In honor of Valentine's Day, we're sharing alumni stories about international love. Whether it's finding love, growing love, or love of place, CIEE alumni all over the world told their stories of "exchange program love" - showing us a different type of life-changing experience that you can have abroad. Enjoy these special stories!
Julee Powers (CIEE Teach Abroad, Spain, 2013 - 2014)
"In college, I never had the opportunity to study abroad without getting too far behind in my coursework. So I decided that I would have my study abroad experience after graduation! I researched many locations but something was pulling me towards Malaga, Spain. I enrolled in a Spanish language school there and, the day after I received my diploma, hopped on a flight to Spain with hopes to expand my horizons. For me, it was very important to be able to have that foreign immersion experience. At the same time, I knew that learning Spanish would be a good resume builder. But what I didn’t know is that I would find something else..."
Franziska Hodde (CIEE High School USA, Montana, 2010 - 2011)
"I experienced the most exciting year of my life during my high school exchange year to the United States from 2010 - 2011. Fate made me end up in Helena, Montana, a city that is like a sleeping beauty in the midst of the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. This was the journey of my life. Not only because I met a wonderful host family that I couldn't describe any other way than a true second family to me, but also because I met the best friends I have ever had. What made this journey change my life entirely, though, is a small and at first glance insignificant moment at a local candy store..."
Mariam Aghayan & Tayler Rose (CIEE Study Abroad, Berlin, Spring 2017)
"Tayler Rose & I studied abroad in Berlin through the CIEE Open Campus program in the spring of 2017. We both very accidentally decided to choose Berlin as our study abroad location, but it turned out for the best. Not only did I have the most incredible study abroad semester, but I ended up meeting and falling in love with the love of my life..."
Olesya Baranova (CIEE Work & Travel USA, San Diego, 2008; CIEE Internship USA, Troy, 2011)
"My relationship with America is rather intricate, as it sometimes happens between people loving each other – strong, emotional, changing from 'we're better to break up' to 'can't live without you,' from 'I've met someone else' to 'let's start everything from scratch...'"
Check out these other alumni stories with surprising twists of love:
Jason Kane (CIEE Study Abroad, Cape Town, 2006) who met his wife, Lauren Libera (CIEE Study Abroad, Cape Town, 2006), while studying abroad.
Hajnalka Pracser (Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, Napa Valley, 2007) who met her husband while interning at a vineyard.
Stephanie Fodor (CIEE Study Abroad, Tokyo, 2003) who met her husband, Jimmy (CIEE Study Abroad, Tokyo, 2003) while studying abroad.