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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Katerina in Granada, Spain

Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience.  This week’s feature is from Katerina Roldan ’17, an International Relations and Spanish major currently studying abroad in Lake Forest College Granada, Spain. She is also an Intern at la Unión Iberoamericana de Municipalistas.

Six weeks into my stay in Granada, Spain, and the city already has a big spot in my heart and an huge impact on me. I always said jokingly before coming to Spain that there is a possibility I would come back to the United States as “a new woman”. Little did I know that it is no longer a joke, rather a reality.

I would first like to talk about my learning experience here. One of my classes is the
Islamic Art and Architecture class. Granada is a city full of influence from the Muslim religion and catholic religion. What is amazing about the class is that my morning class is in class, learning about the history and architecture elements. Later in the day, however, we actually apply what we learned in class by visiting a site that shows those elements and the history. Before coming to Granada, I did not have much knowledge of religion and how much of an impact it can have on a city. With this class, I now can say that I do know more about religion, cities, and architecture!

My internship experience, although not a class, is also a learning experience. One does
not feel so unintelligent and confused until they enter a country with a language other than their own, and try to be a professional and work with a team. It is a challenge but it has definitely gotten better and better each time I go to my internship! I have learned how I am as a professional and have expanded my Spanish vocabulary.

To conclude, if you are looking to expand your Spanish vocabulary (a language that is
becoming more popular now in the United States, and different from the Spanish used by Latin/South American/Caribbean speakers), learn about a new culture, and experience the “good life”, Spain is definitely the place for you! The late night tapas, the nights spent going out with friends, the conversations with your host family, the excursions to different cities and countries the list goes on as to why you should study abroad here or study abroad in general! I would also like to give a huge thanks to my scholarship donors Ingrid and George Speros Scholarship for making my 12 year old dream of seeing Spain actually come true.