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Juliana’s Blog Entry: International Perspective

April 21, 2015

A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and MA in Counseling with specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Juliana Abercrombie:

I have always loved to travel, so I was immediately drawn to SOLES when I found out they had their own Global Studies Center and an international requirement for all of their students. (Finding a Master’s program with study abroad options is rare!) The opportunity to take classes abroad was a major factor in my ultimate decision to come to USD for my Master’s degree—along with the gorgeous campus and awesome faculty! Then, when the time finally came to select my international experience, I had the best problem I could imagine: too many choices! I wanted to take classes abroad over the summer, so I could pick between traveling to Jamaica, Bali, Spain, or Guatemala. Each trip offered a different selection of classes, trips, schedules, and opportunities, and I wanted to experience them all. Ultimately, I decided Spain was the right trip for me! It allowed me the chance to complete two classes (Multicultural Counseling and Group Counseling), live with a host family, spend my weekends traveling, AND practice my Spanish skills! It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!

It’s been about nine months now since my classmates and I traveled to Spain. While there, we stayed in Spain’s capital city of Madrid, where we lived with different host families throughout the city, rode the metro to class everyday, and spoiled ourselves with countless Spanish tapas and pastries. Outside of class, we explored the many plazas, parks, and museums all over Madrid, and of course we ventured over to other Spanish cities as well! A few friends and I spent time discovering Granada and Sevilla in Andalucía in southern Spain, Toledo in Castilla La Mancha (south of Madrid), and Segovia in Castilla-y-Leon (north of Madrid). It was absolutely amazing!

It’s hard to fully describe the amazing experience I had studying in Spain—I fell in love with the people, the culture, and the lifestyle. I learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, how to relate with individuals from different cultures, and how to appreciate what someone else’s perspectives can teach me. I really believe that my experience abroad has helped me in my classes since, and will be of great use to me as I move on into my professional life as a counselor.

Just to give you a taste of the many wonderful, incredible things that I had the opportunity to see in Spain, check out some of my favorite pictures:

Juliana 1

The Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Castilla-y-Leon, Spain

Juliana 2

The view of Toledo in Castilla-la-Mancha from just across the river. You can see the gigantic and absolutely breathtaking cathedral in the middle of the city!

Juliana 3

Another beautiful palace garden! This one was in the Alcazar in Sevilla, Andalucía.

Juliana 4

A beautiful garden in the Alhambra in Granada, Andalucía, in southern Spain.

Juliana 5

The gorgeous cathedral in Granada, Andalucía.

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