If you have ever wondered why study abroad is terrific, just ask Alexa McCartney, of Somerville, a fifth-year architecture student at NJIT who will graduate May 17, 2008. McCartney spent a semester studying in Spain this past year. Her stay was arranged by the Office of International Students and Faculty, which helps NJIT students find a foreign university and city that’s best for them. McCartney, who graduates this May, believes that studying abroad was the best part of her college experience.
McCartney studied at La Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) for the fall semester of 2007. The university didn't have a campus or dormitories. Instead, the university was clustered among other colleges, similar to how NJIT is surrounded by Rutgers University--Newark, Essex County Community College, Seton Hall University Law School and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. There are several places that students live, although it was hard to find a place before she left. Eventually, she ended up in a sort of residence hall within Madrid's city center. The students who lived there were from different universities, with many foreign students there as well.
Her residence had many rules. “It was like living with a family with many aunts who did the cooking, cleaning and laundry, and many children who were the students. Meals were served in one dining room and I often woke to the sound of the cleaning lady sweeping my floor. It was at an ideal location and I had quick access to the Metro and the bus and I was a short walk away from the historical center of Madrid.”
To hear more of Alexa’s story visit http://www.njit.edu/features/student/alexa-mccartney.php.