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Bruins Abroad -- Spain

Anna Arrick and Halle Hausman
Anna Arrick and Halle Hausman

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 This summer, a number of Belmont student-athletes spent some time overseas taking part in Belmont's Study Abroad Program.   

Throughout the summer, Belmont Athletics will highlight the experiences of our student-athletes as they encounter and engage with new landscapes, cultures, and peoples.

Our next reflection is by Anna Arrick, a rising junior on the women's cross country/track and field teams.  During the months of June and July, she was among several Belmont students who studied in Spain. 


Where did you study abroad this summer?

Valladolid, Spain              


What classes did you take?  

Spanish Language and Culture


What was your favorite memory?

The weekend trips were definitely the highlight. Our weekend trip to Gijón was so fun. Gijón is on the north coast of Spain, so we were by the ocean which is always a highlight for me. We spent time at the beach, ate great food and explored the city. That trip was our last long weekend all together before the majority of people left to go home, and it was the perfect end to our time in Spain together. 


Is there a specific place that you would go back and visit?  If so, where and why?

I would love to go back to Madrid and even live there for a little while. It's a really cool city with so much to do. It is very diverse but the rich culture is also very evident which I really enjoy. 


What was the thing that surprised you the most about the culture and surroundings?  

The laid back culture was the biggest surprise during my time in Spain. People don't arrive places very promptly, our teachers were very forgiving, and the shops in the city closed from around 2pm to 5pm each day. It was relaxing to live in that kind of environment and made my stay there even more enjoyable.               


How was the food?  What was your favorite meal?  

The food was fabulous! My host mom made us every meal each day and she was an amazing cook. Paella, a traditional Spanish dish, had to be my favorite whether it was made at home or at a restaurant. 


After being overseas for this period of time, what did you miss most about "home" (U.S.)?

Honestly, I think I missed air conditioning the most. Most, if not all, of the host homes did not have air conditioning, and this is pretty common. Our school building also didn't have air conditioning, so when the temperatures got high it was rough. Coming back to the U.S. and living in an air conditioned home has been very, very nice. 


Would you recommend other Belmont student-athletes (or students) go on this trip?  

I definitely recommend others go on this study abroad trip. The fact that I earned so many credits while getting to see a lot of places is awesome. I learned so much about the cultures in different parts of Spain through different weekend trips as well as living in the same city for an extended amount of time. Also, the teachers at the University we took classes at were so helpful in their methods of teaching. I felt as though I was constantly being taught relevant cultural information from a Spanish native- a perspective that I don't hear from often. It was a constant learning experience and the people I got to be with made it so fun!