Growing up in an international environment, I was exposed to numerous cultures, traditions, races, and languages, and thereby grew to love the concept of unity and internationalism from an early age. I spent the years that defined me most – my pre-teens and teens – at an American school with students and teachers from all over the world. As a result, most of my friends were from multiple places around the globe.
I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I was around fifteen years old. Everything just seemed so normal to me beforehand since despite the different upbringings and different backgrounds, the difference in cultures, traditions, and beliefs never happened to come in the way of my friendships. And when it came to academics, cultural differences between the teachers, students, and the school system, hardly ever came in the way of our learning, if it ever truly did. Once I noticed how privileged I was to grow and learn among people from countless nationalities, I knew that I would want to go to a university that could somewhat replicate that scenario.
So why Spain?
Through my college search, I kept three things in mind, being the most important to me, respectively. One – recognition of the International Baccalaureate; two – high employability rates post graduation; and three – a wide range of nationalities among the student body and hence easy integration of international students.
As I studied in an American school since the age of ten, I was initially drawn to only apply to universities in the United States; and the thought of applying to anywhere in Europe was almost non-existent. However, I still wanted to ensure that it was what I truly wanted, so I attended a summer college course for Graphic Design in upstate New York before the beginning of senior year. From then on, I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted, at least not right after graduating high school. Therefore I decided to widen my options and deepen my research. I began attending more university events and conferences in and out of school and began meeting with various university representatives.
As I had some friends who were already university students, I asked for their opinions as well, considering both academic and emotional aspects. Furthermore, the idea Spain came along as a friend of mine, residing in Spain, described her life there and the intensity of her program. Through further research, I learned that several universities in Spain emphasize on an innovative approach to teaching, which aids the position of their business and communications programs among global rankings; as those betwixt the best in Spain itself also happen to be among the best in Europe and around the world.
University life in Spain has also become increasingly known for attracting (and recruiting) international students, only deepening my interests to study in the country. Aside from academic and emotional considerations, tuition in Europe (generally) is less expensive than in the United States.