Name: Kaitlin Stumpf
Major: Family & Child Sciences, Religion
Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL
Current Location: Valencia, Spain (!)
Her Campus (HC): So Kaitlin, what prompted you to study abroad?
Kaitlin Stumpf (KS): I wanted to study abroad since before I got to FSU. I loved learning Spanish in high school and I really wanted to get better at it and also I wanted to travel throughout Europe.
HC: You’re quite the little globetrotter now, where have you been?!
KS: In Spain I have been to Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Granada, Córdoba, and Sierra Nevada. Internationally I have been to Rome and Brussels, but hope to travel more!
HC: Since you’re no longer living in our cute little apartment, and we obviously miss your presence, is there anything that you miss about being in Tallahassee?
KS: OMG yes! I miss my lovely roommates and friends and our silly chats we’d have at two in the morning and our last minute runs to Denny’s and just the laughs and comfort you have in people who know you well. I miss free water (here you have to pay for water at restaurants and there are NO such thing as public water fountains). Also, cashiers at the grocery store don’t put your groceries in a bag AND you have to PAY for the plastic bags. Overall, Europeans are not as happy-go-lucky as Americans, nor as friendly. Not to say they are all rude, they just keep to themselves more and don’t smile as much, so I miss the “American personality” if that makes sense. Also, I am sad I am not in Tallahassee to celebrate the National Championship atmosphere with everyone. Also, Panera mac & cheese!
HC: Studying abroad sounds like a great opportunity to get out and explore, but what are the classes and the workload actually like?
KS: Currently I am taking 13 credits and my classes are pretty easily managed. The teachers use the city around us to teach us so exploring and learning become one in the same. My workload has honestly been very light and it will be an adjustment when I get back to “real” classes in Tallahassee.
HC: Got any crazy stories to share? How about any advice for those interested in studying abroad?
KS: Well, I got stranded in Madrid when I bought a bus ticket for the wrong day and I had a dead phone and no money, so I had to go to the police who were dressed incognito and spoke no English. I also got to see the Pope and party all night in an Italian bar with friends from France, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and more!
HC: What’s it like being fully submerged in a different language like that? Has your high school Spanish been cutting it?
KS: It is strange at first because you have no idea what people around you are saying, but you quickly get used to it. If you get unwanted catcalls or aggressive things said to you you have no idea what they’re saying, so I like to call it “Blissful Ignorance.” Actually, my high school Spanish is pretty sufficient because most people speak some basic English and I am also surrounded by Americans a lot of the time.
HC: Met any foreign cuties while studying abroad?
KS: Yes most definitely. My favorite cuties are the Italians. UNNNF they are like walking models and they are super outgoing and hilarious. Spanish men aren’t bad either.
HC: Finally, and most importantly, when do you get back?!
KS: I come back at the end of April!