Navigating a New Country
Compiled by Madison Schulman
This semester, we’re following three Endicott Gulls on study abroad and internship experiences across the globe. Read the first dispatch here.
In this second installment, we asked the students about any new discoveries they’ve made since their last update, and if they’re experiencing any homesickness. We also asked how they’re balancing their academic studies with life abroad, if they’ve made any local friends, and what their favorite food and activities are so far.
Cat Montgomery ’23—Madrid, Spain
With just one month behind me in Madrid, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the surrounding cultures. I’m the only American at my internship site, which can pose some challenges. However, it’s also broadened my horizons beyond belief. I’m finally warming up to my Spanish-speaking abilities, and while nearly everyone in the office knows some level of English, I try to utilize my skills while I’m here—there’s no better place to do it.
My favorite part about living in Spain so far has been the ability to freely and safely walk around the city. Solo adventures have become healing for me, and I find enjoyment in my daily strolls and metro rides to work. I’ll grab a coffee on the way, maybe a croissant to go, and then meet up with the rest of my team in the office. I work with people from around the world. My closest coworkers include Bolivia, the Netherlands, and Paris natives. I’m constantly meeting new people and exposing myself to new cultures and ideas, which is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to travel abroad again.
Besides the city life, I also love the food culture. As someone who was usually always among the first people to enter Callahan for an early dinner, I’m proud of myself for adjusting as easily as I have. Dinner here starts around 7:30 p.m., but some eat as late as 10 p.m. Beforehand, though, is when Spaniards enjoy “tapas,” or “small plates,” usually out at a bar with friends. So far I’ve enjoyed ham croquettes, patatas bravas (potatoes, galore!), wine spritzers, and various kinds of salads. Essentially, I’ve learned that Spaniards love their potatoes and their ham—that’s all you really need to know!
Jaylin Couto ’24—Florence, Italy
I’ve now been in Italy for over a month and it’s been such a great experience! Since my last update, I'm really starting to get the hang of the streets and am able to tell where I am a lot easier. I use navigation a little less to get to my classes and definitely know where a lot more things are located. Balancing life abroad with my studies at Endicott has been easy because the class schedule isn't as strict as I thought it would be—for example, I don't have classes on Fridays, so that makes traveling a lot easier, and on Mondays my first class is at 1 p.m., so it definitely helps when my friends and I want to explore more of Europe.
I've recently been to Pisa, which was so cool. I've always wanted to see the leaning tower of Pisa, which was definitely leaning! I also visited Greece, which was absolutely amazing. I loved all the Greek food and the views were stunning. I also have a trip planned to Budapest this weekend, which I'm really excited about. Then, in November, I'm planning to go to Paris! I’m having a great time and I'm still in awe that I'm here and so grateful that I get to have this experience!
Olivia Reddish ’23—Cork, Ireland
I’ve settled into Cork for a little over a month now and it’s great! Since traveling is easier than last year, I have a lot of trips booked—checking many places off my bucket list. We just returned from a busy weekend visiting Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. Traveling from city to city in Europe is very convenient with all the trains. I haven’t been too homesick yet because I have been so busy with internships, classes, and hanging out with friends. I do miss my family and friends, but it helps knowing I have some visitors coming near Thanksgiving time. It is a little tricky balancing the courses, internship, and being abroad, but I am managing so far.
There’s a little burger place called “Son of a Bun.” It’s known to have the best burgers, and they do! Cork also has so many coffee shops, which are great places to do homework for a change of scenery. I’ve made friends with some of the people from my internship and we get together after work, which is cool because everyone is from different parts of the world! One of my favorite activities in Cork has to be shopping—the city has so many great stores. I’m looking forward to doing more activities around Ireland, such as visiting Blarney Castle, Shandon Bells, and some museums in Cork. Overall, everything is great and Cork is starting to feel like a second home.