Hey guys! My name is Charlize Melendez and I’m a Senior majoring in International Business and Finance at the University of South Carolina. I spent Fall 2018 in Barcelona, Spain with AIFS and then spent Spring 2019 in Milan, Italy through a direct exchange program! Last Fall, I was able to live with a host family and it was the best decision I could have ever made! We became so close that I went back and stayed with them during my semester in Milan! Living with Raquel and Luis gave my roommate (now BFF) and I an authentic Catalan experience, complete with homemade food and Christmas Tree decorating! In the last year I’ve visited 11 countries and the best part is that I was able to do it on a budget! As a first generation, full scholarship, college student, I want everyone to know that they have the opportunity to study abroad, regardless of financial situation! Words to live by: “For When I am Weak, Then I am Strong.” Sometimes you feel scared, alone, and homesick, but it makes you SO much stronger if you keep the faith!