Niki’s Summer season Overseas with AIFS in Salamanca

Have you ever ever puzzled what it’s wish to research overseas in Salamanca, Spain? This charming metropolis in northern Spain has a lot to supply school college students concerned about a worldwide schooling expertise, and we occur to supply packages there all yr spherical! We lately caught up with Niki, an AIFS Alumni Ambassador and a Fairfield College pupil who spent a summer season overseas in Salamanca for the expertise of a lifetime. She shared just a little bit about what a typical day in her life is like with the hopes that it’ll encourage potential college students to take the leap and do it, too.

Getting the within scoop from alumni about their time overseas will help inform your resolution! Hear from Niki about her each day experiences in Salamanca.

Morning Routine

Rise and shine! Waking up within the Golden Metropolis isn’t like waking up for sophistication on your own home college’s campus. As your ft will hit the ground, you’ll be met with beautiful views of 4th century buildings outdoors your window and the sounds of individuals strolling the cobblestone streets. In Niki’s case, she acquired up round 8:00 AM in her homestay, as she lived with a host household throughout her summer season research overseas program.

“Breakfast is a household affair with my Señor and Señora. At round 8:30 within the morning, we might all sit down collectively and speak about what we have been going to do this day whereas consuming breakfast. Breakfast there was often on the smaller aspect, consisting of a muffin or a bit of toast together with a pot of espresso or tea.”

However wait, isn’t breaking bread with a household you’ve simply met just a little robust with language limitations? Not for Niki!

“[Our host family was] extremely heat and welcoming. They went out of their method to make sure that we felt snug and at residence… Regardless of the language barrier (since they solely spoke Spanish), communication was by no means a difficulty. The truth is, it was a wonderful alternative for us to immerse ourselves within the Spanish language and tradition. Our hosts have been affected person and understanding, all the time prepared to assist us discover the best phrases after we acquired caught in a dialog even when it meant taking part in charades.”

College Life

After beginning the time out proper with a hearty breakfast that’s conventional to Salamanca, it’s time to enterprise to class! As a college city full of scholars from all around the world, you’ll make your method to the College of Salamanca alongside different college students — each native and worldwide. On the subject of lessons, Niki shares:

“After breakfast, my roommate and I might head to the Universidad de Salamanca for lessons from 9:00 am to midday. I took 2 lessons — one which was 2 hours lengthy and one which was 1 hour lengthy. The lessons have been each actually entertaining and I feel that they significantly helped me enhance my Spanish-speaking abilities. I additionally met plenty of buddies within the college who have been additionally overseas and from quite a lot of totally different international locations which was actually attention-grabbing.

My programs in Salamanca offered a singular perspective on my discipline of research. Interacting with professors and college students from totally different backgrounds broadened my horizons and enhanced my educational progress.”

University of Salamanca in Spain
College of Salamanca

After Class Adventures

Who wouldn’t love just a little pick-me-up after an extended morning of placing the “research” in “research overseas”? It’s the right time to collect along with your new buddies and meander by way of town to your favourite native spots. Niki’s post-class routine included grabbing a conventional Spanish pastry with others on her program and making reminiscences collectively:

“Publish-classes, it’s time to roam the streets of Salamanca. A go to to a close-by bakery is a should—candy pastries, anybody? This was the everyday routine for me and my buddies we might all the time go to this one little bakery within the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca the place we might all the time strive one thing new. Then we might stroll across the city and discover earlier than it was time to return to our host households for lunch. Whether or not it’s exploring markets, boutiques, or simply chilling within the park, each second is an opportunity to soak within the native vibes.”

Lunch and Host Household Bonding

You will have heard of the Spanish custom of “siesta.” Whereas Individuals have a tendency to consider this as a time to take a nap (and a few do!), it’s extra ceaselessly used as a break through the day to reconnect with household over lunch. If you dwell with a number household throughout your research overseas expertise like Niki did in Salamanca, you’ll discover this a part of the day extremely significant, do you have to reap the benefits of it.

“Round 1:30 pm, my roommate and I [would] head again to the homestay for lunch. Greater than only a meal, it’s a possibility to attach with our host household.”

Afternoon Tapas

A staple in Spanish tradition, tapas are small plates that should be shared and loved amongst buddies with a drink. Grabbing tapas within the late afternoon is a good way for research overseas college students to strive new issues and dabble in native delicacies alongside locals. It’s not only a method to seize a snack — it’s a method to join.

“Round 4:00 PM, Salamanca gears up for tapas. My buddies and I had one favourite tapas restaurant despite the fact that we explored plenty of totally different ones. This tapas restaurant had quite a lot of small sandwiches and appetizers together with our favorites their potatoes. We’d often hang around on the tapas restaurant for some time earlier than going for a stroll.”

tapas in spain
Tapas in Spain


In Spanish tradition, dinner is a bit later than what we’re used to in the US. It’s not unusual for Spanish households and locals to eat wherever between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM! Whereas this may be an adjustment for research overseas college students, Niki noticed the silver lining throughout her summer season in Salamanca:

“It wasn’t lengthy earlier than it was time for supper at 8:00 PM the place I might inform my host household about my day and ask them about theirs. This was an excellent probability to get to know them and likewise follow my Spanish.

[Food] was extra than simply sustenance; it was a window into Spanish tradition and delicacies. From paella to churros, we savored each chew and realized the significance of meals in Spanish each day life.”

Reflecting on the Expertise

Doing a research overseas program might be life-changing. Now that she’s a member of the AIFS Overseas alumni neighborhood, Niki can mirror on the affect of her summer season in Salamanca.

“Learning overseas might be intimidating, nevertheless it’s a transformative expertise that’s nicely definitely worth the preliminary challenges. My time in Salamanca taught me that with willpower and an open thoughts, you may overcome any impediment and benefit from this unimaginable alternative. By embracing the unknown, I not solely improved my Spanish language abilities but in addition gained a deeper understanding of the world and myself. So, if you happen to’re contemplating finding out overseas in Salamanca or wherever else, I wholeheartedly encourage you to make the leap. It’d simply be essentially the most rewarding journey of your life.”

Able to take the leap and research overseas? We’d love that will help you begin your journey!

Right here at AIFS Overseas, we all know a factor or two about serving to school college students and pre-professionals research and intern overseas. Our packages are extremely inclusive, which takes plenty of the stress out of planning. From coordinating your housing to offering issues like cultural and social actions, excursions, complete insurance coverage, 24/7 emergency help, on-site workers, and extra, you’ll take consolation in figuring out you’ll have help all through your complete expertise overseas.

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