Reflection by Caroline Benson

Overall, my study abroad experience was amazing. I was able to learn so much and make so many new friends. I lived in a very small town in Spain and stayed with a host family, with the goal of improving my Spanish. I think that if the main thing you want to get out of studying abroad is learning the language, this is the way you should do it. Most people in the town, including my host family, did not speak any English. This really forced me to speak Spanish everyday, and in real life situations. At first it was a little overwhelming, but I adjusted so quickly. I realized it really isn’t that hard, you just need to put yourself out there and try, and you will get the hang of it. You also need to not be afraid of messing up. Everyone is so nice, and if they don’t understand you they will tell you, but it is important that you try. I loved being in Spain for this reason, and I learned so much more then I would just in the classroom. I also really appreciated living with my host family for this reason. They were so sweet and it was really cool to be fully immersed in Spanish traditions by living with a Spanish family. I loved all the new foods my host mom made for me, and it was really nice to just sit around the table after meals and chat, and I think this is where I learned the most. My host dad was really good about explaining everything to me in a way I could understand, and he taught me a lot about Spanish traditions and culture. Because of all this, my Spanish has greatly improved. I am now confident in my Spanish language abilities and I am excited to use them going forward in the work force.

Another great part of my study abroad experience was being apart of the CofC faculty led program. My program leader, Dr. Perez-Núñez planned many trips where we got to see so many other cities in Spain and learn all about Spanish history. During these trips we were able to see so much, had very interesting guided tours, and ate great food. Also with this program, I was able to meet so many other students from CofC, which was really nice. Overall, I had a great study abroad experience, and I learned so much, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so glad I got the opportunity to live abroad and I hope I can do it again soon.


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