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Culture Shock: AU Senior Studying Abroad for the Summer in Spain

By, Desiree’ McCallum 

Have you ever wanted a change of scenery from your traditional classroom? Have you ever thought about studying in a different country? Well, Aurora University offers different options for students to study abroad while obtaining a unique internship experience. In fact, senior communication major Andrea Guzel is going to Spain this summer and will be getting college credit for her time there. Check out this interview I did with Andrea about how she got the opportunity to go to Spain, what cultural aspects she is looking forward to exploring while she’s there, and how you can apply to study abroad.


What is the process like for applying to study abroad?

Andrea: “So, first you apply to Aurora University’s program (by contacting Dr. Terri Schroth at tschroth@aurora.edu), and then you would apply to the study abroad program or internship through a host site. It’s a multi-step process, and it’s a lot of paperwork, but it will all be worth it. You can find more information about studying abroad by looking at AU’s website, but if you are interested in an internship specifically, you should email Dr. Schroth. They aren’t listed as an option on the website because it all depends on where you are interested in going and what is available. Dr. Schroth is a phenomenal help during the whole process, and she tries her best to get you to where you want to go.”


What made you choose Spain as a location for your internship?

Andrea:   “Well, actually, I originally applied to Prague as my destination. The program was cheap and the city looked beautiful. But there was a mix up during my application process, so I was referred to apply to a program in Spain. I had to decide between going to Barcelona and Seville. It was very hard to decide between the two cities but I ended up asking some friends that studied in Spain about the differences between the locations. I ended up choosing Seville because of the beautiful architecture, the quieter atmosphere, and also because my friends said the people were more inclusive there.”


When are you going?

Andrea: “I will be boarding my plane on May 23 and I will arrive back in the States on July 24. It’s an 8-week program, and I will be not only working at the internship, but taking an internship class (for school credit), and an elective course.”


What are you most excited about and what are you most afraid of for the trip?

Andrea: “I’m excited to begin the adventure and grateful that I stumbled upon this opportunity and that it worked out for me. I actually thought I wouldn’t be able to study abroad during college because it didn’t really fit in my academic plan. But I guess I found something that worked out even better! As the departure date gets closer, I’m just fretting over little things. There’s this graph that describes the emotional rollercoaster of a study abroad student. I think I’ve just passed the stage where I realized what was actually happening and I think now I’m at the stage where I’m like: “Oh, my God. I’m going abroad. Am I even ready for this?” But I know once I get there I won’t want to leave.”


What do you hope to gain from this experience? How will you apply your experience to your life when you get back?

Andrea: “I expected both frustration and joy because I’m sure I will experience both when transitioning to a new country and culture. From the internship itself though, I am looking to gain international and multi-cultural work experience that I can apply to my skill set and use post-grad. I applied to be placed in a job doing human resources work because I also wanted to expand my experiences as a communication student. I already had experience doing a variety of things under the communication umbrella, except that.”


What cultural sights are you looking to explore while you’re there?

Andrea: “I am hoping I’ll be able to find time to explore Europe as well as Spain. Flight tickets in Europe can be generally inexpensive, so I would like to see London, Rome, and Geneva. In Spain, I think there is a beach a few hours away from Seville. Locally speaking, I’d like to visit this gorgeous park called Parque de Maria Luisa, the Plaza de Espana, and to be honest- I would probably enjoy visiting the fine art museum there because I like to paint.”


It seems like Andrea will be having a great and meaningful summer. If you want the chance to do an internship like the one Andrea is doing, please contact Dr. Terri Schroth at tschroth@aurora.edu or if you would like to hear an update about how Andrea’s experience went at the end of the summer, please feel free to reach out to her at aguzel01@auora.edu.