Benjamin is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Spain
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
One of the main reasons I chose CSB-SJU was because of the study abroad programs. I came into college knowing I wanted to do a semester program and there were a few things I wanted to do for sure.I wanted to travel in Europe at some point in college and I also wanted to do a spanish program that would help my minor of Hispanic Studies. Spain crossed both of those after the list and it was the perfect fit for me. It offered me the opportunity to live with a host family as well.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The best cultural experience I had was living with a family. By being with a host family, we were forced to speak Spanish at all times, watch their favorite TV shows, listen to them gossip on the phone, hang out with their visiting family, go shopping with them, and my favorite part...eat their food. I learned so much from my host mom and I already want to go back and visit her.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I loved Spain. I was challenged academically, culturally and I learned a lot of about myself. This program has one of the best schedules for excursions and you are able to get to all corners of Spain and really see the diversity and uniqueness of every city. I was lucky to have an amazing host family. They treated me like a son and it made the whole experience so amazing. There is not a day that goes by when I don't think of my family there and the amazing experience I had!
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?
A semester abroad is a perfect way to actually feel like you are a part of the place you are living. There were times when I wished we would've had more then the 4 months we had. I loved the whole semester and it was amazing to have the amount of time we did to see all corners of Spain, increase our language skills and become close with our families.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
The best advice I have for students considering any abroad opportunity is: JUST DO IT! Even if money is an issue, timing might be a problem, your schedule might get in the way...do everything you can to study abroad. You will never have an opportunity to travel for 4 months with your friends again in your life. College is the perfect time to go out there and learn something new, meet people in different cultures and hopefully learn something about yourself. Do it, do it, do it!