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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Eric in Spain

Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience.  This week’s feature is from Eric Avila ’17, a double major in Spanish and SOAN currently studying abroad in Murcia, Spain.

Eric Avila

Murcia, Spain

Universidad de Murcia


When I entered college, one of my goals was to study abroad somewhere in Europe. Spanish movies and literature influenced me on my decision to study in Spain. Therefore, I applied to one of the Spain programs that Lake Forest College offers. When the date got closer to my departure, I couldn’t believe that I was going to be studying abroad in a couple of days. The day I arrived to Spain, I also couldn’t believe I was in a different country. It was a moment full of excitements.

The first weeks in Spain were a little bit hard for me, in terms of eating at a certain time. The restaurants close in the middle of the day and reopen at night. Therefore, I had to adjust to the time meals are served. I do not live with a host family so I cook meals when possible. In terms of my courses, I like all my courses since the first day of school. My professors teach in a different way than the U.S. because they all teach in a fun way by making jokes or telling funny stories. For example, my history professor teaches the class by doing some acting of how people used to talk or be in a certain period of time. One day he told us that he wants to teach us in a funny way so we don’t forget what he is teaching us. I also feel like at home here because all my professors have office hours and they encourage us to go to their office for any questions we have or simply to say hello.

I am meeting wonderful students from around the world. This is something really special because we see each other so often that we are like a family now. I have also met students who have grown up here, and they are the ones who are showing me some of their culture. I have learned so much about Spain from classes, visiting different museums, and history sites. I feel so grateful to be in a different country having an amazing life experience. I know I wouldn’t have done this without the help I received from G. Dale Smith scholarship and other scholarships. Therefore, I thank all the people who helped me accomplish one of my goals and for awarding my education in a different country.