Pirates Abroad: Bailey Olderog
Bailey Olderog (IES - Barcelona, Spain, Fall 2012) completed an online questionnaire, reflecting on her study abroad experience …
Bailey Olderog, a Junior Political Science major and Studio Art minor, studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain during the fall 2012 semester through IES. During the fifteen-week Liberal Arts and Business program, Bailey completed a full course load and an internship, and its associated seminar, all the while learning about a new culture and
improving her Spanish language skills.
Motivation for studying abroad: I wanted to study abroad for a variety of reasons. I wanted to learn about a culture that is different from my own, work on my Spanish language skills, push myself to do something that was scary to me, to learn more about
myself, and to have an adventure.
What courses did you take: Mediterranean Oceanography, Democracy in Western
Europe, Bandit and Mafia in the Mediterranean, Spanish: Advanced Grammar and
Usage, Internship Seminar (in Spanish) – weekly hour and a half seminar class on companies and differences in the culture of the workplace in the United States and Spain. This was accompanied by an internship which required eight hours of work per week until 100 total hours were completed. I personally worked at the Barcelona Bar Association (El Illustre Collegi D’Advocats de Barcelona) [an institution working to defend
the legal profession, as well as to foster its image, within society].
Comment on the living accommodations and other non-academic aspects of your program: my living situation was fantastic. I absolutely would not have changed a thing. My host mom was amazing, and likely was one of the most influential elements to my study abroad experience. So, for me personally, the program did a great job with my living accommodation. However, one thing I wish the program had done a better job on was to offer opportunities to interact with locals and local students.
Would you recommend participation in this program to other Southwestern students: I would definitely recommend this program. I enjoyed myself and learned a lot both in and out of the classroom during my time there. I would recommend being open to change and to not having a set syllabus for your courses, and to be open to whatever experiences come ones way.
What were your favorite local foods and beverages: the wine was absolutely
fantastic and incredibly cheap. I loved paella, patatas bravas, and the turrones desserts!
Did you have any humorous (or embarrassing) experiences with cultural (or linguistic) difference: I definitely had a few moments early on when I would get words
mixed up. For example, one night when I was trying to tell my host mom how excited I was to go out for my friend’s birthday that night, I told her that instead of being excited, that I was pregnant. She was a bit shocked until we got the confusion straightened out, at which point she could not stop laughing.