Study Abroad Spotlight: Alexandria Symanski
Name: Alexandria Symanski
ECE student classification: Junior
Major: Computer Engineering
Why did you want to study abroad?
I wanted to study abroad so that I could get out of my comfort zone. I grew up in a small secluded community in Illinois and I wanted to experience a different pace of life.
Where did you study abroad? Why did you choose this location/program?
I studied abroad at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. I chose Madrid because throughout high school and college I had been studying the Spanish language and culture and wanted the opportunity to experience it first hand.
On of the coolest things I did was go to the convents in Seville to buy pastries and other treats from nuns. This was one of the more authentic, less touristy, parts of the culture I got to experience. At one of the convents the nuns are supposed to avoid contact with other people so to order your sweets you essentially talk to a lazy Susan and the nun spins the treats out to you and you spin the money back to her. Some of the best pasties I've ever had!
What you learned—either about yourself or the culture you’re living in.
I learned how much I've taken for granted how smoke free the US is. It was a shock to me that so many people smoke in Spain/Europe, even a lot of people my age.
Would you suggest study abroad for other ECE students? Why?
I think it depends on the student. I put in a lot of hard work regarding my academic scheduled so that I could study abroad. It's paid off for me, and I think students who are confident they want to study abroad should pursue it.