Lucas is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Spain
Minor: Hispanic Studied
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad in Spain because it allowed me to fulfill my Hispanic Studies minor while immersing myself in a total hispanic culture. I really liked the idea of living with a host family because it would allow me to experience their culture firsthand and greatly increase my Spanish-speaking abilities. In addition, I have never travelled to Europe before and thought that this would be a great way to do so!
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The lifestyle over in Spain is much more slow-paced than that of Americans. They walk everywhere, nap after lunch (siesta), sleep in until 9am every day--their lives are completely different than ours. It was very nice to get into a routine where everything isn't so fast-paced and it really allowed us to appreciate everything around us. It definitely made me a more relaxed person and I can only hope that some day we will adopt the Siesta tradition as well.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My time spent in Spain was the best four months of my life. Spending a semester with a group of fellow Johnnies/Bennies, a great host family, and getting to know the locals and other students at IE University really makes the program a blast. I learned a lot about myself, made great friends, learned an incredible amount of Spanish, and gained a better global perspective as a whole.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
While abroad, I grew as a person and learned so much about myself. Overall, I am more confident as a person and in my leadership abilities, more independent, and I discovered many things that I am passionate about on a global scale. Academically, I was astonished with how much my Spanish-speaking abilities had grown--I can hold a conversation with anyone! Also, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to travel Europe at a cheap price.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Do it! The opportunity to receive an education while in a foreign country only comes around once in a lifetime--take advantage of it!! The experience is one of a kind.