Isabel has been heading the EUROACE team for almost two decades and has plenty of experience when it comes to international education. Thats why we thought it would be interesting to get her thoughts on how study abroad has been affected by the health crisis, how EUROACE has been coping and why study abroad continues to be so important nowadays?
How long have you been working in the study abroad industry and what made you want to get into it?
I have been working in international education for more than 20 years now. I started out in this field because of my interest in languages and other cultures and so it appealed to me that i’d always get to work with people from different countries, experience new cultures and practice languages every day. It’s the perfect combination for me.
Why do you think study abroad is so important?
I think it’s a fundamental experience for personal development on so many levels. It’s an experience that makes us more understanding of others and more respectful of other cultures too. I think it also helps young people to get better at relating to people and this is really important for all of us.
Of course, there is always learning involved through academic and professional programs for example learning a new language or improving your career profile via an internship – all of which can be very beneficial to anyone.
What three things does a successful study abroad program need to have?
Firstly the student needs to come with an open mind so they are able to adapt to different situations and be open to success. On top of this, the student needs to be ready to face new challenges and not be scared of getting out of their comfort zone. This will make sure they have a positive experience from the first moment. The third thing would be an experienced team of professionals guiding the program and provide key support. It’s really important students feel supported and confident to make the most of their program.
How has the current pandemic affected the study abroad industry?
The pandemic firstly affected international travel and shortly after that, international lockdowns halted everything. Despite this, all professionals in this industry and educational institutions worked hard to adapt to the new circumstances. In fact, the students were also really flexible too which made the change to online education much easier.
Study abroad programs at EUROACE were transferred online during the first months for students in Spain as well as for students who wanted to access study abroad from their home countries.
How has the pandemic affected Euroace in particular?
Our online programs instantly grew in popularity. Our online programs which were originally like a preparation course before traveling to Spain became absolutely necessary in order to provide our students with academic services and to make sure their education didn’t stop!
What do you do at Euroace to provide unique study abroad programs in Spain?
Our main asset is that we make sure our programs are personalized. We try to make each program specific to that student and we give personal support to each and every student who we manage. We believe that every student has their own interests, learning goals and learning abilities. This is why we try to include all of these factors in their study abroad experience.
What do students typically enjoy the most about studying abroad?
There are many things students enjoy with some of the main things being; the cultural immersion element, the daily adventure of a new routine and cultural surroundings, the people they meet, and of course the traveling and exploring of different cities and a brand new country.
What are some of the main challenges they experience?
Usually the linguistic and cultural barriers create challenges for students. The culture shock can be tough for some students who maybe have not traveled before or are not used to big changes in their surroundings. With support from EUROACE and from other internationals in the same situation, they can adjust very well.
What advice would you give to students thinking of studying abroad in 2021?
To have an open mind and to be ready to explore a new country and discover a new culture! Also, to be open to meet new people and to learn many new things! Your experience depends a lot on your attitude towards it.
Would you like to add anything else?
We want to encourage students to study abroad because right now students have doubts about traveling because of Covid but they shouldn’t worry. If you follow the rules and respect the restrictions, studying abroad continues to be an enriching opportunity!
At EUROACE, and all of our partner organizations, we continue to follow all safety rules to make sure we provide a safe space for our students. If it’s not possible to travel, our online programs are also available so you don’t give up on an international experience!
**Our 10% discount on all study abroad programs booked before the end of 2020 still applies!**
If you have any further questions about study abroad, EUROACE programs or how to apply be sure to contact Isabel directly at email@example.com