Katie Kalfayan, an animal sciences and Spanish double-major studied abroad in Granada, Spain for spring semester via ISA Granada, Spain - Hispanic Studies.
It’s impossible to choose just one favorite memory when you’ve learned how to cook paella with your host mom, eaten a fresh oyster sitting on the sidewalk of Barcelona, had a picnic at the Palace of Versailles, and ridden a camel. Getting to travel not just around Spain, but all throughout Europe, even to Africa, gave me the opportunity to meet new people and expose myself to many new cultures. I loved staying in hostels and meeting people from literally all around the world. I have made what feels like an infinite number of unforgettable memories.
My classes here have students from all over Europe and Asia, as well, and it has been so cool to learn about everyone’s own cultures. On top of that, living with a host family that spoke no English in Granada gave me the chance to not only practice my Spanish (which has improved ten-fold since I arrived), but also experience the genuine Spanish way of life. Because Spanish is my second major, it was important to me that I was going to be able to really improve my speaking skills in a way that the classroom sometimes just can’t provide in the same way immersion can.
I actually had no plans of going abroad when I first got to college. Then I visited my cousin studying abroad in Madrid in spring 2022 and fell in love with Spain. I realized just how different the rest of the world is from the States and I realized how much I wanted to expose myself to new cultures and become a more worldly person. Even though I am an out-of-state student at Ohio State, going across the ocean was going to really force me to be independent completely new way. Since arriving, I have seen my self-confidence increase and I have become so much more adventurous and outgoing.
Overall, I would recommend everyone to study abroad. I, myself, hope to return back to Europe at some point in my life, as well as travel to other parts of the world, including Asia and South America. Going abroad forces you out of your comfort zone in the best way possible and gives you the chance to learn about other people, other cultures, and even yourself.