The Towson University Study Abroad Office is excited to announce that we have received $30,000 worth of grant money from CIEE, and we want to give it to you!
CIEE is back at it again with generous scholarship opportunities! As a part of their Generation Study Abroad initiative, CIEE has pledged to award $20 million in scholarships by the year 2020. In order to meet this goal, they will be awarding scholarships for the 2017-2018 year.
Towson University pledged to increase the number of study abroad participants by 40% by the year 2020, and although we have already exceeded this goal (2 years ahead of schedule!), CIEE has offered us 6 grants in order to help continue this growth! These grants are specifically for students studying abroad on a CIEE Open Campus Program at their Global Institutes in Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, Cape Town, and Madrid.
These 18-week programs offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture while taking courses taught in English from one of five academic tracks: Business; Communications, Journalism, and New Media; International Relations and Political Science; Language, Literature and Culture; Health Science.
Open Campus Grants:
- Six $5,000 grants to students attending 3 blocks at one of the six CIEE Global Institutes, or at a combination of 3 locations.
- Must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA
- Must be a sophomore by the start of the program
- Must be studying abroad on a CIEE Open Campus Program at one of the Global Institutes in Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, Cape Town, or Madrid for 18 weeks in the Spring 2018 semester
- Must have completed Towson’s Horizons application, and started CIEE’s application by the nomination deadline
INTERESTED? Students should visit the Study Abroad Office website and contact the TU Study Abroad Office at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Application Deadline: FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
My name is Amanda Reid, and I am a junior at Towson double majoring in Spanish and International Studies and planning to graduate in the spring of 2018. I was born and raised in Bel Air, Maryland, so travelling through ISA to Madrid, Spain for nine months was a huge life change for me. Before I left for my trip abroad, everyone always warned me about the culture shock that I would feel when I landed abroad. What they don’t tell you is how strange it is to come home and see that while you have changed so much, everything in your hometown is exactly the same as when you left. Sure, a store may have moved into the local mall and they finally finished the construction on the road where you always commute, but the place that used to be your whole world now seems much smaller in the grand scheme of things. After living in Madrid for nine months, coming home to Harford County, MD, and readjusting was definitely a struggle.
Overall, my time abroad was an incredible experience. I met people from all over the world, created friendships that will last a lifetime, and made more memories than I can count. Before I left for Spain, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and after being there I now know that I want to study international management and learn as many languages as I can while I’m still in school. The harsh reality of coming back is that you want to leave again right away and have another great adventure, but you probably drained your bank account while you were abroad. Below are a few tips on things I have done since returning home to help me cope with the fact that I currently don’t have the funding to travel everywhere I still want to go.
- There are things to do in your home state: Specifically in Maryland you have Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC, not far from where you are. Plan day trips to go hiking in parks, go to ballgames, go out to restaurants, go to concerts, and learn to embrace the culture of your home. When I came home, I went to a lantern festival, which was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced and it was only an hour drive from my house. To quote the movie UP, “Adventure is out there,” and sometimes it may even be in your own backyard.
- Find a local hangout spot: this is a huge tip for people who have just returned home. Find a local coffee shop, bookstore, park, etc., and get your homework and papers done there instead of staying at home.
- Volunteer with the study abroad office: The study abroad office is full of people who also studied abroad. They are either going through or went through the exact same reverse culture shock you are experiencing, and talking about your travels with someone as equally passionate as you helps make the transition easier.
- Plan your next adventure: Plan a week-long trip to visit friends you met abroad in another state, plan a weekend trip to the beach, plan your next trip abroad; planning the next adventure helps take the sting off of the fact that your abroad adventure is over for now.
- Find restaurants in your area that serve the same food as the country you traveled to: After my first month of satisfying my Chickfila and Qdoba cravings, I began to crave Spanish food. Baltimore has a restaurant called Tío Pepe where I was finally able to find some gazpacho and paella. It does not taste exactly the same, but it satisfies the craving just the same.
- Continue to stay in contact with the people you studied abroad with: I am still in contact with many of the people with whom I have traveled the world, and we are now organizing trips to visit each other. Even if you can’t visit each other, they are also learning to readjust to their lives at home just as much as you are and are great people with whom to talk.
- Embrace the fact that study abroad changed your perspectives. I experienced so many breakdowns of stereotypes I had based on what I saw in the news, and now that I’m back, I frequently debate with my family and classmates over different topics due to my changed perspective.
Perhaps the most difficult question anyone has asked me since I’ve been back is “How was study abroad?!” the way they would ask how a week-long vacation was. I was gone for almost an entire year and there is no way I can answer that question with just a one word response, or even a sentence for that matter. Madrid is my home almost as much as Harford County is. Although the readjustment to life in Maryland has been difficult, it has helped me come to appreciate the things that exist within an hour drive from me while also giving me time to analyze my time abroad and start organizing the next steps in my life as well as my next adventure.
Photo Courtesy of Elana Stewart
Courses: SPAN 101 Spanish Elements I, SPAN 102 Spanish Elements II, SPAN 201 Spanish Intermediate I, SPAN 202 Spanish Intermediate II, SPAN 301 Composition and Conversation I, SPAN 302 Composition and Conversation II, SPAN 305 Readings in Spanish, SPAN 371 Special Topics in Spanish, SPAN 372 Special Topics in Spanish, SPAN 373 Special Topics in Spanish – Civilization Advanced, SPAN 391 Advanced Spanish Grammar, SPAN 408 Advanced Spanish Conversation
Fearless Leaders: Dr. German DePatricio
Site visits: Flamenco performance, visits to some of Madrid’s most famous museums and sites (Museo del Prado, Museo Reina Sofia, Palacio Real, Museo Thyssen Bornemisza), and excursions to Segovia and Toledo.
Did you know Madrid has a population of 3 million and is the largest city in Spain and the third largest city in the European Union. Its vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere uniquely combines the old and the new.
To see the Horizons program page click here!
Being in Madrid for three weeks was probably the best thing that I ever
decided to do. I never had my heart set on going away for a semester but this
short term program fit my schedule perfectly. Not only did I have the time of
my life but taking six credits in three weeks let me have a very easy last
semester at Towson. Living with a host family while in Madrid was another good
choice as I was surrounded by the language and the culture at all times. My house
mother cooked for me and my roommates three times a day and was always there to
help us. She could not speak any English so this was a great way to really get
to know the Spanish language and culture all at once. I wish that I was able to
go for just a week or so longer but that gives me more to do in the