Psychology major, Haley Kleimann, talks about her recent study abroad experience. The accompanying photo shows Haley (middle) at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.
Haley, what did you do on your study abroad? What country did you go to?
I went to Granada, Spain with Sol Education Abroad program. We had multiple cultural activities and excursions on the weekends that were amazing, including beach trips, cultural food tastings, and horseback riding.
How did your experience help you?
It really truly helped me in the sense that it not only opened my eyes to a completely different way of life from mine, but I also got to truly experience it and live it. It also improved my Spanish so incredibly much. I am a firm believer that the only true way to learn a foreign language is to be completely immersed in it for an extended period of time. My host family, who did not speak any English, was a huge part in this. They enriched my experience so much and were literally like a second family to me. It was so difficult to communicate, but it really made me use and improve my Spanish speaking skills like no other.
If you don’t mind my asking, how did you fund your trip?
I worked and paid for most of it myself, and the rest was paid for by the Liberal Arts Study Abroad Scholarship, which was a huge, huge help.
What was the most fun you had while abroad?
My favorite part of being abroad had to have been all of the other places I traveled to on the weekends while I was there. I went to Ireland, France, Switzerland, and Italy, in addition to multiple places around and across Spain. Seeing and experiencing all these different countries for just the price of an average plane ticket was amazing.
Would you recommend study abroad to other students?
I 110% would recommend studying abroad to other students. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and no part of me regrets it. Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it is scary at first. But it was all so worth it in the end, because you also have all of these other students right along with you and experiencing the same emotions and fears you are. I made some amazing friends that I hope to stay close with for the rest of my life! Also, staying with a host family I think makes you feel so much more at home than you think it would. I can’t recommend staying with a host family enough!