Meet Tatiana - SYA Spain 2018
How did you come to the decision to attend SYA?
Having gone to a small all girls school for 11 years, I was ready for a new experience. I wanted to challenge myself and go outside of my comfort zone.
What did you learn in your year abroad that surprised you?
I was surprised by how much self growth happens. I knew I would become more independent, but I didn’t know how much I would change as a person. You come out of your year with a new sense of compassion. You learn to truly appreciate people and their stories.
Do you have a particularly special host family moment?
I loved having dinner with my host family. My host mother or father would prepare the most delicious dinner and we would discuss our days around the table. We would laugh about silly things my host sister had said. We ate dessert as we watched Spanish television in the living room. Those dinners were where I felt most connected to my host family and where my Spanish most improved.
At SYA, the curriculum lives in and outside the classroom, what memorable educational experience did you have outside the classroom?
As you went about your life in Spain, you could feel the history surround you on the streets. In Pamplona, I sat in the café that Hemingway frequented and in San Sebastián I visited locations Hemingway mentioned in the book The Sun Also Rises. The Sun Also Rises was a novel we learned about in English class at SYA. Even though we thoroughly analyzed the novel in class, just by being in those specific places you gained a new appreciation for the literature. You felt connected to Hemingway’s personal experience.
How was your education at SYA different than at your high school?
At SYA everything you learn is applicable outside of the classroom. The teachers are so passionately invested in their lessons that the students become incredibly enthusiastic to learn, especially because they know everything explained is really important and useful information to know.
What advice would you give to someone who considering SYA?
It seems scary at first, but the SYA community is so loving. You form such close bonds with the students and faculty that the school itself feels like home. You all support each other to the extent that it isn’t scary anymore. After SYA, the bonds are still strong and the friendships formed always stay near your heart.
How did your year abroad change you?
My year abroad changed the way I see people. I realized that as cheesy as it sounds, my year abroad taught me that we’re all unique and special in our own ways, but we are also all equal and just as important as everyone else.
How did SYA impact your college application process?
SYA definitely strengthened my application. I wrote about some of my adventures in my common app essay.
To learn more about SYA Spain, check out the Spain Campus page.