||June - July 2014
||Bachelor of Education
||Spanish in Cadiz
Can you tell us briefly about your short-term experience abroad?
I stayed with a host family in Cadiz, Spain whilst attending Spanish in Cadiz Language School. I had such a fantastic time attending school on weekdays until 1:30pm, then relaxing on the beach with my friends in the afternoons and heading out for tapas and drinks at night. It was a totally different lifestyle to what I was used to back at home and it was really wonderful to fully immerse myself in the culture of another country.
I learned heaps, met some beautiful people and new friends, travelled (which is made very easy by high speed trains) and had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I can’t recommend studying abroad more, and would highly suggest staying with a host family to get an authentic feel for what it is like to live in the country.
Can you see any benefits from this experience to your future career?
Definitely. I studied Spanish and will continue to do so back home, so that would assist me if a position for a primary Spanish teacher were to arise. The overall experience taught me a great deal about myself and has made me grow in confidence and taught me a lot about Spain and European history, which will be beneficial in my future career as a teacher.
Why would your recommend this experience to other students?
As I mentioned before, it has developed my confidence, allowed me to immerse myself fully in a culture that is so different to my own which is educational in many ways and you meet so many friends and interesting people. It was also a great opportunity to see more of Europe as I travelled after my short-term study program and it was so easy with Spain as my base. I went to Morocco and finished up in the Greek Islands. It was incredible.
What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the short-term exchange program?
Just do it! Applications are easy, if you’re lucky you’ll get a travel grant and I guarantee that you will learn about yourself and the world and have the best time doing so. Don’t do it if you don’t want to learn, because that’s what it’s all about. Be prepared to try things you wouldn’t at home like different foods and put yourself out there and meet people, because that makes it a whole lot more fun.
Travel while you’re on exchange and see as much as you can. There’s so much out there to see and do!