IES Madrid- Language and Area Studies
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Juliette Busby

Major: Labor and Employment Relations and Telecommunications 
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Berkeley Heights, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I met with students who had gone abroad in the past and spoke with my advisors to find a program that matched best with my majors and minor. I knew I wanted to be in Spain, so then it was a matter of picking out of the available Spain programs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Being in Madrid was the best experience of my life. I made so many incredible friends, learned about all different cultures around Europe and learned more about my self than I would have been able to at Penn State. Being able to live in a big city like Madrid and going to classes and exploring with my friends was an adventure every single day. I also was immersed in the language and was able to speak it with more fluency than I have ever been able to before. Living in a homestay was also a really important part of my experience. Creating those connections to native people was the best way to learn the language and culture.

I also was immersed in the language and was able to speak it with more fluency than I have ever been able to before.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As previously mentioned, this specific program helped me learn and grow in the Spanish language like I never would have been able to anywhere else. Being fully immersed in the language created a unique experience where I had no choice but to study the language more, challenge myself in my classes when I felt I was struggling, and make an effort everyday to cut English out of my daily conversations. Now, a few months removed from the program, I am still just as confident in the skills I gained and know they will forever be helpful in my future. Anyone with a second language will greatly benefit in the future careers.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I hope to work in television on entertainment or news content. This past summer, I interned with a broadcast late night program and learned a lot about the industry. Working for the news, or shows that are extremely topical/news related (like most late night shows are), it’s important to have a global perspective so you can understand the information you are giving out. Knowing the politics in different countries, any conflicts that exist and different languages and currencies will make you an asset in this industry. While abroad, I quickly picked up on a lot of these things in the different countries I traveled to and felt I grew as a global citizen, which is important at these stations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this program to other students. I would go back in a second and miss all the adventures I had while I was there. Spain is an incredible country filled with wonderful people, food, culture and passion. Having never been out of the US prior to my program, I learned so much and was just enamored with the new world I was opening myself up to. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, or have never left the US like myself, spending a semester abroad is the best decision you could make in college. The lifelong friends you make and the memories you create will last forever.

For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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