Whitman Student Embraces Spanish Culture During Semester Abroad
Bennett Macaulay ’24
Finance and Information Management
- Undergraduate Dual
I took studying abroad as an opportunity to take science courses, which I do not typically have the room in my schedule for back at Syracuse. In high school, I was very interested in psychology and biology. I am glad I had the opportunity to hone in on my interests through these courses.
Bennett Macaulay ’24 (WSM/IST) spent the spring 2023 semester in Spain studying at the Syracuse University Madrid Program. Macaulay’s decision to study abroad was inspired by his previous summer job experience, where he lived in housing with workers from all over Europe. This experience exposed him to European culture and saw it as an opportunity to check it out for himself.
Upon arriving to Madrid in January, Macaulay went straight to exploring the country. Students attending the Syracuse University Madrid Program were required to complete a 3 credit, 10-day signature seminar before settling into their living accommodations and starting the program. The signature seminar trip is designed to provide students with a rich experiential understanding of Spanish culture and history.
This opportunity allowed Macaulay to meet peers, gain familiarity traveling around Europe and get a glimpse of Spain. The group learned about the history and culture through visits to Alhambra in Grenada, Cordoba and Toledo.
Once the program began, Macaulay took classes that ventured outside his typical course load. The finance and information management and technology student found his favorite classes to be PSY 315: Drugs and Human Behavior and BIO 306: Drug Discovery.
“I took studying abroad as an opportunity to take science courses, which I do not typically have the room in my schedule for back at Syracuse. In high school, I was very interested in psychology and biology. I am glad I had the opportunity to hone in on my interests through these courses,” he says.
Day-to-day, Macaulay enjoyed experiencing Spain’s customs and culture. He describes the experience as very relaxed. “People value leisure time, family and social activities as much as their professional responsibilities. The workday can be long, but the extended lunch breaks, called “siestas,” and late dinner hours allow for relaxation and socializing,” he says.
With the peers he met in the program, Macaulay often traveled on the weekends to different European countries. His favorite trip was to the French Alps, where he was able to go skiing in Chamonix.
Over the summer, he interned at Morningstar in Chicago. “I worked with the product marketing team, as well as projects with the equity research team. This was a great experience where I got to extend my investment knowledge, as well as make connections in Chicago,” he says. Macaulay mentioned that students from Spain were also in his program, where they bonded over his experience and made connections.
He recommends students looking to go abroad do their research on the different programs and locations. Macaulay says, he highly recommends living with a host family, as he reflects on it being the best decision he has ever made. Additionally, Macaulay says, “Do not worry about going to a location with your friends because you will make new friends along the way.”
By Anna Rooney ’24