Name: Michelle Truong ’21
Major: Public Relations and Marketing Management
Semester Abroad: Fall 2019
What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I had known to make a list of all the things I wanted to do in Madrid. I definitely spent a lot of time traveling all over Europe but I really wished I had made a checklist of the restaurants, foods, parks, and places to go to in Madrid. There are neighborhoods that I glanced over but never really spent time there. We constantly went to Sol because it is in the center and where all the fun is, but when I was talking to the locals, they shared some different neighborhoods that non-tourists go to.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Financing study away
Name: Caroline Bailey ’21
Major: Public Relations
Semester Abroad: Spring 2020
What was your most unforgettable experience abroad? However, the 10-day seminar that begins the SU abroad experience has to be at the top of the list. I was on the Imperium seminar and traveled to 4 different cities in Spain and even crossed the border to Lisbon, Portugal. During the seminar, you are constantly surrounded by friends and peers, traveling on hour-long bus rides with them, sleeping and eating in hotels with them, and traveling around the country with the them. This is the chance for you to engage with new people you might not know that well and bond over the somewhat unusual circumstances. Further, the professors that run the seminar are fabulous and provide a great learning environment.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing:Health, safety, and support, Adjusting to a foreign language, Cultural Immersion, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad
Name: Olivia Santiago ’21
Major: Biotechnology and Spanish
Semester Abroad: Fall 2019, Discovery Florence 2017
What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable aspect of studying abroad in Madrid, was being able to be fully immersed in the culture. Since, I lived with a host family I was able to practice my Spanish every day and I was able to learn the ins and outs of Madrid. I ended up pursuing a Spanish major because of how much I fell in love with speaking Spanish every day while abroad. My host family gave me recommendations of how to spend my weekends and were a great resource for me. Not only was I able to listen to their suggestions but they also gave me home to return to every night, that really added to how comfortable I felt in Madrid. Madrid gave me the opportunity to live with a family that helped me feel comfortable while still experiencing the culture that I loved so much.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Adjusting to a foreign language
Hometown: Walpole, MA
Semester Abroad: Fall 2017, Santiago Spring 2020
What did you wish you had known before going abroad? Before I went abroad I wish I knew a better method of packing. I was unsure about the weather, how much to bring with me, the style of Spain, and many other things. I ended up bringing too much stuff with me and also buying too much while I was there, which made it very difficult to travel both there and home. I did not know that I would be able to purchase almost anything I needed while abroad, so I brought shampoo, soap, other toiletries, all which I could have purchased when I arrived, as well as absurd amounts of clothing, most of which I did not even wear.
Semester Abroad: Discovery Madrid Fall 2017, Florence Fall 2019
What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience abroad was getting lost on the metro. One weekend early into my trip I set out on my own to try and find a restaurant I read about online. In the process I got off on the wrong metro stop and I was completely lost in the city. I started to panic a little bit but I calmed myself down and used what little Spanish skills I had to ask someone on the street for help. They told me where I was and helped me figure out how to use the metro correctly so that I wouldn’t get lost again. That experience helped me to realize that I could get by on my own and gave me the added confidence and independence that I needed to continue to explore the rest of the city on my own.
Semester Abroad: Discovery Madrid Fall 2018
What was your most valuable experience abroad? Being able to immerse myself in so many unique cultures and truly appreciate the beauty of Spain. I learned more about myself each time I visited a new place and developed a new level of independence. I loved challenging myself through learning different languages and it was so easy to fall in love with Madrid. There is so much value in exploring cities near and far, and the pictures and videos will never compare to the memories I made in those precious moments.
Name: Kathryn Edwards ’21
Major: Finance (Whitman)
Semester Abroad: Spring 2020
What was your most valuable experience abroad?My most valuable experience was the initial two week seminar which paired historical monuments and classroom learning. Having the opportunity to learn the history and see world-famous sites up close allowed me to appreciate them first-hand. It was an amazing opportunity that is unique to Syracuse’s Madrid program and one that I will never forget. By participating in this rich learning experience, I better understand and appreciate the Spain of present and long ago.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Staying in touch with friends & family, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Culture shock / Homesickness, First time abroad, Health, safety, and support, Living with a host family, Meeting locals, Preparing for departure, Selecting a program option
Name: Alyssa Grzesiowski ’22
Major: Chemistry and Forensic Science (minor in Spanish)
Semester Abroad: Spring 2020
What did you wish you had known before going abroad? I wish I had known how amazing living with a host family can be so I would not have been so apprehensive about choosing that option. I was really nervous to meet my host family, but they were so kind and accommodating, especially with my food allergies and any other needs I had.
Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Preparing for departure, adjusting to a foreign language, allergies & dietary needs (I am dairy & peanut free), cultural immersion, fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, living with a host family, and preparing for departure