Victoria: Santander, Spain


Senior, International Studies
Host Location: Santander, Spain
Program: UK Partner ISA in Santander
Term: Fall
Overall, on a scale from one to five, Victoria rates this program a five.

Why did you decide to study abroad?
I wanted to improve my Spanish skills and immerse myself into the Spanish culture, which is why I chose to go to Spain.

What classes did you take and how did they apply to your degree?
I took three courses: Advanced Spanish Language, the Economics of Globalization, and Business in the European Union. The Spanish course counted towards my minor and the other two actually counted towards my International Studies major.

What surprised you most about your host country?
I was actually really surprised at the family based lifestyle. I always heard that Spain was very relaxed, but you never fully understand until you are there and you live it. There is this idea of “Spanish time” where nobody is in a hurry and they don’t have any worries. I loved it.

What was your favorite memory from abroad?
When my roommate and I had a lazy Saturday with our 5-year-old host sister, Elena, and took her to the beach to look for sea shells. Afterwards, we came home and were surprised by our host mom with a kitten to play with for the day. We named him Jorge and then all jumped in my bed to watch the Barbie movie. I loved everything about that day.

What advice do you give to someone doing a similar program?
Since I studied abroad with other American students in my partner program, I highly recommend to step out of the box and meet locals as well, so you don’t become so dependent. I was able to make a Spanish friend and we practiced Spanish and English together. It was a win for both of us and was nice to make a new friend that I still keep in touch with.