Stories & Commentaries

There Is No Other Experience Like Studying Abroad

In an interview, a Pacific Union College business student shares about her experience studying in Spain this school year through Adventist Colleges Abroad.

ACA student studies in Spain during the 2023-2024 school year

Pacific Union College business student Olivia Newman has been spending her junior year studying in Spain through Adventist College Abroad. Growing up in Belleville, Michigan, she dreamed of studying abroad since high school. The thought of traveling and appreciating a different culture excited her. From the beautiful architecture in Spain and her goal of improving in the Spanish language, Olivia chose to study at Campus Adventista de Sagunto. 

How are your classes and learning Spanish going for you?

The classes are great! I love every one of my professors. I had a lot of practice with Spanish before coming, which definitely helped. However, it is not a requirement. I was able to apply what I know in real-life scenarios, and I’m now more confident speaking in Spanish than when I first arrived. 

What does a typical day for you there look like?

A typical day for me involves waking up a little before 8 am and heading down to breakfast around 8:30. Core classes (grammar, composition, and conversation) start at 8:50. We have a small break before the last class and finish at 11:50. This is when elective classes start (I took flamenco, bible, and art). I eat lunch at 1:30 and dinner at 6:45. Depending on the day, I may use this time to go on a run and get coffee, take a nap, do homework, or hang out with my friends. In the evenings, there’s volleyball and soccer a couple of times a week that you can participate in. 

What cities have you visited so far?

In just 10 weeks, I was able to travel to several places. I visited Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Toledo, Malaga, and Segovia in Spain. Beyond the Spanish borders, I traveled to London, Vienna, Lisbon, and Milan.

What have been your favorite things so far about studying abroad?

My favorite things about studying abroad are connecting with new people, experiencing a new lifestyle, traveling, and growing. 

What would you say to someone interested in ACA?

To those contemplating studying abroad: Go!! There is truly no other experience like it. Not studying abroad is something you risk regretting for the rest of your life. If you go, you’ll make lifelong memories.

Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) is a consortium of Seventh-day Adventist Colleges and Universities in North America and Australia which operates under the auspices of the Office of Education of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists located in Columbia, Maryland. Many "home" colleges and universities currently consortium members send students abroad through ACA. Each home university in the U.S. and Canada has an ACA coordinator that is the local point of contact for ACA matters. To learn more, click here.