Rachel Medina
Marketing major, International Business and Spanish minor
Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Where are you studying abroad, and why did you choose this destination?
I am studying abroad in Alcalá de Henares through Butler’s Faculty-Led Semester in Spain. I knew I wanted to study abroad in Spain ever since I first visited five years ago. I loved the history and culture and wanted to return for an entire semester. The program fits well with my academic plans and goals. I also loved that this program is close to Madrid and that I get to live with a host family.

What did you enjoy most about being abroad?
The best part about studying abroad is that I can do everything in Spanish. I’ve done most of my travel within Spain, which has been a great way to get to know the different regions’ unique cultures. I’m participating in an internship class and have had many experiential learning opportunities. I attended a networking event, toured a Zara logistics center, and recorded a radio segment with my classmates while visiting the Alcalá radio station. Overall, I love that this program prioritizes an immersive experience that will help me in the future.

What have you discovered about yourself from your study abroad experience?
Most importantly, I’ve gained a much clearer vision of my hopes for the future. It has made me more confident in my academic and career choices and has opened me up to new possibilities. Over the semester, I have become much more willing to do things that intimidate me (like solo traveling!).

What surprised you most about your study abroad experience?
Each day is different. I never really know what to expect, so I am surprised every day. I’ve learned to be more flexible and adapt to new routines. Also, I knew the public transportation was excellent, but I was still surprised by how easy and inexpensive it is to travel around Spain.

What advice would you give to Butler students who are considering studying abroad?
I encourage every Butler student to study abroad. Challenging yourself is essential to the college experience, and studying abroad has helped me grow in many ways. Be courageous and believe in yourself. There is much to explore, and studying abroad will undoubtedly open you up to new experiences. Ultimately, just do it!