Study Abroad Spotlight: Rachel Nix

Senior Rachel Nix stands in front of one of the two cathedrals located in Salamanca, Spain during her International Studies Abroad (ISA) trip to during the 2017 spring semester.

Rachel Nix, a senior at Mississippi State University, studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain, in the spring of 2017. While many students choose to travel abroad through summer excursions offered by MSU, Nix wanted to find a program that allowed her to spend ample time in the Spanish-speaking country.

A double-major in business management and Spanish, Nix is studying international business, a program which requires students to study abroad.

After deciding it was time to study abroad, Nix said she began researching programs that allowed her to spend a full semester in Spain. She found most of the programs offered and taught by MSU professors were offered in the summer, and decided to look at provider companies.

She compared costs, schools and towns, deciding on attending the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca through a provider called International Studies Abroad.

"Salamanca is like the Starkville of Spain," Nix said of the Spanish college town.

Salamanca is located near Madrid, the capital of Spain, but is much calmer and smaller. It is filled with history and things to do, but is far less populated than Madrid.

The Universidad de Salamanca has its own extensive history as well.

While Nix was there, the university was celebrating its 800th birthday. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe, and much of Salamanca’s history has evolved around the university.

The university is very popular for international students. Nix, along with students from America, France and China to name a few, attended courses in a special international area of the school called International Courses. Depending on an international student’s Spanish-speaking ability, they can take classes with all Spanish students or with all international students.

Students also have the option to take classes in Spanish or in English. Nix attended two classes taught in English, and two classes taught in Spanish.

Nix said she loved International Studies Abroad and the support it provided her while abroad. They sent weekly emails about what was happening in the community in order to help their students get involved. They also provided excursions to places such as Lisbon, Portugal, Segovia, Spain and Sevilla, and organized activities such as a community garden and pickup soccer games. 

Being able to travel was Nix’ favorite part of her time abroad, and she said it was fairly easy to travel around Europe on her weekends and time off from school.

"I learned about myself in relation to other cultures," Nix said.

In reference to her plans after college, Nix said her time abroad provided her with a perspective she feels will be important in working for an international company.

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