“You won’t know ‘till you go!” That’s the slogan my university uses to promote study abroad. In the months before my trip, I posted about the reasons you should study abroad, and what to pack. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share with you my experience studying abroad in Spain and encourage you to hopefully study abroad someday as well.
When you go on a trip with your friends or family, sometimes you don’t get a feel for the culture because you’re with your group doing your planned events. This trip, we worked hands on with employers/employees and even students that live in Spain. It was an incredible opportunity to learn firsthand the differences between our cultures, like their importance of siesta.
2. Skills Gained
Everyday for two weeks we were lucky enough to visit businesses that dealt with public relations, advertising, film, and media. We were taught valuable skills relevant to our studies by some of the best professionals in Spain. Talk about motivation! Every time we left a business, I felt like I was ready to take on the world!
I do not know too many people from my school, so this trip was a big reason for me to go. There were people ages 20 to 33 on the trip with all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life. People that probably normally would not be friends all became so close in such a short amount of time just because of this experience. It was amazing the love we all had for each other by the end of the trip, even though we’re all so different.
4. New Perspective
It’s easy to get in our own bubble in the U.S. and think that our way of life is the “norm” (is there really such a thing), but going to Europe woke me into reality on how far behind I am compared to students my own age. I’d say about 90% of the people I met there spoke even a little bit of English. I do not speak any other language at all. Students there are taught from a young age 2-3 languages. Something like this gave me a new global perspective, and it has really motivated me to start working towards learning about the world, other cultures, and other languages.
Instead of being in a classroom for the semester, we were in film studios talking with producers, or in public relations firms learning their best strategies to getting new clients. This was incredible as a senior college student to be able to work directly with people in the field that I’m studying to be in. It was just like job shadowing, but a million times better. This trip was so much more than what I thought it would be. Yes, it was educational, but it was also life-changing for me because it changed my perspective on a lot of things. You can take a trip anywhere and have a great time, but to have an experience like this is definitely worth doing. I encourage you to consider studying abroad with your school because you really won’t know until you go.