Thank You, Dr. Carlos: Benefits of My ISA Scholarship

Abigal Swinney is a student at the University of Central Missouri and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.

This past semester, I was fortunate to be a recipient of the ISA Dr. Carlos Castañeda Memorial Scholarship. As a result, I was able to make the most out of my study abroad experience and have opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible. I could let go of the usual precautions that are associated with being a tight-budgeted college student and just live. And that is exactly what I did; just take a look at my adventures this semester.

1. Morocco

I already devoted a whole blog post about this trip, but I simply cannot stop talking about it. Morocco is one of those experiences that I will remember for years. From the winding streets of the Medina, to the sand dunes of the mighty Sahara, Morocco was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am very fortunate to have experienced.


2. The Canary Islands and Asturias

There were a couple of times that I found myself wandering off-the-beaten-path while traveling around Spain. One of those times was when I visited the tiny village of Artenara, Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Artenara provides stunning viewpoints of the mountainous landscapes in the center of the island. It is a great location for outdoors activities such as hiking, and I also experienced, without a doubt, the best sunset of my life there. The second trip off-the-beaten-path trip that I took in Spain was to Asturias, a region in northern Spain that is known for its landscape. It is, however, for the most part still unknown to tourists. While I was there I ventured to the Picos de Europa National Park, which includes the fairytale-like village of Covadonga.


3. Old Friends and Barcelona

During my first visit to Spain about four years ago, I made several wonderful friends that I sadly had to leave behind. I knew, however, that I would return and that we would meet again. So, when I decided to study abroad in Sevilla, I knew that the time had come to reunite with my old friends. I hopped on a plane and flew to Barcelona and spent four fabulous days there visiting them. It was a joyful reunion, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen them again.

Even though my semester is over and I have left Spain, the Dr. Carlos Castañeda Memorial Scholarship is still supporting me. I am in the process of creating many memories and experiences by traveling through Europe for a month, starting in Ireland, where I visited the Cliffs of Moher. I have a whole list of places that I will visit and memories that I will cherish for years to come. So, thank you, Dr. Carlos, for making one very blessed adventurer’s hopes and dreams turn into a reality.

The world awaits…discover it.

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