Hello, my name is Douglas Ledford. I studied abroad in Alcalá, Spain in summer of 2018. This program was a faculty led program that I chose because it was in a country I was interested in going to. I took four classes with the University of Alcalá and one class with UTC. An asset of this trip was that I traveled with a group of students and professors from UTC and we were able to learn the culture due to the professors.
Traveling as a group was an important component of the trip. We came to Spain with other students from our school which made us feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar area. If anyone needed help, we had professors we knew and trusted. Also, they offered knowledge and advice of the culture such as the dialect and customs of the people.
We went on several excursions guided by at least one professor. This was good for at least two reasons. One was that the professors already knew of places of interest. And two, they shared the knowledge that they knew of the historical and cultural significance. There were two excursion that lasted longer than a day, one to Portugal, and the other to Asturias in northern Spain. Both excursions were worth the time and expense. These stood out to me because they showed how Europe is a cultural diverse place even within the same country or region. We stayed in Madrid, but it is different than Asturias. Also, Portugal and Spain are on the same peninsula but have different cultures. An example of a difference between Asturias and the Community of Madrid is Asturias is Celtic, and Madrid is not. Another interesting point is that Spain is linguistically diverse. Spain has different languages and different dialects of the languages. The people of Madrid have a different dialect than the people of Andalucía, etc.
In conclusion, this trip allowed me to study the culture and language of Spain. During my time I was able to travel to other regions and countries such as Portugal and Italy. I enjoy traveling to other regions and learning about their culture. This program was ideal because it offered courses that were guaranteed to transfer. Also, I traveled with a group of students and professors from UTC. I learned about the language, culture, and myself during my time in Spain.
Douglas Ledford is majoring in Spanish with a minor in Business. He participated in a faculty-led trip to Alcala, Spain through the Spanish Department in Summer, 2018. Douglas had the following to say about studying abroad, “Study abroad allows you to realize that there are things that you did not know that you did not know or could not imagine.”
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