ACCENT Madrid: The Reflections Box

As our new batch of Spring 2019 students embark on new and exciting adventures abroad, we look back at the experiences of our Fall 2018 students: What did they learn from their program? What lessons did they bring back home? To answer these questions, Programs Coordinator Megumi Ratliff and her colleagues at the ACCENT Madrid Study Center created the Reflections Box, where students could submit brief notes about what they’ve taken away from their semester-long stay in Madrid.

When the end of the fall semester arrived, we thought it was the perfect time to reach out to our students and ask them to share some reflections and realizations made during their time in Madrid. Three to four months in another country can sound like a long time at first, but I think most students will say that the semester goes by fast. We put out a Reflections Box so that our students from Santa Barbara City College and the University of California had the opportunity to take a few moments and write down their thoughts on what they will take home from their experience. Here’s what they had to share:

Living in Madrid has made me appreciate…

  • “Responsibility, self-care, ease of travel, culture, and language.”
  • “City life, a new culture, and leaving my comfort zone.”
  • “Public transportation.”
  • “My family and friends, but it also has made me realize how fun and exciting being in another country is.”
  • “The opportunity I have to be here and live here. Also, I appreciate the things I have back home after living here.”

One thing that studying abroad in Madrid has made me realize is…

  • “I want to learn and practice more Spanish at home, and I want to return to Madrid to work and maybe live here one day.”
  • “That the world is a lot bigger than I first realized.”
  • “That opportunities are endless.”
  • “How different cultures around the world are compared to the one you grew up in.”
  • “I am very fortunate.”

To all our students this semester, and all students that have had the opportunity to study abroad, we hope that these experiences and lessons learned have helped to shape your view of the world in a positive way.

~Megumi Ratliff, ACCENT Madrid

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