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So, You Want to Study Abroad

June 16, 2018
by Cara Stevens

"So, why do you want to study abroad?"

Here is a question I was constantly asked by my friends and family. The short answer: I want to. The long answer is as follows.

I've always wanted to study abroad, for as long as I remember. Being raised in an area without a lot of diversity just made me that much more curious to see what the rest of the world has to offer. Also, plenty of my friends who were older than me always recommended to study abroad. Whether they had taken a semester, summer, or didn't go abroad at all, the general opinion is YOU SHOULD GO ABROAD.

 Venice, Italy - one of my spring break destinations.

I didn't want to be like those older than me who had missed their chance to go abroad, so I got online and figured out how I was going to make this happen. I came across CEA because a friend of mine had done their Madrid program and absolutely loved it. With a Spanish minor, it only made sense to apply for a program in the center of Spain, in a city full of culture.
 Crystal Palace in Retiro Park in Madrid. So cool!
 In awe of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Madrid has been an absolutely amazing city to live in for the past few months. It has everything I could ask for: great food, music, and an amazingly convenient public transportation system! I've thoroughly enjoyed learning all about Spanish culture and living it myself. Throughout the semester, I have taken various courses and many surrounding Spanish topics. For example, I am currently enrolled in a class called Fundamental Aspects of Spanish Art. In this class, we learned about the major contributors to the history of Spanish art: El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, and Dali. While this class is about past Spanish art, I also have another course about modern art and architecture. Both of these classes are very interesting to me, and I never expected them to be, if I'm being completely honest. The fact that I was able to see the paintings in person after I had learned about them in class was amazing. Going from class to being an expert in the Prado Museum felt like I really got a cultural education during my semester abroad.
 Gran Via in Madrid.

Now that I am nearing the end of my semester, a new set of questions will come out of my friends and family's mouths: "How have you changed? What did you gain?" etc. I truly think I've gained a knowledge about other cultures, not just Spanish, and also about myself. I've realized I am an incredibly independent person - I mean, I dropped everything and moved to Europe for a semester! I am so thankful my parents supported me in this decision, and my home university accepts the transfer credits!


Cara S. is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a sophomore studying Public Relations, Marketing, and Spanish at the University of Dayton.

Cara Stevens is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Dayton.
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