¡España, aquí vengo!

Greetings, USF Going Places readers!

My name is Brittany McKenzie, and I am a Master of Social Work student here at USF. I am currently preparing for my trip to Alicante and Granada for a faculty-led study abroad program. I have wanted to travel to Spain ever since taking my undergraduate Spanish courses and learning more about the language and culture. I was so excited that I began my academic career at USF just in time for the first study abroad trip to Spain since 2019; I signed up without hesitation. I am grateful for the generosity of Dr. Genshaft and Mr. Greenbaum and to the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences for helping make this dream a reality. I intend to spend the upcoming two weeks soaking up as much information about Spanish culture and international social work as possible.

Group photo taken during the pre-departure orientation session.

On Monday, May 2nd, our group met at USF to review the itinerary and discuss everything from Spanish history to fashion tips. It seemed like we were all experiencing a combination of anxiety and excitement, including our faculty leadership who hadn’t been able to lead a trip abroad for a few years due to the pandemic. We listened intently as they described the various activities: tours of the University of Alicante School of Social Work and the Cruz Roja (Red Cross), a visit with the Centro Especialidad de Atención a los Mayores, days of service in the community, and many others. We will also spend two days in Granada, where we will visit the Alhambra and see a Flamenco show. We learned about the differences in dining between the U.S. and Spain: small breakfasts, large lunches followed by a siesta, and late dinners. We even heard stories from students who had participated in the study abroad in previous years. By the end of the day, we were all in a group chat sharing packing advice and making plans for our free time abroad.

My suitcase is packed and my passport is ready for its first stamp!

Our trip begins in a few days with an afternoon arrival in the beautiful port city of Alicante, located on Spain’s southeastern Costa Blanca (White Coast). Upon arrival, we will meet our host families and ¡comenzamos nuestra vida en españa (we start our life in Spain)!

Stay tuned for more!

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