What Earning the Castañeda Scholarship Allowed Me To Do In Spain

Mackenzie Grell is a student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain

I’ve hiked in 10 different countries, like Germany, and Ireland, and Denmark.

I’ve visited over 20 cities, like Berlin, Reykjavik, Naples, and Copenhagen.

I was able to visit the place where my great grandparents, Johann August and Amanda La Frenz, were born and married, an island in the very north of Germany called Fehmarn.  Before I left for Europe, I had dinner with my grandparents.  My grandmother works in genealogy and after dinner she was showing me our family tree.  I distinctly remember discussing a woman named Klara La Frenz.  While wandering the cemetery in Burg, I found her headstone.

When my dad was my age, he came to Europe with his uncle and cousin, and while in Munich, they visited Dachau.  30 years later, I walked the same paths he did.

When my sister was my age, she studied abroad for 6 weeks over a summer and she raved about La Alhmabra.  6 years later, I was able to visit the same place.

La Alhambra, Granada, Spain

I’ve met hundreds of people in different parts of Europe from different parts of the world, and as of last night, I have sung Wonderwall by Oasis in THREE different countries! During the last 3 months, so much has happened, and it’s been so varied.  I’ve been so lucky to be able to do this, and it’s thanks to the scholarships I received, specifically the Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda Memorial Scholarship and Correspondent Internship Opportunity.  I’ve been financially liberated to spend a little more money on things like you see pictured, and with those things I’ve done, I’ve grown more connected to my great grandparents that I never met, my grandparents, my father, and my sister.  I’ve also watched myself grow into a more self-reliant adult, and I’m incredibly proud of that.  Thank you to ISA and Dr. Casteñeda for the wonderful opportunity to experience so much while here.

The world awaits…discover it.

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