Alumni Spotlight: Megan Bannister


Why did you decide to study abroad with IES Abroad in Barcelona?

Megan: When I started looking at study abroad programs I was incredibly interested in being able to utilize my Spanish language skills. Since I have traveled in South America, I knew that I wanted to head to Europe for the semester and study in Spain. When I finally decided on Barcelona, IES seemed like the only logical choice. The program allowed me to participate in a selective Advanced Spanish Studies course load where all of my classes were taught in Spanish and I was placed with a local publication for a semester-long internship.

What made this experience unique and special?

Megan: When I think back on my time in Barcelona, there are a lot of things that made my study abroad experience special. The ability to live with a Spanish family, learn about culture on a day-to-day basis and learn how to cook some of my favorite Spanish dishes were only a few of the perks of staying in a home stay. The unique travel opportunities I had while in Barcelona also made my trip special. Through IES I was able to travel around the country and beyond, both with inclusive program-organized trips and through my own planning.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Megan: While my semester abroad was a fun, wonderful experience that I'll never forget, having had an internship while in Spain has definitely given me a professional edge. Being able to tell employers that I am not only fluent in Spanish but also had the ambition and dedication to work while studying in a foreign country has been a huge asset for me. The experience of interning with BCN Mes, a trilingual (English, Spanish & Catalan) monthly newspaper, taught me how to interact with different types of people and gave me insight on work environments outside of those in the United States.