About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Public Policy and Global Studies
Program: UNC in Sevilla
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Term: Fall 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I have always believed that it is important to get outside of your usual environment and geographical area to experience other cultures, meet other people, and expose yourself to new experiences. I think it creates an understanding between people, cultures, and countries that would not exist otherwise. Because of this, I made it a priority to study abroad during my time at UNC. I selected the UNC in Sevilla program partly because I wanted a language-focused program and also because of how organized the program is. As far as the language aspect goes, the program does a lot to help you improve your Spanish, whether it's through classes in Spanish, living with a host family, or being paired with a conversation partner. The UNC in Sevilla program is also very organized. The application process was straightforward, as was registering for classes. Once we were in Sevilla the support provided by the administration of the program was wonderful. I never felt like I was navigating the whole study abroad experience alone.
What did you learn about yourself?
Through studying abroad, I learned that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. Living in a different country that speaks a different language can be a challenge, but doing it makes you much stronger and more confident.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from studying abroad was kayaking through the caves off the coast of Lagos, Portugal. The area itself was beautiful, and we were able to see such a remote part of it by kayak. As we rode a boat back into shore I just remember being in awe of the experience I was able to have and knowing that that was one of the only times in my life where I would so easily be able to take a weekend trip to do that kind of thing. It was just a magical experience that made me so grateful for the opportunity I had to study abroad.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
My advice to future study abroad students would be to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the country in which you are living. I was shocked by how much more relaxed the lifestyle of Spain is compared to the United States, but once I got used to it, it became one of my favorite parts about the country. However, no matter where you study, immersing yourself into the culture and lifestyle of that country will give you a much better appreciation for the country and its culture.
Would you do it again?
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
My classes while abroad were much different than classes I would have taken at UNC; however, I was still able to receive gen ed and major credit for a few of the classes. My classes in Sevilla focused on Spanish culture, history, and art. I appreciated this aspect of my classes because we actually learned about the country in which we were living. It gave us an appreciation for the country rather than just having us go and live there without actually understanding its history and its culture. My classes were also all in Spanish, which greatly helped to improve my Spanish while still taking a variety of classes.