Jake Verner - 2014 Program Participant

On the beach of Nerja, on the Costa del Sol of Andalucia in Spain

Jake and his girlfriend in Nerja, a small beach town on the Costa del Sol of Andalucia, Spain.

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I had been interested in study abroad since I was high school. I visited Costa Rica for two weeks my sophomore year in high school, and had been taking spanish classes since middle school. I wanted to both improve my language skills and have the amazing opportunity to experience a different culture for an extended period of time.

Why did you choose study abroad in Spain in particular?

I was choosing between Sevilla and Salamanca, Spain. My advisor at Gettysburg encouraged me to do the Salamanca program because it was a full immersion program with all of my classes in Spanish.

Where did you live in Salamanca?

Myself and another American student from Colorado College lived with a host family. There were two parents, Mariaje and Rafa, and two sons aged 16 years old and 14 years old, Javier and Sergio.

What are the top reasons you'd want to travel to Spain again?

I’d want to go back to Spain to further experience the Spanish culture/way of life, and to improve my Spanish skills even more.

Would you recommend your IES Abroad program in Salamanca to others?

Yes, Salamanca is a great city especially for University students.

Paella in Malaga, Spain

Delicious Paella from a beachside restaurant in Málaga, Spain.

If you could change one thing about your program, what would it be?

I would recommend getting rid of the trips to Zamora and Toledo, and replace them with different/longer excursions.

Did you experience any kind of reverse culture shock when you came back to the U.S.?

Yes, surprisingly I did. Readjusting to the American lifestyle took a bit of time; it is a lot more fast paced to what I was used to living in Spain.

If you could go on another IES program which one would you choose?

Barcelona. The Barcelona program offers a focus on Business which is my major, and a subject that I was unable to take any college credits for in Salamanca.