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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Spain!

I recently just experienced the fastest six weeks of my life. In Spain! Before embarking on my first journey overseas, I thought to myself, "Wow, I can't believe I get to spend a WHOLE six weeks in Spain this summer! That seems like forever!" Let me tell you though, when you're over there living it, those six weeks fly by! The weeks were filled with new friends, new foods, and new experiences! I got to see amazing things, such as La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, La Alhambra in Granada, and of course tons of neat places in Madrid, where I lived and had classes. One of my favorite weekend trips was when we went to Barcelona. Most of the weekends were free weekends, so you could gather a group of students, and go where ever you wanted! There were so many options, some people even went to Paris for a weekend, and others went to Portugal! However, the weekend I spent in Barcelona was amazing. Seeing all of the Gaudi works was awesome! One of the most beautiful parks I have ever been to is Parque Guell, which Gaudi designed.
One of the weekends that wasn't a free weekend, the entire program went to Granada, and got a guided tour of La Alhambra, which was wear the royalty of Granada lived in the thirteen century! It was SO beautiful! Each building was amazing, and there were some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen, and most of them were inside the buildings, like a courtyard!
For the classroom aspect of the Study Abroad program, we had three options, and chose two to take. I chose a Food class with a professor from Purdue, and an Art class with a professor from our university in Madrid. The classes were great, but some of the times when I learned the most about the culture, or Spanish in general, was when I was out exploring the city by myself! You learn so much more when you're actually living in a culture than you will from any book, and you make amazing friendships too. In my case, I was rooming with a girl from Purdue, and our host mom was also housing a student from Pepperdine, so not only do you make new connections with Purdue students, but you have the opportunity to make connections with people around the US, and around the world! Studying abroad is something I would highly recommend to every student, and Purdue certainly offers innumerable opportunities! Just find something, or somewhere you would be interested in, and I would be willing to guarantee you will find a program you love at Purdue!

--- Ariel Demoret

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