Lauren Ross - 2013 Program Partcipant
Lauren in Granada, Spain visiting Alhambra
Why did you choose to study and complete an internship abroad in Madrid?
I chose to study and complete an internship in Madrid to gain experience in my field, International Relations, and improve my Spanish speaking abilities. I wanted to learn about a new culture and immerse myself in another language. Madrid provided me with an amazing opportunity to accomplish all of these goals.
Lauren and her mom in Madrid, Spain visiting El Prado
What was your living situation like?
I lived with a host family that was welcoming and supportive. I lived with a single woman and her son, who was studying in London, would visit every few weeks. She was an amazing cook and taught me so much about Spanish culture.
Lauren and her friend Sophie in Granada, Spain near Alhambra
What was your most memorable experience while studying abroad with BU?
My most memorable experience while studying abroad with BU was the class excursions. I took a class about the history of Spain and learned so much about the history, culture, and growth of the nation. Our class excursions around Madrid and to Toledo, El Escorial, and Cordoba applied what we learned in the class by going to the cities we talked about. Seeing the castles the kings once lived in, and the cities that were once epicenters of the world, was an incredible experience because I understood the history behind each city.
What was the biggest challenge you faced abroad?
The biggest challenge I faced abroad was gaining confidence when speaking Spanish. I was comfortable speaking in class and with my host family, but it took more time for me to gain confidence in my internship, as well as in my writing abilities. After a few weeks, I gained the confidence I needed to succeed in my classes and internship.
Lauren in Valencia, Spain visiting the Museum of Arts and Sciences
Would you recommend the BU Madrid Internship program to other students?
I would recommend the BU Madrid Internship Program to every student. Completing an internship abroad at the US Embassy in Madrid was an amazing experience that allowed me to gain experience in my field. All three classes I took were very interesting and taught me so much about Spanish history and current events. Immersing myself in a language and living with a host family were also great experiences that allowed me to feel like I was really living in that city.
What insider recommendations can you give to future participants of the BU program in Madrid?
I would recommend that each student take full advantage of the classes, internships, and class excursions that BU offers. BU offers so many interesting classes and opportunities to see Spain that every student should participate in. Each professor is really involved in planning classes, excursions, and helping students. Use your professor as a resource; they are all so knowledgeable.
Lauren during one of the BU class excursions to Toledo, Spain