Hello! I am Juliana Trujillo, and I am a bioengineering major studying abroad in Madrid, Spain on the IES Abroad engineering program. The last few weeks before I leave have been hectic: doctor’s appointments, packing, last minute shopping, and making sure I visit with friends and family before I leave. It is really important to me that I do this especially with my family, because I draw energy from them. Their love and support for my trip is just as important to pack as comfortable shoes and a good jacket! Which I made sure to pack, along with the extra outfit in my carry-on just in case my larger bag is lost, a tip given to me by many who have traveled abroad before. One thing I found out was not only do you need a converter for all of your electrical appliances, but most hair styling tools, including the straightener I never travel without, need a voltage adapter as well. I ended up getting a dual voltage straightener, which means it can work on a wide range of voltage inputs. I was probably Amazon Prime’s best customer in my last few days at home.
I am nervous because it’s been two years since my AP Spanish classes in high school, so I may be a little rusty. I’ve never been to Europe before, and this is definitely the longest I will go without seeing family. Regardless, I am more excited about how much I will learn. Am I most excited to travel and experience the culture and food of Spain? Or to take classes at a local university and to make new friends? Or to stay with a host family and to see what daily Spanish life is really like? Or am I most excited about my own personal growth, and broadening my global perspective? Yes, yes, yes, and yes! It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad, ever since I had heard I could have all of these things in one.
To say I am thrilled to explore Spain—a country whose language, history, literature, and culture I have only been able to study before—is an understatement. I am staying in the beautiful capital of Madrid, and I can’t wait to stand in front of the Guernica, to enter La Alhambra and marvel at the beautiful craftsmanship that has survived many centuries, to enjoy the beaches, mountains, and other natural Spanish beauty. But I also bring with me pieces of home, both for myself and to share with my host family—a small gift of homemade Colorado plum jelly, some locally made chocolates, and a calendar depicting the beautiful sights that can be found in Colorado. And for myself, pictures of friends and family, a little reminder of their love and excitement for me these next four months.
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<p>Juliana Trujillo is just a girl from Colorado ready to do big things. A love for learning, family support, and food inspired her ambitions to study abroad. She is a Bioengineering major with a Chemistry minor with a passion for promoting STEM equity and equality. In her free time, Juliana loves to read, be outdoors, or read outdoors in addition to spending time with friends and family.</p>