Brendan Amaris '24

Program: Spain Semester

Major: Communication

Minor: Hispanic Studies


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I chose to study abroad because I was very curious to experience a new culture and way of life. I wanted to learn about a new culture and continent. I also wanted to get better at Spanish, which was very hard but I definitely did. I chose Spain because of this. Another reason I chose Spain was because of the host family part of it. I was really excited to fully immerse myself in another culture by living with a Spanish family.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your program that made a lasting impression.

I would say the general "siesta" culture of Spain. I love the way of life there more. They say in Spain they work to live and in the United States you live to work, and that is so true. In Spain they value personal and social relationships over how much money you make or how many hours you work. It's more about how you live your life. Everything is much more relaxed. This really impacted me and me realize how fast-paced we are over here.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

It was incredible. It was the most amazing four months of my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am so glad I got to experience new things and learn about different cultures, as well as travel. It is sometimes hard to put into words because there is so much to describe and talk about.

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?

There are countless benefits to spending a semester abroad. Personal benefits are that it will change and expand your worldview in so many ways. It allows you to put yourself in uncomfortable situations that teach you new things. Academic benefits are you get to learn in a new environment. My professors there were awesome, and my Spanish got a lot better. It also brought my professional development to a more global scale, it taught me a lot more about how the rest of the world works.

What advice can you offer for CSB+SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

If you're considering it, do it! And if you go, enjoy every minute of it. Do as much as you can while you are there, try new things, go out, and enjoy every single new experience. I also recommend traveling as much as you can within Spain as well as to other countries.