Why Valladolid?

Olivia Geiger ’20 is a senior Occupational Therapy student with a Spanish minor at Elizabethtown College. She spent the fall 2018 semester studying abroad in Valladolid, Spain. Olivia had many reasons to choose Valladolid, and she is happy with her decision to study there.

Prior to studying abroad, Olivia had never left the United States. She shocked her parents when she expressed her desire to study abroad in Spain because she had never before taken such a drastic step outside of her comfort zone, despite her mother’s encouragement.

Olivia shared that, even as she was applying to the program, she didn’t quite believe that she was taking such a monumental step. However, she felt drawn to study in Spain to improve her Spanish skills and learn about other cultures.

Among all the program options in Spain, Olivia chose Valladolid for many reasons. Valladolid offers the option to live with a host family, something she wanted to do to truly immerse herself in Spanish language and culture. As her host mother spoke no English, Olivia got to practice and improve her Spanish every day.

Valladolid also appealed to Olivia because people from this region speak Castellano Spanish, the dialect she had been learning since high school, rather than another dialect unfamiliar to her. This allowed her to best interact with locals.

Another way Olivia improved her Spanish was through Intercambio, a language exchange program. Olivia and her language partner, Inés, would speak in both Spanish and English to allow both of them to practice their language skills. She even passed for a local sometimes!

Valladolid’s small size also factored into Olivia’s decision. Because she is accustomed to living in a rural area, she knew she did not want to live in a huge city. Valladolid also had plenty of art and culture for her to explore.

Olivia is very happy with her decision to study in Valladolid and feels that her time abroad changed her life.

To read Olivia’s full account of her time abroad, visit her original article published by BCA Study Abroad on May 3, 2019. Click the hyperlinks above to learn more about BCA and their Valladolid, Spain program. 

About the Author – Olivia Geiger ’20, Fall 2018, Semester in Valladolid, Spain alumna

Olivia is studying Occupational Therapy and minoring in Spanish at Elizabethtown College. Outside of class, she enjoys being in Elizabethtown College’s orchestra, working as an Overnight Visit Coordinator for the Office of Admissions, and volunteering.


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