My name is Samantha Nicoliello and I am a Spanish Secondary Education Major. Studying abroad in Oviedo, Spain this past summer was a life-changing experience. I have become a more independent and open-minded person. Arriving in Oviedo, everything was new and exciting, and having to go from speaking English 100 percent of the time to Spanish 100 percent of the time was an adjustment. My host mother was amazing! She exposed me to many different Spanish dishes, phrases, and daily activities. The town was always very active and lively during the day, with many places to eat and shop, with the main cathedral being the place to meet up and relax. At night, there was a different vibe in the air when everyone hit the town after dinner (which was always very late!) Everyone stayed out until morning at the cafes, clubs, and bars like the night would never end! It was so enticing to see how laid back and relaxed everyone was, which I’d like to try and adopt back in the states! With the Universidad de Oviedo, we went on many different weekend trips including a trip to Covadonga. I went to Madrid on my own (not planned with the school) with friends I made on the trip and experienced even more art and beauty that Spain had to offer! It was unreal to go into the La Reina Sofia and el Prado museum and see pieces of art by Picasso, Dalí, and other artists that I knew I would be talking about in my Spanish culture classes. It is awesome to make the connections between what I have seen in Spain to what I am learning in my classes now, because I have been there and I have seen it in person and not just in a textbook. Being back in America, I miss Spain almost everyday, especially when we talk about Oviedo in my classes or the art that I’ve seen in the museums. I am so thankful for the experience New Paltz has given me to sharpen my Spanish, live a different culture, and have memories I will never forget!