To avoid the mundane life of Troy and its campus, one student went abroad to Zaragoza, Spain for a semester of his college life.
Craig Anderson, senior Spanish major from Shalimar, Fla., spent the 2012 spring semester abroad at the University of Zaragoza and extended his stay into the summer to experience more of the country.
“I went to a city of about 600,000 people directly between Barcelona and Madrid,” Anderson said.“I went as a third semester Spanish major so no more Spanish than anybody else. Just one more class really.”
Despite his scant knowledge of the language, Anderson was able to progress from struggling to find the platform for his bus to the university to traveling the country alone.
“I got there and had a lot of difficulty finding my way,” Anderson said.“By the time I left, I could travel by myself within the country and by my own plans.”
The class structure provided Anderson with some free time to explore the country and its scenery.
“I went to a couple different places: Barcelona four or five times, Madrid, Valencia, Xàbia, Grenada, north to San Sebastian and then to a small neighboring surfing village named Zarautz.”
Anderson learned to surf in the city of Zarautz, which, according to stoketravel.com, is renowned worldwide as a surfing destination and home to many surfing schools.
Coming into the country with that limited amount of the language, Anderson started by taking classes to help with the language.
“Most of the courses I took were in a foreign language so I had to take the equivalent of ESL (English as a Second Language) to get adjusted to the language,” Anderson said.“I was in those classes three hours a day, five days a week for three weeks, and I took three courses.”
Anderson aspires to go into an education career either by teaching Spanish here in the states or teaching English abroad. He says the monetary benefit abroad is very attractive.
“It might pay €20 an hour per student, and you can have a class of four so you’re basically making a €100 an hour,” Anderson said.
“I was an English tutor for a private citizen, and they paid me privately.”
Anderson said study abroad is a rewarding experience, and he recommends that students participate early in their college careers rather than close to their graduation.
“You absolutely cannot get anywhere close to the experience you have traveling, and I have international contacts now for if I need somewhere to stay or advice on where to go.”
Anderson says the study abroad was not expensive; the hosting university funded it.
“I paid for food, room and board and travel costs,” said Anderson. “My tuition was all paid for by the funding university (University of Zaragoza).”