Cultural Engagement Abroad with CEA
What makes CEA a different study abroad experience is the Cultural Engagement Series. The staff always encourage trying new things and give the students the push they need to do it.
Cultural Engagement Abroad
Trying new things and becoming truly culturally aware is one of the most challenging and fun journeys while studying abroad. One thing that drew me to CEA’s program here in Paris is the required cultural engagement that coincides with your specific course curriculum. Within my first few weeks of being onsite, I have participated in a variety of cultural excursions that have complemented what I am reading, researching, and learning about. I believe these experiences have truly improved my education thus far, made me more culturally aware of the Parisian culture, and have made me feel more at home here in Paris.
What I’ve Done
To improve my French conversation skills, my French class went to a cafe to converse with locals. To enhance my understanding of art history, I visited Musse Cognac-Jay, an 18th century exhibit staged in an 18th century house. I learned how to shop professionally for wine with my Oenology Professor at Lavania, Paris’s largest wine shop. In addition to what I have been reading about in my fashion media class, we went on a walking class through the Passages and Galleries Lafayette, the birthplace of the department store. In an effort to expose myself to some of the arts in the community, I attended a circus performance. All of these events were required by my program to engage me in my studies and the community in which I am living. Many people give study abroad the negative stereotype of the “vacation semester,” but that is far from the truth with CEA. These extensions of the classroom are more than just field trips: they teach us in ways a classroom lesson never could.
Things to remember when participating in cultural activities:
- Be present and keep an open mind
- Ask questions
- Enjoy the experience
Emily D. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Blogger in Paris, France. She is currently a Freshman studying Communications at High Point University.