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Learn in Vienna!

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Find your creative writing muse, at home and abroad!


 I’ve always been a travel junkie, perhaps because I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and took my first plane ride at two months old. So when I was asked to direct Cedar Crest College’s Pan-European MFA program in Creative Writing, I was thrilled.

The Pan-European MFA is a low-residency program that offers writers the opportunity to study fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or travel writing. We pair incoming students with one of our award-winning faculty mentors, whom they work with throughout the year, and in the summer, we convene for a two-week residency in one of three European cities: Dublin, Ireland; Barcelona, Spain; Vienna, Austria. While abroad, students participate in writing workshops and seminars, as well as participate in a multitude of cultural activities in order to learn more about the literature, art, and culture of our host country.

Last summer, the residency was held in Barcelona. My favorite memory is of our graduation ceremony, where we honored the hard work of our graduating students. It was held in the historic Ateneu Barcelones, a maze-like building in the heart of the Gothic Quarter where marble statues kept watch over us as we handed out the diplomas. I felt such joy in the students’ accomplishments—each had written a book-length manuscript as a master’s thesis and had thrived in mentorship with our dedicated faculty members. And they had done it all with an adventuresome spirit, choosing to travel Europe with a gaggle of fellow writers who could match their passion for the written word, as well as their wanderlust.

Our students hail from all over the world, including one expat writer who lives in Jeddah. She chose our program because the European residencies are easy to get to from the Kingdom. This summer we are headed to Vienna. Interested in finding out more about Cedar Crest College’s Pan-European MFA Program in Creative Writing? Please visit the website at mfa.cedarcrest.edu. Apply by April 15th to join us in Vienna.

Keija Parssinen
Director of the Pan-European MFA, Cedar Crest College

Web: cedarcrest.edu
Instagram: cedarcrestcollege

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