Education Abroad, U.Va.

Education Abroad

A Division of the International Studies Office


Sophia Padilla

My name is Sophia Padilla, and I’m a fourth year majoring in Spanish. I studied abroad in Valencia for my entire second year, and it quickly became my home. Throughout the year I mastered the art of cooking authentic paella, I learned how to communicate well in Spanish, and I adopted the mentality of “No pasa nada.” One of my favorite memories was introducing my host sisters to funfetti cake mix and making a birthday cake for my host mom. I cherish these small moments that I was able to experience as a result of actually living in Spain. While living in Valencia, I passed the beautiful plazas every day on the way home from my service learning internship. The río was where I ran every week, and Siete Panes was the coffee shop next to the school where I often had tea and tostadas. The people I met there became my second family, and the beautiful landmarks, my backyard.