I wanted to study abroad because I have only ever been in the United States and have never been submerged in a different culture before. The key things that I considered when choosing a study abroad program were: the cost, the classes, and the duration. UA in Spain offers the most bang for your buck because it allows you to take 6 credits of 300+ level Spanish classes in four weeks. The cost for me ended up being about $4,500; this includes food, housing, trips and tours, and the cost of classes.
As for preparing to study abroad, it’s an emotional roller coaster—at the same time I am both really excited to go to Spain, and torn because I only have so much time left with friends and family before I go. I have yet to pack my bag, I probably won’t until the day before I leave, but I am a minimalist by nature so it will most likely include toiletries, extra pair of shoes for hiking, 5 pairs of shorts/pants, and 10 shirts.
My expectations for study abroad are not too crazy—I want to be fluent in the language, eat great food, and meet some awesome people. I am not going to be able to experience the Tomatina or the Correo de los Toros due to the time of year, but I will still be able to see the great cathedrals of Spain and learn about the history of each ancient city like Salamanca, Toledo, and Segovia. I hope to become more well rounded as an individual and open my eyes to different ways of life.