Junior infielder Ben Isaak has taken his talents overseas for the 2019 Fall Semester to study at Suffolk's Madrid campus. While stamping his academic passport, Isaak will check in with GoSuffolkRams.com from time-to-time to tell Ram Nation what she has been up to abroad.
Below is the second installment, featuring Isaak's first month overseas.
The first month of my junior year of college has been far different than any other fall semester I have experienced. Since arriving at Suffolk’s Madrid Campus, I have met many new and interesting people and have gained an understanding of a new culture. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to study here and for the opportunities that arise over the course of the next couple months.
The first week living at the Galdós University Residence near Suffolk Madrid was both fun and stressful at the same time. There are a lot of adjustments that come with living in a different country for the first time such as sleep routines, a mix of new personalities, different diets and food choices, and of course learning Spanish. Up to my departure from Boston, my experience at Suffolk and experiences prior had taught me how to adjust and make the most of new situations. The best asset students like myself will gain here is an ability and sense of freedom to create new habits. It is remarkable to see all the other first-time study abroad students making their own adjustments. It empowers you to see people all around you thriving day to day according to their own new habits.
Without the familiarity of your home country, it is impossible to do the same things that made you happy every day. Therefore, you are forced to find something new to fill that gap. In a similar sense, along with familiarity comes complacency, a place where negative routines can arise. Changing scenery may allow some to realize those negative habits and force them to decide if they still make sense in the new environment. Baseball was one of those things that made me happy every day of my life prior to this semester; replacing that habit has not been as difficult as I imagined. It has been intriguing to learn what activities might be able to compensate, more than a few to be accurate.
Meeting so many new Suffolk students also engaged in a new culture has been the biggest gift. It is a blast going to school with them every day, learning in smaller classrooms with more personable professors, and knowing practically all your peers by name. Some of these peers are also involved in Suffolk Athletics and I’m proud to attend school with two members of the track team, one member of the tennis team, and one member of the softball team (pictured below). What all five of us have in common is considerable time away from our sport. Some of us have it easier than others if the sport exists here in Spain, others find the separation more real. Either way, we are all learning how to develop new habits and skills we previously didn’t think possible or necessary.
Fans, families, alumni and friends can check in with what Isaak and Phelan are up to over sees by following their adventures on GoSuffolkRams.com or over social media by using the hashtag #RAMsinterNATIONal.