Intercultural

The Benefits of Being a Local

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Jordan Mlcoch is a student at The University of Alabama and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.

Studying abroad is an exciting experience, full of possibilities many students have never had before. In my case, having all of Europe theoretically at my fingertips was thrilling and slightly overwhelming. I am currently studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain and trying to master my Spanish while simultaneously studying Spanish politics and the evolution of the EU. This combination couldn’t be more perfect as I am literally experiencing my studies.

That being said, I have already planned out trips (until May) and can confidently say I have explored more than some people do in a lifetime. I don’t think I have rested since arriving a month ago but wouldn’t have it any other way. It is incredibly easy to book a weekend trip to Austria, or a spring break trip to Munich, but my main focus has been, and will continue to be, experiencing all of Spain. I have visited Madrid, Toledo, Cadiz, Barcelona, and already have a trip booked to Valencia and Ronda.

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While I certainly intend on seeing other countries, I feel that there it is important to know the country you chose to live in and to grow in. There is something so special about calling somewhere “home”, and I want to feel as if I know every inch of Spain by the time I go back to Colorado. I want to be the person with restaurant tips and where you can get the most authentic paella. The girl who has explored every coastal area and can tell you which sand was the softest. I want to be the student who actually lived in her city, not just lived her semester on a plane.

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My experiences in Spain have already been so inspiring and have altered my view of life abroad and even life at home. I have loved getting to learn more about such a unique country. My hope isn’t simply to stay local, it is to become a local. I don’t want to leave feeling like my study abroad quest was concentrated on fitting my entire European bucket list into four months, I want to leave feeling like a true Spaniard.

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The world awaits…discover it.

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