Cielo Gomez finds study abroad helpful for thesis research

Honors senior and Chancellor’s Scholar Cielo Gomez spent the Fall 2021 semester studying abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. There she took nine semester hours of advanced coursework in Spanish language and culture. Gomez majors in theatre arts and double minors in Spanish and psychology.

Salamanca is known as the Golden City or la Ciudad Dorada. Gomez explained, “Because of the sandstone buildings that glow when the sun hits them.”

The University of Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain and the third-oldest university in Europe.


Photos above of Salamanca, Spain, known as The Golden City. Photos by Cielo Gomez.

For her Honors thesis, Gomez is working with Dr. Ray Miller, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance as her director. Dr. Gina Grandi, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and fellow App State student Karol Perez, who majors in graphic design with a minor in art history, serve as additional readers. Gomez is writing a bilingual play centered on the theme of Latinx sexuality. She gained significant insights from her study abroad experience in support of her thesis. She explained,

“Studying Spanish in Spain has allowed my grammar skills to improve in time for my honors thesis. Furthermore, I built relationships with my Spanish teachers that will allow me to use their input to further advance this creative project.”

While abroad, Gomez traveled alone for one week through Italy and France. Of that experience, she shared,

“It opened my eyes to how big the world is and how much more I want to explore. Along with my personal independent growth, I also made friendships throughout Europe that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, my experience abroad has gifted me with the newfound knowledge of so many wonderful cultures as well as the passion to share what I have learned in hopes of encouraging others to study abroad.” 


Photos above feature Cielo Gomez in Nice, France (left), and Venice, Italy (right). Photos submitted.

Gomez reflected that, “the greatest benefits of study abroad for Honors students are the opportunity to become even more independent and confident in yourself in the real world, as well as the opportunity to expand your pool of relationships with people from completely different cultures that you never would have met in North Carolina. You get to become a new person and experiment new things in a globally different environment.”

She further offered the following to Honors students planning study abroad: “I would advise to start planning it out early. All the little details are important, and you'll enjoy your time abroad more if you have it all planned out before you go. It works really well to associate your thesis planning with your study abroad location, just so you can have more to work with when you come back to App and finish up your thesis.”

The Honors College International Education scholarship provided funding for Gomez’ semester study abroad, and she shared, “I am forever thankful for this amazing opportunity that the Honors College gave me.” 


Top photo features Cielo Gomez in Segovia, Spain, Fall 2021 semester.









Published: Mar 28, 2022 2:14pm