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Spanish time abroad

1) While in Spain I worked for a company by the name of Ineco, they are a multinational company that has expanded to many countries from the Americas to the Middle East. Their they challenged my language and cultural skills, I improved immensely on my overall Spanish ability and adapted to a new culture. Along with this new experience I also worked as a foreign relations and expansion researcher.

2) While in Spain I was given many opportunities to learn and experience new things. These new experiences allowed me to understand more about a multitude of areas. I learned that no matter where you go people are all very similar. People are social creatures and that was shown in my time in Spain, many people came up to talk to me and my friends since we were American. My coworkers were always laughing joking and talking with each other very much like any other work environment. I also saw Americas influence on the world everywhere in Spain. I had always been told that America is a powerhouse in the world but the number of shirts with American words, American restaurants chains, and the volume of American songs being played astounded me. I also came to understand how to live on my own and how expensive it is to do so.

3) During my time in Spain I had many experiences that provided me a deeper understanding of many different aspects of life outside the sheltered life that college and living with your parents provides. This time in Spain gave me the experience of being responsible for myself. My time in Spain was my first experience of being an adult and having to do everything on my own. I had to take over all the responsibilities that my parents have when I am home or that I do not have to worry about at school. One such responsibility that I had to adjust for was food. Usually at home my parents do most the shopping and almost all the cooking and at school I pick up already prepared meals at one of the dinning halls. When in Spain I developed my cooking skills and my ability to plan. Instead of not thinking about food until I am hungry, what I do at home and school, I found myself planning meals four or five in advance and improvising on normally basic meals.

As well as having to do all meals on my own I also had to figure out how to get from place to place and manage my money. In Spain we were in a position to travel to other places cheaper than if we went back to the United States then wanted to return to Spain to visit these places. But in order to get to these locations I had to figure out the logistics myself. This was my first time really planning all the logistics of a trip, I had done some similar things like this before but always with my dad watching giving pointers and making sure I made zero mistakes. For these trips I made sure that I bought the flight tickets to the right places, on the right day, at the right times, and make sure that I get to the airport or train station with enough time to spare. Although transportation between cities and countries seems to be a much more enriching experience than intra city travel, using and navigating the local metro system in Madrid was an amazing and new experience. This was the first metro system I have ever had to figure out solely by myself and real the first public transport system that I used extensively. It was a remarkable time. I learned how to navigate the city in no time learning the basics about most other metros in the world and really getting to know the in’s and out’s of the city of Madrid and allowing me to see the interactions of the people of Madrid, deepening my understanding of their culture and the city’s personality.

Another thing that helped me understand the people the people was the language and the languages that my coworkers used. At this huge multinational company in Spain, a country heavily involved in the EU and trade, many of my coworkers spoke at least two languages fluently. This allowed me so see that the world is both huge in that there are many languages with many people and almost every language also has a different culture, but also that the world can be a small place. One of my co-workers, Nacho was able to speak three languages almost fluently and was passable in another two. This shows that by being able to interact with this many people that speak all these languages he has made the world a smaller and less foreign place since he is able to connect with so many people. I would like to be able to make my world smaller and become fluent in Spanish after this trip.

4) All these changes in perspective that I experienced during my time over seas will serve to help and transform me and I am grateful for these skills that I have acquired. For one my Spanish skills have improved immensely, this will help me in my Spanish studies as well as open up more job opportunities but will most importantly allow me to be better able to interact with people of a Spanish background or are only able to communicate in Spanish. The fact that I went and lived in a whole new country for two months also allowed me to expand my horizons more than having an internship in the US. I was pushed farther out of my comfort zone and as a result was forced to at a quicker rate and more than I would in an American environment. I also faced challenges in Spain that I would not have faced in the US and was forced to adapt to these challenges and solve them. Overall my Internship in Spain has allowed and required me to grow at a remarkable rate in social, professional and a linguistic context and it is experience I would do all over again if given the chance.