Interview with Danielle Boyd

Where did you go?
I spent a semester in Seville, Spain which in in the southern part of the country.

What made you choose this GO trip?
I really wanted to experience Spanish culture to the fullest. Studying in Seville allowed me to stay with a host family that didn’t speak a word of English along with experiencing some of the country’s biggest cultural events. Since I was there in the spring, I was able to experience Holy week and the April Fair which are both HUGE events in Spain, especially in Seville. People from all over the world flock to Seville for these events so being able to see how the city prepares for these events was amazing.

What is one of the most memorable things you did on your trip?
One of my favourite trips was when I went to the Swiss alps. Switzerland itself was amazing, but being surrounded by something as impressive as the alps made me realize just how immense the world is and what a small place I occupy. It was definitely one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had and one that’s impossible to put into words

Was it difficult adjusting to a different culture? Especially one where English isn’t the first language?
I think there’s always difficulties when adjusting to a new culture. I definitely missed my family and friends at first, but living in a foreign culture, especially one that doesn’t speak English, can really be an eye-opening experience. Once you get through the phase of missing home, it’s easy to notice things that are different and appreciate them. One really great thing about studying abroad is that it challenges you to see things as people from other parts of the world do.

Would you change anything about your trip?
One of the reasons I love traveling is that every trip takes on a life of its own. Although I enjoyed some parts of my time abroad more than others I wouldn’t change any of it. Even the negatives like having my credit card stolen helped me learn how to survive on my own which is something I’ll always carry with me. So no, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Would you go back to Morocco? Spain?
I loved being in both places. I definitely see myself going back to both one day, but for now I know I want to see other parts of the world. Traveling to Morocco made me realize that the world is never what you’d expect and it can take you places you’d never expect. I was nervous when I first traveled outside the US, but after coming back to he US I realized it was something I loved. My time in Europe inspired me to travel to southeast Asia this past winter which resulted in me getting my first full-time job in Taiwan.

What advice do you have for someone traveling abroad?
Don’t always do what feels comfortable. I think a lot of people travel to and study in places like London because there’s a certain level of familiarity. But the most rewarding experiences I’ve had abroad are from places that I never thought I’d travel to. Places like Morocco, Turkey, and Thailand where the cultures are drastically different were the places that I felt most impacted by. Don’t say no to a place just because there’s a language barrier or because it’s further away from the US.

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