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IES Madrid: Advanced Language & Area Studies
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Stephanie Loesch

Major: Marketing, Spanish
Minor: International Business, Global and International Studies
Hometown: Fairview

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was fortunate to learn about this experience through Julianna Chaszar, the Spanish department advisor. She also made sure I took the necessary steps in order to apply for funding.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience was truly an eye-opening experience and one in which I am so grateful to have participated. During my 4 months in Europe, I was given the opportunity to immerse myself in the Spanish culture, taking classes in Spanish & living in a home stay. I made sure to really familiarize myself with the city of Madrid by visiting museums and even attending a Real Madrid soccer game as well. In my spare time, I traveled to 12 countries, exposing myself to and appreciating the many different cities of the world. I am grateful to have engaged in numerous unique experiences while also really expanding my knowledge of Europe while abroad.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I have really grown since leaving for Europe. As I mentioned previously, all of my classes were taught in Spanish. In addition, I only spoke Spanish in my home stay and also while communicating with people in Madrid. I am majoring in Spanish, and overall, this experience really enhanced my Spanish language skills. My confidence in my abilities has greatly increased. In my classes, I learned a lot about Europe in terms of history and business, both of which are very important for me to know and understand since I am also majoring in marketing and minoring in international business and global and international studies.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

In regards to my future, I am very interested in becoming a marketing manager for a successful company. With that being said, I want to work abroad at some point in my career. Ideally, I would love the opportunity to live in Spain again, allowing me to practice my Spanish-speaking abilities even more. Studying abroad has helped me become an advanced speaker in another language and I have gained invaluable knowledge about Europe in general. This experience will help me to stand out against other applicants for jobs and will hopefully help to provide me the chance to be a real asset to any company.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most definitely recommend this program to other Liberal Arts students. This opportunity has really allowed me to grow as an individual and student. Thanks to this experience, I feel more confident in my Spanish language abilities. Additionally, I feel as if I have gained an even stronger sense of individuality. I have a newfound appreciation for the many countries in Europe as well. This experience will benefit me in the future and hopefully ensure I gain the opportunity to work abroad. Personally, I am so grateful for my study abroad experience and will never forget just how amazing of an opportunity it was for me.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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