Bridget is a Spanish student who came to Valencia with her University from Minnesota to do a 5 week study abroad program, which included Spanish classes, History classes, and community service. Her group did community service every morning with a local NGO which caters to homeless people and those with financial difficulties. We were able to chat with her about her experience, and here’s what she told us:
What was the best part about your program in Valencia?
I loved volunteering everyday at the NGO. My favorite part was the people we worked with everyday at the center; they came from all different walks of life and were all very kind to us, I felt very welcome from the beginning. I also felt like I got the most out of the community service language wise, since we were actually using the language outside of a classroom; everyone was patient with us.
What did you like the most about your volunteer work?
Hearing life stories and being able to build relationships with the people we worked with. I left knowing most of the people there, because they opened up to us about their home life, family life, and their hopes and dreams about the future. We all came together and worked together as a group.
What are some of the main benefits of a study abroad experience for you?
Learning about a different culture and just learning how to work with others when there is a language barrier. Even things as simple as getting around the city when I didn’t know my way around (with a language barrier)
Did you come across any challenges during your stay in Valencia?
At the beginning I had a lot of problems with directions and finding my way around. Also in the beginning of our volunteer work, they didn’t want us carrying anything, but we wanted to help so it was interesting to work through that.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteer programs at Euroace, read all about them here.