By: Emily Gómez, CAS ’22, Wasserman Global Peer, NYU Madrid
This past semester, I had the opportunity study abroad at NYU Madrid. During that time, I was able to connect with the local culture through my homestay and internship experiences. I interned at a Spanish NGO and was able to form relationships with my coworkers and develop a stronger sense of what I want my career path to look like.
As a Wasserman Global Peer, I was able to assist my peers in their pursuits of spring and summer internships, by helping them with both their resumes and cover letters. It was rewarding to be able to help my peers, and hopefully alleviate a bit of the stress that they were feeling. Though many aspects of study abroad were external (ie. learning how to navigate a new environment and a different culture), I found that the internal changes, and lessons I learned from study abroad are what I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Spain taught me above all else: be honest. This is a cultural difference that our academic coordinators have been telling us since day one, and it’s true- Spanish people are really honest. Their sincerity comes out in all aspects of life, and after living in Spain for the past 4 months, I’ve reflected on this cultural trait and now have a deeper appreciation for honesty, particularly with oneself. Though study abroad is an amazing experience, it is very important to be honest with oneself- I’ve had to evaluate and reevaluate my priorities often this past semester.
Finding the balance between traveling, schoolwork, budgeting my money, and my internship was quite tricky. For me, I began to feel like I found my solid ground in Madrid when I asked myself: do I like what I’m doing? Is my internship satisfying? Do I like my classes? I realized that though the workload was high and at times I would get stressed, I was learning about subjects I was passionate about and interning at an NGO that I felt was doing really important work. Once I reflected on my situation instead of running through the motions, I felt motivated and excited for the future. I’m very glad to have been able to experience the homestay, worked at theSpanish NGO, and been able to service my peers.
Thank you Wasserman and NYU Madrid!