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Post Study Abroad New Year’s Resolutions

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Last Updated on January 9, 2014 by

Our Alumni Ambassador Catherine had a different perspective on New Year’s Resolutions after going abroad for the summer. How does study abroad impact you long after you return? Read on


My Facebook and Pinterest feeds were swamped with posts about resolutions for the new year.  This is that time of year when people re-evaluate their lives and make changes, so that’s just what I’m doing. I decided to make mine relevant to my time abroad because even though it was two summers ago, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t recall something I did, or reminisce about something that I learned while in Spain.  Here’s my list of 12 resolutions, one for each month, for the New Year!

1. Practice my Spanish

Whether it’s while dining out at a Mexican restaurant, or having a conversation with the Spanish foreign exchange student staying with a family friend of mine, this new year I’d like to keep this second language alive.

2. Attempt some Spanish recipes

I was always too afraid to try to make my host mom’s famous paella.  I was afraid I would mess it up and I always had an excuse as to why I was too busy. But I have a long break so what better time to try it?  A tortilla Española wouldn’t hurt either.

3. Be fearless

When I was abroad, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone in almost everything that I did.  I had to ask questions and find my way around a whole new country!  I’d like to remind myself of what it felt like to be that fearless, whether it’s helping out a stranger, or attempting to skydive. This new year calls for new experiences.

4. Learn something new everyday

Okay, this one is a little ambitious, but when I was abroad, I did learn something new everyday: new words, food, and people filled my daily life. I’d like to focus on learning something new each day in the U.S. as well.

5. Appreciate and enjoy family time

My host mother Nati took so much pride in spending time and sharing meals with her family members. I will take a hint from her and do the same with my family.

6. Take more siestas

Ah the beauty and calm of the siesta. It was a great time to relax and take a nap after enjoying a delicious meal.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of everyday life, but this year, I’d like to remember that it’s okay to come back to the calm of the siesta once in a while.

7. Dance

The Spanish really know how to dance! I think people get caught up in being serious all the time, and sometimes we all need to take a little time to let loose and just dance!

8. Eat meals at home

Nati was a wonderful cook in addition to being very resourceful.  She didn’t have a lot but she also didn’t waste anything!  I’d like to do the same going into the new year and eat at home more, even if my cooking is nowhere near as delicious as hers!

9. Meet new people (with an open mind)

Studying abroad allowed me to meet so many new people.  Some were other American students, and others were from different countries, but I did it all with an open mind.  Wherever I go in the future, whether abroad or to new places in the U.S., I will remember to meet people with an open mind.

10. Discover new foods

One thing I loved from my time abroad was trying new places.  This New Year I’d like to continue that by finding authentic restaurants and new cuisines to try.

11. Save money to travel

This one is pretty self-explanatory!

12. Get a post job grad working for AIFS?


Love #12! Who knows? Read more about Catherine’s travels on her blog, and find out more about Spain and all of our programs on our website.

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