Hello from Spain! Well, actually from Bakersfield since I’ve been back for about a week, but you get the idea. For 7 weeks this summer I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain through the Viterbi Overseas Program! The way the program works is 30-40 USC Viterbi students all study abroad in a city in Europe. Students take two classes that count toward engineering degrees and are taught by Viterbi faculty. The Viterbi staff plans weekend excursions for the students to explore the country and students also have free weekends where they can explore Europe on their own.
In case you can’t tell by my Instagram, I loved it! It was literally the best 7 weeks of my life. Not only did I get to explore the amazing country of Spain, but I also got to meet some of the coolest people that I never would have met without this program. And knocking out 2 classes (Thermodynamics and Advanced Writing) wasn’t too bad either. I’ll just hit the highlights of my trip for now because you can be sure that I will be nonstop talking about #ViterbiAbroad for the next year (or until my next abroad adventure).
This was on the first day of our overnight trip to Valencia! Valencia is a city on the Northeastern coast of Spain. It had some of the most interesting and beautiful architecture I have ever seen. You don’t really think of Spain as a place with futuristic architecture, but Valencia marries the futuristic with the classic Spanish!
Everyone in our program got really close, but due to our college student budgets we started having dinners at people’s apartments instead of going out all the time. Our family dinners are some of my best memories. We had one on my birthday and it ended up being the best birthday I’ve ever had. Even though I was away from my friends and family during my 20th, my abroad family made it just as special!
One weekend we took a day trip to Segovia, Spain where the famous Roman aqueducts are! The views were incredible and the tour guides were great at explaining the history of the city. A famous dish in Segovia is one where they serve a 3 week old (or less) pig to you and cut it with a plate to show you how tender it is… It’s tradition to break the plate after cutting the pig with it!
I Brentered the U.K. the day after Brexit happened, and London was buzzing with the news! It was nice to be in a place where everyone spoke English and with Brexit happening, I actually read and watched the news a lot. I also found time to see most of the sights of London in the short time I was there (shout out to Budde for having A+ reccommendations from his #ViterbiAbroad summer there)! London was amazing and seeing the differences in culture between the U.K. and the U.S. was very interesting.
Fast forward to Maria, Hope, and I taking the metro to dinner for our last night in Madrid! The staff took us out to an amazing (and extremely delicious) dinner followed by a flamenco show afterwards. The night included lots of food, lots of kind words, and a few tears. Saying good bye to these people and this city was difficult but the best part about it is I’ll see everyone at USC in the fall and I’ll definitely be coming back to Madrid in the near future.
Now I’m back in California for 3 more weeks until I move into my sorority house in the middle of August! I plan to go to LA, hang out at the beach, camp with the abroad crew, and basically just chill out until then. Follow me on Instagram (@jamisonbria) to see my abroad adventures and keep up with what I’m doing for the rest of the summer!