STEP Reflection- Granada, Spain

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

For my STEP Signature Project, I studied abroad in Granada, Spain. I was lucky enough to spend 5 months in Granada, living with a host family and taking classes at the University of Granada.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

Throughout my time in Spain, I became so much more aware of the world around me. I was able to understand how the local Spaniards thought politically and socially. It was also very lucky that I was able to be in Spain during one of the most turbulent political times of the relatively new democracy. During my STEP project, I learned how to interact with people of different cultures all around Europe, and it gave me skills to translate in many other scenarios in my life. I also learned how to be more independent and adaptable, as there were many situations in which things did not go as planned.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

As I was living with a host family, I got to understand the cultural idiosyncrasies that differed from my own; my host mom had a very interesting political opinion that differed from many of my professors’. I had a Civilization and Culture of Spain class that did an excellent job of describing how and why certain traditions and political mindsets came to be so popular in Spain and how the country worked the way it did.

Additionally, I took an Oral Production class in which our professor would bring up a subject and just let us speak about our thoughts in Spanish. However, he would push back and compare with the way he sees things in Spain which was a very interesting perspective to be given.

As for my independence, I learned mainly through travelling by myself. At one point, I had a flight that was supposed to take off at 10 p.m. and was later cancelled at 3:30 a.m., and I was in the airport two hours away from my home by myself. I had to keep calm and level-headed while figuring out where I was going to sleep for the night and how I was going to get to my destination. It was a frustrating experience, but now I look back at it as a funny story to tell and a lesson learned about how to travel and be self-sufficient.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

This experience is by far the most significant experience of my life. It’s overwhelming to think about just how much studying abroad has helped me to grow as a human being. I am still trying to wrap my head around the last 5 months. The people I met will always leave a lasting impression on me, as they taught me how to leave my comfort zone and explore the world. The places I saw and the history behind them will always remind me to never stop being curious. The skills I acquired through speaking Spanish in a native setting will always be a professional skill that I can use in almost any setting. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and I have, without a doubt, found a home away from home.