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Alyssa Barker

Entertainment Editor


Florida Southern offers a wide array of study abroad programs for students who would like to travel. One of the many popular options offered is the May option trip to Spain.

Dr. Jose Manuel Garcia, associate professor of the Spanish department, hosts the month-long trip to Alicante, a small beach town in Spain. During the trip, students study Spanish language and culture at Proyecto Espanol, and take weekend excursions to Barcelona and surrounding areas of Alicante. Students stay with a host family for the duration of their trip.


I had the opportunity to go on this trip this past May with 40 other students. I had to admit, being a way for such an extensive period of time made me nervous, considering I’ve never done it before. However, that feeling went away the minute I got off the plane in Madrid.

From that moment on, we did almost everything together. Whether it was relaxing at the beach after class, shopping in the city or climbing up castles, we made the most of our time in Alicante, which made for an exciting experience.

My host family welcomed my roommate and I with open arms. They made us feel right at home and safe, something that I was most worried about. My host mother also made the best food, which was a huge plus.

Everyone’s Spanish class was based around the culture of Spain. We learned about Alicante and the surrounding cities. Some students, like myself, had the opportunity to be in a class with students from other countries. Amanda Startcher, junior, said that being in Spain helped her make the most of learning about the language.

“I’ve taken Spanish classes before but I’ve never learned the language as fast or as with much interest as I did in Spain,” Startcher said. “It was an incredible experience being surrounded by such a beautiful culture and getting to see unforgettable sights with some wonderful friends.”

Other students who went to Spain also enjoyed the experience.

“I went to Spain just trying to finish my minor, but ended up also falling in love with Alicante and Spain,” Pandolfino said. “I also made some great friends over there and I recommended the trip to anyone.”

“I loved the culture and people,” said junior Jon Glass. “It was a great new experience.”

Senior Ashley Woodham said not only did she learn about Spanish culture, but she got the chance to learn about herself.

“I went to Spain to experience another culture other than my own,” Woodham said. “While over there I enjoyed learning a lot about myself while also learning about the Spanish language.”

Spain was an unforgettable experience for all who went on the trip. New friendships were created and memories were created that will last a lifetime.

As we said in Spain, “vivir mi vida”, “live my life”.