Recipient of the Joshua and James Haglund Memorial Peace Scholarship
“The friendships and connections I made over the course of the semester were some of the things I had not anticipated, but would not trade for anything…”
Tell Us About Your Program
I spent this past semester studying abroad in Toledo, Spain and could not have asked for a better experience. I took five classes over the course of the semester. I learned so much about Spanish culture, history, and art. Each professor made a specific effort to make each student feel comfortable and help with the transitions between cultures and life in general. Through class trips we visited Cordoba, Granada and Segovia; I really enjoyed seeing so many different parts of Spain and learning about the differences in culture in each region.
How Were You Affected by the People and Culture?
The class that had the biggest impact on me personally was “History and Memory”. We were taught about what life was like during the Spanish civil war from 1936–1939 and then afterwards during the Franco dictatorship. We formed groups of students and were paired with elderly people at a local nursing home. We visited Claudia every week; she is 87 and has an amazing spirit and energy. We made a video with pieces of all our interviews of Claudia talking about her life and family and presented it to her family. It was an incredible feeling to give this gift and realize the impact we had on Claudia and her family through our class project.
What Did You Learn from Your Experience?
While improving my Spanish might have been my main motivation for going to Spain, it is the least of the mountain of things that I brought back with me. The friends I made are incredible people and I know our friendships will last a lifetime.