Gap Year Experiences Alisa Chokshi

College '23, Economics & International Relations
Studying in Spain

My gap year experience:

At Penn, I am double majoring in Economics and International Relations with a minor in Hispanic Studies. I took a variety of Spanish and humanities classes at the University of Navarra while living in a Spanish dormitory with sixty native speakers. My time abroad helped to confirm my passion for languages and building bridges across cultures and reinforced my desire to study IR and economics as a way to create positive impact in the world.

Highlights from my gap year:

  • Going out for pinxtos every Thursday, a local tradition of bar/restaurant hopping
  • Daily coffee and croissant at a nearby cafe where I got to know the locals
  • Participating in events/trips organized by Erasmus (student exchange program), through which I got to meet other exchange students in addition to my Spanish residence friends. Included weekend trip to Barcelona, cooking classes, and day trips to local cities
  • Going to the coastal city of San Sebastian and reconnecting with my host family from a high school trip
  • Introducing Thanksgiving to my Spanish dorm mates and having a traditional Thanksgiving meal
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