Alumni Spotlight: Emiley McCambridge

Why did you decide to study abroad with ISA at University of Sevilla?

Emiley: I decided to study with ISA at the University of Sevilla after a lot of research. The programs offered through my school were all too expensive and not in areas that I was interested in going in Spain. I knew that I wanted to study abroad using a program because I wasn't quite ready to figure everything out on my own in a different country, I wanted people to contact when I had questions.

Being from the Midwest, I knew I wanted a more laid-back lifestyle where people were friendly, and after researching Spain, I found that the south fit both of those criterion. Sevilla is the biggest city in the south, so I looked for programs in Sevilla, which is how I came across ISA Sevilla, so I blindly chose them. I was the first person from my school (University of Missouri) to ever go through ISA, so I was a little apprehensive, but it ended up being an amazing decision.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Emiley: I think that all study abroad experiences are going to be unique and special, how can they not be? As I said, I was the first person from my school to go abroad using ISA, so I knew absolutely no one who was going. Quickly, I met some of the best friends in the world, both from America and Spain. The staff at the ISA office are some of the nicest people I have ever met, and each one of them took the time to personally make everyone feel welcome, at home, and happy. I am still really good friends with them today.

The view from the rooftop terrace of the ISA Sevilla offices

Because everyone was there for the same reason - to experience a different culture - we all bonded. But Sevilla is an amazing place where romance and magic are abundant. It is like going back 50 years where your social life happens out in the streets and family is still important. I got lost in the tiny narrow streets daily, only to stumble upon hundred year old trees growing in beautifully manicured gardens.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Emiley: As an International Business major, I was required to study abroad, and I am so glad I did. I now know a different language, which is an extremely marketable skill. However, most importantly, it made me a more culturally rounded person. I now understand that the only way we can hope for world peace is to become educated about the differences in cultures and, even if we don't agree with them, respect them because most people act out of love for their family. And I think that is a very important piece of knowledge to have.