CENet Scholar Jael Garner spent last spring studying in Spain and recently spent some time reflecting on her semester abroad. Students who are interested in going abroad can attend the Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, October 12 from 10 am – 3 pm in the Talley Student Union Ballroom.
“Study abroad was one of the most amazing things I have decided to do so far in my life. Before it all started I didn’t really know what to expect, what the whole experience would be like or how it would even be like to live in Spain. I was able to make some of the most amazing friendships and connections in my life from class, city events, and at home. I studied in Madrid, Spain and there are many exchange students who do their “Erasmus” or study abroad experience there. I made a lot of Spanish friends but surprisingly my closest friends turned out to be Portuguese, French, German, and Australian.
My favorite things of the experience were the food, the fashion, and the travelling. I won’t lie I did miss the occasional Bojangles stop and other American type foods like ribs and such- but I did learn a lot of new recipes while I was there. My favorite foods were paella, jamon iberico, croquetas, and the Spanish tortilla OMG. The fashion was definitely different I am a fan of European fashion in general but when I first arrived it was so overwhelming. Everyone shops at Zara or Bershka among many other stores and it was always amazing to see students during class online shopping or even walking down Gran Via seeing all the people shopping. I soon fell in and starting going on a shopping craze as well because well come on its fashion. My last top favorite thing was the travelling. Flights are so cheap especially from the airline Ryanair where most my flights cost about 20 to 30 euros. While in Spain I travelled to Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, France, Switzerland, England, Portugal and throughout Spain. Of course 20 euros per flight can add up if you travel a lot not to mention food and travel expenses within the country but it’s worth it definitely. I suggest if you plan on studying abroad in Europe to save a bunch of money to travel!!
My university was Universidad de Complutense. I am a Biology major and if you are in the sciences I really recommend studying abroad even though you think you might not be able to. The school was so different- it was very open aired with graffiti all over the building inside and out, the police aren’t allowed to enter the campuses, and there were often strikes. I clearly didn’t have a car so to get to my university I had to take the metro and then a bus to campus, like most students.
This opportunity was amazing and if I were given this opportunity again I would definetly do it. I recommend everyone to study abroad even if it is during the summer or spring break it is an unforgettable experience.”