STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY
Why did you decide to study abroad?
As an anticipated International Business Major, I believed I needed to solidify my academics by actually acquiring Global experience.
Tell us about the program you went on
I studied abroad through ISA (International Studies Abroad). ISA provided more than enough options for business majors so I did not compare and contrast them with any other provider. I chose to study in Seville, Spain because the university I attended, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, had a great reputation for their business program. I chose to live in one of the apartments that ISA offered, instead of the home-stay option. Excursions included visiting Toledo, Malaga, Grenada, Morocco, and Lisbon.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
I did not apply for any scholarships. However, I believe that would have made my financial plans a bit better. I worked two jobs while going to school full time. I worked as a Merchandiser in the morning until early afternoon during the week and as a server on the weekends. My parents also helped me fill in the gaps of my financial plan.
What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?
I think it may be a bit cliche, but I wish I knew how hard it would be to return home from Seville, Spain. I do not wish I did it earlier, if anything I wish I did it longer. Maybe from summer until the end of fall or from fall until next spring.
Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
I did not. I played American Football for the Seville Linces. Since I'm American, they expected me to be very good. I believe that is the only discrimination I experience while I was in Seville.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
Studying abroad lit a fire in me to work harder and continuously search for my next opportunity to visit other countries. I wake up everyday with a purpose to prepare myself and be ready for that next flight to whatever country. I had the pleasure of meeting so many other students my age in Seville. I am proud to say I can call them my very good friends. Since they live all over the United States, I have something to look forward to if I decide to travel within the United States. Studying abroad in Spain helped me acquire a Global Internship at a company in Germany.
What was the most memorable moment of studying abroad?
There are so many memories. From playing American Football for a Spanish team to traveling to Portugal with my classmates. My most memorable moment was traveling to Costa Del Sol with some friends through an excursion company called Planet Spain. Spending the last weekend of summer at a beautiful beach with some of the best people I have ever met is definitely the best memory I have from Spain and I think about it often.
How was the entertainment and nightlife?
There was never a dull moment in Seville. Whether it was going to a Flamenco show, Spanish Restaurant, dancing at a night club, or simply walking the by the Canal de Alfonso XIII with some friend, you were guaranteed to have a great time.
In what way do you feel your experience abroad has prepared you for your future career? (Think both tangible things like language acquisition and intangible like learning to work with people who are very different from you)
I worked for a gym in Seville called Cuesta Sport and that helped me improve my Spanish very much while learning how to communicate with Spaniard on a day to day basis. This job forced me to escape my comfort zone and really focus on acquiring the skills I needed to be a well-rounded individual. My approach on how to communicate with Germans was very similar to the strategy I developed while in Seville.
Would you recommend the program you went on, if so why??
I would most definitely recommend ISA. Those coordinators worked very hard to make us happy and I strongly believe that their attitudes and ambition to provide an academically beneficial/vacation experience was very distinct. They made my experience there so much better.
What advice do you have for students thinking about study abroad?
Plan Plan Plan! If you want to study abroad then start looking and planning the year before. You need time to acquire the paperwork, the fund, and the accommodations.
Authored by: Walter Dioses Jr.