March Student Spotlight: Bailey Keith

University of Granada's Center for Modern Languages
University of Granada’s Center for Modern Languages

Bailey Keith

Junior, Management/International Business Administration major, College of Business

“Study Away – Spain”


Bailey Keith is living out the MSU Public Affairs mission this semester in Granada, Spain. Management/International Business Administration majors are required to study abroad for one semester and after much research and preparation, Bailey says it’s all been worth it. She has found the perfect opportunity in Spain by attending classes at the University of Granada’s Center for Modern Languages through the end of May. Bailey states, “Whether I am exploring historical sites or sharing stories over dinner with my host family, I don’t think there is any better way to gain cultural competence than studying away and being immersed in a new environment.”  She says some of the hardest transitions are simply getting used to the daily routine, as well as the language barriers.  Main transportation is on foot – dinner isn’t until 9:30pm – and her host family never goes to sleep before midnight, so it makes for a really long day.   Since her host family doesn’t speak English, she says that they have “a lot of theatrical conversations and what used to be the easiest of tasks have now become the most difficult like using an ATM, working a TV guide, and buying allergy medicine!”

“This experience is definitely giving me a new appreciation for all the international students that attend Missouri State because it can be extremely scary.  I admire the hard work that the international students put into their studies, and now that I have been the international student, I have a better understanding on what they are going through.  I think one of the greatest issues for any student studying abroad is getting integrated with the “locals” rather than always staying with the other international students. I have witnessed this at Missouri State just as much as I have experienced it here in Spain. Living with a host family has helped me a lot, and many students here take advantage of the Intercambios that are held every week.  Just stepping out of that comfort zone can be the hardest part of the whole process.”

We are proud to recognize Bailey Keith as the March 2014 Public Affairs Student Spotlight as a courageous example of how to live out the Missouri State public affairs mission abroad!

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