Daniel Cardenas ’15, an Accounting major and transfer student, is spending five and a half weeks this summer in Seville, Spain, with a faculty-led study abroad program. While there, he’s taking a Cultural Foundations class from the St. Edward’s professor leading the trip, and he’s studying Spanish 3 at the Universidad Internacional de Menéndez Pelayo. Before heading to Spain, he spoke with us about transferring to St. Edward's and his study abroad plans.
Transferring to the Hilltop
I transferred from a large school to St. Edward's my sophomore year and changed my major to Accounting. It's a really demanding major, and I didn’t think I would be able to study abroad because I had to catch up with my major requirements. But the faculty-led programs make it possible.
I love all of the professors here. They’re awesome. Compared to bigger schools, it’s easier to learn with a professor when there's just 20 students in a class. That’s really helped me out. I appreciate experiencing the contrast between a large and small university. And I prefer St. Edward's much more. I feel like that’s another thing about St. Edward’s — there are a lot of transfer students here who come from bigger schools, and they like it better here.
Seizing an Opportunity
The professor who is leading this trip to Spain came to one of my classes to explain it to us, and the more she told us, the more I wanted to do it. I think a faculty-led program is the perfect option for me. The credits transfer, I know some of the students already, and I’ll meet new friends that I’ll see on campus when I get back. It’s the perfect length of time for me to be gone — not so long that I’ll get homesick, but long enough to have a really full experience.
I’ll to be living with a host family, and apparently they speak no English! I’ll be totally immersed in the culture, and it’s going to be fun. I’ve never been overseas before. We’ll also be going on an excursion to Africa.
I have a huge interest in Spain. My ancestors are from Spain. I’ve always wanted to go there; none of my family’s been, and I’ve heard it’s one of the best countries in Europe to visit. Immersion will force me to learn Spanish, which is my main goal with the program. Where better to learn Spanish than Spain? And I may never have another chance in my life to do this, so I should do it while I can.
My grandparents speak Spanish, and they’ve been hounding me since I was a little kid to learn it. I plan on surprising them when I get back — if I learn to speak well enough!