This summer, I had a wonderful opportunity to study abroad for six weeks in Spain. Through this program, I took two classes that would fulfill my Spanish minor. It was a win-win situation; I was going to get credit for classes and I was going to get an experience of a lifetime.
I lived in Madrid, Spain with a host family living twenty minutes away from the university, La Universidad de Nebrija. This was the first time I had ever lived in a city that I had to depend on public transportation. The first time that I had to take the subway, everyone in the car knew that I was a scared American hoping not to get lost. The reason that my transition to a new place was so smooth was because of my host mom, Esperanza. Esperanza made sure that we felt welcome everyday and answered all of our questions. Speaking with Esperanza made me more confident in my Spanish speaking abilities and more at ease when traveling around Spain. Not only was Esperanza the best cook I have ever met, but also she was a second mom to me. I am very thankful that I have met her.
With the program, we went on three-day trips to cities that are near Madrid. My favorite city that we visited with the group was Toledo. Toledo was previously the capitol of Spain, before Madrid became the capitol. The people in Toledo were so kind and welcoming that my friends and I had to make another trip back to the city before our program ended. One of my favorite memories of Toledo was a particular storeowner that talked to us for almost twenty minutes teaching us about Toledo, her family, and how her husband makes the jewelry. Everything was so authentic and beautiful.
On the weekends, my friends and I would travel to other cities further away from Spain. The cities were Seville, Córdoba, El Escorial, and Barcelona. Each city had a particular charm to it. We traveled to each city via bus, which was convenient, cheap, and very uncomfortable after sitting on in for more that three hours. As the trip was going to an end, I realized how much more that I wanted to see in Spain. I was sad to leave the beautiful country and I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to travel there again.
— Sara Loerch, Junior, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences