Why did you decide to study abroad with USAC in Madrid, Spain?
Qundeel: Cliché as it may sound, but I have always wanted to study abroad in Spain. Having studied Spanish for four years in high school and learned all there is to know about Spain, or so it felt that way, I knew I was destined to live there at some point in my life. I wanted to visit the great capital, visit Gaudi in Barcelona, the Alhambra in Granada, drive through all the olive trees, and of course, eat tapas after a peaceful siesta.
USAC was recommended to me by the study abroad coordinator at my current school. I choose USAC because it allowed me the opportunity to study abroad for a semester with students from across the States. The more I researched their Madrid program, the more excited and anxious I felt in pursuing my life long dream. I loved having the option of either housing with a host family or other USAC students.
I loved the excursions and field study programs they had organized for us. Most importantly though, I thoroughly enjoyed working with their amazing staff throughout the application process. Every person I spoke with or exchanged emails with was extremely kind, professional, and most importantly helpful! Having that wonderful support system made the transition process that much easier and enjoyable.
What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Qundeel: As previously mentioned, I really enjoyed how organized USAC is. No question was left unanswered. The Madrid staff was like family supporting and guiding us through this life-changing experience.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Qundeel: Not only was I able to further my educational experience but I also expanded my understanding of different cultures, social settings, and languages. The opportunity to study abroad at Universidad de Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid allowed me to not only gain an education in a different country, but to live within and experience that culture as well.
With the option to live in an apartment with both international and local students provided me the opportunity to live among various cultures simultaneously. When not immersed in our class work and studies, we seized the opportunity to better explore and learn Spain.
Goal-wise as a Nutrition and Food Science major, I was able to expand my views on the Spanish cuisine along with the eating habits of the locals to gain a better understanding of and sensitivity to cultures other than my own.
I also now have the option of going back to Spain and participate in a Teach Abroad program while completing an internship with Accion contra hambre (Action Against Hunger).