Cortney Miller ’11 heads to Madrid for graduate school
July 28, 2011 By Elizabeth Trollinger
CentreTerm trip to Catalonia) will spend a year in Madrid
studying Spanish literature and culture through NYU.
Miller (above left, with Sarah Hall '11 and Regina Basconi '11 at
the Parliament building of Catalunya) studied abroad three
times while a student at Centre.
Around 85 percent of Centre students study abroad during their four years at Centre thanks to the Centre Commitment. But some of them, like Cortney Miller ’11, continue to study abroad after they’ve graduated.
Miller will be moving to Spain in the fall to earn a master’s degree in Spanish literary and cultural studies through New York University. The graduate program will allow Miller to spend a year studying a broad spectrum of Spanish culture in Madrid.
A Spanish and art history major at Centre, Miller is glad to have found a graduate program that combines her interests and areas of expertise.
“I love Spanish, but I’m interested in a more holistic study that includes all aspects of the culture and isn't just limited to literature studies,” she says. “I was very attracted to NYU because their program allows students to combine interests they have within the discipline — like my interest in art history.”
Studying abroad is nothing new to Miller, who spent a semester in London in 2009, CentreTerm 2010 in Costa Rica and CentreTerm 2011 in Catalonia.
“Each of these trips was unique, but they all taught me how to live in a foreign country,” Miller says. “I also did independent grant-funded research last summer in Barcelona, so my passport is well-used!”
Along with her study abroad experiences, Miller also believes the academic expectations she grew accustomed to at Centre will help her immensely during graduate school.
“Centre prepared me extremely well to undertake this kind of graduate study. NYU's program is only a year long, so that means it will be fast-paced and academically rigorous — something that I am quite familiar with after four years at Centre,” she says.
But it won’t be all work for Miller: the NYU masters program provides its students a cultural stipend, requiring them to attend a minimum number of plays, concerts, political rallies and more to get hands-on experience witnessing local culture.
“Sound familiar?” Miller asks, referencing the many opportunities for cultural enrichment Centre students receive. “After going to convocations for four years, I’m well-aware of the value of learning outside the classroom. Knowing that NYU's program not only recognized the importance of these extracurricular opportunities, but was willing to pay for them, was hugely important to me.”
Out of everything she has to look forward to, Miller most anticipates meeting people and making connections.
“Centre introduced me to people who were different from those I went to high school with, and their differing opinions and backgrounds made them great companions for four years,” she says. “I think it will be very exciting to undertake upper-level study with people who are as passionate about Spanish as I am.”
As Miller continues to prepare for her upcoming year in Madrid, she only gets more excited at the prospect of full cultural immersion.
“The fact that I have already spent a significant amount of time studying abroad has given me the confidence to move to Madrid for a year without a second thought,” Miller says. “I know that, if I can find my way home to my flat in London without a map and brave the snake-infested creeks of Costa Rica, I can handle anything the streets of Madrid will throw at me.”
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 24th among all the nation's colleges and universities and has named Centre No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South for two years in a row. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, click here.