Name: Maria Anthony
Location of Study: Alicante, Spain
Program of Study: CIEE Study Abroad
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Nanovic Institute for European Studies
A brief personal bio:
Hi there! My name is Maria Anthony, and I am a member of the University of Notre Dame Class of 2020. I am originally from South Bend, and I now live in Ryan Hall. I am majoring in Business and Spanish. My passions for travel, culture, and language were sparked at a young age from visits to various countries, from Mexico to Cambodia, and strengthened throughout my many years of Spanish classes and my brief time spent living with a family in Chile in seventh grade. I am so thrilled to be devoting this summer to improving my language skills and experiencing a new culture.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA Grant is imperative to both my future and my character development. As a current Spanish major, gaining exposure to native speakers is extremely important to my academic progress, as well as to my future success. Spending this summer in a language-intensive study abroad program will assist me in, primarily, obtaining the level of Spanish proficiency I desire so that I may eventually employ my business expertise in diverse areas of the world. While, as a freshman, I am still not sure what my career path will be or where I may live after graduation, I am sure that I want Spanish to be a part of my life somehow, and that this SLA Grant will help me attain this goal. However, the SLA Grant will promote more than just intellectual progress; I also expect to become more responsible, after organizing and navigating my travel and daily transportation for the first time in my life; more courageous, after being forced to leave my comfort zone to live with a new family, in a new place, speaking a new language; and, finally, more understanding, after learning the ways of a foreign culture and people.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
The two major goals I hope to achieve with my SLA Grant this summer are really rather simple, but absolutely invaluable. First, I expect that my Spanish skills will improve immensely. I already know with certainty that the most effective way to learn a language is to be completely immersed in it; after living as an exchange student in Chile for just ten weeks, I realized that my Spanish abilities, in comprehension, expression, reading, and writing, had developed more in that short time than they had throughout the rest of my years in a Spanish classroom. While my Spanish courses are obviously imperative to my progress, they are plainly incomparable to the growth promoted by constantly interacting with native speakers. My second, but equally important, expectation is a knowledge of and appreciation for the Spanish culture and people. I have heard about the “siestas”, the beaches, and the bullfights, but I want to learn about family traditions and neighborly customs. I do not want to be stuck imagining a society based on the stereotypes I gather from movies; I want to experience, for myself, the real attributes and practices that make the Spanish country distinct.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to converse naturally and easily with native Spanish speakers.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to read and write in Spanish with varied vocabulary, correct grammar, and effective sentence structure.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to identify and describe the major differences between the Spanish and American cultures.
4. By the end of the summer, I will have formed enduring relationships with my host family and fellow CIEE students.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: