ISA Discovery Model

The Difference Between Studying Abroad and Interning Abroad

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Gabriela Garcia is a student at the University of Georgia and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently interning abroad with ISA in Madrid, Spain.

It has been a week since I’ve gotten to the wonderful city of Madrid, and I am absolutely even more in love with the country of Spain. In the summer of 2016, I did a study abroad through my university in Sevilla, Spain, with 20 other students. Although we had not known each other previously, the fact that we were all from the same university gave us a sense of peace and familiarity when arriving to a new country.

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Sevilla was an amazing city, and it gave me comfort that I would be returning to Spain for the fall semester. However, nothing would have prepared me for the experience I am currently facing.

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I am not studying abroad; I am doing an internship abroad, and those two experiences are completely different. Doing an internship abroad has definitely made me a more independent individual. I cook for myself, I ride the metro to work alone, I make new friends all on my own. The experience of being here is entirely what I make out of it. When I was in Sevilla, I always had someone who would go on adventures with me. In Madrid, I am forced to leave my comfort zone to make new friends, as well as speak Spanish to the locals.

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Working abroad has changed how I think and work with others. I have learned valuable social skills as well as professional ones. I am no longer afraid to go fully out of my comfort zone. I’ve only known my co-workers for three days, and we’ve already gone out together. Last Saturday, I went out costume party and had an absolutely amazing time! I am so grateful for the opportunity to live in Madrid and looking forward to the next 8 weeks ahead of me.

The world awaits…discover it.

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