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Ellie Strafelda - Bilbao, Spain
University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain
What’s your major?
I am a psychology major with Hispanic Studies and Special Education minors. I want to go to graduate school for Occupational Therapy and hopefully be able to help patients in English and Spanish.
Where are you studying?
I am studying at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain.
How long will you be abroad?
I came here in September and I will be returning at the end of the semester.
What type of courses are you taking?
I am in a Language and Culture program so I am taking Spanish Grammar, Conversation, Culture, and Gastronomy (which is a food and wine class with grammar thrown in).
What is your favorite memory from your study abroad experience?
My favorite memory studying abroad is when I went hiking with my new friends in the national park Gorbeia. We stayed in a “refugida” which is basically a shack in the park and then climbed the mountain the next morning. I had never done any serious hiking or climbed a mountain before. It was something I never would have considered doing before coming to Spain.
What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?
I would encourage someone considering studying abroad to budget! I have seen a lot of people here who aren’t sure how to manage their money and they are out before the end of the semester.
What is/was your favorite local landmark?
My favorite local landmark are all of the bridges and the river. There are 3 pretty bridges and it is nice to walk along. It’s always filled with cute elderly couples and families.
What are your living accommodations?
I am living with a host family and I absolutely love them.
What is your greatest challenge while being abroad?
The greatest challenge has been adjusting to different cultural things, like meal times. Lunch isn’t served until 2-3:30 and dinner is at 8:30-9.
What skills have you acquired abroad?
I have learned Spanish, obviously. I also have learned how to navigate foreign cities, metros stations, etc.
Has study abroad influenced your academic/career path?
Study abroad has definitely encouraged me to keep up with my Spanish when I get home so I will be able to use it in a career setting.
What were questions you were asked by local residents?
I was asked about Donald Trump by my host dad the first night! I get asked about the education system, the snow, and family life. People typically live with their parents until they are married, and so the fact that I will be moving out of my parent’s house soon is very odd to them.