Name: Brittany Vulich
Semester: Spring 2011
Program: Liberal Arts
School: University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
¡Hola! My name is Brittany Vulich from Milwaukee, Wisconsin studying abroad in Palma de Mallorca for the Spring 2011 semester. In the States, I'm a Global Studies and Spanish major with a Chinese minor. In my spare time, I enjoy watching documentaries, hanging out with friends, and running.
In the Spring 2010 semester, I was in your shoes. I remember spending hours upon hours of research on which study abroad program to chose weighing in costs, courses, credits, and of course, cities! I knew I wanted to study abroad in España but I didn't know which city was right for me. Madrid? Barcelona? Granada? Fortunately, I had two "must-haves" to help me narrow down my search: 1. My home school, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, had to accept the transfer credits as all the credits I'd earn would be counting towards my Spanish major. 2. The program had to include an internship as it was a requirement for my Global Studies major.
Both are very "parecidos", similar, but what Mallorca had over Barcelona was the true "Spanish lifestyle" that I was craving: rustic seaside villages, charming cafés, and a rich history. I was also drawn to the fact that the UIB, University of the Balearic Islands, is nestled right along the Tramuntana Mountains (spectacular views from the classrooms!)
I can say with 100% certainty that if I had the chance to go back and do it all again, I would still chose Palma. I have felt right at home from the moment I stepped off of the plane. The Program Directors, Antonia and Susan are there from day one all the way through the semester to answer any questions you may have. During your first few days, you will see the new part and the old part of Palma (la Lonja) by foot, try a montón ( a lot of) authentic Mallorquín food, buy your buss pass for the city and your metro pass to get to and from school, as well as meet your Guardian Angels (Spanish students from the University who let you in on all the insider information on Palma) just to name a few activities.
A few of the many "nice surprises" that I've discovered about Mallorca only once I arrived were:
1. The food and pastries are just amazing. A normal Mallorquín bakery will have meat or veggie stuffed pastries called "empenadas", ensaimadas, gató, and napoletónics (nutella stuffed croissants, my favorite). A typical Mallorquín restaurant offers two courses, a pastry, red wine (vino tinto) and olives all for around 10 euro. My personal favorite is "Paella Ciega" or paella with seafood, minus all the heads and claws!
2. The café con leche (more or less an extra small latte) is only .90 centimos at the UIB and zumo de naranja, or fresh squeezed orange juice, is about 2 euros for a cup.
4. There are so many amazing opportunities for day trips. The island is actually quite larger than I had expected and very diverse. The north, east, south, and west of Mallorca are so geographically different that you must take advantage of exploring each one for a day. My favorite so far has been Deiá on the west coast.
5. Palma has an a -m-a-z-i-n-g night life! Going out for tapas and cañas (beer from the tap) is a Thursday night tradition for many young people along the Ruta Marítima, located in the Lonja, where a good tapa and beer cost only 2 euros.
I hope this has given you some food for thought (no pun intended) for when you are making your decision on where to study abroad. It was a long tedious and process but well worth it in the end.