My name is Sam Spadaccini and I am a fourth year Spanish and American Studies major. One of my greatest passions is meeting and getting to know new people. I live for these moments in which I can connect with someone no matter where they are from or the language they speak. If I had not participated in education abroad in Valencia, Spain for the semester, I would have missed out on befriending some of the most interesting and meaningful people I have ever met. From the start, I decided to integrate myself into the city of Valencia. Going in with a basic knowledge of Spanish, I never imagined coming back to the US with an incredible network of friends from Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Colombia, and Mexico to name a few. After taking my literature and history classes at the UVA Center and completing my internship in translation at the University of Valencia, I would go to a café downtown where I perfected my Spanish chatting with locals and helping the staff close. There wasn’t a more effective way for me to learn the language between the classroom experience and the way in which I became a true resident of the city. After going back to see my friends this summer, I have decided to return to Spain post-graduation to teach English. No matter your destination, I promise that if you go in with an open mind and heart, the hardest part about education abroad will be waving goodbye to your new city and the many friendships you have forged.