Taylor Loth is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Spain
Major: Hispanic Studies and Biochemistry
Student Athletics: Cross Country and Track and Field
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to learn in an environment that wasn't culturally familiar to myself. This provided me several new ways to learn and grow. I chose to study abroad in Spain because I wanted to improve my proficiency in the language and learn more about the culture.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Our group had the opportunity to take flamenco dance lessons throughout the semester that ended with a performance in front of our host families. While doing so, we not only learned more about Spanish culture through this experience, but also grew closer as a group.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience abroad. Travel that was done outside of the program allowed me to become more globally competent as a traveler. Within the Spain program, the courses were all taught by wonderful professors, each with a different background, that allowed for us to better understand all that we were experiencing daily. Additionally, travel within the program (excursions) gave us the chance to learn about the many subcultures within the country. All in all, I experienced great personal growth that I believe to be uniquely attributed to this experience abroad.
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?
For me, personal benefits included financial responsibility, an improvement in my ability to figure out directions, my proficiency in Spanish, my independence, and my ability to be flexible. Academically, my fluency was tested each day in and out of the classroom. No matter what you were doing, each interaction improved my ability to comfortably speak the language. Moreover, I learned a lot about the history, art, and culture of Spain. Professionally, I learned how to work well in a group of diverse people with different backgrounds and ways of thinking. I also learned how to be accountable to others.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I would say be sure to ask lots of people your questions, as different people likely have different perspectives and experiences. DO be aware of the currency situation and always have multiple ways of paying for things (i.e. a credit card and cash). Do some research before applying/going abroad! It is really exciting to find things that interest you so that you can have an idea of some of the things you want to do during your time abroad. Also, I would suggest to really make an effort to get to know the other students in your study abroad group. They are one of your greatest resources, and for me became my closest friends.