GDF Inspire Scholars Abroad: Kelly
Kelly, Garden of Dreams Talent Show alumna and 2016 Inspire Scholarship recipient, had an unforgettable experience studying abroad for six weeks this summer in Salamanca, Spain. A junior at James Madison University studying Nursing and Medical Spanish, Kelly, from GDF partner Make-A-Wish New Jersey, took three classes at the Universidad de la Salamanca that were all taught in Spanish. Most of her professors spoke no English, so Kelly said there was a learning curve at first, but it really helped improve her overall confidence with the language.
Immersing herself in the culture right away, Kelly admired how charming the city was and how welcoming the people were. Kelly said the transition of being in a new city and living with a host family was a little overwhelming at first, but soon enough she felt at home.
Kelly’s weekends consisted of side trips to surrounding Spanish cities such as Cantabria, Madrid, Granada, and Seville. On a free weekend, she had the opportunity to travel to Lisbon, Portugal with friends and it quickly became another favorite city.
Kelly’s advice to other students considering studying abroad is to “be open-minded and challenge yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do at home. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes communicating. Remember to be grateful while you’re there and don’t stress the little things.”
When reflecting on her trip, Kelly said, “I feel proud to call Salamanca my home, and I am so thankful to have had the chance to grow and experience something as amazing as this, while still pursuing my education. I even desire to return to Spain to live there again at some point in the future and that would not have happened if I hadn’t studied abroad.” We wish Kelly the best of luck in her junior year of college and beyond!