4 Reasons Studying Abroad In Spain Is The Best Choice You Will Ever Make In College
Start writing a post
Student Life

4 Reasons Studying Abroad In Spain Is The Best Choice You Will Ever Make In College

Though it took me a while to decide to take the leap of faith, I'm so excited I'll be spending next semester studying abroad.

Barcelona, Spain

It was my seventh-grade writing development teacher who first exposed me to the phrase "study abroad."

Fresh out of college, she shared pictures of her study abroad experience in London, telling us how she walked along Abbey Road, helped hold her friend across the Prime Meridian, and ate an abundant amount of fish and chips. Even then, I knew I had the travel bug, and from that point on I was determined to cure it by studying abroad in college.

Flash forward 8 years, and here I am, a junior at Butler University just two months away from hopping on a flight to Barcelona, Spain. I couldn't be more ecstatic to start my journey as a world traveler, though for a short time earlier this year, I was highly conflicted about whether or not I should take the leap and apply for the IES Abroad program.

After all, as I'm sure most students can understand, it took me a while to become acquainted to college. When I moved away from home, I left all I knew — my family and friends, my established reputation, and my comfy bed — to start a new life as a university student. I finally found my place at school sophomore year, and it seemed crazy to my solid friend group, club involvement, and social activities behind for an entire semester. At the same time, studying abroad had always been my dream. How could I make this difficult decision?

After reading numerous articles online, seeking advice from previous study abroad students and my school's study abroad advisor, and writing many a pros-and-cons list, I became more confident than ever that I should study abroad. Cons like "missing my sorority formal" (I've already been to four of them) paled in comparison to an extensive list of pros that simply seeing down on paper caused my heart to leap in excitement at the journey ahead.

Here are four of the many reasons I confidently chose to spend a semester studying abroad.

1. I'll gain an understanding of another culture.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

As a strategic communication and Spanish double major with an international business minor, my ideal post-graduate career will be one where I can travel. Though my classes teach me about the business environment in other countries, there's only so much I can learn about the world in a classroom setting. Studying abroad provides me the opportunity to immerse myself in another culture, learning about Spanish fashion, cuisine, sports, arts, architecture, and the day-to-day habits of Spanish citizens. I'm excited to gain real-world, firsthand experience with international publics.

2. I've never been to Europe before, and I may never get the opportunity again.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

Up until now, I've used my passport three times: for a trip to the Bahamas, on a visit to Mexico, and on a cruise through the Caribbean. While these trips count as international travel, I've barely strayed away from North America. My little girl dreams of eating a croissant in Paris, visiting the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and floating along the Venice canals in a gondola have always been just that: dreams.

Now, I have the ability to live those dreams at a comparable price to a semester at college. I can earn credits toward graduation, meaning I'll stay on track to graduate on time with ease. Never again will I be able to spend such a significant amount of time away from home with such a low opportunity cost.

3. My foreign language skills will greatly improve.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Image by Kristina Spisakova from Pixabay

In high school, I had friends, classmates, and coworkers who gracefully helped me improve my Spanish conversation skills. These conversations sparked my passion for the language, so I declared Spanish as a minor when I entered college and eventually bumped it up to a secondary major.

Still, like I mentioned previously, there's only so much I can learn in an American classroom about another language and culture. As part of my IES Abroad program, I'll be in an intensive Spanish course where I will spend seven hours per week improving my Spanish skills. Additionally, I'll have opportunities each day to speak Spanish to locals. At the same time, the majority of Barcelona residents speak English, so I can switch back to English and confidently and comfortably ask for help if absolutely needed.

I will feel so much more secure using my Spanish secondary major in a future career after I've cultivated these skills in Spain.

4. Studying abroad provides the perfect opportunity for self-discovery.

Woman laying down on grass studying abroad

Woman studying abroad

Photo by Liam Anderson from Pexels

Since entering college, I realized I am someone who values physical space to have headspace. Next year, I'll be a college senior, and it'll be time to pursue a career, find a place of permanent residence, and begin the rest of my life. Here at school, my judgement is clouded by my day-to-day tasks and frustrations, so I haven't been able to truly sit down and evaluate what I want in life. Leaving these to-dos behind will allow me to learn more about myself and the world, and I am confident I will have a better idea of what I want my future to hold as a result.

Though I'll miss my family and friends while I'm gone, I know they'll be a FaceTime call away and ready to welcome me home with open arms when I return. Each day, the reasons listed above make me even more excited to embark on this adventure, and I can't wait to see what surprises Spain has in store for me that I have yet to anticipate.

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments