The Benefits of an Abroad Program

Hi prospective students. My name is Carlos and I am currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. I wrote an early post in October introducing myself and explaining my abroad program in Madrid, I encourage you to read that to get some background information.

In this post I want to share more about my experience with the Universidad Pontifica Comillas – ICADE program and why I think the program has been great. I have also heard from a number of students that they plan on skipping the abroad experience to travel Europe in the summer or after graduation. While I think traveling Europe during those times is exciting and memorable, it doesn’t come close to living abroad for an extend period of time. You glean so much more from your experience by living in a foreign country and learning their culture firsthand.

You are able learn about their culture in very different ways. For example, if you were to travel to Spain on your “Euro-Trip” you’d probably visit Madrid and Barcelona. Two of the most touristy locations on earth. You don’t realize that you miss out on the real beauty and culture of the country. A few weeks ago my program took us on an excursion for the weekend in the Spanish autonomous community (more or less a state) of Extremadura.We were gone Friday through Sunday and visited four cities that I had never heard of and would have never seen had I not been on this program. We visited Guadalupe, Mérida, Cáceres, and Trujillo. These cities were absolutely phenomenal and the excursion was my favorite travel experience thus far…yes, even better than Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, and Prague. The cities aren’t tourist attractions and I was really able to enjoy the churches and castles that we visited. The cities were also small so we had the opportunity to eat in small, local restaurants and walk around and visit the local markets. Below are some pictures from the sites we visited.


If you are really wanting to travel any part of the world then there is no doubt that studying there is the best option. You reap the benefits of learning the culture, meeting locals and establish long lasting friendships, and, of course, having the opportunity to travel the area and experience new places your friends may never see!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at cacruz@wharton.upenn.edu

Hasta Luego,

Carlos