This summer, I took part in a UA in Spain Language and Culture program that allowed me to study Spanish and learn about the culture of Madrid for a month. It was a wonderful experience that allowed me to earn six credit hours of UA by having fun adventures in Spain and immersing myself in a new culture. Classes were relaxed, informal, but incredibly useful in teaching us the history of all the important sites we were visiting and improving our Spanish so we could better interact with the locals.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this program was getting paired with a Spanish conversation partner. There were forty students from Alabama that attended the program, so we were asked to pair up with another student so we could be assigned people of our age from Spain to show us around personally and practice Spanish with us. All of the Spanish partners were incredibly nice and patient with us when we had trouble with our Spanish. They showed us around Madrid, gave us recommendations for places to eat and where to go, and overall were probably the most helpful resource for actually improving our Spanish.

They were also the most fun aspect of the trip! They’d often get us in groups together and take us to the parks of Madrid or the obscure markets only locals would know about and really helped to enhance the trip. I highly recommend UA in Spain for this reason, and the countless others that made it one of the best months of my life. Madrid was incredibly safe and the people were some of the nicest I’ve met in traveling abroad. I had a great time and now feel much more confident in my Spanish, so UA in Spain was an invaluable experience that I’m so glad I had.