Scholarship Winner Blog Entry

We are proud that we have two scholarship winners and a strong runner-up that will be joining us this summer! We will be posting all three entries on three different days! Here is one of the three scholarship entries, written by Natalie from Canada! 


There are so many benefits to studying abroad, which I have had the pleasure of experiencing first hand and hope to continue to take part in such a unique experience. Last summer I spent a month in Nice, France with a host family in hopes of improving my French and experiencing a new culture. My trip did just that and more. My French improved drastically, I eventually became comfortable in a foreign environment with people I had just met and I was completely immersed in a very fascinating culture.

This was my first trip abroad without my family, so I was not really sure what to expect and was a little nervous. However, after about a week into my trip, I became completely comfortable with my friendly host family and really started picking up on new French words and phrases that I had not learned in school. To me, my eight years of taking French prior to this trip could not measure to actually living in the culture and language that I had heard about in school. While I had learned grammar in school and written French, this opportunity allowed for me to learn what real French people actually say in everyday lives, which I believe made all the difference in my French improving.

Spending a long period of time in a new culture is sureNataliePhoto2Cheese to
give you a whole new outlook on how different your culture is. While I have travelled a lot with my family before this exchange trip I had not truly been able to be immersed in any culture, like I had when I lived with my host family. When I first arrived, I greeted my family by hugging them not knowing that everyone there kisses on both cheeks, which I soon mastered after meeting many new people. I also noted that they start their days much later than North-Americans do and have dinners (always with bread, cheese and tapenade) much later as well. While their culture was hard to get used to at first, I very quickly got comfortable with their routine and was able to appreciate a different culture.Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity to improve a language, get fully immersed into a culture and to simply become a better-rounded individual. I believe that everyone should experience studying abroad if they have the chance.

Wonderful blog post Natalie! We can’t wait to see more posts from you this summer! 

Why Teens Study Abroad?

From our recent video contest (see results here), we’ve been able to gain some insights into why high school students want to study abroad. Here are some common themes shared by our nine video contestants:

Expand: Many students expressed their desire to get out of their small town, bubble, or comfort zone! These students are eager to expand their horizons. As our video winner, Rya, shares, “I look forward to learning more about myself as a tourist, person, and as part of a family in Spain

Experience: These travel hungry teens also want to
experience a new culture including food, dancing, art, historic sites, and more. Bon Apetetit!

Enhance: These high school scholars also want a chance to practice their Spanish or French and to take their conversational skills to a new level.

Engage: Lastly these ambitious adolescents are also interested in connecting and engaging with new students throughout their journey! The idea of crating long-lasting friendships with someone from a different country i very appealing, which makes us proud to offer these programs and free trip opportunities!




These four E’s are exactly what ECI is all about!

Why do you want to study abroad?

*Photos courtesy of one of our video contestants, Kohilan!




Winners of our FREE trip to Europe contest!

The final vote counts are in and we are proud to announce our winners! To see the winning videos, click here.

RyaCrop 1st place goes to Rya from British Columbia, Canada! Rya shared in her video that she can’t wait to immerse herself in the culture of Spain. She also looks forward to learning more about herself as a tourist, person, and as part of a family in Spain! 
alliCrop 2nd place goes to Ali from San Diego, California! Ali shared in her video that she is part French and looks forward to understanding more of her families culture. She also wants to try new things, like French food! 
EmCrop 3rd place goes to Em from New Brunswick, Canada! Em said that she wants to run with the bulls and become a polyglot! She is passionate about Spanish history and language! Em está lista! 

Congrats to all participants! These nine brave high school students had the iniative to share their travel abroad motivations with the entire world through their videos. This can only be done by a dreamer and a doer.

A Podcast Interview on the Benefits of Studying Abroad

One of our Program Leaders, Sarah Behm, was interviewed by Edspiration about the benefits of studying abroad in high school. On this interview she shares about intercultural and interpersonal awareness and growth that is often the result of studying abroad. Sarah also highlights the importance of what you do before, during and after the trip to further broaden your cross-cultural learning.

Listen and share!

PODCAST: Inspire Intercultural Awareness and Adventures

Study Abroad in Spain – When? Where? How?

Study Abroad in Spain - When? Where? How?


The simple choice is between studying abroad in college or while still in high school.

Most universities offer a Study Abroad program, arranged through a Spanish university, usually lasting between three months and a year. A great way to spend part of your college years, but more and more students are choosing to take their opportunity to study abroad in Spain earlier and are instead opting to take part in summer programs while still in high school, most often during their junior or senior year.

Summer high school Study Abroad programs in Spain are put together by experienced organizations specializing in offering group and individual immersion opportunities to high school students during the months of July and August.
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