Kassandra is a third-year Bachelor of International Business (BIB) student in the Spanish language stream. She is studying at Universidad Europea de Valencia in Valencia, Spain. (All students in the BIB program are required to study abroad for their third year at one of our partner institutions.)
Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about your goals and interests:
I was born and raised in Ottawa and although I stayed close to home for my first two years of University I knew that I always wanted to move far away and experience something that was out of my comfort zone. The BIB program was perfect for me and I have loved every moment thus far. Although I am not quite sure what I want to do after my undergrad, I do know that I want to work internationally. Ideally I would love to become an International Business Lawyer. All in all, I am hoping to discover my path this coming year while abroad. My interests include anything involving my cottage, as this is my favourite place, fashion and of course travelling!
Why did you choose your language?
Having already spoken French, I was eager to learn Spanish as I knew it was a prominent language in today’s society and that it would be useful in my future career. My goal has always been to be trilingual and I thought knowing french would help me learn Spanish as they are very similar. Little did I know that this would actually become problematic as I now sound French when I speak Spanish and mistaken French words for Spanish all the time, haha! With that being said, I am so happy that I chose Spanish because the language is absolutely beautiful, it truly is the language of love and I can’t wait to master my accent.
Have you ever travelled overseas before? If so, where?
I have been fortunate enough to travel lots with my family overseas, however my adventure to Spain and within Europe will be my first time travelling without them… feels like I’m finally growing up (ahhh). I have travelled to many vacation destinations in the winter such as Jamaica and Dominican Republic. However my most exciting trip overseas was to South Africa when I was in grade school. South Africa was so different from any other country I had visited before and I loved every second… I cannot wait to return. Aside from these tropical destinations I have been to several different States in the US such as Hawaii and that is for sure on my bucket list to revisit as well. Oddly enough I have never travelled to Europe which is another reason why I am super excited to live in Spain for the next year.
What 3 things MUST you take with you while abroad?
My mom would not be happy that I am saying this since she hates how I am always on my phone but hands down my phone is a MUST. I use my phone for everything and I would be completely lost without it (like most millennials I suppose). Another mandatory thing would be my whole wardrobe, haha. I am so sad that I can only take two suitcases with me. I am so determined to fit my whole closet in those two suitcases that I am even watching youtube videos on how to best compact things in a suitcase. Worst comes to worse I guess this will just be an excuse to buy lots of stuff in Spain! Lastly, I must bring a set of photos of me with all my friends and family that have been up in my room since first year University. These photos mean so much to me and although I will have moved around for the past 3 years, they will serve as a constant memory and symbol of home. These photos will for sure come in handy when I am home sick which I know will be these case.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to making connections and friendships with people from all over the world. I can already see from a buddy system that has been established at my University that I am going to school with a student from Belgium another from Germany and lots of Spanish students. This is so exciting because it will give me the opportunity to learn about different cultures. In the future this will also be very cool as I will have friends from all over the world who I can go and visit. Therefore my travelling won’t end after my year abroad as the connections I make will allow it to continue.