Since the end of Winter semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to come to Spain on a study abroad. I have lived in Utah my whole life, so this has been my first experience living outside of what some people call the “bubble.” It’s been an amazing experience so far, but it has made me more fully appreciate many unique things about BYU.
First, I am so grateful for BYU professors. I’ve only been at BYU for a year, but I have had wonderful professors. Not only have they been supportive and smart and have challenged me, but they have also been good people with high standards that have had a positive influence on me. The teachers here in Spain are still wonderful, but it is not guaranteed that they will have high standards.
Secondly, I am very grateful for the Honor Code. When we attended a bullfight here in Madrid, a group of young men at first were very helpful in explaining the event to us, but then later got drunk. It was very uncomfortable and I was grateful to get away from them. I also have to breathe a lot of secondhand smoke. I am so grateful that at BYU I can be around people who have committed to the Honor Code, which includes not drinking or smoking.
Lastly, I am grateful for the opportunity to be around so many people that have the same beliefs as I do. While living in different places is wonderful and allows many different opportunities, I have gained more appreciation for the opportunity to be around so many members of the church and look forward to returning in the fall.
However, I have loved being in Spain and it has given me some very unique learning experiences. I am surrounded by Spanish people (including teachers) and get to learn from them firsthand about their culture. Also, being around Spanish all day has definitely improved my ability to speak it. Finally, I have learned so much about Spain and its history in a very unique, hands-on way.
Spain has been such a wonderful experience and I will be sad to leave, but I am grateful that when I return I get to go back to such a wonderful university!