By Adonia Burciaga
Nakaylah Lopez studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain during the summer of 2022.
She was able to enroll in a Spanish course and explore Salamanca.
During the study abroad experience, Lopez stayed with a host family who only spoke Spanish.
“One of the Spanish courses I was enrolled in consisted of her engaging in conversation in Spanish during her class. The course was more structured where we had to bring out textbooks and have little lessons everyday,” said Lopez.
Lopez was able to explore Spain on the weekend with the cohort of students who were studying Spain.
The program coordinators had taken the students to visit different parts of Spain on the weekends, which were about an hour drive outside of Salamanca.
Lopez was able to save for this trip in a little under a year. “ I set aside $100 from my paycheck I earned from my part time job,” said Lopez.
Lopez said that she had always dreamed of visiting Japan, or being an international student.
She had never imagined herself studying abroad in Spain, but after taking the opportunity, she is glad she went.
The cost of living in Spain was very easy for Lopez to adapt to. “A coffee and a pastry was about two euros,” said Lopez.
There were a few times where she experienced uncomfortability. When she spoke English she would get stared at.
Being an Mexican-American in Spain was very hard for her because the Spainards were able to tell she wasn’t from Spain.
Lopez encourages students to take advantage of the study abroad program that East Los Angeles College offers.
“Do not be afraid to learn.Although you may be away from your family, it will be a great experience,” said Lopez.
Lopez had planned on studying abroad in Salamanca in 2020, but the program had been pushed back due to COVID. Lopez plans on studying abroad in Kyoto, Japan next summer.