This past summer I spent two months studying abroad at The University of Granada in Spain through a program outside of Sweet Briar. I was born and raised in Richmond, Va., and have been fortunate enough to have traveled around — and outside — the U.S., but this experience was different. I was going to be abroad for the majority of the summer in a place where I could not speak the language confidently, and where I would know absolutely nothing and no one upon arrival. While I was very nervous, I was also extremely excited about this opportunity!
During the first month, I took an intensive Spanish course that is meant to help students learn to speak and write better. The second month included two courses that focused much more on the culture and historical aspects of Spain: one was on Islam in Spain, the other covered everything from Spanish poetry to Spanish architecture. Of course these courses also helped me to understand Spanish better.
So, why should you take part in a summer abroad program? Well, I got to travel to Madrid, Morocco, Sevilla and lots of other places, I was able to immerse myself in the culture, I worked on improving my Spanish, and I have friends and memories from this trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. There are so many reasons for studying abroad. But I can promise you one thing: If your trip is even half as fun as mine, it will be well worth it!
Taylor Allen is a junior from Richmond, Va., with majors in international affairs, studio art and Spanish. You’ll usually find her on the third floor of Fletcher or in the basement of Benedict, her favorite spots for studying on campus. She is the Student Government Association Class of 2020 secretary, enjoys photography (Instagram: @tayginger20) and floating on the Lower Lake with her friends.