University of Alabama
Tiffany Zahn, Alumni Ambassador
1. Tell us what the local culture was like in your host city.
The local culture in Madrid was unlike the culture in Alabama in every way and I absolutely loved it. My favorite quote that I heard was that Spaniards “work to live, not live to work” and I took that to heart. In the restaurants you seat yourself and have to flag down the waitstaff, which is one of my favorite parts about the dining culture because you don’t have someone walking up to you asking questions when, coincidentally, you just put food in your mouth. The eating times are also so different and much later than I was used to, but that meant that the city was alive during all times of the day. There were young children running and gleefully shouting through the streets at midnight, and the older citizens shuffling by on their way home as young adults headed to the clubs to dance the night away. The culture in Spain is so vibrant and full of life that as one walks through the lit streets, you can’t help but look around and smile as you observe the joy and excitement on everyone’s face.
2. Why have you decided to become an Alumni Ambassador?
The program CEA gave me an amazing opportunity to study abroad when I didn’t know if it would be possible or not. My home institution had cancelled the study abroad program twice on me and I felt very hopeless of ever fulfilling my abroad dreams. However, I found CEA and they were everything I could have asked for in a study abroad program. They had activities, the perfect courses for me to finish my minor, and they were so kind and helpful during the application process. I would love to be an ambassador so that I can talk about the wonderful experience of study abroad and the great way that CEA caters their schedule to the students and helps them in any way. I would also love to motivate students with disabilities like me to go out, travel, and see the world as everyone else does. Disabilities can hold so many people back, but I want to emphasize that, especially with CEA, travel and new experiences are possible.