ACCEPTED! The CIEE Application & Me
Thanks for stopping by to read my very first post! I'm Kamalía, like Kah-mah-lee-yah. I wanted to talk to you about the CIEE application process.
A few quick things about myself: I was just recently honored with the role of an Official Blogger for CIEE! I am a proud alumna of Harvard University and Arizona State University. I’ve served as a university advisor for the TRIO programs and I love to teach others and learn. I’m 27, with 3 degrees and a craving to explore the world!
On to other important things, I was recently accepted to the Teach in Spain + 4 Week Immersion program and I’m extremely excited!
If you haven't started yet, the CIEE application system is easy to navigate. You can conveniently save and submit one item at a time, and log out and come back and complete it later! So no excuses that you don’t have the time!
The resume part might trip you up--but no fear, I always gave my students this awesome easy-to-follow Harvard Resume guide here:
One more tip for scanning your degree or your passport photo, you can easily download the free app iScanner to your phone and just take pictures, send them to your email and instantly upload them from your computer.
The personal statement took me the longest because it is asking WHO you are, WHY this path, and WHAT motivates you, PLUS it's PERSONAL! The CIEE personal statement asks you to answer certain questions and they're flexible on what format you use. I like essay-style, so I wrote the questions in Microsoft Word, answered them individually in paragraph form, then deleted the questions and wove the paragraphs together.
For help on personal statement writing, I love this site: http://college.usatoday.com/2012/10/12/10-tips-for-writing-a-grad-school-personal-statement/.
It briefly explains a grad school statement; but it can easily be catered to creating your CIEE personal statement. Plus it’s great practice for gap-year students who may eventually go on to graduate school! I know it can be hard to share about yourself, but do get a pair of eyes to look over your essay, someone you trust. Don't change it too much, just have them look out for grammatical errors, remember, the personal statement is about you!
Now, I would love to share with you some reasons why I want to go to Spain!
Here is an excerpt from my CIEE personal statement:
“I have a heart, mind and spirit that aches to consume knowledge, explore the world, taste different foods, live in the moment, educate, explore and to be exposed to all the beauties of culture. Spain innately offers the treasures and opportunities to satiate the pangs of this hunger. There is much to discover about the history of Spain through the Catholic churches, to housing the oldest operating restaurant in the world, to living a completely different lifestyle than I’m accustomed to. The very first savory appetizer that drew me into this country was served upon my very first day of 4th grade in one of my favorite classes appropriately named “Spanish”. My teacher had been inspired by the art and language of the country over her entire summer vacation and was now imparting that energy, insight and music into the ears of her students. I went home with a masterpiece of 64 different crayon colors on a sheet of paper, slightly crinkled at my fist, with the shape of Spain on it; with the city of Madrid in bold at its center. For Christmas, when most little girls asked for a Barbie Dream House and Game Boys, I wrote to Santa Clause for a globe. The world seemed so small on my globe. I could trace my finger a couple inches to the left across the ocean from North America to Europe, then just a couple inches more to the Philippines, my mother’s home country.
‘Learn to Change the World’ emblazoned every entrance and website of my Masters program at Harvard. These were the very words that initially inspired me to apply to the program to quell my intrinsic urge to create positive multicultural environments, fight social injustice, and to bridge the gap in health and educational disparities on a domestic and global scale. If I am truly to change the world, shouldn’t I have at least experienced the world?”
Thank you for reading the first two paragraphs of my personal statement!
Aside from my craving for culture, I am most excited about experiencing Spain and other countries in Europe, becoming fluent in Spanish, crossing off a lot of items on my “bucket list”, blogging, making new friends and trying new foods and drinks! I’m nervous to leave my family, friends and dog children behind; but adventure calls to me, and I refuse to ignore it!
Look out for more of my future posts on the VISA process, placement and adventures in Europe!