Meet JAKE - SYA SPAIN 2020

Two SYA Spain high school abroad students smile at the camera


Jake smiles at the camera wearing a blue shirt and tie, he has brown hair
Extracurriculars Abroad:  Basketball,  ultimate frisbee
Favorite SYA Class:  Sociology with Antonio 
Favorite Food in France: My host Mom's paella
School You Attend: Carnegie Mellon, studying business analytics and Spanish


Jake on Why he Attended SYA!


Q: How SYA impacted your college application process 

A: SYA was a huge factor in my college application process. The majority of my essays were written about my experience at SYA, and I know that this definitely had a positive impact on my admissions results. Even today, when a possible employer notices my abroad experience on my resume, it is still just as impressive as it was three years ago. SYA students and alums have a leg up on the rest of the competition in any application process, and I am definitely thankful to have been able to experience this.


Group of SYA Spain high school abroad students stand in a group and smile at the camerai

How SYA Changed Jake!


Q: One of your favorite host family memories

A: My favorite memory is making paella with my host mom. I am not a naturally talented chef, but I truly loved learning from her. She must have tried to teach me the recipe fifteen times (and again this past summer when I visited Spain on holiday), and each time I got slightly better. Even though my paella still doesn’t taste anything like hers, I always smile when I think about those cooking lessons.


Large group of SYA Spain high school abroad students exploring a palace

Classes at SYA Spain



Q: What did you learn abroad that surprised you 

A: The most important thing that I learned at SYA was how to overcome my fears. Leaving my family and my highschool seemed very daunting at first, but I very quickly began to love my life at SYA. I was also pushed harder than ever at SYA, which I believed helped me more than anything. Something like interviewing a stranger in the street in a foreign language would have been impossible prior to my SYA experience, but now it feels like second nature.


Several SYA Spain high school students abroad sit in a boat during fieldwork

Most Memorable Experience Outside of the Classroom