Alumni Spotlight: Bridget Valenti

Bridget Valenti is a 21 year old female from St. Joseph, Michigan and is currently a student in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Western Michigan University. She studied abroad in the summer of 2012 in Salamanca, Spain for a month and a half. She is finishing up her degree in Organizational Communication and will be graduating this year at the end of April. Bridget enjoys running, the beach, spending time with her friends and family, and traveling.

API Spain alumni

What city did you study abroad in and for how long?

Bridget: I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain for approximately 6 weeks. However, I did not stay only in Salamanca. Through API I was able to travel all throughout Spain and also travel to Portugal!

Why did you decide to study with API?

Bridget: I did a lot of research of different study abroad companies and API stood out for so many reasons. From the moment I first inquired about the programs to the second I stepped back on the bus to go home, I was astounded by how helpful and caring they were. I am such a worrier and I have never traveled alone, so I had millions of questions for them and they answered every single one. Also, I felt that API was the best price for what I got to do. I got to travel almost every single weekend and this was all included in the price. We also got to do an activity every week including horseback riding, a barbecue, and a wine tasting.

What made this experience unique and special?

Bridget: This study abroad experience was unique because I got to do so much in a short amount of time. Many people might believe that a summer there is not enough time to experience the culture but I completely disagree. I got to live with a host family, travel all around Spain, and take classes in the language I was speaking. I went into the program hardly speaking Spanish and came back with so much more confidence and ability. I made lifelong friendships and I will never forget the amazing sights I saw!

Celebrations in Spain

How has this experience impacted your future?

Bridget: This experience has definitely impacted my future. First and foremost, when I returned to Michigan, I took a placement test at school and tested out of multiple Spanish classes. I am now going to graduate early from college—which completely counteracts the money that I spent to go on the trip in the first place! I also am able to put the experience on my resume which shows potential employers that I am diverse, have a language skill, and I am up for new experiences!

Overall, studying abroad was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned so much about myself from this experience. I have opened up a passion for traveling that I never realized I had before, and have developed a love for people that I never knew existed before. API is definitely the best program out there. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! If and when I study abroad again, I will definitely be going with API!

Cadiz and Sevilla