About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Major: Public Policy and Economics ; Minor: Spanish for the Business Professions
Program: UNC Spanish for the Business Professions in Seville
Location: Seville, Spain
Term: Summer 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I had been interested in studying abroad from a young age because of hearing my parents speak fondly of their study abroad experiences in college. This interest became a dream of mine when I first travelled out of the county with my family around the age of 14. Because I knew that I wanted to study abroad in college, potentially multiple times, when it came time to look at and apply to colleges I focused my search primarily on schools with strong study abroad opportunities. I chose my program because I wanted to go somewhere Spanish-speaking because I have studied Spanish for many years and I wanted to be in Europe so I could potentially visit other countries. My program was a perfect fit for me because it was specifically for a Spanish Minor that I was interested in.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned to be confident in my ability to be by myself. I certainly did not spend much time alone as I made great friends quickly on my program. However, I definitely became more confident in myself and my abilities as a result of my experience of navigating international travel on my own and communicating solely in a different language. In this sense, I learned that I am much more capable and independent than I may think.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories was traveling to Ronda, a town about 2 hours away from Seville, by bus for the weekend. The city is located on top of a gorge on two different cliffs and is connected by bridges. My friends and I stayed in a hostel at the bottom of the beautiful gorge. We had to hike up the mountain to visit the city which was a challenge in the hot weather but also extremely rewarding. We had such a fun weekend of swimming in the river at the bottom of the gorge, exploring the city, visit historic monuments, and taking in the breathtaking views.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would advise future study abroad students to really embrace the experience and be as present as they can. Of course it is important to stay in touch with friends and family at home but I would recommend limiting the time they spend on their phone or using other technology in order to fully experience the culture and avoid distractions. I would also tell them to not be discouraged if they feel unsettled or lonely for the first few days in their new home. This feeling will pass quickly and they will feel much more comfortable when they get into a routine and meet more people.
Would you do it again?
I would do it again without a doubt, I had such a great experience. In fact, I loved it so much that I am planning to go abroad again. I really enjoyed the 6 week length program and now am planning to do a full semester next school year, which I am excited about because I want the opportunity to experience yet another culture and be able to travel for a longer period of time.
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
My study abroad program prepared me for my future career in many ways. My program in particular was specifically career-focused as the classes were for the Minor Spanish for the Business Professions. This program prepared me for a career because we learned how to use our Spanish in the professional world and learned about business norms in Spain. More generally, study abroad prepared me for a future career because it gave me experience problem-solving and communicating with different groups of people in different contexts.