Hello AmericaSalamanca, Fall 2011
As I have already adjusted to my life in New York and have started to pack for school, Salamanca almost feels like a dream. It’s hard to believe that just one week ago I was walking through the Plaza on my way to class and spending the nights with plates of delicious tapas at my favorite restaurant Bambú. Those times feel like such a different life. I am happy to be back at home and with my family and friends but I already miss Salamanca and my life as a Salmantina. Even though it was a bit difficult at first, I really miss only speaking in Spanish and hearing Spanish all the time. Also, I miss meeting people from all over the world, cheering for Real Madrid at a bar with local Spaniards, and overall, living and studying in Salamanca.
Even though I feel that there is more that I could have done abroad, I look back at my experience and am proud of all my accomplishments. I travelled to many different European countries, I took classes in Spanish, I went to a Real Madrid match, met amazing and inspiring students from all over the world, learned more about myself and so much more. I know that my Spanish has improved because I am more confident speaking and I have noticed that it has more fluency. I have learned so much about Spain and Europe in general and am interested in concentrating in European Affairs for my International Affairs major. I am also so thankful for IES and their role in my study abroad experience. The staff at the center in Salamanca was always there to help me with any problem I had and really helped all of us to adjust to Spanish life. The fieldtrips to cities such as Segovia and Granada were really educative and fun, and the IES classes themselves were very interesting.
Now that I’m back home, I think about how much this upcoming semester will differ from last semester. My classes will mostly be in English, I will be living in a larger city and overall, I’m in America. However, as DC has lots of art and culture, I know that I can find parts of Spain here. For example, the Embassy of Spain in DC offers lots of cultural events such as art exhibits and shows. In addition, there are a few Spanish exchange students so I am definitely going to try to set up some “intercambios” to continue speaking in Spanish and meeting different people. I have even started looking at internship opportunities in Madrid for the summer so I may be back very soon!
I’m sad that this is my last blog post and I want to thank everyone for reading about my experience abroad. I hope that I have helped you learn more about the rewarding experience of studying abroad with IES. Studying in Salamanca this fall was the best decision I’ve ever made and every college student definitely should study abroad if they have the opportunity to do so. It will change your life and if any of you are thinking about studying in Spain, please consider Salamanca!
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