What Past Participants Say
There are two very distinct aspects of this internship: the cultural and the professional. Both will have an incredible impact on your life.
By living in a home-stay with a Spanish family, I was exposed to the normal, everyday life of a Spaniard. I ate dinner with them, I watched TV with them, and I spoke Spanish with them every day! It wasn't always easy, but it was fun to settle into a routine and find those specific cafes or bars that you go to all the time and develop relationships with the people there. Madrid is full of history and beautiful tourist attractions that will keep you busy for days, and you should take advantage of living in a country that is more than 250 years old, like the United States. As far as the cultural aspect goes, I was more immersed than I ever thought possible, my spoken Spanish improved dramatically, and I discovered so many things about myself that I never would have realized, had I not come to Spain to live, not just to visit.
The other aspect of the program is the professional development through the internship, and this is what gave me purpose for being here. EUSA does its best to place you where you think you want to go, and the staff are always there to check in with you to make sure things are going well. Aside from living with a Spanish family, working with Spanish people provided the greatest look into how life is lived in Spain. I could not have asked for better coworkers, and they always were so nice and patient and understanding with me.
I feel much more independent, having lived in a foreign country on my own, where the language is different. I am confident in myself, I'm not afraid of challenges, and after having done this internship, I know that I can work almost anywhere with almost anyone.
I am glad that I did this program, and I recommend it to anyone who truly wants to experience life outside the United States. It is so much different than just traveling to another foreign country, seeing the sights, and moving on. It is rewarding in a completely different way, and professionally, you will always be distinguished by having worked abroad. Employers will know that you are an independent, motivated person who they can trust will work hard for them and not be afraid of challenges. The students at the University of Iowa are fortunate to have this opportunity, and I encourage people to take advantage of it!