Alumni Spotlight: Marian Murphy

Marian Murphy comes from a small town called Hopedale, MA, but spends a majority of her time in Rhode Island. She currently attends Assumption College in Worcester, MA. She's a student of Foreign Languages with a minor in Theology.

What made this study abroad experience unique and special?

Marian Murphy Salamanca

Marian: During my time abroad, I had a really special chance to grow as a person. I had never traveled alone before, so it was a little scary initially, and I had no idea how much this time alone would impact me. I learned so much about Spain's culture and their language, spending each day wandering and discovering new historical sites.

I met so many amazing people that I will never forget for as long as I live--they truly all touched my life in a unique and special way. And finally, I learned about myself, what my strengths and weaknesses are, how to take things in, and how to be in the present moment. The whole experience changed me for the better.

How has this experience impacted you?

Marian: I'm not too sure what the future holds for me. I do know, however, that this experience has made me a more confident and resourceful person. I am not as stressed over the small things--whenever work seems to be too much I remember the times that I got lost in a city I've never been to or when I tried to communicate in countries where I had limited idea of the language. In addition, I had the unique opportunity to teach an English class at the local elementary school. I'm sure in the future, whatever my vocation ends up being, I will be able use the skills I discovered in the classroom from these wonderful children.

What did AIFS Salamanca do for you and what did you need to do on your own?

Marian: AIFS Study Abroad at the University of Salamanca was incredibly helpful! I honestly am not sure what I had to do by myself besides choosing my classes and attending them. Whenever I needed anything, they were there with tons of advice and support!

Marian Murphy Salamanca

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

Marian: I really liked all the food I had in Italy. Although my last name is deceiving, I come from a very (loud) Italian family. It was amazing to go across the sea and experience my heritage. It almost felt like home!

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

Marian: One thing I could not get used to was Spain's shoes/socks habits. I like being barefoot and I rarely wear socks, and that's a huge no-no over there. If I were walking around without shoes on in my hall, I would get looks and some people even asked if I was cold! And if I was wearing shoes and no socks with ballet flats, people would ask wear my socks were. It was funny to experience and something that I didn't really think of!