This past summer I went on a USC Viterbi Summer Abroad Program. I spent two months in Madrid, Spain, and it was one of my favorite experiences at USC thus far. As an engineer, though it is possible to study abroad, I didn’t want to spend an entire semester away from USC. This program is a great compromise to get the study abroad experience without missing out on the school-year experience.
The program takes 30 USC Engineers and a few USC professors giving students an opportunity to knock out USC credits abroad. The destinations change each year; this summer the two trips will take place in London, England and Paris, France. Through the program I met some awesome USC students, many of whom are now my best friends. I think that living in a foreign country together bonds individuals in a unique way. All the students on the program were spread out around the city in apartments of five or six.
Because we were all over the city, we were forced to explore the city to meet up with each other. I lived near the historic part of town and loved walking around and seeing all the monuments. I absolutely fell in love with Madrid, and I am set on going back one day.
The program also had planned field trips that made us travel all over Spain and let us experience Spanish life outside of Madrid. We travelled to Segovia, Salamanca, Granada, and Avila just to name a few destinations.
Not only did I meet new USC students on the trip, I also met some locals in Madrid. These friends showed me around the city and gave me a unique glimpse into Madrid’s culture. One of the most difficult things for me to get used to was the different time schedule that Madrilenos run on. Siestas and late nights turn Madrid into a night city. The food, the language, the way of living, all culminates into a different experience that is jarring, but invaluable to learn from. For any engineer considering studying abroad but is having trouble fitting it into your class schedule, I would really recommend embarking on this amazing experience!