International Connections


Sia Turner

Major: Child, Adult, and Family Services


Minor/option/emphasis: Spanish; Psychology

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: Des Moines, Iowa

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Semester In Caceres
Experience website: https://language.iastate.edu/caceres/
Destination: Spain

Overall experience..
I spent the fall 2019 semester studying abroad in Caceres Spain. I took 4 Spanish classes while I was there and lived with a host family. My time in Caceres was amazing. I had classes 4 days a week and was free to travel on the weekends. We also had excursions for our entire group with our coordinator on some weekends to visit historical sites in Spain. My experience was amazing. My language skills improved immensely during this time, as all of my conversations with my host family, and in classes were in Spanish.

I learned...
I learned about the study abroad program in Caceres through the World Languages and Cultures Department

An impact to my life...
I am a lifetime language learner and know that I will never be fully fluent, that being said 3 months spent living completely emersed in Spanish culture has improved my speaking abilities and confidence to navigate in a globalized world. Studying in Spain helped me expand my personal and professional networks, develop a better understanding of European history, and Spanish culture, and helped me continue being a global citizen.

My most valuable learning experience...
I learned to embrace ambiguity and how other cultures operate. If you know anything about Spanish culture, you know they are much more relaxed than Americans. There were times that we would not have a travel itinerary until the night before because our coordinator was much more relaxed about getting things to us than people are in the U.S. This was a good lesson in going with the flow of things and taking a moment to realize how different cultures use their time.

I will never forget...
I had the opportunity to travel to 9 countries during my time abroad and met some amazing people doing so.

A surprising discovery...
I did not expect to meet a previous Peace Corps Volunteer while studying in Spain. She ended up becoming a huge resource to me because I was in the process of applying for the Peace Corps as well. The lesson for me in this was to be open to networking no matter where I am at- it's a small world.

Advice for others...
GO! Literally think about your personal interests, as well as your professional goals, and find a program that can help you get there. You will not regret taking time to study abroad.

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