cultura es grande. Yo vivía en una comunidad rica y una pobre, estudia en unas escuelas donde estaba en la minoría, visitaría muchos partes de los estados unidos y el mundo, y mis experiencias con la cultura española esta ha cambiado gracias al proceso de determinar de dónde quiero estudiar. He trabajo para conocer mejor la cultura y el país desde el año.

    Si tuve la oportunidad de estudiar con profesores de américa del sur y central en mi colegio y en mi universidad, pero no tuve la oportunidad de tener un profesor de España. En el semestre pasado estudie con dos profesores de España, uno de Madrid y el otro de Andalucía. Leí muchos libros de Palma, Majorca, y España, libros de geografía, comida, culturas, lenguas y muchos más. También leí blogs de Majorca, programas de estudia en Palma y de experiencias de otros estudiantes en países extranjeras. Uso los a un oportunidad a comprender la experiencia y sueno a la.

    Tengo sueños a estudiar en Palma, pero conozco que tengo que necesito a estudiar allí. Mis experiencias con mis padres da me la habilidad a vivir con todos y adaptar a nuevas situaciones rápidamente. Mis escuelas ensenan a mí la importancia de abrir la mente a las oportunidades que la vida ofrece, y también conozco a trabajar y balanza mi tiempo. Por toda mi vida balanzo escuela, actividades extranjeras, como bádminton y debate y músico, trabaja, actividades de mi iglesia, y mantener una vida social. Es difícil para me imagino una tiempo cuando no estoy muy involucrado en mi comunidad, cuando no vivo a mi lema de vida “amo vida, viva vida.” Quiero la oportunidad a viva una vida involucrada en Palma porque conozco que yo tengo que necesito a prosperar.

    The List: My First Reframing.

    I set out to have my application finished on the 10th of February. I hope that you all have realized by this point in my post that this did not happen. While there are a variety of reasons why this might be true I am going to attribute it to three distinct causes

  • I still have yet to finish my personal statement. I am happy to report though that the spanish writing center has torn it asunder four times, but tells me it gets better each time I go in.
  • I do not yet have my letter of recommendation from my professor.
  • I must have the above information in to have The University of Iowa study abroad office approve my application.

    I am reframing my goal (as it cannot be a failure or I would not be going to Spain) into this: I hope to have my application completed and into the Study abroad office at UIowa, ready for approval by this Thursday, February 16, 2011.