My name is Erin, and I put the “study” in “study abroad.” I am a communications major at UMass Amherst, and a double minor in Education and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, which means that I take some diverse classes! Studying abroad is a really good opportunity to take classes that are different than what you take at your home university, and explore new parts of your major or minor.
This semester I’m studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and taking courses at both the CEA center and EUSA -- a private university in Seville that focuses on Communication, Tourism, Advertising, and other related matters. I love being able to take classes at a Spanish university because it allows me to talk to local students my age and connect more with the culture of Seville! In my class at EUSA, “Advertising and Commercial PR for Tourism,” Americans are the minority. We discuss popular advertising and marketing strategies, and at the end of the semester, we will each create our own advertising campaign about Feria, an Andalusian celebration held in Seville at the end of April, which is an amazing way to get involved with Andalusian culture!
I’m a part of the Communications, Media Studies, and Tourism Management program, which means that I can fulfill a lot of major requirements when I’m here. However, the diversity in classes that CEA offers at the CEA center also means I can take classes for my minors and for fun! At CEA, I’m in a Spanish class, as well as a class on Digital Culture, and Gender in Present-Day Spain. I really enjoy taking a variety of classes because it allows me to think about what I learn in a deeper way. Many classes here also have excursions or “field trips,” which allow you to learn more about the city and have applicable connections to make the classes more pertinent to everyday life.
The best part about studying communications for me, however, is the experience I get outside of the classroom. I focus on interpersonal communication at my university, and observing local speakers and interactions is a really good way to apply classroom knowledge. I found that going to local cafes and finding study spots allows you to do homework while also observing the local culture and the differences in communication.
Studying abroad can be challenging while you adjust to new customs and methods in schooling. However, taking every opportunity to learn from classes and those around you makes learning more fun than ever before!
Erin Crowell is the Spring 2020 CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Massachusetts.