Study Abroad

Abbey Coughlan

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What was one of your most meaningful experiences?
One of my most meaningful experiences was living in a homestay. I absolutely loved living with my host mom and her kids who would come over for meals because I got to practice my Spanish all the time, eat authentic Spanish cuisine, and learn about the culture first hand. I really got to get to know my host mom and get the full insight of what it was like to live in Spain for one's whole life, which really helped me understand and appreciate Spanish culture. A special moment I had during the semester was getting to attend my host brother's baby shower that took place in our apartment. My host mom was gleaming the whole time and those that attended were all so friendly. I felt so lucky that I could share that experience with my host mom and her son because it was a big moment in their lives and mere months before I was just a stranger to them. Attending a baby shower was definitely never something I thought I would do during my time abroad. My roommate and I shared a special bond with our host mom that I will never forget, she will be someone I share big moments in my life with now because of the relationship I grew with her. 

Why should Lasell students study abroad?
Lasell students should study abroad because it is a way to see new parts of the world for virtually no extra cost as to what it costs to even go to school. Study abroad is a fortunate opportunity and it should be taken full advantage of. It allows for an expanding view of the world, endless learning opportunities, fun new experiences, and personal growth. There are so many valuable things that can be taken out of study abroad and brought back to Lasell to help anyone be better in their major, whether it be business or psychology, because one can gain valuable insight and knowledge about different ways of life that can be applied to anything and offer deeper thinking.

What is your number one piece of advice for students studying abroad?
When things don't go as planned: go with the flow, don't give up or stress out. Trips and plans are not always going to go the way you prepared for them to, due to a variety of reasons, but that in no way means the trip or plan is ruined. It is important to accept the change in plans and adjust your itinerary accordingly without getting angry or too stressed out because in the grand scheme of things, it is OKAY! You don't want to let one setback effect the rest of your plans negatively.

What is a typical day in the life when studying abroad?
A typical day in the life I had in Spain would be waking up and eating a piece of bread with olive oil and then taking the metro to get to school to attend class for the morning. When I got done with classes, I would go home for lunch (siesta) and eat with my host mom and her kids who would also come over. Lunch would typically be three delicious courses. After lunch I would have the afternoon to explore Sevilla. I would walk around the city's parks and neighborhoods and admire the beauty of it, or I would go shopping, or I would go down to the river and watch all the kayakers and rowers go by. There were endless things I could do during my days. After, I would come home for dinner, which was typically served around 9:30, and then have the rest of the night be free time.