Delfina Szigethy ‘25, a Campus Ambassador Program for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)’s Open Campus, shared her experiences with the study abroad program

Delfina Szigethy ‘25 began her spring semester studying in London, and is concluding it in Madrid. Along the way, she is sharing her experiences with other Lehigh University students, and answering questions as they consider whether to pursue similar study abroad opportunities themselves.

Delfina Szigethy outside the Royal Opera Arcade in London
Delfina Szigethy outside the Royal Opera Arcade in London during her study abroad experience through the CIEE Open Campus program.

Szigethy, who is pursuing a business management degree at Lehigh’s College of Business, hosted a public Zoom meeting on April 18, during which students had the opportunity to ask about her experience with Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)’s Open Campus, one of several study abroad programs with which Lehigh partners.

“It’s been a very good experience for me,” Szigethy said. “The classes are awesome, the field trips are great, and there's a lot of extracurricular activities they organize, if you need help making more friends. My experience with it has definitely been very positive.”

A Comparative Perspective

Szigethy spent six weeks in London at the start of her semester, and is now partially through spending 12 weeks in Madrid, as part of CIEE’s Open Campus semester program. This unique program provides students the opportunity to customize their study abroad experience by selecting up to three locations during the 18-week semester in a variety of cities around the world.

“The Open Campus program allows students to gain a comparative perspective by taking courses in different locations,” said Katy Rene, Assistant Director of Study Abroad at Lehigh. “Students can study topics from the arts and language, to global health and STEM, with the opportunity to also participate in an internship, research, or service-learning.”

Kayleigh Hart ‘27, who studied abroad in Ecuador last year through the Lehigh Launch program, attended Szigethy’s Zoom session to learn more about CIEE and Open Campus. She asked a wide variety of questions, including about the application process, how to select cities, details about travel, choosing academic courses, and housing accommodations.

“It definitely sounds interesting,” Hart said. “I lived with a host family in Ecuador and it was really fun talking to people and learning more about that country, so I was definitely interested in learning more about other study abroad options.”

Answering Questions

Delfina Szigethy and Kayleigh Hart talking in Zoom chat windows
Delfina Szigethy (top) discussing the CIEE Open Campu sprogram with Kayleigh Hart (bottom) during a Zoom conversation.

Szigethy organized the Zoom meeting and answered questions as part of her participation in the CIEE Campus Ambassador Program. As a campus ambassador, Szigethy shares her experiences with others while also getting career training and personal development, honing her public speaking skills, and helping transform the study abroad landscape.

“I’m always happy to answer any questions other students may have,” Szigethy said, adding that they can email her with inquiries.

Lehigh offers a large variety of education abroad experiences, including study abroad, the Global Citizenship Program, and the Iacocca International Internship Program. Lehigh had 759 student abroad experiences in 40 countries during the 2022-23 academic year. More than 300 programs were offered that year, and 31% of study abroad experiences included hands-on work.

A Variety of Courses

Szigethy has taken a wide variety of courses through CIEE Open Campus this semester, from “Strategic Brand Management” to “British Women’s Literature”. Classes like “Contemporary Challenges in Global Health” worked as an elective for her Population Health minor, and courses like “European Immigration” fit well with her Global Studies minor.

In addition to Spain and the United Kingdom, the CIEE Open Campus semester program offers study abroad experiences in international cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Dublin, Kyoto, Milan, Monteverde, Paris, Prague, Rome, Santiago, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, and more.

“I think CIEE does a really good job of getting you out and into these places,” Szigethy said. “They know you’re here to learn about places like London and Madrid, and through my classes I feel like I’ve learned so much about the culture here and have really gotten to experience these places, which has been great.”