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Yazmin Cruz | Seville, Spain

Yazmin Cruz, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, shares her experience studying abroad in Seville, Spain. Once she found Seville, she knew it would be part of her journey and growth as a student. The friends, excursions, and memories made her study experience all the more impactful and encouraged her to continue traveling! "Because it's those experiences that I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on, not just that, but the independence and self-growth that I earned from this experience, the confidence I have in myself, is something I wouldn't trade for the world."

Video Transcript:

I think whenever you're looking to live in a space, you're looking for light and in a special way that brought me a light that was missing in my life, and so that's how I decided to go with Seville.
My name is Yazmin Cruz, I study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a double major in Spanish and Education, with a minor in ESL, and I studied abroad in Seville, Spain
and London, UK. When it came to studying abroad, it was that, it was that I didn't see anybody who looked like me. So I was like, "Whoa, is it possible for me to do this?"
Like, is this dream going to stay a dream? Attending college was my first dream, I would say,
and studying abroad was that second dream that
I wasn't sure, wasn't really possible. But after investigating and just mentally accepting the fact and to know that it was something that was for me and aligned in my journey, and I think all those things sort of joined together to my parents to understand that this was something that I was going to do and that I needed to do for myself.
But once I got to Seville, I believe in my first week we went to Cadiz, which is a small town by Seville. And then from there, I think it was just, it was over. I was going to a bunch of cities in Seville and along with that I visited Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada,
and a bunch of cities in Spain.
And so within the program, they had a few activities where you can kind of meet people in the program, whether it's a rooftop ceremony or just an open discussion. And so I learned my, 
I met my friends through those activities along with my classes at CEA CAPA. 
Each way, you're learning and meeting new people, whether it's in the States or in Seville.
And I think with that, you begin to create your team and your community In the Sahara, it was my 21st birthday and it's our first night in the desert and my friends had a little cake for me. We had the drums playing, the stars were covering the sky. And so I think just in that moment, I felt that love in abundance, not just on my birthday, but just overall in the space of of how connection can be
truly everywhere. It's not just in your hometown or what you're used to. You know, you can have those friendships and connections even though you just met them three months ago. Being part CEA CAPA, not just the programs, but they're 
Alumni Ambassador team has been amazing. I went back to my old high school and talked about study abroad and and there I'm like, okay, I'm taking the role that I wish I would have had.
So it was this big moment of reflection just to realize that I could be inspiring somebody or just planted a seed of this is possible because it's those experiences that I wouldn't want anyone to miss out on. And not just that, but the self-growth and independence that I earn from this experience, the confidence I have in myself is something I wouldn't trade for the world.
I can share that after Spain I knew I wanted to come back. So now post-graduation, my hope is to go back to Seville to earn my master's. And so now I reflect on that and I think I would have never thought that was possible without studying abroad, because study abroad taught me that there are different opportunities international. Ways that you can continue growing and not just for yourself, but for your education and your career.

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