How Study Abroad Changed My Life: Candidate Blog

how study abroad in Madrid changed my life

Our newest candidate, Asia Bryant, begins her Teaching English internship in Madrid, Spain! Asia shares how she has gained new skills, friends, and life-long memories, and also some tips on how to make the most out of your study abroad. 

Asia B., 2021 Teaching English Intern in Madrid, Spain 

!Hola! My name is Asia Bryant, I’m an American originally from Houston, TX. In the summer of 2020, I graduated from Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Chinese Studies. This Fall I’ll be attending Florida International University pursuing a Master of International Business. I am currently in Madrid studying Spanish, and interning at an English Company as an assistant and teacher.

I’m sure describing 2020 as an emotionally draining time would be an understatement for most. For me, last year, nothing went as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During what was supposed to be an exciting time and experiencing huge milestones such as me graduating, traveling, and relocating to China most of my plans came to a halt.

Fortunately, I did graduate, however, the current circumstances delayed my visa process for China. Eventually leading to the point where I couldn’t relocate to China. I lost my job and had to move back home with my family. I can honestly say at this moment I lost hope and became doubtful about my international and educational experience in the future. Also during this time, the world witnessed the shocking murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the public outrage that surrounded it. I felt helpless and traumatized by these events. I couldn’t cut on the news without hearing about protests, politics, or viruses. Leaving my current environment was a must at this point.

Streets and buildings of Madrid
study abroad student exploring streets of Madrid

Quaint streets throughout Madrid City Center

Coming to Madrid, I did not know what to expect. I love traveling and I have always enjoyed meeting new people. Exploring different cultures prompted my decision to minor in Chinese studies. When I went to Beijing two summers ago, I fully immersed myself in the culture and learned to speak Mandarin. Now that I´m in Madrid I plan on doing the same thing. With learning Spanish and working in Spain, I have the opportunity to apply my knowledge in an international business setting. 

A personal goal of mine is to be fluent in both Spanish and Mandarin. Also, I plan on exploring restaurants and seeing the museums. Thanks to Adelante, I have the opportunity to develop my skills as a scholar and international business professional. Studying and working in Madrid is paving my future for success. 

enjoying a glass of wine during Madrid sunset

El Palacio Real at sunset

Since studying abroad, I have not only improved my language skills but have improved my interpersonal skills as well. Since living in Madrid I have made friends from all over the world. My roommate and closest friend is Polish, my other friends are from Australia, Lebanon, and Italy. I have even made friends with fellow Americans from Connecticut and Mississippi. Learning about their cultures and perspectives has deepened my knowledge about other experiences.

If you are traveling to another country I recommend you come prepared with a fresh perspective and mindset. Don´t let other people project their negativity or fear onto you. Also, learn how to empathize with others. It is important to recognize differences don’t have to define a person, it can bring people closer together. 

Lastly, when traveling to somewhere new, I challenge you to think of yourself as a young child in a new environment. In the sense of being willing to explore unapologetically, try to learn new things, be happy, and most importantly, have fun. 

-Asia Bryant

2021 Teaching English Intern in Madrid, Spain

Stay tuned for Asia’s next blog as she continues her journey in Madrid and shares her internship experience for the next three months!

Ready to embark on an internship abroad? Apply today!

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