Angelique studied in Spain on the IES: Granada, Study in Granada program.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone! That’s why students should study abroad.
If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
In the South of Spain, “no pasa nada” is a phrase that is often used to express “no worries.” At times I think I embodied this, and at other times I feel like I allowed myself to get stressed out about small details. If I could go back, I’d say “no pasa nada” just a little bit more.
What specific factors influenced your decision to go abroad?
I always knew that I wanted to study abroad. As a child, my mother would share stories about her time in Limerick, Ireland. To this day, she continues to talk about the countless potatoes she ate and her loving host mother. At first, I thought I would study abroad in Italy. However, once I got to Penn State improving my Spanish became one of my many priorities. So, I scheduled a meeting with an Education Abroad Adviser knowing that I wanted to study abroad in Spain in a city that enforced language immersion.
What concerns/fears did you have about studying abroad, and how did you overcome them?
The weeks leading up to my study abroad program I was concerned with making friends. Study abroad is kind of like being a Freshman all over again. However, I made talented, creative, and open-minded friends that traveled with me, ate churros with me, and danced salsa with me. I don’t know why I was worried. I just put myself out there and the right friends for me fell into place.
What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?
IES: Study in Granada is great for language immersion. I took classes in Spanish, I lived with a host mother that only spoke Spanish, I completed an internship in an office that only spoke Spanish, and the orientation leaders a part of the program only spoke Spanish to students.
How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching or in other activities?
I meet with a friend from Spanish club once a week and continue to practice my Spanish one-on-one. I am also excited to take a conversation-based Spanish class in the Spring!