Meet JAKE - SYA SPAIN 2020
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
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.
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.
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.