Study abroad ignites second-generation immigrant’s passion for Hispanic heritage

By Brandon G., University of Iowa and USAC Madrid Alum

Since I was little, I knew I was different. As a Latino-American with an immigrant father from Cuba, the Hispanic culture would have been thought to be an everyday occurrence in my life. Unfortunately, I was a part of thousands of second-generation immigrants who were assimilated to American culture so as not to be viewed as an outcast in society.

When the opportunity to study abroad presented itself, I remained indecisive for months before I realized it was something I needed to do to best take advantage of life while in college.

Both University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) and Madrid matched my interests and academic needs the best and I can confidently say for the first time in my life, I felt connected and embraced by a city.

The city is beautiful with plenty of things to do, everyone I came across was willing to help, and I was able to live freely. To make it simple, Madrid feels like home. Even after finishing the program, I am currently researching ways to return back to Spain while still fulfilling my career goals.

In my opinion, studying abroad is what you make of it, but no matter what, students will return from study abroad a better person. I don’t see any other experience matching what studying abroad has done for me and will continue to do for me in the future.

One last thing … ¡Hala Madrid!

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