I spent four amazing months in the fall of 2013 living with a family and going to a university in Madrid, Spain. The Honors Experience Scholarship helped make this possible. It was an amazing learning experience in that I gained knowledge about the Spanish language and culture, Spanish art, and International Management from a new country’s perspective. I also learned an unexpected and interesting amount of information about myself and my goals for the future.
At OSU my major of study is Merchandising Management, with minors in Business and Spanish. Throughout my time here I have taken classes in art history, Spanish language, and business, and I chose a program that allowed me to study all of these things in one Spanish semester. Some of the classes were taught in English but most were taught in Spanish. My language improved tremendously, which was one of my primary goals in traveling to Spain, but I was also thrilled to acquire interesting insights on Spanish art and managing international organizations. All of these are things I can and will integrate into my learning and thinking in my studies here at OSU.
The most valuable lessons I discovered in Madrid however were not from my time spent in the classroom. I have always wanted to live abroad and spend as much time as I could traveling and exploring big exciting cities and meeting new people. It was a dream come true having the chance to do this and I enjoyed it immensely, but in being away from Oregon and the incredible people that live here, I realized I have a lot more things to consider when I decide in the next few months where my life will take me from here. I need to think about the kind of person I want to be and focus on picking a job and a work location that matches my values and fits the lifestyle I have come to treasure. Spain was amazing and I cannot wait to go back, but I now know based on what I loved about being there and also what I missed most while I was away, what I will look for in my continued education and future work/life. I am so thankful to have had this experience!