Darcy Palmer - 2012 & 2013 Program Participant

Darcy has a passion for connecting with people and learning different languages, especially while immersing herself in another culture abroad, hence studying abroad in Spain for a year with ISA was a perfect match for her.

Darcy and Her Friends at the Alhambra in Granada.
Darcy and Her Friends at the Alhambra in Granada.

How did you select ISA over other program providers?

I initially chose International Studies Abroad over other study abroad programs simply because of their fantastic staff. I casually walked into a study abroad fair at my university and was completely drawn in by their representative. She answered all of my questions, was patient with helping me find what I was looking for, and most importantly, she was very genuine and honest. Till this day, all of the ISA staff have been more than helpful, reassuring, positive, and comforting, even under the most stressful circumstances. They are truly amazing!

What advice do you have for students headed to Malaga, Spain?

My strongest advice to anyone going anywhere abroad is to go without friends, sink yourself into the culture, and stick it out even if you are super homesick! To anyone going to Malaga specifically, I would tell them to eat tons of Chirimoya and enjoy the fantastic weather. Also, if you can, take the most intensive language program possible. You will not regret it!

Why was Malaga the best place to study abroad in Spain?

After traveling around Spain, I was surprised to find that I would not have wanted to study anywhere other than Malaga. The weather was unreal there. My classmates and I would swim at the beach in-between classes until early November. Even on my last night of the fall semester in December, we were wearing skirts and tanks out - no cardigan needed! Malaga also had the perfect mix of the city and the beach- best of both worlds!

Which class did you enjoy most while studying abroad?

My favorite class had to be Conversation while I was in the intensive program. It consisted of classes in only Spanish from about 8:15am to 2pm Monday through Friday. I learned much more than I had ever anticipated, and it was great to be able to use everything I learned in class by speaking with Spaniards in the area.

Study abroad is often said to be one of the most life-changing experiences in a person’s life. How has studying abroad in Spain changed you life?

I honestly do not even know where to start. I am a completely different person than I was before studying abroad. I have a much different perspective on the world than my peers that have not studied abroad. I also see myself as more connected, tolerant, and compassionate towards people in general from living in another culture for a long period of time. It is an extremely humbling experience that reminds you that everyone is human, no matter where you’re from or what your traditions and culture are.

Studying abroad has also made me extremely curious about other parts of the world. Another huge part about studying abroad is the friends that you meet while you are there. You will meet young people that are just as brave, curious, strong, intelligent, and eager to learn as you are. Those kinds of friends you keep forever. I am actually leaving tonight to meet a friend in Colombia that I met through ISA for a vacation! In the future I am planning on going to graduate school abroad and hopefully joining the Peace Corps.