While studying in Alicante, I experienced the festival of Hogueras, meaning bonfires. During Hogueras, beautiful sculptures all over the city are burnt as firefighters douse the flames as well as the onlooking crowd.
Taking part in the festival was exciting, and I was thankful for the opportunity to participate in such an important cultural event. Hogueras allowed for everyone in the program to come together as we rushed to different sculptures, eagerly awaiting the flames. Seeing the large wooden sculptures, which had taken months to create, burning within a matter of minutes was a reminder to appreciate the beauty of each moment.
As I look back on my experience in Alicante, I hope to continue learning Spanish at Duke so that I can apply my language learning skills both in volunteering and a career in medicine.
My advice for studying abroad is to trust yourself and be your own advocate. You have to be flexible and willing to adapt to new situations. Always try to communicate with the people around you, whether it be your classmates, professors, or host family, and be open to everything the experience has to offer. Enjoy the moment while you are in it (cheesy but true).
Class of 2022, English