Immerse and Go!

Immerse and Go!

McKinley Cole
Major: Spanish
Minor: Public Relations and International Studies
Class year: Senior
Hometown: Park Hills, KY

1. Describe your Education Abroad program(s):

I studied abroad with SOL Education Abroad on a Spanish immersion program in Granada, Spain, for the spring 2016 semester.

2. Is this a good program for other students in your major?

SOL is an excellent program for other Spanish majors because you are constantly exposed to and using the Spanish language. You stay with a host family, attend a local university, take classes in Spanish, and are constantly encouraged by your directors to use your language skills!

3. Was this your first time abroad?

This was my second semester abroad with SOL. My first was a semester in Heredia, Costa Rica, spring of 2015 and it was an equally incredible experience.

4. How do you feel that you benefitted from studying abroad?

The benefits from my study abroad will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’ve gained cultural awareness, language and cross-cultural communication skills, experiences I couldn’t have had in the United States, confidence in myself, and friends for life, just to name a few.

5. How do you think this experience will impact your future plans?

Study abroad has shaped and provided direction to my future plans. I always knew I wanted to incorporate Spanish into a future career but now I know that I want to do something internationally and even something with study abroad.

6. How did the experience differ from your expectations?

Something that surprised me was how welcome I felt by my host family. I had hoped we would get along and would enjoy our time together but there was an instant connection with my host parents that made the experience so special. I was treated like family and cared for like a daughter. I will definitely be visiting my family in Spain again. 

7. What other countries have you traveled to?

I’ve traveled to 17 countries (The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Japan, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Morocco, Greece, Portugal, and England). Study abroad has opened so many doors for me and one of those is travel!

8. Favorite thing about studying abroad?

I think my favorite thing about studying abroad is the chance to travel and the opportunities that come with it. When you travel you get to experience local culture and participate like a local. You learn so much when you immerse yourself in another culture.

9. Suggestions for future students?

If you are considering study abroad, go for it! Now is the time to expose yourself to the world around you and learn the beauty of other cultures. You’ll learn how to travel instead of just being a tourist and those experiences will follow you for the rest of your life. Do it. Go!

10. Anything you'd like to add?

I never thought I would do half of the things I’ve done and I’ve gotten there through study abroad. This is an opportunity of a lifetime!

Published on December 09, 2016

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