Getting Lost, Sippin Sangria, and Studying Abroad in Alcalá de Henares with Lexa & Caroline

Lexa & Caroline Study Abroad

“One week, being in another country, you’re going to forget about what everyone else is doing in the U.S., and you’re going to be having so many of your own adventures that you’re not going to be homesick at all.” — Lexa & Caroline (@sippin_sangria)

This interview couldn't have come at a better ⏰.

Why?

Because I just wrote a post about making lifelong friends abroad and Lexa Muehlbauer and Caroline ZuHone have done exactly that.

It's really a great story, too:

They were at the same school and didn't know each other; they went abroad, and then they did. A website ensued, and the rest is history.

If you're looking to learn Spanish, get lost, make friends, or start a travel blog you should listen to what these two have to say. We also get into what you should do after you graduate.

I'm so glad I was able to get them on the show.

“I’m not lost, I’m just exploring”

SHOW NOTES

  • Meeting in a small town outside of Madrid 👭 [1:55]Butler Blue
  • Deciding to study abroad with a faculty-led program in Spain 📓 [2:56]
  • Cultural learning with Spanish host families and TV 📺 [5:41]
  • Spanish-speaking program geared towards English-speaking students 💬 [7:47]
  • Making friends at pubs for international students 🍻 [9:22]
  • European travels every three-day weekend 🚠 [10:48]
  • Bonding through mountain misadventures in Barcelona 🗻 [11:52]
  • Amazing host mom chefs providing a fresh Mediterranean diet 🍳 [13:54]
  • Post-travel studies and career-paths 💵 [15:16]
  • Butler University’s small-campus vibe and other pros 🏡 [17:28]
  • Media recommendations 👩‍💻 [18:58]

Fall Into The Gap (Year) [Infographic]

*So given the niche of my podcast I'd like to preface this infographic with my two cents:

There are dozens of blog posts similar to the infographic below and I think it's absolute b.s. to not take into account that you're probably in debt at this point in your life, and 'traipsing around Europe' is probably the last thing on your mind. It makes sense to take a gap year if you do it tactfully.

Head on over to Sippin Sangria to see how Lexa & Caroline did it.

Lexa & Carline Adventures

Mediterranean Diet Video 


Study Abroad UW- Whitewater

12.5 Places To Consider Studying Abroad

Study Abroad Smarter's Recommendation

Ok, so here's what I did:

12.5 Places To Study Abroad
@rawpixel

Every study abroad company compiles annual lists of the most popular study abroad destinations based on data from students that studied abroad with them. I looked at all the lists and simply combined them into one, super list, which you can find below.

The beauty of it is that it's not just the most popular places. It's the places that make the most sense: economically, academically; what have you. Plus there is the '.5' at the end of my list which you won't find on any other site's popularity contest of study abroad destinations so we feel like our list reigns supreme...bwahahaha.

Now you've got some context. On with the article!

P.S. It's not a ranking, it's a list, so they're in no particular order.


If a study abroad trip is in your future, you've got a lot of decisions to make. About things like when to go and how long to stay, how to pay for it, where to live, and what classes to take. Yes, we've got a lot of the bases covered here on The Study AblogBut we thought we'd give you even more options with a fresh, robust post on the subject. 

Maybe you already have some ideas, but don't start packing just yet. Before you address any of these, the most basic, possibly most difficult, and definitely most important decision you have to make is where you want to study abroad.

The destination you choose will have a huge impact on your experience; it will be vital not only to what you learn, but how you learn. So you'll want to choose a country with the most ideal living situation for you.

Exactly how do you pick the best country to study abroad in?

It really depends on you and what you want to get out of your international experience. Here's some info that can help you decide:

Traditional and Not-So-Traditional Study Abroad Options

Certain countries automatically come to mind when students think of studying abroad. They're the most traditional choices, often the ones we've been most exposed to and are most familiar with like England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and China. Studying in one of these countries might be the once-in-a-lifetime chance you've always dreamed of to be some place you've always wanted to visit.

If that's how you feel, go for it and make your dream country your home away from home.

Or... consider something new and different for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Study Abroad and Food
So steaks, beer, and sides with tip - $10 each. BOOM!

The Best Study Abroad Countries As We Transition Into A New Decade

Take a look at the most popular places to study abroad, based on the programs they offer, the level of interest that students have expressed in them, and recommendations from students who have already been there

1. JAPAN 🇯🇵

The benefits of studying abroad in Japan
Sushi - @bady

There's something for everyone in Japan. Modern cities, traditional villages, beaches, mountains, museums, temples and shrines - this small country packs a really big wallop.

It's slowly becoming creeping up the lists in popularity and it's becoming more and more obvious why. 

Besides providing the world with some of the most advanced technological advances to date, this exciting island nation is a mecca for pop culture, as well as a world-class center of art, literature, and music.

Pick the bustling urban lifestyle of a city like Tokyo, or the more casual atmosphere of a smaller town like Sapporo (this might sound familiar if you've been saki bombing). Or hop outside your comfort zone and explore the many picturesque villages that dot the Japanese countryside. Whatever you choose, you'll have one opportunity after another to be captivated by the culture of truly enchanting Japan.

Japan's History in 9 Minutes (this is a Youtube favorite with 45+ million views)

2. SOUTH KOREA 🇰🇷

The benefits of studying abroad in South Korea
Bibimbap - @souschef

Are you surprised? South Korea is a relative newcomer to the list of favorite destinations, but an upswing in the popularity of K-pop a K-dramas has helped put this country on many English-speaking students' study abroad radar.

Korean language courses, as well as English classes focusing on the arts and sciences make this a great place to work toward your undergraduate or master's degree.

If a fast-paced, diverse setting appeals to you, consider Seoul, the country's vibrant capital where you can immerse yourself in the unique customs of the culture, flavorful foods, and the one and only Gangnam District. With so much to offer, it's easy to see why South Korea is quickly becoming a top choice among foreign students. Maybe you will be one of them!

3. BRAZIL 🇧🇷

The Benefits of Studying Abroad in Brazil
Brazilian Beignets - @oliviascuisine

This one's not on anyone else's list, and I honestly I haven't even interviewed anyone that studied abroad here, yet. It's not one of the most popular destinations, and other countries may seem more appealing to you.

BUT...

They experienced an economic crisis in 2014 which means it's pennies on the dollar (26 pennies as of this writing) right now. I've been to Brazil and It was AMAZING. Email me if you have any questions, too. There is so much more about this country that I could pen an entire post about it, so TBC on that.

A Short Video I Made From My Visits To Florianopolis & Bariloche

(Bariloche is in Argentina which also made the list)

4. SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦

The benefits of studying abroad in South Africa
Chakalaka - @_cookingwithclara

This option is a little more outside the box, but quickly gaining popularity. Considered by the international science community to be the cradle of humankind, South Africa is steeped in rich cultural, political, and archaeological history. Yet, you'll be amazed at how modern and developed it is. And how culturally diverse (as in 11 official languages). For international undergraduates the University of Capetown is a great school to consider; not only is it affordable, but also South Africa's highest ranked university.

In order to truly appreciate the flavor of this intriguing country, I recommend that you go local.

The townships are living memorials of South Africa's somewhat erratic past, but also offer local attractions that you shouldn't miss, like Vilikazi Street in Soweto and Mzoli's Place, an outdoor restaurant where visitors are introduced to the somewhat unique combination of really loud music and scrumptious "braaing", or barbequing as we would say.

By the way, South African currency, the Rand, is extremely weak which gives you the green light to eat and shop to your heart's content, even on a meager student budget. Once you get there, this is one super affordable destination.

5. AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺

The benefits of studying abroad in Australia
Seafood pasta - @adolfofelix

Head down under for an unbeatable place to study, especially for first-timers. No need to learn a new language here, as this is an English-speaking country filled with fun and friendly Aussies. It might take a little effort to get used to their slang, but your new "mates" will help you get the hang of it in no time.

Adventure seekers will love Australia's mix of rugged terrain, expansive beaches, and cosmopolitan cities. Like Sydney, for example, where there's never a shortage of cultural activities, gorgeous beaches, and a hopping night life to keep you busy.

cost of going to the great barrier reef
@lorenzo_underwater

Brisbane is another popular option, consistently ranking in the top five as the best and most affordable student city. It's where you can combine a world-class education with an amazing international experience - without breaking the bank. And if you're looking for things to do in your spare time, pick from a long list of great cultural sites, live music, theater, and entertainment venues. Or pay a visit to Australia's largest art gallery. You'll find it in Brisbane.

No need to feel left out if you're more the outdoorsy type. A trek through Australia's Outback will give you an up-close and personal look at the beauty of gorgeous landscapes and landmarks.

6. FRANCE 🇫🇷

The benefits of studying abroad in France
Wine and cheese, two French staples - @jeztimms

France always attracts students in record numbers. Food. History. Romance. These are some of the words that probably pop into your mind when you think of this super popular host country.French food words

By far, Paris is the go-to city for international students. Are you picturing the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, sidewalk cafes, fabulous dining, and strolls along the Seine? Oh, and don't forget the Louvre. 

There are lots of other excellent study abroad programs available outside the capital that are much more affordable. Consider Aix-en-Provence in southern France, a beautiful university city with stunning beach access. If food is your thing, you're sure to love Lyon, which is one of the culinary capitals of the world.

Smaller cities like these can be just as fun and exciting as Paris, with living costs that are way easier on the budget.

7. ITALY 🇮🇹

The benefits of studying abroad in Italy
Pasta Carbonera - @nonsolofood_roma

Like France, Italy continues to be one of the most sought-after destinations for study abroad students. There's pretty much something to meet everyone's educational goals here with programs that blend Italian cultural studies with major courses from business to fine arts. Plus most programs require little or no Italian language study (although I can't imagine not wanting to soak up as much of this beautiful, romantic language as you can).

The country itself will be a feast for your eyes and soul with iconic historical sites, breathtaking landscapes, and luscious cuisine around every corner. You definitely should be ready to put on a few pounds. And, of course, is there anything that beats the fabulous Mediterranean weather!

Rome and Florence are the two cities selected most often by study abroad students, but many other less popular cities around the country will not disappoint. Sorrento with it's stunning water views and an amazing culinary scene is a perfect example.

And given the theme of food in this post, I think it's worth noting that I recently interviewed a well known international travel blogger who said Italy was "hands down" the best country she has ever been to for food.

This incapsulates the city of Rome to me 😂

8. SPAIN 🇪🇸

The benefits of studying abroad in Spain
Tapas, or 'small plates'

Every year, thousands of students pick Spain as their study abroad destination. Maybe it's the great climate, or the rich cultural history, the friendly people or their laid back lifestyle. Or maybe it's the daily siestas! Whatever the draw, the country consistently hosts a diverse group of student visitors from around the world.

Similarly, the diversity of programs guarantees housing and classroom options to suit every need. Keep in mind, however, that because thisI've interviewed more students from Spain than anywhere elseis such a popular choice for studying abroad, it may take a little extra effort to immerse yourself in the local culture. To get the full impact, make it a priority to explore outside your comfort zone.

Whether on campus or mingling with the locals, this is the ideal place to hone your Spanish speaking skills. There's nothing that the people of this country like better than lively conversation, sharing delicious food and drink, and enjoying the sun and surf with friends at their sun-drenched beaches.

The capital city of Madrid is the hub and heart of Spain; it's a lively student city packed with things to see and do. Boredom will never be a problem in this engaging metropolis. If that's not your style, many of the smaller cities and towns also host student populations that are just as active. Cities like Seville, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Granada are some of the most popular, all easily accessible by public transportation.

9. CHINA 🇨🇳

The benefits of studying abroad in China
"Don't forget the chopsticks" - @purewow

With more than 4,000 years of recorded history, China is an exceptionally interesting and exciting place to study. Its immense size (nearly as big as the entire continent of Europe), also makes this fascinating country extremely diverse.

China is a rising global powerhouse that boasts the largest emerging economy in the world. In light of these distinctions, business students and language enthusiasts wholeheartedly have taken to pursuing Mandarin and Cantonese study.

Duolingo claims 2.85 million registered Chinese language learners, with that number continually rising. There's no doubt that proficiency in the language could give you a great competitive advantage when you enter the job market. Job experience or internships will also add a plus to your resume, particularly if they're at one of the many corporate headquarters in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong.

When you're not studying, be sure to put iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors on your "must do" list.

If you travel to China, you may want to prepare yourself for some culture shock. But go ahead and dive right in. The unique language and cultural perspectives just might be the highlight of your study abroad experience.

10. UNITED KINGDOM 🇬🇧

The benefits of studying abroad in the U.K.
Fish n' Chips

The UK is one of the most popular places to study in the world, with London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland, typically being the top cities. Because there's so much diversity among the four countries, one could be just right for you.

England 

So, maybe this is your first time away from home. If you're feeling a little jittery about being on your own in a foreign country, England is a great choice. Since English is spoken everywhere, the transition is pretty undramatic. Yes, even with all the quirky dialects. Many students love the built-in familiarity of this well-known country, as well as not having a language barrier to contend with. Is that you?On the other hand, because there's not much discrepancy in culture,

some feel that England isn't very challenging as a study abroad destination; it's a little too comfortable and easy for them

Is that you?

Of course, you can expect to get a great education. England is home to prestigious universities like Oxford and Cambridge. And when you're busy studying, there's always plenty to do in your free time, especially in London, which, naturally, is a favorite. You won't want to miss iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace (will you be the one to make the Queen's guards smile?), Windsor Castle, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and St. Paul's Cathedral. Elsewhere, there are well-known landmarks like Blackpool Tower, Stonehenge, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

One thing to keep in mind is that London is quite expensive, so if England is your go-to destination, another university town definitely would be more budget-friendly.

Scotland 

Edinburgh - @topukphoto

This may be one of the best kept secrets for studying abroad. Historic castles (maybe you'll live in one!), royalty, breathtaking landscapes, to-die-for food, museums, bagpipes, festivals, kilts, soccer, bustling cities like Edinburgh, and rolling country hills. From what I've been told, Scotland grabs you and never lets go - you're going to feel right at home the minute you arrive.

Even though Scotland is not attached to mainland Europe, a great transportation system makes it easy and cheap to trek over to any European country. Or fly to Ireland for around $25 round trip. Within Scotland, trains and buses ensure you can get anywhere you want to be.

What about the Scottish people? They're great - warm and welcoming and always happy to share their kooky, but lovely lifestyle with you.

Wales

West of England, south of Scotland, and east of Ireland, Wales is home to some of the UK's top universities. Prestigious Bangor University, for example, features a variety of academic offerings for study abroad participants. Bangor is a small city with a big backdrop, otherwise known as Snowdonia National Park, the most beautiful national park in the UK. The city is not on most tourists' itineraries; so if you're looking to avoid congestion, you can experience a lifestyle that treasures both education and the environment. Inside the classroom and out, this is where you'll discover a locale that has retained its rugged Celtic charm though the centuries.

Wales is a feast for the eyes with its lush countrysides, sprawling beaches, and towering ocean cliffs. Its stunning beauty will make you think you're living on the set of an epic movie. And, oh, the castles! This picture-perfect country is home to more castles per square mile than any other country in the world. 🏰

The food of Wales is another feast to fall in love with - that includes everything from award-winning cheeses to scrumptious Welsh Black Beef.

Ireland 

Temple bar in Dublin [email protected]

You'll hear the word "craic" a lot in Ireland. It's pronounced crak and the best translation I can give you is "fun!" This gorgeous country is brimming with music and dance that will tickle your soul. You haven't lived til you've sipped Guinness and done an Irish jig in a local pub. Or cheered on your favorite team with friends at a rugby, hurl, or football match. Maybe you'll even join up and play a game or two yourself. Go for it and get involved. Rain or shine - and there is a lot of rain - the Irish love their sports.

On the more serious side, Ireland has deep-rooted history, customs, and traditions. Travel there and you'll be welcomed by warm, hospitable people who will gladly share their history and vibrant culture with you. Academically, it's home to some outstanding schools such as Trinity College in Dublin and Queen's University in Belfast, which is one of the UK's leading universities. Higher education in Ireland is internationally ranked, with exceptional offerings in the fields of literature, technology, communications, Irish studies, history, and environmental studies.

You know that Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, right. It really is a magical land of velvet green landscapes and soaring cliffs reaching down to the sea. Don't forget to kiss the Blarney Stone while you're there. It's said you'll gain the gift of eloquence, which sure can come in handy in a foreign country.

10. GERMANY 🇩🇪

The benefits of studying abroad in Germany
The description was in German but it had sausage and looked delicious so, yeah - @eingevleischt

 

The joys of a welcoming culture and world-class education draw students from around the world to Germany, a mainstay on the list of best places to study abroad year after year.

Germany is extremely student-friendly, with a variety of discounts available to the student population, like reduced or free public transit. Thanks to its status as an economic powerhouse, it is an especially popular destination for those interested in business, political science, and the German language. Some of the world's largest companies are headquartered here, also making it a great place for academic internships. Land one of those and see what a plus it will be on your resume.

Interning in Germany
If interested in engineering or design, Germany should be definitely be on your radar. #internship

If you choose Germany, it will be helpful if you already know the language, at least partially. But many programs offer a combination of courses taught in German, as well as English, so it's all do-able.

Besides being home to Oktoberfest and the Neuschwanstein Castle (think Disney's Cinderella Castle), there are charming burgs everywhere and around other 20,000 castles to explore in your free time. Use those free transit passes! Get to know big city Berlin with its artsy alternative vibe, or check out some of the quaint and cozy smaller towns. The architecture, history, and culture of this beautiful country will grab you from day one.

Fun Fact: The very first interview I did on the podcast was an a story from Germany (and Austria) 🎙.

11. ARGENTINA 🇦🇷

The benefits of studying abroad in Argentina
Empanadas - @pastdexter

Argentina is the second largest country in South America and, take it from me, it's an amazing place to study abroad. I did a six-week program in Buenos Aires, the largest city, where I had the opportunity to live among some of the most fun-loving and passionate people I've ever met. They were warm and kind, and eager to show me the ropes. And seriously seriously improve my Spanish language skills.

I guarantee that you, too, will have an unforgettable experience from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Try tango dancing and dine on fine steak in Buenos Aires. Explore the wine country of Mendoza. Hike Patagonia. And absolutely make a trek to Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls in the world. You'll never see anything like it again in your life.

Argentina has a stunning natural beauty and diverse geography that are great if you're into outdoor exploration and adventure. There's so much to see and do, but the country is so expansive that I suggest focusing on one specific area at a time. Or better yet... stay longer! I wish I could have.

12. HAWAII 🇺🇸

The benefits of studying abroad domestically

You bet! This is an area I want to highlight more throughout the Study Abroad Smarter realm. What I mean by Hawaii is that you can study abroad anywhere in the United States. It's not study abroad. Its study domestic, and it's a thing. But students rarely do it because they don't even think about it as an option.

If you've ever wanted to experience a different city or state, shoot over to your friendly neighborhood study abroad advisor's office and see what's good. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to help you plan it.

12.5. NONE OF THE ABOVE 🌍

The benefits of studying abroad in an exotic location
One of the questions I tend to ask when I interview someone who has studied abroad in an exotic location is "do they have McDonald's there?" It has become my unofficial way to gauge how developed the country is. Do you have the guts to go somewhere without the golden arches? - @food_ninja

The government actually wants you to learn less learned languages in more exotic countries. If you really want to get off the grid, immerse yourself, and take the path less traveled listen to this interview with Jeff Cary

--------

The list below are what I consider to be the dark horses on the list. They're less traveled, but there are still McDonald's.

Think of it like this. You probably know someone who studied abroad in Australia or London, but you probably don't know anyone who studied abroad in...

There are so many more, but use this list to jump-start your thinking process. See, there really is something for everyone. Now... where in the world will you decide to spend your study abroad time?

Also it's worth noting to be cognizant of the expenses that go into the trip. It's fun when the exchange rate is on your side.

A Big City vs. A Small Town

Even within a specific country, students who study in an urban area will have very different tales to tell than those who live in a smaller or more rural setting. The lifestyle differences can be substantial, with advantages and disadvantages to each.

Do you prefer the excitement and fast-pace of a big city or the serenity and laid-back environment of a small town?

There are colleges and universities in each type of locale. And by the way, the city or town where you study also will be a big factor in the cost of your trip. Determine which setting is best for you overall and make that part of your decision.

I'm using pictures and examples from the U.S. for a reason. My explanation at the bottom explains why.

Big City Pros 🏗🎭🏟🍕

The benefits of studying abroad in a big city.
Chicago - @apzphotographicart

If you're not thrilled about giving up many of the conveniences you're accustomed to, an urban area probably will be a good choice. For starters, you'll find large cities to be well equipped with all the modern technologies you need, from internet to telephone to television.

Excellent public transportation systems make it easy to connect with just about any place you want to be - efficiently and cheaply. And the entertainment options are practically endless.

Spend your free time enjoying theaters and music venues, restaurants, clubs and pubs, coffee shops, sporting events, and stores packed with all your favorite brands from back home. Really, you'll never run out of things to do.

Another attractive element of city life is the accessibility it provides to cultural attractions such as museums, art galleries, and iconic landmarks. Because metro areas are melting pots, you'll be exposed to diverse groups of people from different cultures, often speaking multiple languages. Take advantage of the opportunities to interact with them, on and off campus. This in itself is an beneficial, eye-opening experience that can help prepare you for a career anywhere in the world.

Studying in an urban setting provides convenient access to career-boosting internships and jobs at prime companies. With professionals and other top executives headquartered in large cities, it's also easier to network and connect with the people who can possibly open doors for you job-wise.

Big City Cons 🏭💥🏗💰

All these components of big city living are enticing, but keep in mind that they do come at a price. Everything is typically more expensive in an urban setting, including food, rent, and entertainment. Do you really want to choose between paying the rent or taking a life-changing side trip to an iconic site? You and your family will need to determine if study abroad in a big city makes sense for you financially.

With so many fun things to do right at your fingertips, you have to make sure you've got the discipline to put your academics first and not let all the extras distract you. I'm not saying this will be the case for you, but it's been known to happen. I'm just sayin'...

Rent in Chicago, IL from @Zillow

While you certainly will be exposed to a variety of cultures in a large city, you probably won't experience total cultural immersion. Sure, there will be hints of it everywhere, but metro areas are always the first parts of a country to be internationalized. This means you won't have much difficulty finding familiar foods and products, as well as friends from your own country. Will you be in your comfort zone? Sure. But your experience won't be as culturally enriching as it would be in a smaller town.

Lastly, consider the safety factor. Urban areas are arguably more dangerous than their rural counterparts. Not to mention the noise, traffic, lack of natural landscaping, and higher pollution levels - all components that may or ma

y not play a role in your decision to be a city dweller.

Small Town Pros 🛶🎢🏘🧘‍♀️

If you're looking for a real taste of local culture, studying abroad in a small town may be ideal for you. Many students have come back from rural areas with a newfound understanding of the country they've been in. They've had the opportunity to live like a local and really immerse themselves in the culture. Living in a small town allows you to develop a sense of community and let your identity shine through. It's a chance to personally develop yourself and overcome the challenges of a new language, customs, and environment.

Rent in Madison, WI

Unlike in a big city, making friends may be much easier. You won't be among strangers for long. Besides getting to know the locals, you'll have plenty of opportunities to interact with other students. And what better way to polish your language skills than to dive right in andactually use it.

At school, you're likely to get more personal attention from professors and other university staff, making for a more interactive academic experience. You might even have your own tutor to support you and offer advice during your entire study abroad period.

There are other advantages to living in a small town. Living costs can be quite low. You may be surprised at how cheap it can be to get a room in a residence hall or shared flat. Or maybe you'll live in a private home with a family. You can use the money you save on accommodations and other day-to-day expenses for side trips to interesting locales. Plus, the business owners in smaller towns usually are happy to offer special student discounts at their restaurants, bars, local attractions.

Small Town Cons 🥣👨‍💻👩‍🌾🐌

Why you shouldn't study abroad in a small town.
@analoggd

The down side of all those great student discounts is that there probably are not so many bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants, or organized activities like concerts or sporting events. If that's the case, I suggest you simply find a favorite spot and become a regular loyal customer. There are bound to be special deals for you.

In general, many of the conveniences you have back at home are sure to be lacking, so you'll have to test your ingenuity and either find creative solutions or adapt to what's there. Where there's a will there's a way, so I know you can do it!,

What about internships and jobs? They definitely will be harder to find, especially if you don't speak the language well. And if you do, there aren't likely to be many options to choose from.

Realistically, there's a good chance that most student jobs will be at your host university.

Of course, you'll live in a more relaxed environment in a small or rural setting - less pollution, fewer crimes, a certain ease in your day-to-day lifestyle. Just be sure to do your research because small town living comes with a spectrum of options. On the one hand, it could mean a place where it's difficult to find buses, taxis, trains, or even planes. In other places you can connect to urban city centers fairly easily. Do the research before you go and you'll have a good feel for what to expect in the area you choose.

Here's where I come out:

Katz's Delicatessen

Since I've started conducting these interviews, I've realized that there are several mid size cities that I have never heard of before and they're absolutely beautiful. You get most of the pros, and not so many of the cons.

For example, you have heard of Chicago and you have probably heard of Madison, WI. Let's contrast this with Spain. You know Barcelona, you know Madrid, but have you ever heard of Oviedo? It's got a population of 220,000, it's close to the ocean, and absolutely gorgeous.

So if you're torn, try and find another Oviedo. There are literally hundreds like it and I'm discovering them on almost a day basis through the podcast.

Studying abroad in a mid size city
Oviedo, Spain - @lumisansa

Ready. Set. Go! 

When thoughts of studying abroad start to excite you, begin perusing and researching the options that are out there. If you already have a particular part of the world in mind. Great! If not, it could take a while to zero in on your favorite(s) so start early.

Talking with an advisor in your school's study abroad office can be a HUGE help. They are priceless resources who know how to guide you through the entire process and ensure that you find the perfect country for your international adventure.

 


Corinne UW-LaCrosse

How (and why) To Go Abroad After You Graduate With Corinne Kenny

Corinne Kinney in Grenada, Spain

“I’ve never had a student come back saying they regret studying abroad, but I have met with multiple students saying that they regret not studying abroad.” - Corinne Kenny

Currently a graduate assistant at UW - Lacrosse, Corinne studied abroad in Granada, Spain; one of the many hidden, beautiful cities in Europe that you've never heard of, and she absolutely loved it.

How much ❤️ you ask?

After she returned from her trip and graduated, she actually returned to Spain to work in Madrid for 11 months. This is something I regret not doing myself...It's the story everyone yearns for, but you rarely see play out. But in Corinne's, case we actually get to listen to what transpired.

The first time around, Corinne studied abroad through a program called Sol Education Abroad, which focuses on Spanish language immersion. So if you're serious about learning Spanish, I'd recommend checking them out.

If you're reading this, I'm imploring you to listen to this one in its entirety as it may very well change the trajectory of your career, and ultimately your life.

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” - Mary Anne Radmacher

SHOW NOTES

  • Teaching English in Spain while immersed in the Spanish language 👩‍🏫 [1:27]
  • Falling in love with Grenada right off the plane 🌅 [5:32]
  • Intensive language studies and volunteer teaching 🎓 [9:13]
  • Siestas after lunch breaks 😴[11:38]University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
  • Traveling around Europe and staying with family in Norway 🧭👨‍👨‍👧 [12:42]
  • Scrambling to fix a missed flight to Ireland 🛩 [13:51]
  • Fried eggplant with honey and longing for tapas 🥟 [15:51]
  • Working in Madrid through CIEE for 11 months 👩‍💻 [17:58]
  • Recommendations and final quotes 🙌 [22:50]

Corinne Kinney teaching Spain

5 Reasons To Take A Gap Year After College [Infogrpahic]

Corinne Kinney in London


Mason & Brittney University of Nevada - Reno

Brittney Rosiles & Mason Najima On Why USAC Is A Viable Option To Consider When Studying Abroad

Mason and Brittney USAC

“If you don’t see it for yourself, it doesn’t really happen.” - Mason Nagima 

In this dual interview Mason Najima and Brittney Rosiles tells us about their trips to Spain and India, respectively. They did it through an organization called USAC, which stands for University Studies Abroad Consortium. They had an amazing time and their interview reflects that.

As far as firsts go, they're the first University of Nevada - Reno students we've had on the show.

If you want to hear about monkey attacks, missing an alarm, and getting out of your comfort zone this interview is for you, and in my opinion, encompasses what I wanted other students to hear when I decided to start the podcast.

Brittney was kind enough to send me some great pics below and is the current Study Abroadcast leader in terms of donated study abroad pictures 😋. I'm bringing this up because I wrote a blog post about how guys don't take enough pictures on their study abroad trips.

I regret not documenting more of my trip, and gentlemen, I don't want you to make the same mistake I did!

“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.” - Anonymous [Britney]

SHOW NOTES

at Christ University

Brittney with her study abroad group in India

The infamous monkeys!

Amber Palace, Jaipur

Masala Dosa, Chai

Brittney at the Taj Mahal

Volunteering

 


Study Abroad Health Care

How To Find The PERFECT Study Abroad Program And Not Pay For Any Of It With Maria Gutowski

Maria Gutowski

It was literally me. I saw it, and freaked out, and said 'there's no way I'm passing this up'" — Maria Gutowski

Before we started the interview I asked Maria what her major was. Then when we started the interview she told me what study abroad program she chose...you can hear my reaction and then Maria is like: "yeah, I know!"

She truly found the perfect study abroad program, and I'm hoping that she can be an inspiration for you to do the same. In my opinion the coolest part of the interview is how she didn't really even have to pay for it, either.

Yes folks, yet another product of the system that just worked; another satisfied customer so to speak.

It's interesting to hear how she was able to do so much in such a short amount of time and what it was like to do a program that was so niched.

SHOW NOTES

How Niche Can You Get With Study Abroad? [Infographic]

A Video Compilation of Maria's Visit


Dalia International Education

How Dalia Lourenço Parlayed Her 3 Study Abroad Experiences Into A Career That Spans The Globe

Dalia Lourenço talks about her three times studying abroad

"It's not just 'how can I go abroad?' It's 'what are my objectives for going abroad? What is the outcome that I want out of it?'" — Dalia Lourenço

Dalia Lourenço (@DaliaLourenco) was born and raised and Canada and she got to grow up speaking English and French because of this.

As we'll find out below, she didn't stop at two...

Dalia received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from The University of King's College where she studied abroad twice and her Masters from City University of London, which was an entire study abroad experience in itself.

If you listen to the interview you'll know right from the start that Dalia is a go getter. Our conversation is peppered with stories of people with limiting beliefs about study abroad and advice for students who are reluctant about the process.

Over the years, Dalia's charisma has rubbed off on more than a few people, so much so that she decided to start her own coaching service called Accelerate Your Ambitions which "guides students through cutting-edge branding and positioning techniques that really work."

See the case study at the end of the post.

It was only a matter of time before I found Dalia and had her on the show. I hope you get inspired like I did.

"Your success in life is measured by the number of difficult conversations you're willing to have"— Tim Ferriss (one of my favorite podcasters and authors)

SHOW NOTES

  • The beginning of the end (of Dalia staying in one place) [1:50]
  • Don't let the cost fool you, there are ways  [4:55]
  • Dalia tells us what her living arrangements were like and how she made them all herself   [9:26]
  • Taking part in an exchange program [13:00]
  • Her total time abroad during before finishing graduate school ⌚ [13:39]
  • "You can always come home" [16:13]
  • Watching out for drunk drivers in Russia  [19:26]
  • An aptitude for languages [22:25]
  • Can you guess where Dalia thought has the best food after all her travels?  [24:43]
  • What scares Dalia [27:22]
  • Off to the races and armed with two degrees [29:45]
  • Accelerate Your Ambitions  [31:14]
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari  [33:31]
  • Evernote [35:34]
  • Why you don't necessarily need to believing everything you hear and why to set goals [36:51]
  • Try to start looking beyond that one next step [41:22]

Dealing in Dalia [Infographic]


Interning in Barcelona

Interning In Barcelona For 8 Weeks, Getting 6 Credits, and Taking 0 Classes With Ryan Roberts

Ryan Roberts Aurora University

"Once you graduate you won't get this opportunity ever again" — Ryan Roberts

Ryan Roberts (@ryanrobster) is a business major at Aurora University which is a 5,800 student private, non profit university just outside of Chicago.

Ryan interned for a social media startup in Barcelona for eight weeks and in this interview he not only tells us how he did it for $1,500 less than what others pay, but he tells us why, too. And if you listen to the interview in its entirety you'll learn that the Why is the most important part of the equation. Why Barcelona? Why this specific internship? 

I also thought an interesting arc on the episode was the fact that Ryan had no aspirations to learn Spanish, he was there purely for the professional experience.

However...

Learning Spanish is the number one reason students decide to matriculate to Spain so it's fun to hear how Ryan managed. 

Quotes Ryan would like to leave you with, one of which he has a tattoo of:

"If you're not scared, then you're not taking a chance. And if you're not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing?"— Ted Mosby

"Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you"— Ryan's life motto tattoo

SHOW NOTES

  • First time leaving the country [1:52]
  • Securing an internship at Orlo [2:47]
  • How Ryan found his internship [2:50]
  • Applying for and receiving a scholarship [5:47]
  • What Ryan wanted to accomplish with his internship [7:46]
  • Navigating his way through a Spanish speaking country [9:09]
  • Ryan's fears prior to departure [10:39]
  • Gaining urban experience [11:44]
  • Living and working in Barcelona [13:21]
  • Pre-planned trips through the program [14:50]
  • A lasting memory ryan will never forget [16:18]
  • What Ryan misses most about Barcelona [18:06]
  • Realizing how small the world really is [20:09]
  • Spanish wines and eating Octopus legs, and fresh fish [22:10]
  • Simon Sinek [24:35]
  • Ryan's advice to those thinking about studying abroad [26:21]
  • The Gary V Audio Experience and the MF CEO Project [29:20]

How Ryan Roberts Found His Way [Infographic]

Ryan Walks Us Through a 'Day in The Life' in Barcelona

 


Living in Japan

What It Was Like to Live in Japan with UW-Stout's Andria Morse

Andria Morse: Education Abroad Coordinator at UW-Stout

"I explain to students that this is an investment in your future - you are having to navigate all these different things which is going to build confidence, flexibility, adaptability, and networking" — Andria Morse

Andria Morse was so much fun to talk to and learn from in this interview. She currently serves as the Interim Assistant Director of international education at UW-Stout, a comprehensive, polytechnic university about an hour east of Minneapolis.

If you're thinking about Spain, or specifically Seville - you should tune in for sure. Japan? She's been there, too.

The takeaway...

Andria tells great stories, gives great advice, and approaches the entire study abroad process with a 'no regret' mentality.

"You're never lost, you're just in a place you've never been before" — Andria's Mom

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Andria's study abroad experience in Spain [1:42]
  • Backpacking around Europe [2:54]
  • Asia Bound and Graduate School [3:52]
  • Andria's fears prior to leaving for her trip [5:29]
  • Not having any regrets [7:17]
  • Getting to the grocery store in Japan [8:48]
  • Fried eggs over french fries and paella [13:26]
  • A day in the life studying abroad in Seville [14:52]
  • The Poisonwood Bible [16:00]
  • Great advice from Andria's mom [16:56]

8 Things to do in Seville [Infographic]

Andria Morse in a Spanish Dress
Photographs didn't used to be digital...thanks for sharing, Andria!


Why study Abroad in Barcelona?

Deciding To Learn Spanish in Spain With Luci Bessinger

Luci Bessinger in Amsterdam

"They experience life as it comes instead of planning and organizing like we constantly do here in the United States. It has definitely changed my perspective since I've been back" — Luci Bessinger 

When it comes to learning a language there is no better way than to immerse yourself. Luci Bessinger did just that, and from what I can tell had a blast in Barcelona, Spain, and the rest of Europe.

I've done a few interviews now, and Luci checked off all the boxes of what makes for an epic trip.

  • She learned a language
  • Something went wrong
  • She traveled to other counties other than the one she was living in

My favorite part of the interview was when Luci describes 'the best' meal she's ever had. I'm going to make you listen to find out what was included and for how much.

Have fun with this interview, I know I did.

"Life is what happens outside of your planning"

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Deciding on Spain  [1:30]
  • Luci's living situation in Spain [3:14]
  • Living with students at two different colleges in Barcelona [4:18]
  • Taking classes in Barcelona [5:50]
  • Protests in Spain [7:08]
  • Learning Spanish [10:04]
  • How studying abroad changed Luci's view of the world [12:34]
  • Getting trapped in Sevilla [15:26]
  • Exploring the rest of Spain and Europe [17:23]
  • Food in Barcelona [18:44]
  • The most amazing meal Luci has ever had at [19:50]
  • Alert Traveler and Rick Steves [22:22]
  • Luci explains a quote [24:00]

Barcelona Food Tour Video

Language Learning / Four Steps [Infographic]



Studying Abroad in Barcelona

How To Obtain The Perfect Internship Abroad with Karime Diaz

Karime Diaz internship in Barcelona

"Just keep learning and enhance your curiousity for the world around you" — Karime Diaz

There is a fallacy out there that you can't study abroad if you're a student athlete. Karime Diaz, once a member of the Kean University Women's Lacrosse team didn't buy into this notion and talks about how she set up an eight week internship in Barcelona with CEA.

Karime did great in this interview describing her time in Barcelona, Spain, and eventually Italy. She goes into great detail about how she was able to set up her living arrangement and internship with CEA.

"Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" — A Cinderella Story 

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Setting up her trip and internship after athletics 🥍 [2:15]
  • The details of Karime's internship at The Connector 👩🏻‍💻 [4:47]
  • Obtaining financial aid with CEA 💸 [10:48]
  • Karime's living situation and how she was able to live like a local 🏘 [11:50]
  • What living in a different country did for Karime's perspective on the world 🧐 [14:59]
  • Karime's advice to someone thinking about studying abroad 🙌 [16:22]
  • Karime shares a funny travel story 😄 [17:48]
  • Having one extra day in the week and traveling to Rome 🏟 [19:19}
  • Spanish food 🍲 [20:46]
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Youtube 📺 [22:45]
  • Becoming an alumni ambassador  👩🏻‍🏫 [24:51]

Interning Abroad 101 [Infographic]