Southeast Missouri State University student Maggie Pike is following her wanderlust in Spain this semester where she is furthering her education while immersing herself in a new culture.
Pike, a senior double major in mass communication, public relations option, and global studies from St. Louis, Missouri, is living and studying abroad at the University of León, in León, Spain.
She enjoys new physical and educational challenges, and her professors in Southeast’s Department of Modern Languages, Anthropology and Geography encouraged her to pursue a study abroad experience that could bring positive academic and personal achievements, Pike said.
She is studying Spanish vocabulary, grammar, culture, speaking and writing in classes, which are taught entirely in Spanish. Having small class sizes has been helpful in getting personal support in a new place, she said.
“I have wonderful professors who are very funny, helpful and kind,” Pike said. “My classes are very small, so you get a lot of one-on-one attention. The teachers at the University of León are very understanding and encouraging.”
Southeast student Maggie Pike (center) with her classmates at the University of León .
Being immersed in the Spanish language and culture in and out of the classroom has allowed her to learn much more, she said.
“León isn’t a main city like Barcelona or Madrid, so the majority of the people only speak Spanish,” Pike said. “I’m forced to learn and use Spanish every day. I need it to do simple tasks like buy groceries.”
Traveling has always been a dream for Pike. Outside of the classroom, she’s found time to visit Paris, London, Barcelona and the Canary Islands, with Dublin and Rome on deck.
“The best opportunities have been that I get to experience so many different places,” Pike said. “I have the opportunity to travel on the weekends, and I am very lucky to be able to see all of these famous cities.”
She says she hopes her experiences this semester will also have an impact on her professional career and lead to an array of job opportunities after graduation.
Pike’s positive spirit, profound work ethic and unwavering drive to succeed casts a bright light on her future and goals. She hopes to one day be a public relations professional.
Maggie Pike (right) with a classmate in Paris.
“Speaking another language also makes me more attractive to future employers, and since I am graduating this semester, that is very important,” she said.
Pike, who played on the Southeast women’s soccer team, will graduate from Southeast in May.
Southeast offers many study abroad opportunities that reach far and wide, available for all academic majors in more than 35 countries. Study abroad opportunities range from short two-week programs to semester- and year-long programs.
All students are encouraged to seize the opportunity to travel, learn and gain invaluable experience. Studying in another country broadens worldviews and perspectives, develops valuable career skills, expands professional networks and promotes personal growth.