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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Seville, Spain

Spring 2020

Abby Vogel, Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Ambassadors
1. Why would you like to be an Alumni Ambassador?
I would love to be given the opportunity to become a CEA alumni ambassador because CEA has given me the opportunity to culturally enrich my life. From applying to jumping on the plane, CEA staff members were extremely helpful, inspiring, and supportive people. Being an alumni ambassador would grant me the opportunity to be a part of the amazing CEA family. I want to inspire other students to study abroad through CEA and give people real life testimonies about what it means to study abroad. Studying abroad has allowed me to grow personally, professionally, and academically and has shaped my life forever. Given that I experienced the challenges of dealing with COVID-19 while abroad, I would be able to give support to other students because of what I have been through. Becoming a CEA alumni ambassador would allow me to share my challenging study abroad experience as well as the life lessons that I have been taught through this unique time. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities CEA study abroad has granted me and I want to share that same inspiration with others.

2. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
Seville, Spain is an extremely unique and beautiful city. Between the delicious cuisine, Spanish language, and historical landmarks there is always something new to explore. Coming into my abroad experience, I did not consider myself a strong Spanish speaker. Nonetheless, I decided I wanted to improve my skills, so I chose to stay with a host mom. My wonderful host mom did not speak any English, which was challenging at times, but it became the most rewarding part of my experience in Seville. My host mom, roommate, and I developed a very strong relationship even through language and cultural barriers. Knowing I always had a welcoming, supportive, and caring household while abroad allowed me to freely explore other parts of the city. My Spanish dramatically improved because of the authenticity of Seville as a city. Although Seville is home to many famous landmarks including the Jewish Quarters, monument of Christopher Columbus, and the Royal Alcazar, my favorite part of Seville was interacting with the local culture. Eating at authentic restaurants, learning about Seville’s history, and speaking Spanish to other Sevillanos is what made my abroad experience rich and meaningful.

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