The first few weeks of any study abroad program are full of wonder, challenges, unforgettable memories, and newfound friendships. Although studying in vastly different cities, ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipients Carol Gross and Frida Linero both have experienced the incomparable thrill of discovery as they embark on their study abroad adventures.
Golden West College
British History and Culture Program in London
When I first arrived in London, I had no idea what to expect. I tried to keep an open mind because I knew London would be different from anything I had ever experienced. I rode the shuttle bus to my flat, and was awed by the amazing views and grand historical architecture around every corner. A few days later, after allowing us to get acclimated to the time change, our professor took us on a six-hour walkabout in the heart of London. It was fascinating hearing him speak about England’s history whilst standing in Trafalgar Square, listening to the flow of water, with a musical quartet playing joyfully in the background. In such a short amount of time, I have grown to enjoy every moment in London, from riding the Tube as it winds and bends, to sampling the local fare, which is endless. I began this trip into the unknown with an optimistic viewpoint, eager to immerse myself into the local culture, and I continue to learn and grow daily with each new discovery.
El Camino College
El Camino College Study Abroad Program in Madrid
In the two weeks I’ve been living in Madrid, it has already made a huge impact on my life. For example, I’m learning to take the metro on a daily basis, which is something new to me. I live in Los Angeles. I’m a city girl. I like to be in the heart of everything. Luckily, that’s where I am living in Madrid. The apartment is perfectly placed next to a convenient 24/7 market, the train station is only a short walk away, and just down the street, I can find delicious restaurants. Although I miss the diversity of food back home, I appreciate the Spanish culture. Locals and tour guides I’ve conversed with have mentioned that the Spanish like to uphold their traditions. In the several cities I’ve visited in Spain, I can see that, and I admire it.
I believe solo traveling can be fun, but I would dare to say traveling through a study abroad program far outweighs that. Through ACCENT, we went on a weekend excursion to Andalucía. The three beautiful cities we visited in the southern part of Spain have left me speechless. I was mesmerized by the Plaza de España in Sevilla. I was very interested in the history of the Alhambra in Granada. Lastly, I felt lucky to visit The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. So far, that has been the highlight of my trip, and I wish we could’ve spent more time in Andalucía.
Each day, Madrid is beginning to feel more like home. I’ve gotten very close with my roommates and the other students in the study abroad program. In the morning, we typically go over to someone’s apartment for breakfast. After our classes, we meet up again, and find something to do. We took a stroll through El Retiro Parque and rented a rowboat. We looked for the best taco spot when we were feeling a little homesick. We even went to a water park one day, as we were in the middle of a heat wave.
I’m very much enjoying my study abroad trip and I don’t plan on this being my last one!
ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.
Studying abroad is an amazing way to expand your horizons and experience growth. Use the ACCENT Program Finder to take your first step into a new and exciting journey: http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/.