Studying in Spain as a First-Generation College Student

Jaime Ramos ’18 graduated from Elizabethtown College with a B.A. in Communications and a Spanish minor. He spent the spring semester of his junior year studying abroad in Valladolid, Spain. Jaime encountered many difficulties in trying to study abroad as a first-generation college student, but he succeeded in studying in Spain and was even inspired by his time abroad to join the Peace Corps.

Jaime shared that, as his mother had not gone to college and was not familiar with study abroad programs, she was hesitant to allow him to go abroad. It took some convincing to gain her permission, and when she granted it, she had one condition: that he fund the experience himself. After making a plan to save money, Jaime considered what he wanted out of his study abroad experience, deciding to go to Valladolid, Spain, to improve his Spanish skills.

Not only did Jaime have to begin saving money early to fund his semester abroad, he had to fill out a great deal of paperwork, often with little help. As no one in his family had ever gone through a similar process, he had trouble with forms such as the passport application – no one in his family had a passport. It became so overwhelming that Jaime considered giving up and withdrawing his application.

However, Jaime persisted, overcame the challenges of the application process, and was accepted to the Valladolid program. He had an “unforgettable” experience abroad, immersing himself in Spanish culture and language, travelling extensively, and ultimately having a dream experience.

Jaime’s semester in Spain inspired him to do something amazing following his college graduation. He decided to apply to the Peace Corps, and he was accepted to serve as a Youth Development Facilitator in Peru starting September 2018.

To read Jaime’s full story of his time abroad, visit his article published by BCA Study AbroadClick the hyperlinks above to learn more about BCA and the Valladolid, Spain program.

About the Author – Jaime Ramos II ’18, Spring 2017, Semester in Valladolid, Spain alumnus

Jaime is an Elizabethtown College Communications alumnus from Reading, Pennsylvania. Outside of class, Jaime spent a majority of his time at E-town as a mentor in the Kinesis Peer Academic Advisor for the Momentum Program to first-generation college students, campus tour guide, and dancer in Emotion. He is currently serving as a Youth Development Facilitator in Junín, Peru fro two years.

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