Lauren is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Spain
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad before I came to St. Bens. The quality of the study abroad programs at this school was one of the reasons why I chose to attend St. Bens. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere that spoke Spanish in order to challenge myself and improve my Spanish skills. I was conflicted on whether to go to Chile or Spain, but finally decided on Spain because of the opportunities it provided me for travelling elsewhere in Europe.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
While in Spain we were given the opportunity to attend a wine tasting. We were by far the youngest people at the tasting and definitely the only non-Spanish people there. At the tasting we experienced great conversation, food, wine and a joyous atmosphere. We even had one of the town officials come and sing to us! It was an experience I will never forget.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I had a great experience studying abroad in Spain. Segovia is truly a magical place to study with the aqueduct running through town and the cobblestone streets. It was just large enough to keep us entertained, but small enough that I never felt unsafe. We also got to travel around Spain to other cities which gave us a good look at the diverse history and culture of the country.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Study abroad has clarified my personal goals and helped me to develop as a person. I cannot pinpoint one single thing that helped me to do this, but rather the experience as a whole has given me a fresh perspective on the things I want to achieve in my personal life.
As a Hispanic studies major going to Spain has helped me a great deal academically. Not only do I feel like I have improved my Spanish skills greatly, I also have a deeper knowledge and appreciation for Spanish culture and history. Professionally I feel that my trip to Spain has helped me a great deal. Not only an I able to converse more easily in Spanish, I am also more confidant. These are skills that will help me in the future.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
You are going to be told this a lot, but do not let any experience pass you by. It does not matter how tired you are, or how much homework you have, you will regret every missed opportunity to do something that is only possible when you are abroad.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Spain? Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org