Peer Advisors

GerardoGerardo Covarrubias

Major: Operations Management and Informational Systems

Minor: Sociology

Year in School: Junior

Email: gcovarrubias@niu.edu

Study Abroad Program: ISA Valencia-Spain

Other Countries you have visited: Mexico

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I had always wanted to explore a different country but with school being my main priority I did not have the time or money available for such a trip. When I discovered that Northern’s Study Abroad Office offered such programs I immediately began researching programs offered in various countries in order to find one suited to my liking along with my budget.

Favorite excursion or adventure:

My favorite excursion while studying abroad in Valencia,Spain was a trip we had taken to the Pyrenees. Taking a nine hour bus ride to approach our destination it was a bit of a long trip, but well worth it. I will never forget the excitement on the bus as we saw some of the mountains from a distance.  Once we actually began hiking up the mountain side we were struck with both fear and awe as we saw the beautiful country side of Spain along with the big drop to the bottom if we were to slip. Once we reached the peak and caught our breath we were astonished to see the beauty that was the entire mountain side in our views. We were told by our instructor “No words just look out for a minute and reflect.”  In utter silence we stared out at everything surrounding us and inhaled deeply. Breathing in deeply the fresh mountain air had relaxed all of us and we stood in silence for not one, but seven minutes just reflecting.

Why do you think that it is important to study abroad?

I believe everyone should study abroad just to give them an outside perspective on how things are doing outside of the U.S. When I studied abroad in Spain I was completely out of my comfort zone and had no idea what was going on at first. I knew the language but other that that was completely out of my element, but given time I was able to adapt and fully enjoy the country. College is about exploration and discovering yourself, what better place could you do that than in another country?

Any tips you have for students interested in studying abroad?

A major tip I tell all students who have an interest in studying abroad is to save money as early as possible. Some may have more of this resource than others but coming from a person who waited till the last minute to start saving for his trip let me tell you that if you are traveling to a European or Asian country you might want to start saving today. Just a little at a time, on a weekly or monthly basis can make a significant difference when it comes to your spending money abroad.

Hours you are available in the Study Abroad Office:

Wednesdays:  9:00-12:00