Michelle Dean is a Senior studying Nursing at the U of U. In the summer of 2010 she participated in the Intensive Spanish Language Program in Oviedo, Spain.
I had the awesome opportunity to study abroad this past summer in Oviedo, Spain. I made some wonderful memories and had such neat experiences, and of course I greatly increased my fluency in Spanish. My favorite part of the whole trip would have to be the time I spent in the little fisherman’s town called Luarca. Most students referred to the people they stayed with as their host mom or dad, but the gal I lived with, Veronica, was quite young so I always called her my sister, which she was ecstatic about. My first weekend in Oviedo Veronica invited me to go with her to Luarca which is where she grew up and where her parents still live. Luarca is a beautiful, calm and quiet town, which is one reason I consider it a favorite, but what was most fun was spending time with her family and conversing. They told me funny stories, and of course my Spanish was not perfect, so mistakes I made in speaking also gave us something to laugh about.
Not only do I have fond memories and better fluency from studying abroad, but I have noticed little things that help me in school this fall semester. For example, I am more outgoing and participate in class more, which I believe is due to the courage I built when I stepped out of my comfort zone to speak Spanish even though I knew I would make mistakes. In addition, I made many good friends, such as Veronica and her family, but also the students and professors I studied with. I still keep in touch through email with Veronica and it is always fun to see the other students here on campus and reminisce about the good times. Studying abroad was a great opportunity and I will never trade my experiences there for anything.