University of Memphis
1. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
Whether you’re learning Spanish for the first time or you’re advanced, I have a couple of tips for you that helped me learn Spanish while I was in Spain. First, speak the language wherever you go. I lived with my host mom and she only spoke Spanish. Whenever my friends and I went for coffee and tapas we would order in Spanish even if they tried to speak to us in English. Second, CEA has a great intercambio program and the other universities usually have them as well. Take advantage of getting your personal one-on-one session that will help you learn Spanish as you help them with their English. Last, but not least, have fun! Dance to Spanish music and learn the lyrics, meet new people and hangout, and watch your favorite Netflix show or movie in Spanish. You’re in Spain, so do as the Spaniards!
2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?
This was the first time I had traveled out of the United States, and I was so nervous at first. Then, I fell in love with everything that I was seeing. Things that I had been worried about before seemed so insignificant in comparison. It gave me time to reevaluate my goals and what I want to do in the future. I’m a double major in Psychology and Spanish, and, after this experience, I’ve decided I want to come back to Spain and possibly teach English before going to graduate school. I loved the Spanish language and culture and realized I wanted to become fluent and gain firsthand experience working in a different country.