With just two weeks left before I return to the United States, the academic realities of studying abroad have begun to hit as all of the “fun and games” come to an end. I can hardly believe that in the past 5 months, I’ve been to nearly every major region in Spain, and traveled to five new countries on two different continents. Now, I am currently bracing myself for my four final exams in the coming weeks that I have yet to prepare for.
This week was sadly our last week of the Community ESL program at my university. On Monday, a “graduation ceremony” was held for all of the students who enrolled in a class this semester. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I had told my boyfriend about my money troubles. With all of the traveling and unexpected costs my bank account was depleting quickly. I knew if I wanted to travel to Thailand, Sydney, Tasmania and wherever else I would need to fund most of it on my own. My parents were willing to help however it is hard to ask them for financial help when they funded most of my trip here including the program fees, flight costs, and housing. I had spoken all of my issues aloud to my boyfriend Pedro, who is one of the most caring, supportive, and loving people I have ever met. He had suggested I make a GoFundme which is a website that people use to fundraise money. However, I had this presumption that people who set these fundraisers up are likely to receive donations from family members. This was a bit complicated for me.
Something that I’ve come to realize during my first month in Spain is that living abroad for an extended period allows you to fully immerse yourself in its society to the greatest extent possible. In contrast, someone visiting country for a few days may just have enough time to visit its touristic sites, but not gain awareness of the country’s socio-cultural atmosphere.
One of my goals as an international student in Spain was to participate in a community service activity regularly. During our Welcome Orientation at SLU-Madrid, we were informed of numerous volunteer opportunities supported by the university. I was particularly interested in teaching a weekly ESL class at my university to the local community. Continue reading →