Why did you choose to study abroad?
Ever since I was in high school I have always wanted to study abroad. The thought of completely immersing myself into another country and living there for several months was always so enticing to me! I had heard so many people’s stories about studying abroad and how it had changed their lives and was the best semester of college, and I really wanted to have that experience.
How did you choose the country you went to?
I originally was set on studying abroad in Ireland because I am Irish, and I had always heard of how beautiful and lush the Irish countryside was. However, when I picked up a minor in Spanish my sophomore year, I knew I had to study in a country where they spoke Spanish. I still desperately wanted to go to Europe so Spain felt like the perfect match. And, in the long run, I wouldn’t have traded living in Spain for anything. It truly was my favorite country that I travelled to.
Share one unique experience that happened while you were abroad.
I studied in Sevilla, Spain, during the spring, which had a million unique experiences simply tied into being in that city during that time of year. In the spring, Sevilla holds two separate week-long festivals only a few weeks apart from each other. Semana Santa, or the Holy Week of Easter, was the first week-long festival, and the second was La Feria de Abril, which is a week-long flamenco dancing festival. Both of these festivals were not only culturally rich and incredible to be able to simply go to, but they were also a once in a lifetime experience for me to see these festivals through the eyes of a native. My host family took me out to each of these festivals in a way I never would have been able to experience if I was simply a tourist.
How has it changed you?
I could talk about for days about how studying abroad has changed me, but in short I think I would simply say that it strengthened me, challenged me, grew me, and opened my eyes to many different people, places, and opinions in a way that I have never experienced before. I was forced to leap outside of my comfort zone, and it was the best experience of my life.