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Cl imbing Castles IN SPAIN The beautiful city of Alicante, Spain, the classroom setting for a semester of study for BC student Adriana Moreno.

Committed to academic excellence

L earning experiences at Bluefield College can be “amazing,” “life fulfilling” and “a dream come true.” Just ask BC student Adriana Moreno, who just recently completed a study trip abroad to Spain, where she not only had an “amazing” time learning, but also developed a keen appetite for global adventure. Originally seeking to simply fulfill a BC general education requirement of one year of intermediate study of a foreign language, Moreno ended up completing a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a semester of study in Alicante, Spain. “My semester abroad felt like one long wonderful dream — a dream that consisted of nothing but the happiest of times,” said Moreno, “exploring magical places that I thought only existed in fairytales.” As is often the case at Bluefield College, Moreno’s “magical” learning experience occurred outside the classroom in study abroad, thanks to BC’s Global Education Program and its many partnerships that provide students the opportunity to learn in Brazil, England, Ireland, Italy, Australia, China, India, Costa Rica, Uganda, Jordan, Lithuania, Lebanon, Greece, Argentina, and Spain. In Moreno’s case, Bluefield’s partnership with the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) allowed her to travel to Spain where, in her own words, she didn’t just read history; she lived it through a tour of the Coliseum. She didn’t learn a second language from a textbook, but through friendly conversations with locals. And, she didn’t just listen to lectures about other cultures and places; she experienced them. “Study halls became plane rides, and tests turned into navigating back to your hostel without getting completely lost,” said Moreno. “Lunch in the caf turned into lunch by the canal. And study plans turned into weekend trips and soccer matches.”

In addition to studying intermediate Spanish, Moreno studied Spanish and contemporary European societies through a wide selection of academic courses at her host school, the University of Alicante. She also explored Spanish composition and dance. “Adriana had a fabulous time in every way,” said Dr. Cindy Bascom, a BC faculty advisor who facilitated Moreno’s study trip, “expanding her Spanish skills, experiencing other cultures’ traditions, visiting beautiful, magical places, appreciating history, forming lifelong friendships, and in short, developing an appetite for global adventure.” Her host city, Alicante, located on the Mediterranean Sea, boasts magnificent sandy beaches, blue waters, rich history, and beautiful monuments. People in Alicante live most of their life outdoors as part of the Mediterranean lifestyle, featuring busy cafés, vibrant nightlife, street markets, and local festivals. The University of Alicante features lovely gardens, fountains, palm trees, and modern architecture, all of which created a great learning and social atmosphere for Moreno. But, Moreno’s adventures were not confined to Alicante. In fact, during her six-months stay, she visited 20 cities in eight different countries, including Spain, Italy, Greece, England, France, Holland, Ireland and Germany — each, Moreno said, with its own history to learn, transportation to master, dishes to taste, and new adventures to find. Her adventures included sitting in the grass under the Eiffel tower, skipping stones in the Mediterranean Sea, riding bikes under windmills in Amsterdam, swimming in crystal clear waters in Italy, and climbing castles in Spain. “I met the most amazing people from all over the world,” she said, “and truly enjoyed some of the happiest moments in my life. There were times when I would just sit and think about how my life couldn’t get any better than this exact moment. Spain was everything I had hoped for and more.”


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