Preparing for the semester of a lifetime

Content via Sam Whitaker –

After a successful and enjoyable summer interning with the TJX Companies in Framingham, Massachusetts, it’s time to start an entirely new adventure. This semester, I’ll be studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. There’s no doubt it’s an interesting time to be in Europe, and Spain in particular. A member of the European Union, Spain has been experiencing some serious economic hardship with the crumbling of the EU’s monetary system. Just as in Greece and other parts of Europe, Spain’s unemployment rate is over 20%, considerably higher than that of the United States, which has been hovering around 8% for a while now.

Preparing to study abroad is a challenge in itself. Shopping, making sure you have all of the proper paperwork, and figuring out how to pack everything into two suitcases isn’t easy! Next week, I leave for Frankfurt, Germany, for one of Syracuse’s “Signature Seminars.” The seminars are standard for SU study abroad programs. This one in particular is for management students, beginning in Germany and visiting notable business institutions as we travel back to Madrid. Some of the visits include a stop at the European Union headquarters, as well as an afternoon at the Heineken factory in Amsterdam. We will also be stopping in Heidelberg (Germany), Paris, Brugge (Belgium), Bordeaux (France), and San Sebastian, Spain. This offers a great opportunity to not only visit some cool businesses, but also see some of Europe’s most beautiful cities – all in two weeks!

After the seminar, I’ll be spending the rest of the semester exploring Madrid and more of Europe. I’m making plans to visit London, Ibiza (an island off the coast of Spain), Germany, Prague, and hopefully Greece. Keep checking in to see pictures and hear stories of these experiences!

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