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Meet Mavericks in Spain!

MoUstadSpain7 Mohammed Ustad
 Summer 2015
 COBA "MBA  Sustainability in Spain  and Portugal"  Program
 Various Cities,
 Spain and Portugal

Mohammed Ustad is an MBA graduate student here at UTA focusing on Business Administration. Mohammed took part in the College of Business's faculty-led program, MBA Sustainability in Spain and Portugal, which allowed him to see firsthand how businesses are runMoUstadSpain3 in Spain and Portugal while receiving UTA credit.

What have you gained from deciding to study abroad?

Traveling with a group of 20 individuals, which varied from age group to ethnic background to professional experience, provided me the opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills as well as adaptability towards diversity. Moreover, this was a great networking opportunity with other MBA students working in various industries situated in the DFW area. I have made a lifelong connection with
MoUstadSpain4my ‘A-team’!   

How has this experience impacted you personally?

All the major manufacturing and service organizations we visited during the study abroad program have impacted my business philosophy from just doing well to doing better or even excellent in terms of sustainability. As a future business leader I would definitely incorporate some of the sustainability initiatives being implemented by companies in Spain and Portugal.MoUstadSpain2

What was the most exciting experience in studying abroad?

Christiano Ronaldo, my favorite football player in Real Madrid team, was playing against CF Getafe and scored 3 splendid goals. Real Madrid won the game with 7 goals against 3. The whole experience of watching a live football game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid was totally worth it. The crowd was spectacular and game was sold out.MoUstadSpain
Do you have any advice for future study abroad students?

Make the most of your time while studying abroad by exploring as much as you can and capture wonderful memories. Do not worry so much about the cost and go with the flow during your travel. Plan at least a semester or year ahead and set up an expense budget for your trip. Take advantage of scholarship opportunities and financial aid.

Has your decision to study abroad fit into your graduation plan?

Yes, it has perfectly fit intoMoUstadSpain5 my graduation plan by allowing me to graduate with an MBA in less than 2 years. I chose the MBA Study Abroad Program to count as my advance elective (3 credit hours).

Did you try anything fun and different?

One evening my group and I went to see the Spanish cultural dance show with live music called Flamenco. I was amazed with the energy all the dancers had in hitting their feet non-stop with wooden heel shoes. I did go to the stage and joined the dancers but got nowhere close to their level of art or talent. MoUstadSpain6

What other countries have you visited?

I spent 4 days in Barcelona before the study abroad program and 3 days in Marseille, France after completing the program. I had planned my extended trip abroad with a couple of study abroad classmates/attendees. 

Would you return to your host country in the future?

I will definitely travel back for business purpose to Spain, procurement of industrial equipment and machinery. Porto (Portugal) is where I would like to go for vacation after my business trips.

Why did you decide to study abroad?MoUstadSpain8

I decided to study abroad for a number of reasons. It was the perfect summer getaway after taking 5 graduate level classes in the Spring 2015 semester. Spain and Portugal were the only 2 countries pending on my European countries bucket list! It was the best 3 credit hours graduate level advanced elective in 10 days. It allowed me to learn and experience sustainability strategies implemented by the large companies of Iberian Peninsula.

Do you plan on traveling again soon? Where?

Traveling to Dubai for Christmas and celebrating New Year’s Eve in Rajasthan, India. This will be my getaway for taking 5 grad courses in Fall and graduating with my MBA in December!

NinaLuSpain2  Nina Lu
  Summer 2015
  COBA "Business in Barcelona"   Program
  Barcelona, Spain

Nina Lu is a senior here at UTA majoring in Finance. Nina took part in the College of Business's faculty-led program, Business in Barcelona, which allowed her to see firsthand
how businesses are run in Spain while she received UTA credit. 

Has your decision to study abroad fit into your graduation plan?

It has. I did the study abroad program in Barcelona with UTA professors from the College of Business, so it’s awesome to be able to go abroad AND be able to graduate earlier with these two classes knocked out of the way!

What is the “weirdest” food you ate?

I’ve never had a paella in my life, so I guess that was pretty weird, but it wasn’t badNinaLuSpain4 weird! It’s a very simple dish with rice and your choice of meat – usually I picked the seafood one, and it was delicious!

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I wanted to study abroad to expand my cultural sense, and it made me do just that! I now am more patient and empathetic towards foreigners, and I am more curious to learn about another person’s country or culture because of studying abroad.
How is life in your host country (the country you studied in) different from life in Arlington?

Everyone in Barcelona pretty much uses cash, so make sure you have plenty of euros on you! Their plugs are also different, so you’ll need a transformer. People tend to be quieter and keep to themselves. They’re friendly, but you’ll have to be the one to approach them. Although relatively safe, there are pickpockets, so I would lock everything valuable!



LandriLedbetterSpain  Landri Ledbetter
  Summer 2015

 "CISAbroad Summer
  in Barcelona"

  Barcelona, Spain

Landri is a senior here at UTA majoring in Broadcasting and minoring in Spanish. Landri studied in Barcelona, Spain for five weeks this summer with one of our affiliate programs, CISAbroad.

What have you gained from studying abroad? LandriLedbetterSpain3

I gained so much when I studied in Barcelona. I was able to practice my Spanish so much more than I expected to and it helped me strengthen not only my listening skills but my verbal skills as well. I also gained a lot of new friends that I will keep in touch with probably for the rest of my life. Most importantly, I gained an experience of a lifetime. Being in a foreign country was completely amazing and life changing!

How is life in your host country different from life in Arlington? 

Well, first and foremost, the transportation is completely different. In Arlington you can drive wherever you want LandriLedbetterSpain4but in Barcelona the most convenient option is the metro trains. It takes a while to get used to the system and all the people. Another big difference is dining in a restaurant. In America the server will bring you your check maybe 5-10 minutes after you finish your meal but in Barcelona the culture is very different. Meals are very long and are used for long conversations and spending time with people so when you are ready to pay you have to flag down your server to get your check.

What is it like living a host family? Would you recommend it to future students?

Living with a host family was AWESOME. It’s a lot easier than living in a student apartment because your host mom or dad will leave out breakfast for you, cook you dinner, and do your laundry for you. LandriLedbetterSpain2Whereas in an apartment you pretty much have to do everything for yourself. It was really nice knowing that I had someone to ask for advice and who knew where I was if something were to happen. It’s also a really good option if you are looking to really strengthen your Spanish. My host mom didn’t know any English so I got the opportunity to speak only Spanish with her every day which will help me in the long run. I definitely, definitely recommend staying with a host family!!!!!

What was the most exciting experience in studying abroad?

LandriLedbetterSpain5Definitely visiting Camp Nou with my Sports class!!!! It was so cool to tour the stadium where world class athletes have played. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life. 

Do you have any advice for future study abroad students?

Be flexible!!! I have always been a planner myself but when you are in a different country you really just have to go with the flow because you are in unfamiliar territory. Be open to meeting new people in your programs at school as well as locals because it’s no fun visiting places by yourself. Also, be open to new experiences. There were a lot of things I did in Barcelona that I probably wouldn’t have done in Arlington or even gotten the chance to do (like ride the ferris wheel on top of Mount Tibidabo or eat a crepe in the south of France).



JacobSmithSpain3  Jacob Smith  
  Spring 2015
  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,
  AIFS Program
  Barcelona, Spain

Jacob Smith is a junior here at UTA majoring in Political Science. Jacob studied abroad at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona through one of our affiliate programs, AIFS, for the full spring 2015 semester.

Has your decision to study abroad fit into your graduation plan?

As a political science major, it was a unique experience to take classes within my major taught by professors from Europe.  The political atmosphere of Barcelona in particular was exciting while I was there, as the entire Catalonian region was petitioning for independence. By studying abroad JacobSmithSpain4 I caught a flavor of international politics I wouldn't have had any other way.

What have you gained from deciding to study abroad?

By participating in a study abroad program, I learned how big a place the world is.  Before I left to study in Spain I had never left the US and did not even have a passport. During my time in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to not just travel around Spain, but to explore much of Europe.  By the end of my time abroad I had made it through nine countries and found a passion for travel.

What other countries have you visited?

While I was in studying in Spain I visited the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Andorra.

JacobSmithSpain5How has this experience impacted you personally?

My best  experience abroad was the incredible people I met and the friendships I formed during my time in Barcelona.  In class at my Spanish University I met people from all over the US, as well as from throughout Europe and even as far as China.  The vast variety of backgrounds and life experiences made for an interesting classroom, and gave us plenty of topics to talk about that led to friendships that I hope to carry on for the rest of my life.

Email Jacob at with any questions regarding studying in Spain!

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Last modified 11/27/2017