Bienvenidos a todos!

My name is KyAndre Holifield and I am a third year studying Spanish and International Business. I have a passion for love, culture, and foreign languages and I have the hopes of one day becoming an interpreter for the United Nations. This summer I have been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in Spain with the USF in Spain program, a long-lived dream that will finally be realized. However, I have also been very fortunate to receive the USF Verizon Education Abroad Scholarship! I am very thankful and humbled to be receiving this award, which will truly aid me in my journey throughout the country mastering the Spanish language.

As I mentioned, I am working diligently towards becoming an interpreter; however, as with working towards all goals it is not uncommon for one to hit a plateau. This is how I felt about my progression with Spanish. I had already mastered the art of basic conversation and had even begun to delve into using my language skills in more official settings, with the progression of my courses. Though I was seeing slight improvements in understanding I couldn’t help but feel like my ability to speak the language had begun to slow and almost cease to grow. I was doing everything how I had always done it: listening to music and learning the lyrics, studying the chapters, and completing any and all assignments that were given to me.

I came to realize that this was the problem. How could I continue to improve and soar to new heights when I wasn’t doing anything different to make that happen? I decided that if I really wanted to improve as bad as I claimed I did, it was time to make that change. It was time to completely immerse myself in the language to truly grab it by the horns and sharpen my skills. That was when I made the decision to study abroad and more specifically, to study abroad in Spain. After looking over the USF in Spain program I knew it was the perfect combination of history, culture, and language to suit my needs. The class descriptions claimed to focus more so on speaking the language and using it in the real world, rather than keeping the Spanish in the textbooks. Without a second’s hesitation, I excitedly applied to the program and rejoiced when I was accepted.

Now that my trip is about to begin, I can’t help but smile and think back over all the experiences that made me want to go abroad, all the experiences that made me choose this program, and most importantly, every single thing that made me fall in love with this language and want to pursue a career in it. For me, this is a completely new step towards having a successful career as an interpreter. It’s more than just continuing to pick up words here and there – its about understanding the culture that comes with it as well.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope you continue to keep up with my journey through Spain! I will be posting almost every Friday or Saturday, so be sure to look out for upcoming posts.

Y como siempre,

Vamos Toros!

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