Madrid, Spain- Here I Come!

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

A Weekend of Bliss

This weekend I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and it was such a great adventure.  I traveled with a good friend of mine and when traveling with a great partner, it makes the whole journey that much better.

On top of traveling with a great friend, I loved Barcelona because of the food and the sea.  I grew up loving lakes and oceans, and to see this city surrounded by beautiful beaches and the great expanse of the sea was so calming and peaceful for me.

My beautiful feet! Oh and I guess there’s the ocean too

In addition, the food everywhere was cheap, fresh, and delicious.  Seafood is a large part of Barcelona’s cuisine since the sea surrounds this city, and the seafood was so fresh.  There is a huge difference in the taste and texture of seafood in Cleveland, Ohio as opposed to that in Barcelona for obvious reasons.  There was also a huge bustling food market where they sold all sorts of fruits, meats, sweets, and more.  It was very lively and incredibly fun, and although everyone says that Barcelona is dangerous and full of pick-pocketers, as long as you keep an eye on your belongings, then you should be fine.

My friend and I at the fresh food market!

I would love to go back to Barcelona someday!