My Top 10 for Study Abroad
For starters, hello to the UW-Stevens Point community! I’m new to the world of blogging and what better way to introduce myself than share about my past few months I spent studying at the University of Valladolid in Spain. Yes that’s right, I said Spain! I am a Spanish major in addition to dietetics, so completing a program abroad has always been a dream of mine and I finally checked it off my bucket list among many other things!
Only a fraction of college students actually take advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in a totally different culture and adapt to a new lifestyle, and I feel so fortunate to be apart of that group of people. It may be cliché or better yet really cheesy, but studying was everything I expected and more! Just ask anyone who has studied abroad and I bet they will say the same thing with a great big smile and a twinkle in their eye.
Of course I am overjoyed to be back with my friends and family in a place that is familiar, but I will definitely miss Spain and all things that I feel in love with. Every where I traveled these past few months, at the end of each trip my friends and I would make our top 10 list of our favorite attractions, foods, or memories. So here is my top 10:
1. The Spain Family
Our paths never would have crossed if it wouldn’t have been for this experience! We spent everyday together and these friendships will last a lifetime, I’m sure of it!
2. The Mediterranean Diet
It’s not for everyone, but it sure is delicious if fish, fruit and vegetables suit your fancy!
3. The Imperfections of Learning a Second Language
Sometimes words just come out wrong or if you are not completely engaged, you misinterpret the context of the conversation and end up saying something goofy! I’ll miss these simple, entertaining moments that accounted for much of my laughter.
The famous napping hour after lunch. From 2-5 p.m. everyday, all the stores and schools would close so families could each lunch together and afterwards everyone would lay down to rest. We never felt guilty because we were just adapting to the Spanish customs.
5. Walking From Place to Place
It has been said that Europeans walk everywhere and I now can confirm the true of that statement! It was very rare for us to not hit 20,000 steps a daily. Some students would walk 45 minutes to school and other 45 minutes home. Impressive, right?!
6. Going to Coffee Shops
Going out for coffee everyday was somewhat of a ritual. We need somewhere to do homework and log into some WiFi and the best part about going out for coffee was that it didn’t break the bank! Coffee is about a third of the price of a cup of Starbucks in the United States
7. Traveling the World
It’s fairly easy to travel on the weekends while studying in Europe and relatively cheap as well. Traveling with your friends and meeting new people was one of my favorite parts of this whole experience.
8. Getting to Know a New Place
The best way to familiarize yourself in a new space is to get lost in it! I loved stumbling upon something new.
9. Runs Down by the River
I had never been a runner but with some encouragement and new-found energy it became a new hobby of mine. A lot of students actually participated in 10K races or even half marathons. We are now all international runners, how cool is that?
10. Meeting Other International Students
It was always so fun to encounter other students from the Midwest let alone Wisconsin when we were traveling.
My words of departure: Anyone considering studying abroad should do it! It is such an awesome opportunity to make your own top 10 and adapt to new cultures.
Emily Tauschek ’19 is a dietetics and Spanish double major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.