Alumni Spotlight: Eric Pagliaro

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Adelante Abroad in Seville, Spain?

Eric: Well, I first did a three month internship in Florence, Italy to finish up college, and during my time there I met this girl, who would turn out to be my wife. She is from Seville, Spain and didn't speak English, so I thought, "Why not live there, learn the language, work with a soccer team, and meet her family?" So that is what I did, and I have to say that it was the best decision I have ever made.

Eric met his wife while abroad in Seville

What made interning abroad a unique and special experience?

Eric: Seville in itself is a very special place. They have a very beautiful culture full of singing and dancing that can be seen at any bar, or street for that matter. The fact that I knew people from the city made it very easy to get around and find all the good spots to eat and so on. The main thing that made this trip so special is the fact that I got the chance to live with my then girlfriend and meet her entire family. I was also lucky enough to be there for Semana Santa and La Feria, the two events that make Seville so famous, and now I understand why. If anyone has the chance to visit Seville for one of these "fiestas", you will not be disappointed.

Living in a country that is obsessed with soccer, also gave me a chance to work with one of Seville's two professional soccer organizations, Real Betis. This was all set up by Adelante, and for a soccer fanatic like myself, it was a dream come true.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Eric: Since going to Seville, I have learned to speak Spanish almost fluently, something I would have never achieved just trying to learn it in a class here in the United States. To anyone that is learning Spanish, you really need to go somewhere where they speak the language all the time to really gain an understanding of it. In two weeks in a different country, you'll learn the language more than you can in a semester at school.

Along with the Spanish skills, the fact that I worked with a professional soccer team in Spain has helped find jobs, get interviews, and so on. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today, if I had not gone to Spain.

And last, but not least, living in Spain helped me solidify my relationship with the woman that is now my wife. We lived in Spain for about a year and then decided to move back over to the United States. We just moved out to Denver, CO on a whim and we are finally getting settled down and starting the next chapter in our lives.