Cedarville, Ohio, is home to our lovely University, two coffee shops downtown, a nature reserve, and much more. But that isn’t all you can do with your 1,000 days: Cedarville offers a number of study abroad opportunities that could take you almost anywhere in the world for a semester. This past fall I was able to spend a few months in Valencia, Spain, and I absolutely loved it! Here are a few reasons why you should consider it too.
- New Culture & People
The United States is composed of many different cultures, peoples, and languages, but living in another country is an immensely rewarding cultural experience. The changes can be surprising. In Spain, dinner time is at 9 or 10 p.m. every night! It took a while for me to get used to this schedule, but Spanish people are so sociable and hospitable that many of my favorite memories came from these crazy, late-night meals. All of Valencia takes a siesta every afternoon. I was thrown off at first since everything was closed for a few hours, but I quickly began to appreciate the time of rest — you’ll definitely need it if you’re going to stay up as late as Spaniards do! I stayed with a wonderful host family, which allowed me to live closely and intimately in the culture. Sharing meals, going on walks, and watching soccer matches were all times for me to get to know my host family and Spain better.
2. Get to Know Another Language
It’s not easy to go live in another country; speaking and thinking in a different language only add to the challenge. But speaking Spanish for a semester added to my time in Spain. I was able to apply my years of learning and pick up the language quickly. Speaking another language is an incredibly valuable tool that can help any occupation, so even if you’re not going to Spain, learning another language is one of the biggest benefits of studying abroad!
3. Travel Internationally
Traveling in Europe is affordable — once you make it across the Atlantic, your options are many. In Spain, I had a four-day school week, which meant I was able to travel all over the country and internationally during my three-day weekends and breaks. Between my own adventures and the trips we took with other students, I was able to see much of Spain’s Mediterranean coast and travel to France and Italy. Hostels are safe, convenient, and helped me knock off places like the Colosseum from my bucket list.
4. Appreciate Cedarville Better
Cedarville may not have the Colosseum or border the Mediterranean, but it is a special place, home to so much that I love. Taking a semester to see another part of the world made me love chapel, one-on-ones in Chuck’s, and the intentional community of this school more. We have 1,000 days as Cedarville students — why not take some of them and go see another part of the world?