We would like to welcome Briana Clinton to our blog. Briana studies at State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and was a student in the Business, International Relations and Spanish Program during Spring 2020. Here we share her thoughts regarding her experience during a very different semester, with all plans interrupted in mid-March due to the pandemia.
«If anyone told me a year ago that I would be packing my stuff, leaving Brooklyn and flying 8 hours halfway around the world to go to study abroad in another country I would have laughed in their faces!
Being born in a culturally diverse city like New York City, I have always been exposed to different people, languages, and lifestyles. Spending most of my childhood years in Barbados, in the Caribbean, has also shaped my view on the world, and I wanted to learn more! Studying at the University of Deusto has opened my eyes to a whole new world that I have never seen and I would have probably never seen if I did not make the decision to study in Bilbao!
I am a Hospitality Management major with a double minor in Spanish and International Business. In Deusto I took 5 classes which were: Transatlantic Relations between the E.U and U.S., International Business, International Marketing, and two Spanish classes. I would be lying if I said I had a favorite class! All of the classes I took at Deusto were fun, informative and the right amount of challenge that I needed to stay focused on my studies. All my professors were knowledgeable and passionate in their particular field that fueled my career interests and gave me a new perspective as well.
After school, I would meet up with local friends and other students at Deusto. My really close friend and I, Logan, would go to our favorite places like Moyua or Portugalete to explore. It was in exploring and hearing those wise words from my advisors at CIDE ringing in my ears, that I realized that it was okay to make mistakes. It was okay if I messed up and pronounced things wrong. It was okay to ask for help when I did not know where to go (in Spanish of course!) In this process I learned to keep trying. This whole experience has taught me that there must be comfort in being uncomfortable if you want to learn, especially if it is learning another language.
It is unfortunate that due to the Coronavirus pandemic my peers and I had to leave. It was with a heavy heart and a feeling of incompleteness that I had to say goodbye to the Basque Country earlier than expected. However, every experience, every bollo de mantequilla, and every pintxo was worth it! It was worth it, traveling from Las Arenas on the metro to school. It was worth it, living in Bilbao and sharing the customs, traditions, and language that they hold so dear to their heart.
I think now having this experience, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, has made it vital for me to continue to share with students at my home University, the importance of studying abroad and recommend them to study at Deusto. I lived with a host family that I can now call my family. They have helped me, guided me, and showed me immense hospitality that made me want to leave America and live with them permanently! This experience studying at the University of Deusto has truly given me a new perspective on the life that I hope to live one day. The life I choose to live despite the obstacles or challenges that I may face. I will always remember Deusto as the place of vivid memories, bright hopes and aspiring futures!»