Griselda Rios - 2012 Program Participant

Griselda in Venice.
Griselda in Venice.

What made ISA stand out to you when choosing a program to study abroad?

I decided on ISA because its first program was established in Salamanca, Spain. 

I wanted a well-developed program, and it made me feel at ease knowing that it was first established in the country that I was interested in. This was the first time I would be away from my family, and I needed to feel safe. The program provided assistance throughout the whole process, which made everything easier. It just felt right, if that makes any sense.

What advice do you have for other students who are planning to study abroad?

This advice is not purely for students going to Barcelona, but it’s advice for every student going abroad. It is very easy to become close to other students in the same program and start becoming closed off to unfamiliar people. But students should try to meet locals and immerse even deeper into the culture. When students do this, they get a different appreciation for the culture and the people.

There are many great cities in which to study abroad in Spain - why Barcelona?

I wanted a country where I could continue to improve my first language, Spanish, because over the years it had been dwindling. It was important for to me pick a place far away from home so I could take on a challenge and feel independent. Barcelona gave the opportunity to improve my Spanish while traveling Europe, which was something I thought to be out of my reach. Also, being able to live in such a beautiful city with the creations of Antoni Gaudi really intrigued me.

What was your favorite class that you took while in Barcelona?

Images of Spain in Contemporary Cinema was my favorite class. I absolutely love movies, and being able to take a class that focused of Spanish cinema with a Spanish professor was very fun and educational. My career goal is to work in the entertainment industry, so anything related to that is engaging to me. 

How has studying abroad changed your life?

It has taught me to be a very independent person. I am no longer afraid to pack up my bags and take on new challenges in life. To many, this might not seem like a big deal, but coming from a Hispanic family things like that just don’t happen. I am one of the few in my family breaking expectations.