University of Dayton
1. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?
For me, the best part about studying abroad was stepping out of my comfort zone. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to spend an entire semester away from home. My biggest fear was being homesick and away from everything that is familiar to me, but I decided to go, and it is an experience that will never be able to beat. I have not been homesick once, because this place has turned into my new home and I am constantly doing things to keep me busy. I feel so much comfort in Madrid because of how familiar everything is to me now. I took that huge step out of my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for that. I now have a whole different perspective on the new culture I am living in, and every experience/trip/person I have met has opened my eyes to the world in a completely different way. I have also met a ton of incredible people who I will continue to keep in touch with and who have made my abroad experience as great as it has been.
2. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they should study abroad, what would you say?
You will never be able to do something like this again in your life. Once you graduate from college, you will join the real world and have to go to work, and you won't have the freedom that you do now. Study abroad in order to take that big step out of your comfort zone and not take the time you can have to travel all around the world for granted. You acquire so many new skills while living in another country. These skills could include learning a new language or a greater understanding of the world, which will stay with you for the rest of your life and be helpful in the workforce. Study abroad because every single person I have talked to who decided not to has said that they regret that decision.