My name is Hallie Young and I am a junior, currently studying abroad in Madrid for the fall semester!
While it’s true that my mother and my grandmother attended school here, I didn’t have any true intention of coming to St. Lawrence during high school. I gave my mom the courtesy of applying since she loved her experience so much. All I really knew was the weather was freezing and snowy, two things I am not a huge fan of! However, one visit to the campus changed my mind completely. During my stay, I could tell that there was something special about SLU, something that wasn’t at the other schools I had visited. It was a very tough decision between SLU and one other college. I ultimately chose SLU and haven’t regretted it for a second.
St. Lawrence has been an amazing experience for me. One of my favorite aspects is the small-campus atmosphere. SLU offers an abundance of opportunities to meet other students. I met a lot of my great friends through the First-Year Program and have loved playing on the tennis team! Also, I think SLU really gives students the chance to explore and what they’re interested in academically. I was not sure what I wanted to study when I entered my first-year. I had always had an interest in psychology, so hesitantly decided to pursue it as my major, along with a minor in Spanish. By the end of my freshman year, I thought why not major in Spanish too?
I have been taking Spanish since first grade, and by the time I entered high school, it was my favorite subject. During my junior year of high school, I travelled to Valencia, Spain for two weeks with a school program. I lived with a host family, which was terrifying at first, but ultimately very rewarding. During that trip, I realized that Spanish was a subject I wanted to pursue in college, and Spain was a place I wanted to return to in the future!
St. Lawrence has given me the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Madrid for the fall semester. It’s been some of the best three months of my life. I am living with a host family and taking classes all in Spanish! It has been an adjustment, but certainly a worthwhile one. While I learned a lot of Spanish in school, there is a crucial part of learning a language that you can’t get in a classroom. Being in Spain, surrounded by the people, the customs, and culture allows me to learn the language in an amazing new way. I am so lucky that St. Lawrence has such incredible programs in both Modern Languages and International Studies. Knowing another language is an advantage work-wise, and I hope that it opens up some doors for me in the future! I even think that Madrid might be a place I would like to live and work after college. St. Lawrence students should definitely take advantage of these programs to learn a language and study abroad. You won’t regret it!