Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why I Decided to Study Abroad This Summer

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to see other places. I knew coming into college that I wanted to study abroad sometime during the four years, but I didn't know when. This past fall quarter, back in 2015, a representative from a study abroad program in San Sebastián came into my Spanish class to let us know about the program. I was instantly interested, and decided to apply. Fast forward a couple of months to winter quarter, I heard about another summer program in London from the English department, that is conveniently taking place right before the San Sebastián program. I decided to apply to that program as well, thinking I would at least get into one program.

Well, I ended up getting into both programs, and thought at first that I would have to decide between the two. After talking with my parents about it, they asked me, "Why not do both?" Great question, mom and dad. Through a lot of consideration, and a very stressful week of deciding before the deadlines, I have decided that I am going to do both programs this summer. The London program starts just two weeks after spring quarter ends, and goes from June 19th to July 23rd, and the San Sebastián one starts literally one day after, and ends August 24th.

I cannot explain how excited I am to be going to Europe this summer. I have only ever been out of the country once when I was five years old, to volunteer in Mexico. London and Spain are a huge step up from that, since they are on a whole other continent. Both programs are homestays, meaning I will be living with two families, one in London, and one in San Sebastián, which I think will be so fun and a great cultural experience. I have always dreamed of going to both countries - England and Spain - since a huge part of my family is English, and I have been studying Spanish for about six years now. I am also majoring in International Studies and English, with a minor in Spanish, so these programs are the perfect fit for me.

Since I was wondering when I was going to fit in studying abroad, here are a couple of reasons why I decided to do it during the summer.

Because I am double majoring and have a minor, I don't have a lot of time during the school year to study abroad.
It would be extremely hard to try and fit in a study abroad program, since I have to be consciencious of all the classes I am taking, and how to fit in all of my major(s) requirements. Dedicating a whole quarter to a study abroad program that only satisfies one of my majors or minors would be very challenging, and not the best in terms of time management.

I will be getting ahead of the game, credits-wise.
This summer, I will be getting 30 extra credits essentially, which will make me a senior by next year, my junior year. While this won't really allow me to graduate early since I have to get through all of my major requirements, I won't be scrambling to get all of my credits done by the end of my senior year.

I am extremely busy during the school year.
College isn't only about the academics - they are very important - but it is also about extracurricular activities. I am a part of three different clubs, I have a job, and a very big class load, so it would be really hard to take off for a whole quarter, and drop everything, essentially. It's not that it wouldn't be doable, it would just be very hard, and not something I want to take on. I am already stressed out enough during the year, and missing a whole quarter would not be the best for my anxiety.

Europe is gorgeous in the summer.
I have looked up so much about the places I will be going, and have talked to natives from the area, and they all agree that summers are gorgeous in England and Spain. Summers can be kind of lackluster here in the Pacific Northwest, so I am especially excited to spend a month in San Sebastián, where I will basically be living on the beach.

I'll have time to travel a bit afterwards.
When I was in the third grade, we had an exchange student from Spain who is now like family. He lives in Madrid with his girlfriend (they are adorable), and they offered to let me stay with them for a couple of days. I'm super excited to see the capital of Spain, and see what the city is like! Since it's during the summer, I'll have plenty of time to stay with them for a little bit.

I am so stoked for this summer, and I can't wait to not only learn about the class subjects, but more about myself as well! I don't want to have too high of expectations, but I'm hoping that both programs will be a lot of fun, and that'll I'll be able to meet some great people. I'll be posting all about my experiences abroad this summer, and also tips for studying abroad once I get back, so make sure to check back with my blog!

Have you ever studied abroad, or do you want to?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)


  1. Really enjoyed reading your blog post! Would love to hear more about your trips when you visit Spain and England! What a great opportunity!
    Best Wishes,
    The Hat Hippie xx