It’s my firm belief that everyone should travel abroad at some point in their life. During the winter term of my junior year at Choate Rosemary Hall, I spent two months living in La Coruña, Galicia, Spain with an amazing host family, and travelling with some amazing people. For my first trip out of the country, I would call it a spectacular success. Spain is a gorgeous country with so much to offer.
If you’re not quite convinced yet, here are five reasons I believe everyone should study abroad in Spain:
1. The food
Oh, my goodness, I could talk about the food in Spain for ages. I loved it. Everything was very fresh and my host mom taught me how to cook a bunch of delicious Spanish dishes. Also, the chocolate is so much better than any chocolate in the US.
2. The people
Everyone I met in Spain was incredibly friendly and helpful. The very first night there I got terribly lost on my way home, and when we stopped at a little shop to ask for directions, the cashier was more than happy to help us. Even though we asked in broken Spanish and had no idea what she was saying, the fact that she was willing to help us was great. My host family was also absolutely amazing. My trip to Spain would not have been nearly as amazing without Dina, Paula, and Pedro.
3. The rich history and culture
We took a history class in Spain that covered all of Spanish history from 700 BC to present day. I wasn’t convinced that this would ever come in handy again, but I have used my knowledge of Spanish history quite a few times since then. The older part of the city in La Coruña is gorgeous and a lot of fun to explore. We happened to be there for Carnaval, a citywide party. There's so much to learn and experience everywhere.
4. The architecture
The Torre de Hércules in La Coruña is the only fully preserved Roman lighthouse still in use today, and we got to climb right up to the top. We got to see some of the most beautiful cathedrals and cities. Santiago de Compostela, for example, is a gorgeous city and the cathedral there is breathtaking. I could talk about architecture in Spain for ages because we took an architecture class (but only in Spanish because I don't know any of the terms we learned in English).
5. You learn a lot about yourself
I’ve always been a pretty independent person, but being over 5,000 miles away from home will really open your eyes. I learned that I’m really bad with directions, and that nothing is as fun as going on adventures in cities you’ve never been to, with people who’re just as lost as you are.
After taking a week to recuperate back home before returning to classes, I was beyond ready to travel again. Given the opportunity, I would go back right now. But, there’s a whole wide world to explore and I’m definitely going to take advantage of that as soon as possible.