Illinois Business Council

Study Abroad Sunday: Emily Rock

By Brigid McCann

1) Why did you choose to study abroad in Madrid, Spain?

My primary goal for studying abroad was to really improve my Spanish ability, and with the combination of how the course offerings fit with my schedule (and how beautiful the city is), Madrid was the perfect option!

2) What has been your most fun or interesting experience so far?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite experience, but my first weekend trip in Copenhagen was amazing! My family is Danish, so it was really cool to be with my people, and they also had hot dog and chocolate covered waffle vendors everywhere, so what’s not to love? Also, there were trampolines in the streets.

3) What is the most exotic food you have eaten?

I would not recommend fried pig ears… definitely more of a bacon gal, myself.

4) What is your favorite part of being abroad?

Aside from being able to see a different part of the world each weekend, I’ve really enjoyed adapting to the culture of Madrid and becoming more of a local than a tourist. Being involved with the school and improving my Spanish has been a really rewarding experience!

5) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while abroad?

Even though I love it here, it can be hard to be a foreign student. I’m taking an ethics class taught in Spanish, and 95 percent of the students are seniors from Madrid. I have a really tough time participating in class when these kids are spitting out 500 words per second and I understand about half on a good day. It’s a true adventure!

6) Do you have any funny stories from being abroad?

I’m pretty much a magnet for embarrassing events, and recently I became part of a street performance in Dublin. The dude had me limbo in front of a large crowd of people, which I would award myself about a 6/10 on execution, and then to upstage me, he lowered the bar…and then set it on fire…and then limboed without becoming incinerated. So, that’s basically just a day in the life for me.

Study Abroad Sunday: Emily Rock

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