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CIEE: Palma de Mallorca, Language and Culture (Summer)
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Matthew Williams

Liberal Arts Major(s): International Politics
Other Major: Digital Journalism and Media
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience abroad was having the opportunity to interact with and learn Castilian Spanish every day. While studying Mediterranean Cuisine and Wine Tasting as well as conversational Spanish at the University of the Balearic Islands (Universitat de les Illes Balears), I had the opportunity of living with a host family whose matriarch was also a school teacher that spoke very little English. As a result of this experience, I learned a tremendous amount of Spanish and gained a great deal of confidence in my ability to speak Spanish on a daily basis.

As a result of this experience, I learned a tremendous amount of Spanish and gained a great deal of confidence in my ability to speak Spanish on a daily basis

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience better prepared me for my future enrollment in Spanish 3 and ignited in me a desire to continue learning and honing my Spanish skills. In addition, I am now more comfortable in tutoring students in Spanish as well as facilitating group learning activities with Spanish.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

While abroad I became privy to a program called Auxiliar de Conversacion sponsored by the Spanish government which invites recently graduated undergraduate students who speak English (i.e. students from Canada, France, and the US) to work alongside native Spanish speaking teachers in their classrooms as conversation assistants in teaching their students English. This program was referred to me by my professor who thought that I would be well-suited for it, advised that I apply, and even provided me with a letter of recommendation. As it were, I will be submitting my application for this program in January of 2020 for placement in a Spanish school in October of 2020.

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