Wharton '20 Naveed Matinfar

SA: Comillas Pontifical University (ICADE)

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): Comillas Pontifical University (ICADE)

Ask me about...

  • Full Spanish immersion in my classes abroad

  • Preparing for and navigating classes taught in Spanish

My Experience Abroad:

At Penn, I am a Wharton student minoring in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature, and I was able to blend and intermingle all of these foci during my time at ICADE. My Wednesday schedule from last semester is a great example of this. I would start my day with my Francoist cinema class, taken in Spanish mostly with Erasmus and international students, in which we would discuss films produced during Franco's reign and connect them with what occurred during that era of Spanish history. Later I would go to my Business Strategies class, also taken in Spanish but with Spanish ICADE students, where we would dive deep into management frameworks utilizing case studies that reflected international business in Spain and Europe. Through my courses, I was thus able to achieve an auspicious balance between liberal arts courses that extended my cultural fluency and business courses that taught me international business practices, all the while learning in Spanish.

Other Highlights:

  • Visiting Sevilla. I visited Sevilla with two of my Penn friends from ICADE, and we met with a girl who was in the Sevilla CASA program. We were able to explore the culture of Andalucía, one of the most unique and beautiful regional cultures in Spain, and we attended a flamenco show in the cultural capital of that style of dance. We also met other Sevilla CASA students and were able to trade experiences about learning in Spain.

  • My group presentation in my business strategies course. In my business strategies, coursework was all organized into group work, and I was in the only group with four American students. A major part of the semester was a 20-minute presentation analyzing the business strategy of our chosen company, and my group was very nervous prior to presenting. However, we really doubled down and began preparing days in advance, working hard to perfect our material and also our presentational fluency. When the day came, our Spanish classmates were really impressed and left us with positive comments, a huge success for our group.

  • Visiting Milan. My friend from high school studied abroad in Milan last semester, and I was able to visit her during my Spring Break during the Milan Design Week. It was a spectacular week of fun in which the city was filled with people, and I toured churches such as the Milan Duomo and was able to try the local gastronomy as well. I enjoyed meeting her friends and learning about other students' experiences abroad, and I think it's safe to say that my Milan trip was my most memorable experience outside of Spain during my semester.

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