Jamie Ostrem - 2013 Program Participant

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences) in Valencia, Spain
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences) in Valencia, Spain. Photo by Jamie Ostrem

Why did you choose ISA for you study abroad experience?

I chose ISA over other study abroad programs because some of my friends studied abroad through ISA and had nothing but good things to say about the company. It was comforting because I knew I could trust them.

After researching many other companies, I thought the classes that ISA offered at the University of Valencia sounded the most interesting. They related to the culture of Valencia and Spain while including language development skills.

I also felt like I was getting the most out of my money with ISA. They had a great support staff in Valencia and offered cultural programming throughout our stay. Overall, their program goals aligned with my study abroad goals.

If you could share some of your own experiential advice with Butler students about to study abroad in Valencia, what would you share?

I would tell Butler students to take full advantage of all the cultural experiences you can while studying abroad. Spain has so many unique traditions that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world. I would also encourage students to speak as much Spanish as they can, whether it is with their host family, classmates, or random people on the beach! You can speak English when you go home! Get to know others in your program because they are all there for the same reason you are. You can build lifelong friendships with your similar interests and love for travel and adventures. Overall, don't hold back or have any regrets.

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

Valencia was the best place to study abroad in Spain because it was a big city with a lot of activities and things to do while maintaining the "Spanish" feel. It wasn't so big where it was commercialized. I have found some big cities around the world seem to feel alike, but Valencia was very unique and full of culture. It also has great beaches!

Which course was your favorite during your program in Valencia?

My favorite class was the Spanish film class because we watched all original, Spanish films that were nothing like American movies. Our professor did a great job at pointing out unique Spanish cultural points within the films, which was very interesting. I liked that it was a class that you would only be able to take and fully appreciate in Spain.

How has studying abroad impacted your life?

Study abroad has increased my cultural appreciation and love for travel. It is one thing to be a tourist and visit a country for a few days. It is a completely different experience to live somewhere and completely immerse yourself in the culture and way of life. I have found lifelong friends who love to travel and experience new things with me. Studying abroad is something you will never forget and will definitely never regret. I cherish all the memories I made while studying abroad and would give anything to do it again!