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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Shaye in Spain

Shaye Gauthier ’21, who majors in Finance and Spanish, is studying at the Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Tarragona, Spain

My name is Shaye Gauthier. I am majoring in Finance and Spanish and am a part of the class of 2021 at Lake Forest College. I am studying in Tarragona, Spain, which is just southwest of Barcelona, for the first semester of my junior year. While here, I decided to study Spanish language and English language as well as teach English to local middle school students. 

The college itself has been incredibly inviting and helpful! The support of the staff, in addition to my professors, has no doubt contributed to the success I have found here. It is difficult to move to a new country, but now that I have, I truly feel as if I can do anything. 

My ISEP program lasts for 5 months, but the time has been going so quickly and I know I will miss Spain a lot, though I love Lake Forest just as much. The opportunities that I have had here have been nothing short of incredible. In the past 3 months, I have experienced Oktoberfest in Munich, the Cliffs of Moher in Galway, the Cathedral of Milan, and much more. The art and history in Europe are never-ending and every day brings a new adventure while abroad. 

The travel opportunities have been amazing, but what I am truly grateful for is the friendships I have formed with students from all over the world. I have learned a great deal from getting out of my comfort zone and having conversations in Spanish with people I have never met. In the end, I always wanted to study abroad, but actually being here is even better than I imagined because it isn’t just excitement and travel all the time. It is also watching movies with my roommate from Chile, making homemade pasta with my Italian friends, and having traditional Turkish coffee with my group of friends that I have only just met yet care for so much. 

I am so incredibly thankful for Lake Forest College’s Global Engagement Office because they truly help to make studying abroad possible for anyone. Additionally, I want to thank Speros Fund for supporting me in this journey- I am eternally grateful. I can’t wait to see what my next adventure will be!