This blog entry was submitted by Emma Schoonover, who is studyng abroad in Spain.
“As a student at St. Edward’s University, I have gained opportunities that gave me a broader perspective on the world. I am lucky enough to be studying abroad for a year in Spain and gaining great experiences along with knowledge. I chose St. Edward’s as my university because I liked the motto “take on your world” being able to study abroad was very important for me in my college decision. Two years later
I am here in Spain studying for the whole year, getting the chance to “take on my world”.
I didn’t know what to expect studying abroad for a year. I am sophomore and was just getting used to college life in Texas. I’m glad I took the chance and ended up in Spain for my 2017-2018 academic year. So far my time abroad has been incredible. The history of every village, the people, and the overall cultural differences has given me a better understanding of the world. Being able to connect with people from all over makes me feel lucky to be able to be abroad. I have spent time in Morocco, Italy, Germany, France, and the Canary Islands and each adventure was unique. Learning to adapt to different languages and staying calm when everything goes so wrong has taught me a lot. If a person doesn’t know who they are or who they want to be, there is no better way to figure it out than be across the ocean by yourself in a place that doesn’t speak English.
Reading about other people’s experiences abroad doesn’t do justice for the actual experience. The world can be scary and it’s easier to just read about it but experiencing the different cultures makes it let scary. Understanding how other countries think and communicate makes the world feel less intimidating.
Approaching every situation that I have encountered with a goal to overcome what lied ahead, gave me a deeper purpose in life. Becoming fully engaged in the community helped me see the everyday life. To fully experience what it is like to be a “local” in a country you are just visiting, I recommend getting involved. It could be within the university or on your own. I decided to teach English and connect with families to get a more personal point of view. The skills I have developed and the connections I have made are lifelong. If anyone is not sure about studying abroad these are my final words to, JUST GO! You won’t regret it. ”