Tapas, Tapas Everywhere
Tapas, tapas everywhere. Or should I say jámon everywhere! Not to mention how do these people stay up so late?! My study abroad in Madrid, Spain, was not only about surrounding myself with tapas and ham, but with people from all over the world who challenged my values and beliefs in a way I did not think possible. However this blog post won’t be about convincing you to study abroad in Madrid (even though it is hands down the greatest place to study), but instead I have made… (Drum roll please),
Abby’s Quick Tips on Studying Abroad!!
1. Say yes to new adventures and opportunities! I had some friends going on a trip to the Spanish Basque Country, and they invited me to come. Although I wanted to go, I had been traveling many weekends before that and was looking forward to a mellow few days. Instead, I said yes to the trip, and it was hands down the greatest decision I made abroad. I became so much closer to my friends who went, who I’d just met not only a month before, and just had the absolute time of my life.
2. Learn about the country you are living in. You are studying abroad for a reason: To learn about and to immerse yourself in a new culture. Find every possible opportunity to learn about the country in which you are living and the language. I did this by traveling within Spain as much as I could, going to incredible art museums such as El Prado and La Riena Sofía, staying with a host family, and taking a Salsa dance class.
3. Stay safe. This tip is not only for you, but also for the padres. Let’s be honest here. When you go to college, you become independent. No more parents telling you when you have to do your homework, when your curfew is, etc. It is a big responsibility. When you go abroad, multiply that by ten. You are traveling alone, and to do that you have to be responsible, aware of your surroundings, and able to assess a situation whether that be good or bad. Embrace this independence that you have abroad and make smart decisions! Go places that excite you, like Morocco!
4. Homesickness might happen: You just have to embrace it. But guess what? Everything will be the same when you get back. It can be nerve-racking to leave home, but take change by the hand and get ready for the experience! And besides, there is so much more to do than think about home, like look out onto the gorgeous city of Granada.
5. Go with the flow. If everything works out when you’re traveling, then you must not be traveling right, or you have some major mojo helping you along the way. Travel comes with ups and downs, laughs, and occasionally tears because you missed your train. But guess what? There will always be another bus, train, or flight. So who cares if you missed that train? That just means you get an extra 3 hours of exploring where you are!
No matter where you decide to study abroad, (and you should decide to study abroad), you will embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Whether that be in Madrid, Florence, New Zealand, or Japan, Gonzaga's Study Abroad Office helps their students explore the world, one Zag at a time.
Hasta Luego por ahora!
Abby DeTuerk is a junior from Burien, WA studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resource Management and a minor in Spanish.