The summer of 2015 was full of great times that are now great memories. The highlight of it all was my Study Abroad experience in Spain. This summer, I chose to do an HTM Maymester in Spain for 24 days. I started on my journey not knowing many people in my group of 20 students and 2 HTM professors, but that all would change. On the first day in Barcelona, we began a walking tour right away through Barcelona’s “old city.” Tight winding stone streets, with buildings dated back to the 1100’s. The churches were full of amazing detail and could be looked upon for hours. By nighttime my group had already bonded over dinner discussing of favorite parts of the tour. We spent five more days in Barcelona taking tours, attending lectures at University of Barcelona, and even going to the beach one day. On the last day we packed our bags and headed to Madrid. In Madrid we were able to visit the Royal Palace, see a concert in Plaza Mayor, and even spend an afternoon walking in El Retiro. On a free day I decided to attend a soccer game with my friend. Where I was able to see Lionel Messi score a game winning goal! One of the best things we were able to do in Madrid was visit the World Tourism Organization and listen to professionals discuss how Spain handled their tourism industry. They even expressed their interest in starting a World Tourism student chapter at Purdue! I am very excited to see what comes of that opportunity. After Madrid, we made several stops in various cities. Including day trips to Segovia, Sitges, Puerto Buenas, and Ronda. Also, three to four day stops in Sevilla, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, and Toledo. My favorite city had to be Malaga. Malaga was one of the largest cities in Spain’s world famous “Costa del Sol.” We were able to listen to tourist marketing presentations to see how they attracted tourists to Spain’s sunny coast. We would usually be done with our schedule around three, and then our group would head straight to the beach for a few hours in the sun! Through our travels we saw priceless artwork, architecture, and Spanish culture like I would never experience again. The greatest part of our trip was bonding with the group. Over the twenty-five days we became a second family to each other, and I can’t wait to reconnect with them now we are all back in West Lafayette!
— Matthew Zyburt, Sophomore, Hospitality and Tourism Management