Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Quasenella


Why did you decide to study abroad with ISA in Granada?

Melissa: As a Spanish major it is required to study abroad for a semester, but I have always wanted to do have the experience. I had multiple cousins do before me, and they all made it sound like an amazing way to get college credit, travel and interact with different cultures. I decided to study in Granada because I have a cousin who works for the ISA program in Barcelona and she recommended the program to me. I also have a strong interest in the Islamic influence in Spain, and Granada is one of the cities with most Arab/Islamic influence. Also, I have lots of family in Spain, but none in Granada. I wanted to experience a different part of Spain independent of my family.

Made made studying in Granada a unique and special experience?

Melissa: This study abroad experience was unique for me because I got to truly know a city outside of Michigan. I grew up in suburbia, go to college in a farm town, and studied abroad in an actual city. I loved getting know city life. I also had never been so far away from my immediate family and good friends for so long. Studying abroad really help me grow as a person; I learned about myself, another culture, and really my own culture as well.

How did this experience impact your academic development?

Melissa: Since I am studying Spanish and Secondary Education, I will be able to use my photos, life experiences and language acquisition to better teach my students in the classroom. It also gave me more passion for what I will do in the future. Even if I do not teach for the rest of my life, I know my future will include Spanish in some way. I love it! My current goals are to move back to Spain after I graduate to teach English as a second language to Spanish-speakers. I just think my Spanish can still improve so much, and that living in Spain for a few more years will just give me all the confidence I will want, and need in the classroom.