Goals: My main goal is to live like a Peruvian for a year and be completely immersed in the culture. I also want to travel all over South America, particularly Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Argentina (maybe more!)
Motivation: I wanted to go to Lima, Peru because I’ve been there before and I fell in love with the people (and the amazing food!)
Previous overseas travel: El Slavador, Peru, & Canada (if that counts)
Goals: During my year in Seville, I want to dramatically improve my written and spoken Spanish skills. However, I think being actively involved in the culture is equally important as learning new words and grammar rules. I want to challenge myself by making Spanish friends and participating in local traditions and events.
Motivation: There are many Spanish-speaking countries that I would love to visit some day. They all offer unique opportunities, and it was difficult to choose where I wanted to go. I think Spain is the perfect choice for me. Seville is a beautiful city with many cultural opportunities such as Semana Santa and Feria de Abril. It also has several amazing universities like the University of Seville. I can’t wait to learn all that Spain has to teach me, both in and out of the classroom.
Previous overseas travel: Mexico, Guatemala
Goals: I hope to immerse myself in British culture, meet new people, indulge my interest in British literature through travel and coursework, and develop my senior thesis topic while exploring career possibilities in the humanities. I’d also love to try something completely new and random while I’m abroad; my current thought is to take up mountain climbing.
Motivation: Ever since my encounter with Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as a high school sophomore, I have had an insatiable interest in British literature: particularly the early British novel and the British Romantics. This passion has only ballooned during my time at Madison, so studying in England seemed like a natural choice. The country is chalk-full of literary history … and as an added perk, the University of Warwick happens to be a mere 20 minutes away from Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. In addition to satisfying my bibliophilic cravings, however, I am also motivated by the thought of experiencing another country and culture from the inside-out, and being able to look at my own culture from a new perspective.
Previous Overseas Travel: Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas … and Canada and Mexico, even though I guess I did not technically cross water to get there.
Goals: First of all, I would like to come back to the state fluent in Spanish. If I come back fluent in other languages I won’t complain either, but I’m focusing on Spanish. Second, during my year abroad I want to become an expert on the Spanish culture, not only through studying in the University, but also by living as one of them. I plan on finding a group of Spanish friends that won’t mind taking a foreigner under their wing and who will help me in my assimilation into their culture by bringing me to their favorite hangouts, showing me the best cafes, telling me about their favorite fiestas, showing me how to cook up some delicious spanish cuisine etc. That reminds me, another one of my major goals is to come back to the U.S. with the ability to cook up jaw-droppingly tasty Spanish and/or foreign meals, because let’s be honest, there isn’t a person who wouldn’t appreciate a skilled and cultured chef. Finally, I’m going abroad to leave my comfort zone here in Madison, and to meet people from all around the world, to learn about them and to learn from them. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to take a trip like this again for a long time, so I’m going to make the most of it.
Motivation: I’ve been wanting to study abroad for about six years, but I didn’t decide that I wanted to go to Spain until about two years ago. I chose Spain partly because I wanted to go somewhere in Europe to experience how their government and education and lives in general differ from ours in the U.S. However, the main reasons that I chose Spain is that I am pretty fascinated by their culture and heritage, and the way they live their lives, and I want to become part of it. I’ve also heard the people are extremely welcoming and accepting, and I feel that it is the ideal place for me to practice my Spanish and to become a fluent Spanish speaker. In terms of long-term motivation, I’d like to someday return to Spain as the head of an engineering firm or something, so that I actually would have a sustainable income, rather than being a poor college student.
Previous overseas travel: An 8th grade European adventure with my family to France, Italy, Germany, Austria and briefly Switzerland; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bahamas