| Shane Heckman
CEA Barcelona Summer '12 Alum &
Veteran Alumni Ambassador
CEA: Why did you choose to study abroad?
southern Spain in high school but never made it to some of the major northern cities. After talking with some of my friends, I knew I wanted to study in Barcelona to support my Spanish minor and immerse myself in a culture that was as outgoing and adventurous as I was.
CEA: What skills did you learn or improve on during your time abroad?
Shane: Seeing a small sample size of Europe has really increased my desire to become a world traveler. Studying abroad in itself is a great experience because you realize there are other cultures out there besides the one you live in here, and that’s not always easy to see. If you can live on your own in a foreign city for one week, one month, 6 months—you can definitely do anything else you set your mind to.
CEA: What classes did you find useful or applicable to your field of study or career interest?
Shane: Since I was minoring in Spanish and am a huge fan of sports, I decided to take 2 classes: “Advanced Spanish” and “Sport and Culture in Contemporary Spain.” Both of my classes had incredible teachers, and were far better than any other college classes I’ve ever taken. “Advanced Spanish” was more of a self-directed class where we learned about topics we were interested in and it ended up transferring as a class I needed at Penn State. “Sport and Culture” taught me all about the history and context of European soccer, NBA Europe, and Bullfighting. We took field trips to the site of the Barcelona Olympics, Camp Nou (stadium home to FC Barcelona), a local bullfighting ring, and a local radio station. I highly recommend taking some classes while you’re there, as all my friends loved whichever class they took.
CEA: In your opinion, why don’t more male students study abroad?
Shane: By studying abroad, you grow an incredible amount as a person. You get to see famous landmarks and experience new cultures that you previously only ever read about. By the end, you have so many great memories and a ton of new friends all across the United States that you’ll keep in touch with for years to come. The worst thing I could have done was to not study abroad and spend the rest of my college years wondering “what if?”
Shane Heckman is a veteran CEA Alumni Ambassador and is a recent grad from Penn State University. He studied abroad in Barcelona in Summer 2012.
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