As he prepares to depart for his very first time traveling outside of the U.S. on the semester-long Students Exchange Program, Gregory Smith shares his excitements and goals for his time in Madrid, Spain.
Hello, my name is Gregory Smith and I am looking forward to my future Student Exchange Program this upcoming autumn. I will be attending Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain. I am currently a sophomore in Fisher College of Business and I will be majoring in Logistics Management. I feel like I am well suited for this program because I am the kind of person who enjoys new challenges and being far from home for long periods of time does not bother me much, it can actually be quite refreshing. I have never been outside of the United States of America, so this is a big jump for me, but I am looking forward to going to Europe .
Everyone in my family speaks Spanish and a lot of my friends also speak Spanish but I do not, and I wanted to change that. I have always wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country to learn Spanish, because learning Spanish is one of the biggest goals that I have always wanted to achieve. This is why I chose Spain as the place where I will be staying for a semester. This way, I can truly immerse myself in the language. I also chose Spain because of their culture, music, and food. I plan on living in a home stay with a family that only speaks Spanish, so I can really immerse myself in the language and force myself to practice in order to survive. I am worried about finances but hopefully I can make quite a bit of money this summer by working. One professional goal I have is to become eligible for an internship in Puerto Rico for Cardinal Health. I need to be bilingual in Spanish and English to be eligible for it so this program will definitely increase my Spanish speaking skills. After the internship, I hope to be offered a job with Cardinal Health, so this experience can really help me achieve my future dreams and earn my dream job.
I am also very excited on how my resume will look when I can put “Proficient in Spanish” and that can talk about how I took part in this program. I think that this will help me do better in interviews, because I will have the experience that a lot of students do not have. This program will show employers how I can handle difficult situations and how I can go above and beyond to surpass my peers. I am very much looking forward to experiencing the culture and the great experience of traveling to Europe. Hopefully I will be able to dance by the time I leave.
The feelings of shock and awe have not hit me yet, because I still have so much to do, such as classes and a summer internship, to get through before I leave, and honestly, the trip feels like its light years away, because I am so busy currently. Although I am making sure that I prepare myself financially, learning bits and pieces of the language, thinking about where I will live, and plan my travel expenses to prepare for the experience.
I am overall very much excited that I am having the opportunity to go to Spain and participate in the Student Exchange Program.The most most MOST exciting thing about all of this is going to a Spanish-speaking country! I am very excited to start learning the language in the country that they speak it! I am ready for this adventure.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life to escape us” – Author Unknown
About the Author: Gregory Smith, Sophomore, Logistics Management, Student Exchange Program-Spain