Corryne Cross, psychology junior, studied abroad in fall 2016 in Sevilla, Spain. She shares, “Although I was nervous to embark on this adventure, I could not imagine my college experience without it. I had never been out of the U.S. before this trip and had been on very few plane rides, so this was definitely out of my comfort zone. I was able to live in a casa de Seville with six other Cal Poly students, and together we immersed ourselves in Andalusian culture. In our Architecture and Painting class, we would walk around the city and study the beautiful Gothic Cathedral, while in Popular Culture, our class would walk to local tapas bars and enjoy delicious Spanish food. I took three of my classes at a Spanish university, Pablo de Olavide, and was able to meet and interact with local students and students from all over the states. I was able to further my education in psychology by taking a Cultural Psychology class where we dove deeper into what it means to be a part of an individualistic versus collectivist culture. I spent some weekends in Sevilla walking around beautiful gardens and cathedrals, dancing until 6 a.m. and enjoying the upbeat energy of the locals. Other weekends were spent venturing with my program to Morocco, Amsterdam, Paris and more. This experience allowed me to see that there is no one right way to live — every culture has beautiful traditions and unique attributes. The cultural-awareness that my experience gave me will be invaluable to the way I act and think as global citizen, and I am excited to pursue my new passion for travel."
Theresa Eads, psychology major, studied abroad in fall 2016. The inspiration for Theresa to study abroad was hearing from past graduates that they wish they had taken the opportunity to study abroad. She decided to study in San Sebastian, Spain and said it seems like it was all a dream. After studying in Spain and developing her Spanish from high school, she was inspired to add a Spanish minor to her degree. She also got to learn a little of the Basque language and culture, which she previously knew little to nothing about. Theresa says, "The experience was an opportunity for adventure. I had an amazing host family and met incredible friends. Another thing that greatly contributed to my study abroad experience was my professors abroad. They had so much passion and desire to help us grow and learn. It was the best experience of my life." Theresa encourages everyone to study abroad, "It's an opportunity you don't want to pass up."
Kristyn Halvorson, child development senior, spent fall 2015 in Seville, Spain. She explains, “It was a life-changing experience that really brought me out of my comfort zone! I truly enjoyed studying abroad in Seville, especially teaching English to a third-grade class there. My unique cultural experiences in Spain helped fuel my decision to return as a language assistant upon graduating this spring. I know my experiences there will help grow my empathy and tolerance in this profession, making me a better, more effective mentor and teacher. I am excited to share my culture with students in Spain while, in turn, learning more about theirs.”
Ryanne Martucci, child development senior and Spanish minor, studied abroad in fall 2015. During her four months abroad, she felt completely at home. She was fully immersed in the culture, the food, the dancing, and the wonderful sport of “futbol.” While she was there, Ryanne had the pleasure of taking a cross-cultural psychology class where she learned about cultural ethnotheories. She mentioned she was able to see first-hand how culture affects development. Ryanne was also able to improve her Spanish and found a deeper love of Spanish food and wine. “I highly recommend studying abroad. You will learn so many new things about other cultures, as well as about yourself. It was truly the best experience, and I am thankful for it every day.”
Maya Rodelander, psychology senior, studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand in fall 2015. During her five months abroad, she was able to travel across both islands of New Zealand and made incredible memories that allowed her to develop an understanding of the Māori culture. She says, “I would not change my experience abroad for anything. It allowed me to adventure to breathtaking places, meet life-long friends and develop a love for travel.”